10 November, 2016 – Melbourne, Australia – The Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) is modernising the way technology is used across the organisation, moving toward a suite of cloud-based services from Microsoft to create a business and people centred platform that will deliver significant operational efficiencies.
Responsible for regulating the 120,000 registered teachers in Victoria – including training needs, quality assurance, and safety checks – VIT is migrating its business applications to Microsoft Azure, including those responsible for record management, teacher applications, financial systems, and internal and external communication and collaboration platforms.
The first phase of VIT’s migration to the cloud saw the authority work with Microsoft partner Dilignet to deploy Microsoft Operations Management Suite and its Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) solution, to eliminate the risk and complexity involved in running a disaster recovery site for critical applications. It is also designed to simplify testing and reporting for compliance needs, and improve the authority’s recovery point objectives (RPO) for disaster recovery.
Moving its disaster recovery solution from an on-premise secondary datacentre to Microsoft Azure has seen VIT reduce its RPO from one business day to minutes. The success of the opening phase also instilled confidence in the cloud solutions used as VIT begins migrating other applications to Azure.
“No business ever wants to have to boot up its disaster recovery solutions, but VIT is safe in the knowledge our systems can be running again in a matter of minutes with Azure Site Recovery. The frequency at which data is backed up – twice a day – and the fact it can be hosted in Australia are key differentiators for us considering the sensitive and critical information we handle and compliance we must meet. Bringing these features together allows us to rapidly recover the complete VIT IT infrastructure to ensure business is running as usual in the unfortunate event we would need to,” said Bruce Lawrence, Technical Project Manager, Business Services, VIT.
Running its disaster recovery in the cloud also means VIT is able to better manage the costs involved as it only pays for the services it uses, which is in contrast to its previous CAPEX model. Additionally, the authority is able to rapidly scale and deploy new services as needed, and upgrade to the latest software versions to further enhance disaster recovery capabilities.
Peter Lillywhite, Director of Dilignet, added, “We have worked closely with VIT helping to solve specific workload and organisational technology challenges. Our deep understanding of its needs enabled us to work in true partnership to create a business and people centred platform that will deliver significant operational efficiencies whilst also enabling it to manage costs and risk more effectively.”
“A significant benefit of moving to Azure for VIT is that we no longer have to maintain our own IT infrastructure on-site. The shift toward buying services has driven a cultural change across the authority, allowing us to place a greater emphasis on improving performance rather than simply managing it,” added Lawrence.
“VIT is a big user of Microsoft technologies, and this was another factor in our decision, considering using solutions from multiple vendors often increases complexity of IT networks. We want our cloud platforms to integrate tightly with our business applications, meaning Azure is ideal for our needs and objectives,” said Lawrence.
Alongside Microsoft Operations Management Suite and BCDR, VIT uses Office 365, Windows 10, Active Directory in Windows Server 2012, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to deliver a superior user experience for employees, teachers, and students.
Mike Heald, Hybrid Cloud (Azure) Product Manager, Microsoft Australia said: “As businesses of all shapes and sizes begin to move their IT networks to the cloud for improved performance and cost savings, the importance of a robust disaster recovery solution, and subsequent business strategy, cannot be overlooked. With Azure, VIT has a platform supporting a variety of disaster recovery scenarios allowing it to seamlessly deliver services and operations to the state’s teachers, regardless of the IT challenges faced.”