March 4, 2021
In June 2018, AMC and VUmc formed an alliance to continue together as the largest Dutch hospital: Amsterdam UMC. During this alliance, the ICT Department was tasked with integrating the ICT landscapes of both AMC and VUmc, including office automation (the workplace). Amsterdam UMC laid the foundation for this by setting up Microsoft 365 with Rapid Circle and transitioning from two environments to one. This laid the groundwork for many beautiful innovations, optimisations, and innovations in technology and methodology.
Amsterdam UMC was the first hospital in the Netherlands to fully transition to Microsoft 365. The goal was to create a modern workplace for employees that is accessible anywhere, anytime, and from any device. But above all, it created a solid structure that enables innovation. The first characteristics of this are already visible.
In addition to modernising its workplace, Amsterdam UMC was supported by Microsoft 365 in the alliance between AMC and VUmc. Employees notice this on various aspects, such as having one calendar and one address book, even though employees still have separate accounts for both organisations. Information and files are also easier to find.
Since Amsterdam UMC was already fully on the Microsoft 365 platform before Covid, it was able to support collaboration and remote work by rolling out Microsoft Teams to 28,000 users within two weeks.
One result of this is that doctors now have a way to communicate with family and relatives of patients, which is important because the number of visitors is very limited due to Covid. Thanks to Teams, families can be well informed about the patient’s situation, despite difficult circumstances.
Teams is also being used to support the Multidisciplinary Consultation (MDO) and other meetings with multiple specialists. Amsterdam UMC has integrated Microsoft Teams with Cisco Systems for this purpose. These systems already supported the MDO but could not be used outside the hospital. Now, specialists at other locations and at home can also participate. This is crucial for the quality of care during Covid.
Due to the alliance, departments are being moved ‘in waves’ between the locations of AMC and VUmc and are being merged organisationally. Data and files can now be placed in SharePoint Online in an organised way, and the department can start fresh. Microsoft 365 also supports the new branding (from AMC and VUmc to Amsterdam UMC).
NOT ‘LIFT AND SHIFT’, BUT ‘FIRST TIME RIGHT’
Amsterdam UMC wanted to migrate from two environments to one cloud environment and take this opportunity to establish a solid and “clean” foundation for further innovation. So, instead of ‘lift and shift’, it was a ‘first time right’ approach. This was a unique opportunity to establish a new foundation.
MAKING A COMPLEX PROJECT PREDICTABLE
Merging environments, cleaning up, rolling out in two organisations, and migrating in one result in a complex project. Amsterdam UMC, together with Rapid Circle, established the approach based on best practices, a good project organisation, management buy-in, and tools, laying the foundation for a predictable project. Rapid Circle was even willing to take on the project on a fixed fee basis.
PHASED APPROACH WITH TANGIBLE RESULTS AT EACH STAGE
- PHASE 1: FOUNDATION AND MIGRATION
In the 1st phase, the environment is built up. All employees are given a new identity to log in to the new Amsterdam UMC domain, which grants them access to their mailbox, calendar, SharePoint, and in the future, more Office 365 applications in the cloud.
Once the new environment is set up, we migrate all SharePoint sites and data to SharePoint Online and 40,000 mailboxes from the old domains to the new Exchange Online environment. After the 1st phase, employees can access their mail and calendar from any location and device. They can easily and securely share documents with each other through SharePoint Online.
- PHASE 2: EFFICIENT AND SECURE COLLABORATION
In the 2nd phase, attention is focused on providing more mobility and collaboration tools for employees.
In the 1st phase, security for company devices was already set up. In order to ensure that employees can also collaborate safely from their own devices, attention is given in the 2nd phase to securing BYO devices. Thanks to the new environment, employees can now easily work (together) from home on their own smartphone, laptop, and tablet. With security in Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S) and Mobile App Management (MAM), IT retains control over security at the device, app, and data level.
In this 2nd phase, a file share migration to OneDrive takes place and SharePoint and Teams are made available.
A NEW WAY OF WORKING FOR EMPLOYEES
After the installation of these collaboration tools, employees can collaborate more efficiently at Amsterdam UMC locations or from home. To ensure that employees get the most out of the new workplace, Rapid Circle guides them through the different phases with a comprehensive and tailor-made adoption trajectory. Both at a strategic level and hands-on, with practical quick reference cards and instructional videos.
A NEW WAY OF WORKING FOR IT
IT also realises that the new cloud environment requires different competencies than managing an on-premises environment. To help them in their new governance role, Rapid Circle advises on the most optimal setup of the new management environment for the organisation, particularly with regard to platform governance. This is automated as much as possible. For example, we developed a template for Teams that allows a user to easily request a Teams team. IT can quickly evaluate whether the request meets all requirements and roll out the requested Teams with one click. Minimal effort and maximum control for IT.
THE COMPLEXITY OF MIGRATING FROM TWO ENVIRONMENTS
This project was challenging because data had to be migrated from two domains to one domain. Duplicating the 40,000 mailboxes was particularly tricky. Many employees had mailboxes in both locations that were linked to their identity. Therefore, new identities had to be set up in the new environment before everything could be migrated.
RAPID CIRCLE’S ROLE
Rapid Circle was responsible for the assessment, planning, design, migration, and setup of the new IT infrastructure in the Microsoft 365 domain, including security, in this project. Rapid Circle also supported the secure deployment of Office 365 apps on mobile devices. Additionally, Rapid Circle is a managed services partner for Amsterdam UMC, supporting them with monitoring, security, continuous renewal, and general support. Furthermore, Rapid Circle is a partner for various innovations and improvements based on Azure, Microsoft Teams, and Power Platform.
EXAMPLE OF THE POWER OF POWER PLATFORM: A CRITICAL APP BUILT IN 1 WEEKEND
Once the infrastructure is in place in the Microsoft cloud, there are many opportunities for digital transformation. When identity, security, various Microsoft services, and data are properly secured, you can quickly automate new and temporary processes based on Azure and Power Platform.
An example of such process innovation occurred at the start of Covid-19. At the request of Amsterdam UMC, Rapid Circle developed an app and dashboard in one weekend to inventory beds for Covid patients. With this Power Platform-based app, the hospital can see in real-time how many beds are available and suitable at any time. Without having set up the right foundation, this cannot be achieved in one weekend.
WITH THE MICROSOFT CLOUD A BASIS FOR FASTER RENEWAL AND INNOVATION
After launching the tools that enable employees to collaborate online more easily and quickly, there are certainly more innovations to be expected in the short term. The IT organisation can better support requests from the business to facilitate innovation because they can switch faster, have a solid foundation, and more capacity. With this migration to a new solid foundation in the cloud, the largest hospital in the Netherlands is far ahead.