Transparity deploy the power of Microsoft FastTrack to help Hobbycraft move to Microsoft Intune
Since it was founded in 1995, Hobbycraft has grown into a nationwide business as the UK’s largest arts and crafts retailer. The brand has over 100 bricks-and-mortar stores, as well as a thriving omnichannel presence, and supports and inspires an ever-expanding variety of hobbies. Its retail product portfolio covers a diverse range of categories from knitting crochet and haberdashery, to papercraft, baking, jewellery-making, and so much more. With widely respected specialists hosting focused workshops and demos both in-store and online, this nationally loved brand gives everyone the opportunity to master a new craft, refine a long-loved hobby, or create seasonal makes and gifts for the home and beyond.
As an existing client, Hobbycraft were already familiar with our services and had enjoyed positive past experiences working in partnership with Transparity. So, when the team faced challenges with deploying cloud-based endpoint management solution Microsoft Intune, they turned to Transparity for support and guidance.
Transparity’s reputation for having an active involvement in the Microsoft FastTrack program provided Hobbycraft with the confidence they needed from the outset. As we are one of the UK’s top three FastTrack Ready Partners, the retailer knew they would be working with a specialist partner already accustomed to overcoming similar challenges and successfully rolling out new technology quickly and effectively.
Hobbycraft needed a solution to manage and develop device management across its organisation. It had already chosen Microsoft Endpoint Manager to deliver this, which included both Microsoft Intune and Autopilot for remote management of their corporate devices. The business was particularly interested in the FastTrack approach that Transparity were able to provide, as it delivers remote guidance and best practice for using this new solution in the right way as well as FastTrack support following implementation.
The Transparity team kicked off by devising a comprehensive strategy to deliver Hobbycraft’s unique set of requirements. Our experts tapped into an array of resources and support via Microsoft FastTrack to ensure that implementation would be as swift and rigorous as possible. With extensive experience of FastTrack and Intune as a FastTrack Ready Partner – as well as sound knowledge of Hobbycraft’s business operations – we were able to quickly establish a team. Taking a partnership approach, we engaged Hobbycraft’s technical consultants – as well as a Microsoft subject matter expert – to ensure we adhered to policy and process at all stages. Our FastTrack manager was also involved throughout the project to maintain and monitor the pace of the project.
Together, we identified and interrogated the issues Hobbycraft were experiencing with Autopilot in both Azure AD and Hybrid Azure AD joined devices, and called on support from our own internal teams – and Microsoft – to resolve these issues and ensure all devices could be correctly enrolled into Intune. On the ground we held dedicated, regular team calls to guarantee we had access to the required expertise first-hand and check that progress remained on-track.
After multiple engagements and stages of testing, the team succeeded in delivering an approach to establish Hobbycraft’s devices on Intune, efficiently, securely, and at full compliance.
A trusted ongoing partnership
In the weeks following, we successfully enrolled more than 250 Hobbycraft devices in Intune (about 25% of the business’s total devices), plus some additional Android devices. More will be enrolled in the coming weeks.
To help manage this transition smoothly, Hobbycraft is now working with Transparity on an automated ‘Autopilot’ model which can deploy devices to Intune, while also enabling the required associated security software and policies (including Bit Locker and Secure Boot). We are also performing regular health checks on existing devices to make sure they remain secure and updated.
In order to facilitate the transition into ongoing support, Transparity shared best practice, and other useful documentation, to empower Hobbycraft technology teams to create their own dynamic groups of devices to make in-house management of devices easier and more efficient.
With Transparity’s focused expertise – and the power of the Microsoft FastTrack program – Hobbycraft has successfully navigated its way through their Microsoft Intune challenges and unlocked the full potential of Intune. Hobbycraft will continue to partner closely with Transparity and supported by Microsoft SMEs, we will work together to complete this migration as part of the retailer’s strategic digital transformation journey.