Walsall-based HomeServe PLC were established in 1993 with a vision of being the world’s most trusted provider of home repairs and improvements. The company provide insurance for landlords and consumers as well as emergency home repairs, offering a number of plans to ensure their customers have plumbing, boiler and heating cover should the worst happen.
Now part of the FTSE 250 and with a global reach, HomeServe operate throughout the UK, North America, Spain, France and Japan, with over 8.3 million customers worldwide.
HomeServe already had elements of their IT infrastructure within Microsoft Azure, along with co-located hardware and additional Virtual Machines in a private datacentre. The company’s environment had grown organically; historically they hadn’t had the resource to consider operating strategically, but were now in a position to ensure their systems were optimised to meet their requirements for agility and future growth.
HomeServe wanted to leverage the Cloud further and plan the consolidation of their multi-Cloud environment into Azure. Streamlining their systems would ensure that they were properly governed, secured and maintained, as well as offering simple licensing and predictable costs.
The team at HomeServe met with Transparity at Microsoft Future Decoded in 2019, establishing a strong relationship based not only on Transparity’s demonstrable Microsoft expertise, but the high levels of honesty and integrity exhibited.
Following further advanced conversations and a recommendation from Microsoft, Transparity were subsequently selected by HomeServe as their preferred partner for Cloud.
Transparity began by undertaking a discovery and assessment of HomeServe’s existing Cloud architecture to understand the health of the environment and any challenges it might be causing. This thorough, 20-day review culminated in a document which set out design requirements and recommendations to achieve a fit-for-purpose Azure platform.
The suggested actions followed best practices outlined in Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework; guidance from Microsoft which helps drive the desired outcomes during the transition to the Cloud. Transparity recommended that remediation cover the following:
- Azure Policy: monitors compliance to help with enforcement of organisational standards
- Azure Blueprints: helps define a set of Azure resources that can be replicated each time an environment is set up
- Azure Cost Management: reports on Cloud spend, offering insights and recommendations
- Azure Firewall: Cloud-based protection for Azure Virtual Networks
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) and Privileged Identity Management (PIM): locks down access of files and data to authorised parties only, enables Multi-Factor Authentication, offers time-bound restrictions and more
Following the approach in Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework, a number of workshops were held in which Homeserve identified the key areas they wanted to improve to meet Best Practice guidelines. Transparity’s experts then collaborated with the HomeServe team to methodically work through the security and governance improvements required.
HomeServe now have the best practice foundations of a secure, full-governed and healthy Microsoft Cloud platform, with further elements to come. Next steps include a plan to migrate the Virtual Machines from the internal private datacentre into this new Azure environment. Transparity also produced a Target Operating Manual so the HomeServe team would be able to able to manage the platform in-house, reducing costs and giving the company better visibility of their environment.
“Choosing Transparity to help HomeServe build and improve our usage of Cloud Technology was absolutely the right decision. Their capability – backed by a robust focus on security and governance -means they are the right partner for what we need to achieve technically.
“The fact that they place such a high value on behaviour and integrity means they are also the right fit for the HomeServe culture, and that’s really important to me and to our business partnerships. We have a great relationship, and I am delighted with what we have achieved so far.”
Tracey Ward – Director of IT Service Delivery