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Transforming a 24/7 Operation: 

Dynamics 365 CRM at Ambrey 

 

COMPANY OVERVIEW

Established in 2010, Ambrey is a dynamic and creative security firm focused on supporting clients in high-risk environments and delivering the highest quality of service, compliance, standards and engagement with industry stakeholders. 

In 2014 Ambrey debuted on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 at number eight with an annual average growth of 175%. They are now the largest maritime security company in the world. 

Despite their growth, the values that underpinned Ambrey in its earliest days are still at the heart of the company. In an industry that demands the highest levels of trust and integrity they aim to lead by example and have a number of principles that provide the guiding philosophy to how they do business. 

Ambrey is an ambitious company with the aim to be the best in our field. Bluelight matches us perfectly in terms of innovation and approach. Their ability as Dynamics 365 specialists made them the perfect partner for this project. 
— Louise Healey, Associate Director Business Management
 

The Challenge

Ambrey were keen to move from a much older on-premise hosted Dynamics CRM implementation to a cloud-based solution and to leverage the benefits of the Dynamics 365 platform.  

The previous CRM system had remained fairly static in terms of upgrades and development updates and had not adapted to Ambrey’s growth and changing needs.  

Ambrey’s goal is to make full use of Office 365, Dynamics 365, SharePoint Online and Power BI, while becoming more self-sufficient in the further development of reports and management of systems.  

As a 24/7 business Ambrey could afford little to no downtime during the transition. With over 1.5 million records and very high numbers of essential documents to migrate this posed a challenge in terms of switchover and minimising downtime. 

The project scope included: 

  • On-premise migration to Dynamics 365 CRM 

  • Full data migration of over 1.5m records 

  • Full document migration 

  • Re-development of all functional and reporting areas 

  • All user training and internal adoption 

The Approach

A phased approach was used, reducing risk through splitting the project into Proof of Concept, Trial Migrations and thorough training and testing cycles, prior to Go-Live. This phasing also allowed for incremental user training and a smooth transition, with a focus on user acceptance and support. 

The approach included a mix of formal project framework as well as more dynamic and iterative development initiatives, including: 

  • Project Management and Communications framework to ensure efficiency and effective direction 

  • Senior management buy in and support throughout the project 

  • A joint Project Team and key-user group focussed on ensuring the delivered solution was as anticipated, required and accepted by all users 

  • A phased approach to reduce risk and enable user adoption and acceptance 

  • Staged migration, with the final stage completed within a 12-hour window, to ensure minimal downtime and disruption to operations 

  • Internal training for all users to allow for smooth transition and ongoing adoption 

  • Internal key user training to enable higher retention of internal knowledge and self-sufficiency 

Bluelight understood the importance of maximising user adoption and self-sufficiency to guide ongoing confidence and support.
— Chris Newton, IT Manager
Our operations require 24-hour availability. It was incredibly important that Bluelight engaged with us in a flexible and highly organised way to avoid disruption to our business activity.
— Chris Newton, IT Manager

The outcome

The project was delivered successfully, to time and budget. The framework, approach and principles of the project will be used for ongoing development to support Ambrey’s strategic ambitions and growth. 

This included: 

  • Successful migration to Dynamics CRM 365 

  • Full redevelopment of all functional and reporting areas 

  • Full data migration and document migration with minimal downtime 

  • Successful user adoption 

  • Minimal ongoing support costs with internal support function for users 

  • Robust platform for ongoing development initiatives 

 
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Our relationship with Bluelight has remained truly collaborative. We have confidently engaged with them to provide an ongoing development programme with far-reaching aims and objectives.
— Louise Healey, Associate Director Business Management