TL,DR: The Azure Express Route has Landed. Azure migrations are Green to progress next week. Office 365 progressing well and onboarded for InTune on the NHSmail tenant.
Who did you talk to outside your organisation?
- Had a good mid-week catchup with Dave Smith (Head of Technology — Northampton General Hospital) to discuss how we ensure that both organisations under the umbrella of the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire Group move forward with a converged focus on Cloud. We talked about how we keep a focus on our design principles for Digital across the Group. In particular putting user needs first, designing for simplicity, working in an agile way and doing things once across the Group. I am really keen that we leverage the knowledge and experience gained over the last year to build a solid foundation for cloud across the entire Group. Although we are technically in slightly different places we can absolutely ensure that we are working towards a converged model that maximises the end user experience and improves clinical collaboration. We discussed the likely technical and non-technical challenges of achieving this goal and what support will need to overcome them. We agreed that a joined up approach with regards to technical design considerations was a practical step forward where we can workshop some informed options and weigh up the risks and benefits with our Cloud partner Phoenix.
- Attended our regular twice a week cloud infrastructure project standup meetings with Phoenix. Ran through check and readiness for the coming week’s Server Migrations to Azure Cloud.
- Joined a call with colleagues from Royal Cornwall Hospitals to share some of our work on our cloud migration and Office 365 with ian roddis and Andy Callow. Some more detailed conversations to follow on in the coming weeks.
- Myself and Mandy (IT Procurement Lead) had a follow on meeting with BT to progress the discovery conversation started a few weeks back around circuits currently terminating in our Data Centres and what the future state could look like as a part of HIP2 enabling works. It was refreshing to see the quality of information being presented by BT improve.
What would you have liked to do more of?
More Group based discussions on a joined up approach to Cloud. Although a number of smaller discussions took place, I really wanted to get stuck into more detail. We still had some good discussions and outcomes this week, some of which will shorten the timescales to thrash out options sooner rather than later.
What do you wish you could have changed?
With the pressures of making sure we had working Azure Express Routes this week, I found myself constrained to complete tender scoring I had committed to. Took a bit of a push but got there in the end. Another tender response to deal with next week for a cloud based PLICS system.
What challenged me?
- I don’t often face this challenge. However this week obtaining time in some diaries and the lead time to actually get a slot to discuss something that matters and not have it wait was a challenge.
- The last quarter of the financial year approaching, we need to spend money conversations that are the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Q1 to late Q3 almost every year. Regardless of when the money shows up we should be taking the time to scope proactively. The challenge, is what, where, who, when, and how much. For me its another sign that we need to grow the enterprise architecture function within NHS organisations.
What did you enjoy?
Although a busy week, we had some good family time this week to celebrate the 552nd birth anniversary of the Guru Nanak Dev Ji, founder of the Sikh faith (5th largest religion in the world). Sikhs around the world will reflect on his teachings. If your interested and want to know more check out the 3 pillars of the Sikh Faith and the 5 virtues. Took some time for me to reflect on how my work in the NHS resonates with my personal values driven from my Sikh faith.
What did you achieve?
- Resilient Azure Express Route Circuit finally up and running this week. Virgin Media attended site with the right parts and patched in the circuit to the newly installed Router. Our local networking team conducted circuit fail-over testing and part of this week was consumed in coordinating this activity and ensuring we had 3rd parties available during testing. Sign off was achieved on this critical prerequisite piece of work to enable our migration of live services into Azure Cloud. I am very please to say we now have very fast, solid, resilient and fully diverse Azure Express Route Circuits operational… After months of work I can finally say…The Eagle has Landed!
- Myself and Emily Wright completed the Intune onboarding online paperwork with the NHSmail team. Pleased to say that we were slotted in early due to a cancellation of another organisation and our onboarding was completed by the end of the week, instead of our February slot. We can now start the discovery work and pilot as a precursor to standing up a project to migrate us away from our rather clunky MDM (mobile device management) solution we have at present. Our limitation is that we are currently restricted to enrolling iOS and Android devices until NHSmail release their hybrid model. Which will allow us to onboard local Windows 10 machines also.
- Office 365 programme highlight report becoming greener from the sea of red statuses it was earlier this year. Some really fabulous progress made and the AfE rollout continues in the area where we are able to progress. We have put some time aside to start scoping what the programme looks like in phase 2 beyond the office apps rollout and removal of our legacy office version. Emily Wright continues to do great job as PM.
- Had a touch point meeting with Ian Allen (Project Director) and Sam Smith (HIP2 Project Lead) to discuss progress made on collating indicative costs to feed into the outline business case for enabling works. Although this is all at a high level, the business case will hopefully release funding to enable detailed design works. This is taking a while to collate liaising with several suppliers. We should start to piece some of this together in the coming 2 to 3 weeks.
What did you learn?
- Learnt more about NHSmail’s Hololens2 offering and had Kevin Upshaw reach out with an offer to connect with colleagues at @ImperialNHS who are also conducting a pilot. Looking forward hearing more. Really grateful to the community of NHS colleagues on twitter. When I read Andy Callow's blog post “The journey of a speculative Tweet" a while back where he talked about the power of the Twitter network, I thought that’s great, but how would it work for me? Over the last few months I’ve been surprised by the connections made and some of the opportunities that have come along accordingly.
- I am a relative newbie to Agile, first introduced a couple of years back. It is something I have tried to immerse myself in to learn new ways of working and has really refreshed the way I was used to working before. Re-read this article this week and it made a lot more sense to me this time around, in particular around the difference between good leadership vs agile leadership. I am fortunate that I have some good mentors around me who have been a good guide by virtue of the manner in which they operate and interact.
What are you looking forward to next week?
- Wave 2 Azure Migrations — our first live production environments migrating from on-prem data centres to Azure Cloud. Yes!! And super excited!