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Vic State Emergency Services cuts costs, improves efficiency with cloud move

11 Apr 17

Data#3 has helped migrate Victoria’s State Emergency Service to the Microsoft cloud in a move the organisation says seen it reduce costs by up to 25% while enabling it to be more agile.

Around 90% of Vic SES’ operational systems have been migrated to the cloud, with the remainder to follow shortly.

The not-for profit, volunteer-based emergency services organisation has 5000 volunteers and 180 staff, and provides assistance in floods, storms, earthquakes, landslides and road accidents across Victoria and interstate.

Andrew Ferrarese, Vic SES manager of information services, says given the nature of the job, information systems and support need to be available to personnel 24x7.

The organisation previously managed its own infrastructure.

The new solution leverages Microsoft data centres which have been certified by the Australian Signals Directorate in a move SES says provides peace of mind about the resilience of the platform, along with the security and privacy of data stored there, while removing issues of latency and data sovereignty.

“The key for me is that I have that comfort knowing that it’s local, it’s accessible, there’s a business continuity component to it,” Ferrarese says.

“What we’ve tried to do with this recent move is to just keep it as seamless as possible, so people still see their email and it looks the same, but it’s on Office 365.

“We don’t want to be seen as anything more than just providing the service…it’s just something that has to work.”

Ferrarese says Azure has provided a 20% to 25% cost reduction for the organisation.

“We wanted something that was simple and easy to use and obviously cost was a key consideration. Azure provided that ability where we didn’t need to worry about infrastructure or manage anything at a high cost and be worried about when it expires and licensing. We’re getting a better service for less money.”

The organisation is also using cloud as a foundation for the future, providing staff with anywhere, anytime access to the system using the cloud and Office 365.

Microsoft says additional productivity tools, such as Skype for Business, OneDrive and Power BI can also be harnessed in future to unlock the value in Vic SES’ data, break down lingering information silos and ensure insights are shared fast and efficiently.

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