READING, England, April 24, 2012/PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft has announced that West Midlands Ambulance Service, one of the largest and best performing ambulance services in the UK, has signed a contract to deploy Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint 2010 to its entire organisation to aid better communications and streamline processes. This is the first Microsoft Cloud deal to be transacted under the UK Government's G-Cloud's Framework and one of the first to be secured overall from any supplier.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has recently grown to over 4,000 staff, providing emergency medical care to a population of around five million people. The unification of several services meant WMAS had various IT systems in operation, making it challenging for staff to communicate and collaborate effectively due to the lack of standardisation. With no common email platform, staff did not have a consolidated email address book with which to locate colleagues easily around the whole region, and using different systems resulted in a lack of version control and increasing storage demands.
By moving to the cloud, West Midlands Ambulance Service will simplify communications and enable staff to collaborate more easily. As well as using Microsoft Office 365, WMAS is also implementing SharePoint 2010 for document management, utilising the built-in version control and collaboration features.
WMAS realise the benefits in hosting core services in the cloud and recognise equally the need to innovate as well as consolidate. The IM&T department saw the benefits in deploying Office 365 as a collaborative solution going beyond replacing a mail platform or document management. Phil Collins, head of IM&T, comments, "We needed to consolidate our systems and get everybody onto a common platform as quickly and easily as possible. We knew that moving to the cloud would help us overcome these problems, but we also needed to ensure we maintained the highest level of security around our patient data. IMGROUP gave us the ability to combine cloud services with our on-premise applications, delivering exactly what we needed".
IMGROUP, an information management specialist which is part of the G-Cloud Supplier Community, supplied WMAS with the solution to fit its needs. Marcel Bonfrer, head of Office 365 Sales at IMGROUP comments, "Our hybrid approach means we can help large organisations maximise the benefit from cloud services in a risk-free manner. Many public sector organisations, who are struggling with the alchemy of how to do more with less, see their IT budgets eaten up with maintaining existing systems. Cloud computing is an opportunity to redress these numbers, allowing these organisations to innovate and drive change."
Mark Smith, Director of Healthcare, Life Sciences & Health Solutions Group, Microsoft UK says, "This is a great example of how organisations can leverage the power of the cloud to streamline business processes, whilst delivering scalable, high performance solutions.
Office 365, delivered by IMGROUP, will enable West Midlands Ambulance Service to embrace the power of Microsoft Cloud Services and provide it with a platform for the future."
About West Midlands Ambulance Service
Formed in 2006, WMAS has consistently been one of the top performing ambulance Trusts in the country. WMAS have been recognised as Ambulance Service of the Year on five occasions and in 2010-11, was the only Trust in the country to achieve all four of the national performance standards.