Standard Life completes major ‘digital workplace’ transformation project

Standard Life has completed a project to enable better collaboration across its workforce, substantially reducing its application estate and introducing a range of Microsoft tools.

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Standard Life has completed a project to enable improved collaboration across its workforce, allowing it to substantially reduce its application estate and introduce a range of Microsoft tools.

The 18-month project was undertaken in partnership with Accenture and Avanade – a joint venture consulting service between Accenture and Microsoft – as part of the insurer’s internal Digital Workforce programme, aimed at improving communications between its 9,000-strong workforce.

The project involved the deployment of a suite of on-premise Microsoft software tools, including Microsoft Office, Exchange Server, System Center Configuration Manager, Lync and Sharepoint.

The application consolidation programme resulted in a 60 percent reduction in the number of applications run by Standard Life’s IT department, with many apps replaced or upgraded to more recent versions. 

The company revealed in its recent financial results that it would implement Microsoft’s Sharepoint software as its first enterprise-wide collaboration system, following feedback from an employee engagement survey.

A pilot project began in UK and Ireland towards the end of 2013, and has now been rolled out across the group. Using Sharepoint is aimed at reducing duplication of processes and increasing collaboration in project work.

Migrates 11,000 desktops to Windows 7

The group also revealed it would introduce a single desktop operating system as part of a “significant group-wide investment in technology”. It has now completed the upgrade of 11,000 desktops from Windows XP to Windows 7, with the migration finished ahead of the April deadline for XP support. Moving Windows 7 has had a number of benefits, including cutting log-in times by 15 percent for its staff.

The deal comes under a global enterprise licensing agreement with Microsoft. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“From a business perspective, this lays the foundation blocks for improving our customer engagement as we continue to develop our Digital agenda,” said Paul Chong, Director of Group IT at Standard Life. “This has been one of the largest and most complex global IT projects we have undertaken, and we are proud to have completed it in less than 18 months."

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