Hampshire-based Appello is a supplier of Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS), helping vulnerable and older people to live independently by providing emergency alarms, a monitoring centre, and related services. The current company was founded in 2014 when Careline, Cirrus and Appello Telehealth merged; however, their industry experience spans more than 22 years.

The business partners with housing, healthcare and social care organisations as well as consumers, and has a passion for helping people to live more fulfilled and safer lives through the intelligent use of technology. Their flagship service is the UK’s leading digital TECS monitoring centre, which delivers proactive and reactive monitoring for care homes, developments, and communities.

The challenge

Appello’s IT systems were integrated with FirstPort; a property management firm owned by the same parent company as Appello. The technology requirements of the two businesses had developed over the years and as a result were now very different, meaning that Appello were unable to be as agile as they would have liked.

Additionally, FirstPort’s architecture was beginning to age and with Appello’s critical work in providing critical alarms for older people, the company was not able to withstand any downtime caused by outdated systems. The ongoing high operating costs for the existing solution were another issue that Appello wanted to address. 

The decision was made to decentralise from FirstPort, implementing a new modern, scalable and flexible environment to support the business both now and in the future. Appello were provided with multiple options by other partners, with suggestions including migrating to a Private Cloud platform or to implement more on-premises hardware. The organisation felt that neither of these would adequately deliver against their desired outcome, so Appello looked to Transparity for a fresh, more modern approach.

The solution

Transparity recommended a Microsoft Cloud-based solution for Appello, allowing them to decentralise their systems from FirstPort without the expense and complexity of having to build a new platform and then migrate current servers. Services were moved to Microsoft 365, which incorporates the popular Office 365 apps for productivity, Microsoft Teams for communication and collaboration, and Cloud-based storage with OneDrive and SharePoint. Additionally, Microsoft 365’s enterprise-grade security features include Azure Active Directory for Single Sign-On, offering a sole identity for users to securely access their apps and data no matter where they are.

Appello’s new SaaS solutions would eliminate the need to maintain on-premises architecture – as well as negate the need to upgrade every few years – which would deliver significant cost savings. Additionally, as Microsoft 365 offers secure remote access, the business no longer needed to use third-party solutions such as Citrix. This not only offers reduces licensing costs but allows for a seamless user experience.

The outcome

Appello now have a modern IT environment, with its Cloud-based nature meaning that it can easily scale as the company grows. By moving from a CapEx to an OpEx model of procurement there is no longer a need to manage and upgrade on-premises infrastructure. This means that costs are now predictable and the savings ongoing, allowing the business to better plan for the future. Microsoft 365 also allows Appello to achieve their goal of being more agile, with users able to log on wherever they are whilst the company’s systems and data remain secure.

Following the implementation of Microsoft 365, Appello acquired another business. Traditionally, incorporating the systems of another business can be extremely complex; however, thanks to the agility that Microsoft Cloud has brought to the organisation, the process was seamless. Additionally, Transparity also implemented Teams telephony for Appello, reducing the expense and complexity of managing multiple vendors, retiring legacy telephony platforms and their associated maintenance costs.

“Early in 2019, our business developed a competitive tendering process for IT activities to move all IT related services, infrastructure and support from our previous provider to a predominantly Cloud-focused Managed Service. Transparity provided a proposal that secured our business based on quality, cost and innovation. They also demonstrated that they were able to operate to the very tight timescales imposed due to our new ownership.

“Since the tender award, Transparity have worked very closely with us and project managed a number of key phases, delivering on time and even marginally under budget. Their engagement with our staff has been first class and communication across all activities is excellent.

“We look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship with Transparity.”
Carl Atkey, CTO at Appello

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