Transforming with the cloud at Australia's Pharmacy Council

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) is the authority that accredits pharmacy education and training in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA) and the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (PCNZ). APC maintains the high standards of pharmacy education and assesses competencies of Australian intern and overseas pharmacists to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to deliver effective health care.

 

The Challenge

APC’s core business processes were operating on a suite of ageing, legacy applications.  These were hosted on traditional on-premises infrastructure, which meant limited scalability, flexibility and rising overheads. 

The cornerstone of APC’s platform was Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Adxstudio Portals V7, both with significant customisation. This complexity provided challenges from a support perspective, and when starting on any enhancements or upgrades.  These versions were several steps behind the currently available product offerings, which prevented APC from unlocking greater capability in the platform and leveraging the significantly improved user interface of newer systems.

APC asked Datacom to deliver not just a digital transformation roadmap, but to execute the enabling projects that would allow a transition to the cloud. Datacom’s knowledge and experience in transitioning core services (infrastructure and applications related) to the cloud, made it an easy decision for APC.

Results

Datacom developed a plan for the cloud migration of core infrastructure services such as identity synchronisation from Active Directory to Azure Active Directory, Exchange on premise to Exchange Online, file server to SharePoint Online, SharePoint on premise to SharePoint Online, Dynamics CRM 2013 to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement, ADX Studio Portal to Dynamics 365 Portal and ensured delivery in an incremental fashion across multiple work packages.

Office 365 and Dynamics 365 cloud tenancies were set up under Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider programme - where Datacom is one of the leading providers in Australia. 

The project was about more than just migrating and transitioning services to the cloud, it was a complete cloud transformation for APC. Datacom brought in infrastructure and software specialists to successfully migrate the core on-premise services to Microsoft cloud in one project.

APC was then able to successfully integrate with the third-party exam scheduling service offered by international computer-based testing company with a single sign-on capability for external users. This integration was the first of its kind.

The Datacom Difference

This project showed the breadth and depth of Datacom’s capability and skills, involving on-premise and legacy infrastructure and application understanding, new cloud service abilities, transitioning from on-premise to cloud and using the cloud to power innovation through integrating with an external computer-based testing provider.

With the completion of each part of the work package, APC could progressively retire ageing hardware and servers, all while starting to optimise its business processes using the power of cloud services.  This led to reduced operations and maintenance overheads by consolidating IT support from multiple vendors to just one.

With adoption of “software -as- a- service” model there was a cut in hardware maintenance costs and APC and Datacom delivered the project within all agreed project success indicators: on time, under budget, and meeting all key customer quality criteria.

 

“We have developed a trusted partnership with Datacom, who provided great advice on transitioning our core services to the cloud. We were able to work together to overcome issues as they cropped up along the way, ultimately delivering the project on time and within budget. The successful implementation of examination single sign-on was particularly impressive, allowing us to easily support our customers engage with us simply and easily without the need for heavy infrastructure investments. We look forward to working together in the future.”

Aleem Muhammad, APC IT Manager