England's second largest Fire Service enriches the digital employee experience using Acuvate’s migration services to Microsoft 365 and Intranet solution on SharePoint Online.

England’s second largest Fire Service is the fire and rescue service for the metropolitan county of West Midlands, England. The service is the second largest in England, after London Fire Brigade. The service has 38 Fire Stations with a blended fleet of vehicles and specialist resources.


England's second largest Fire Service planned to migrate to Office 365 cloud to provide an enriched Employee experience for its users. They needed sturdy governance mechanisms to set standards and processes which people could follow.

  • One of the many critical problems faced by England's second largest Fire Service was around data duplication, which made it difficult for users to know which file was latest. The aggressive planning done around data migration & governance helped eliminate this problem.
  • Another pain point was the communication gap between the headquarters and the remote locations, i.e. fire stations. This problem was fixed with help of Office 365 rollout.

Before 0365 migration, England's second largest Fire Service used to store all the data and files in Network folders, local drives and in emails. This became a major challenge for the communication and collaboration within the organization.

There was a communication gap between the head office and employees who worked on fire stations and outside the office.

O365 migration has changed their collaboration process since all the documents, data and files can be easily accessed irrespective of their location. Mesh intranet also helps them to stay connected with the organization and stay updated with the latest news and announcements.

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Challenge In Case Study


England’s second largest Fire Service is the third largest fire and rescue service in the UK, with only the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and London Fire Brigade being larger, and is one of only two fire services in which all stations are full-time (the other being London Fire Brigade)

England’s second largest Fire Service had a plan to migrate from on-premises Alfresco to Office 365. There was a need for structured planning and execution around areas like communication, training, and adoption for all MS Office workloads involved like Exchange, Skype, SharePoint, Yammer, OneDrive.

Acuvate has a lot of experience in assisting customers with the migration to the Microsoft 365 cloud. Acuvate uses automation tools to evaluate, plan and migrate from on-premise to cloud environment.

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“I Think for me working, with an organization like Acuvate, who have got lots and lots of experience in adopting the whole Office 365 suite is really powerful. Not just about their knowledge of what the products are, but what you need to implement it effectively and both from like a product installation but also the cultural aspect as well.”

– Neil Griffiths


England’s second largest Fire Service were looking for a tool which would provide enhanced portal capabilities along with strong content management system. Based on the initial brief from England’s second largest Fire Service and Acuvate’s expertise in modern digital workplaces, Acuvate suggested SharePoint Online to be the best fit based on their requirement and IT ecosystem.

Acuvate helped them in migrating from their current Intranet which was on Alfresco to SharePoint Online with the help of the tool Optimum. Acuvate’s Optimum is an advanced migration tool supporting migration to SharePoint Online from many enterprise content management systems including Alfresco.

Optimum can be used to Audit the contents of Alfresco to plan for migration. It also has a feature to filter out the content which should and should not be migrated to SharePoint online, both in terms of content type and user activity. For example, the organization may decide to migrate all the files to SharePoint online, excluding excel or pdf which have not been accessed for more than 3 years.

Acuvate used its migration experience and expertise & Microsoft’s FastTrack methodology to execute the Office 365 migration and rollout. The 2000+ England’s second largest Fire Service users were segregated into batches, and the champions (early adopters) were identified to train these batches.

  • The champions’ program and workshops held helped to increase awareness among users.
  • Yammer and Skype were used as mediums for communications and trainings. Microsoft Teams and Groups helped to bridge the gap between headquarters and fire stations (i.e. multiple remote locations).
  • It was proposed to make Office 365 the Central Employment Service Platform by integrating/ linking/ migrating the 3rd party applications.
  • Acuvate team provided consultation and worked along with the England’s second largest Fire Service team to define the roadmap which helped to make this engagement a success.
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Technologies Used

Office 365
SharePoint Online


  • The solution was able to migrate the relevant and filtered data to SharePoint Online.
  • After migration users, who are primarily firefighters, were able to easily search for Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documents using the power of Search in Office 365.
  • All the documents were accessible over the mobile without the need for desktop in fire stations.
  • England’s second largest Fire Service found that the solution provided them with an excellent platform to work together and stay connected irrespective of their physical location.

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