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3 Contents 1 Executive Summary Document Structure Business Context Strategic Response Platform Network Unified Communications Implementation status Risks and Issues Error! Unknown Page 3 of 15

4 1 Executive Summary Platform and Network, often referred to as Infrastructure encompasses the entirety of essential components and solutions that constitute the foundation of our corporate IT system and serve as a basis for more specialised IT services. Infrastructure is about a combination of devices, operating systems, computer networks and essential services such as . Figure 1 represents how Platform and Network Domain fits within British Council Enterprise Architecture framework. The components and solutions are developed and delivered by the Information and Technology Services supported by their suppliers. Figure 1 - British Council Enterprise Architecture Framework We need this strategy to: Stabilise our infrastructure in pursuit of better service levels. Realise the cost saving potential of the new technologies and sourcing options. Provide our businesses with the platform they require to support our revenue generation plans. Facilitate the corporate culture change through support of our key business strategies such as Mobility and Smart Working. Error! Unknown Page 4 of 15

5 Improve the effectiveness of our internal and external communication. Enable realisation of higher-level strategies for Content & Collaboration and Application & Integration domains. This document sets out how Platform and Network components will contribute to the delivery of the 2015 Corporate Plan and the success of the British Council beyond. To deliver this strategy we will: Continue refreshing our ageing platform. Build a foundation for and initiate our cloud sourcing plans. Implement a number of technologies supporting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), corporately-owned smart devices, such as tablets, and Apple Macs. Maximise exploitation of the technologies we have in place and leverage the relationships with our suppliers. Error! Unknown Page 5 of 15

6 2 Document Structure Section 3 Business Context outlines the key drivers for the strategy. The Platform and Network Strategy itself is presented in Section 4 Strategic Response. The IT Strategy 2015 and Beyond identifies 6 key themes that influence our strategic thinking: Exceptional customer service Social British Council IT on demand More choice, more options Digital services anytime, anywhere Smarter working and 5 key ways in which IT can contribute to our success, by supporting key business objectives: Revenue generation Managing cost International programme delivery Marketing and customer service Global presence These themes and contributions are mapped to specific elements of the Platform and Network Strategy in Section 4; this section also identifies which existing programmes (if any) are already delivering elements of the strategy. Section 5 summarises Implementation status of the presented strategy and identifies gaps. Section 6 documents Risks and Issues. Error! Unknown Page 6 of 15

7 3 Business Context 1. Our corporate vision is that by 2015 we will create more international opportunities for people of the UK and other countries and more trust between them than ever before. We will do this by maintaining our global network and deliver more cultural relations, but with less money from the UK Government. To achieve this we need to focus on increasing business efficiency, improving service quality and reducing costs. 2. We need to refresh our aging IT infrastructure and replace solutions and technologies that are approaching the end of their lifecycle. This is essential to stabilise our IT environment, reduce service outages, decrease support costs and facilitate more effective use of IT in pursuit of business objectives. 3. We need to ensure that our infrastructure, once refreshed, is maintained so that we can always provide a stable business platform. 4. There is a requirement to move away from the one-size-fits-all concept and offer a range of services that business can pick and choose like building blocks that can be assembled into efficient, stable and sustainable solutions. This means we need a broader choice of network and platform options that can address requirements of operations of any size and can be quickly scaled in response to changing circumstances and business opportunities. 5. Our staff needs leaner, lighter and more agile systems and services that will allow them to focus on doing cultural relations rather than staying occupied with back-office administrative tasks. This applies equally to working on and off-premises, thus we ought to boost our remote access capabilities to offer better functionality, performance and stability while supporting a broad range of devices. 6. The prevalence and increasing maturity of cloud computing services creates new possibilities for rapid commissioning of enterprise-class solutions with minimal project start-up costs, reduced capital investment and predictable on-going operating expenses. 7. We need to ensure that our network services provision can keep up with the anticipated growth in internet demand as a result of increased multimedia rich teaching content, computer based testing, our external collaboration and potential exploitation of cloud-based services. 8. We need to support innovation in our teaching operations, so the English business unit can maintain its market leading position. For example, supporting the use of a variety of different platforms for teaching, such as tablet devices. 9. Staff, customers and partners increasingly have access to a variety of personal devices, such as tablets, smart phones and their own laptops. They expect to use these devices to access British Council services. This creates an opportunity to increase productivity as well as raise employee and customer satisfaction and our ability to work with partners. 10. The multitude of personal and corporately-owned devices connecting to our services via wired and wireless networks will create a need to manage and control them in order to secure data, control mobile data expenses and provision applications. Error! Unknown Page 7 of 15

8 11. The variety of communications channels we use creates a need for greater integration between voice, , instant messaging, presence management and conferencing services in order to facilitate more efficient internal collaboration and provide better customer services. 12. We need credible, high quality network management solution in order to optimize our investments, verify compliance with SLAs and proactively address bottlenecks and issues thereby enabling our users to remain productive. 13. We need to regularly review our connectivity offering against the requirements of the business to ensure it is adequate. This is especially valid with the anticipated decrease in demand for the leased lines as our IT solutions move to the cloud and the performance of the public internet improves. 14. The organisation is expected to respond to changing security and business continuity requirements by providing technical means for addressing or minimising exposure to known risks related to such areas as data security and availability, malicious code activities, unsolicited or increasing number of personal devices connecting to our networks. 15. We are committed to reducing the carbon footprint for our global presence and therefore environmental aspects must remain a sound requirement in future projects and initiatives. Error! Unknown Page 8 of 15

9 4 Strategic Response We have identified a number of objectives within the Platform and Network domains in response to the business context. They can be grouped by the following categories: Platform Network Unified Communications 4.1 Platform 1. We will continue upgrading our server estate to Windows Server 2008 R2 in order to enhance its capabilities and allow us to fully realise benefits of the workstation build refresh. We will leverage numerous advantages of the new platform such as the 64-bit architecture, new functionality of the directory service and the built-in enterprise-class Type 1 hypervisor. The latter will allow us to significantly reduce the number of physical servers across the estate, hence reducing our infrastructural footprint. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service; Social British Council; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: Business case submitted for approval 2. We will deploy Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system to take advantage of its new features and capabilities. This will not be implemented as a global rollout but only in tactical scenarios where the return on investment for the organisation can be clearly demonstrated. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service; Social British Council; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: Business case submitted for approval (Single Sign-on) 3. We will join our centralised messaging infrastructure with Exchange Online to exploit capabilities of the hybrid messaging platform that combines the best from this two service provisioning models while assuring flexibility around fulfilling security policies. This stream of work will help us get accustomed with the enterprise-class cloud based provision and lay foundation for future complete migration. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service; Social British Council; IT on demand; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: On hold (Awaiting approval of on the Single Sign-on case) 4. We will finalise implementation of the CTERA backup solution in eligible locations, leveraging advantages of backup-to-disk, data deduplication and cloud storage capabilities. We will continue to employ magnetic tape backups in the largest offices only. The refreshed portfolio of our backup and recovery solutions will allow us to address business requirements at all ends of a spectrum from basic to very advanced ones. We will be able Error! Unknown Page 9 of 15

10 to design and provide an efficient backup solution for offices with varying local requirements, limitations and drivers. Related themes: IT on demand; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: Delivery in progress (CTERA project) 5. We will introduce a resilient Single Sign-On infrastructure. Thanks to this we will have a future-proof and robust mechanism for integrating with cloud-based and 3 rd party systems and we will be able to decommission a number of authorisation point solutions which are already in place. This in turn will decrease the amount of single point of failures and increase availability of relevant services. Related themes: IT on demand; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: Business case preparation (MODO project) 6. We will introduce basic governance and support mechanisms for corporate Mac OS devices and enable them to access core corporate resources via agreed channels. By this we will facilitate productivity of various teams and individuals who rely on Mac OS devices to carry out specific business activities while assuring compliance with our security standards. Related themes: More Choice, More Options; Digital Services Anytime, Anywhere Status: Research (Proof of concept stage) 7. We will upgrade and migrate our Instant Messaging and Present Management services to Lync 2013, preferably as a cloud-based service. Lync will provide better integration with new messaging platform and productivity suite while enabling us to logon to and use the service from a wider choice of devices including smartphones and tablets. We will explore possibilities for integrating Lync with other products and services (Video Conferencing, Telephony and Skype) to facilitate internal and external communication. Related themes: Social British Council, IT on demand; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: On hold (Awaiting approval of on the Single Sign-on case) 8. We will introduce a Mobile Device Management solution that will allow us to manage, secure, monitor and support corporate mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. We will use this facility to distribute settings, application, content and updates over-the-air as well as control mobile data transfers and related expenses in order to manage costs. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service; Social British Council; IT on demand; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: Research (Proof of concept stage) 9. We will introduce policies and technical means to facilitate implementation of the Bring Your Own Device concept for agreed use cases. We will combine functionality of Mobile Error! Unknown Page 10 of 15

11 Device Management, containerisation and Network Access Control to secure and govern the use of personal devices in corporate environment. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service; Social British Council; IT on demand; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: BAU Service Catalogue (GfE), further research in progress 10. We will evaluate Office 2013 productivity suite, paying particular attention to the cloudbased delivery model. We will assess how this model supports various devices, web browsers and business scenarios, and what are the advantages of the new licensing model allowing for installation of classic Office suite applications on multiple devices. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service; Social British Council; IT on demand; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: Research in progress 11. We will evaluate Windows 8.1 in both desktop and tablet versions and assess its new capabilities and functions. We will look at its potential to boost our internal productivity at a tactical level or enhancing our customer-aimed products and services. We will evaluate advantages of the new user interface and touch-screen support for our front office facilities. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service; Social British Council; More Choice, More Options Status: Research in progress 12. We will continue to maintain and upgrade our current security suite and assess the potential of transferring the administration and control layer for related services into the managed service offered in the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. We will do this to diminish dependency on internal infrastructure and make sure we can support a broader choice of devices and platforms without being concerned about product versioning and updates. Related themes: IT on demand; More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Status: Research (Requirements gathering stage) 13. We will transform the public part of our IT system into the Cutting Edge Front Office that capitalises on supporting wide range of devices (e.g. modern desktops and laptops, tablets), network access channels (e.g. wireless, mobile broadband), interfaces (e.g. touch-screens) and peripherals (e.g. built-in cameras, motion sensors) in support of our revenue generation activities. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service; Social British Council; More Choice, More Options Status: Research (Proof of concept stage) Error! Unknown Page 11 of 15

12 4.2 Network 14. We will continue our strategic partnership with Vodafone and will aim to leverage our connectivity investments by implementing WAN optimisation and enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities. Furthermore we will continue to maximise benefits of utilising local cost-effective ISP connections for additional bandwidth. Related themes: More Choice, More Options Status: Research (Requirement gathering) 15. We will further develop our remote access solution (ROAM) and investigate pop-up office solutions to allow facilitate efficient and cost-effective operations from temporary or partnership locations. Related themes: Smarter Working; More Choice, More Options Supports: Global presence Status: Research (Evaluating vendors) 16. We will develop a managed Wi-Fi access service that meets requirements of the business. We will ensure that the service will allow customers, staff and partners to access British Council services with personal devices. Related themes: Smarter Working; More Choice, More Options; Exceptional Customer Service Supports: Global Presence, Revenue Generation Status: Research (Evaluating vendors) 17. We will develop a Network Access Control solution to examine devices connected to both wired and wireless networks and provide access only to appropriate services based on their identity and security compliance. Related themes: Smarter Working; More Choice, More Options; Exceptional Customer Service Supports: Global Presence, Revenue Generation Status: On hold (Awaiting steer from IT Security) 18. We will introduce the Vodafone managed Local Area Network (LAN) service especially in offices where strong dependencies with other managed network services exist. At the moment this will be in case of corporate IP telephony provision but in future may include Network Access Control and wireless LAN services. Managed LAN will provide a single endto-end responsibility for the services and reduce the local IT staff requirements. Related themes: IT on demand Status: BAU Service Catalogue (integral element of corporate IP telephony) 19. We will work with Vodafone in order to develop a network management and performance monitoring solution that meets our requirements. Related themes: Smarter Working; IT on demand Status: On hold (Awaiting steer from IT Service Management) Error! Unknown Page 12 of 15

13 4.3 Unified Communications 20. We will promote standardisation of the corporate IP telephony (IPT) solution based on Mitel technology from Vodafone. This will not be implemented as a global rollout. Offices will be given an option to call off the corporate service or continue with the local sourcing as existing solutions come to end of life. Apart from the economies of scale related to call costs, user training and support the corporate solutions will allow better integration of our telephone systems and a single integration point with other services. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service, Smarter Working Supports: Managing Cost, Global Presence Status: BAU Service Catalogue 21. Alongside our corporate IPT solution we will aim to standardise on Contact Centre solutions based on Mitel technology to provide exceptional customer service. A single corporate solution will allow for flexible call handling regardless of location (country-wide, regional, global) and will allow consistent marketing and management reporting data. Related themes: Exceptional Customer Service Supports: Revenue Generation Status: BAU Service Catalogue 22. We will deploy IPT services that support mobility such as Teleworker, Mobile Extension and Softphone in order to achieve improved productivity for our mobile workforce and low footprint operations to allow call cost savings. Related themes: More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Supports: Managing Cost, Global Presence Status: BAU Service Catalogue (Teleworker, Mobile extension), further research in progress (Proof of concept stage for Softphone solution) 23. We will implement managed video-conferencing solution with virtual meeting rooms functionality, external party connectivity and desktop client integration. In parallel we will provide our business with the tactical desktop video conferencing solutions that meet specific needs such us on-line teaching. Related themes: More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Supports: Managing Cost, Global Presence Status: Business case being developed 24. We will further integrate various communications channels we use such as voice, , instant messaging, presence management and conferencing services in order to facilitate more efficient internal and external collaboration, provide better customer services and save costs. We will aim to leverage Microsoft technologies at a core of this integration. Related themes: More Choice, More Options; Smarter Working Supports: Managing Cost Status: Research Error! Unknown Page 13 of 15

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15 6 Risks and Issues 1. Implementing our Network and Platform Strategy is an important step towards our 2015 Business Plan. Alongside we need a strong focus on the business change aspects of the strategy, which is about the way we work and relates to our corporate culture. Without guidance on usage and best practice, staff will not exploit the tools and capabilities of the IT system to their full extent, nor in a consistent manner. Mitigation: We will ensure that the education and training element is included in the business cases. We will engage BSM community and stress importance of robust BAU service ownership in new initiatives. 2. Many of the initiatives proposed by this strategy involve significant investments SSO, IPT, NAC, corporate guest Wi-Fi service. There is a risk that these solutions will not be implemented due to insufficient funding and the business may seek alternative more costeffective solutions. Mitigation: We will endeavour to demonstrate value and return on investment for new undertakings. We will provide clear guidance on the areas where choice exists. 3. Many of the initiatives proposed by this strategy will take time for proper development, testing and release. There is a risk that business will chose alternative solutions that can be bought instantly, wasting time, money, and effort. 4. Mitigation: We will actively promote our development roadmaps and initiatives, and involve BSM community in strengthening this message across the board. 5. Many of our ambitions with regards to providing more choice, more option can escalate costs related to support, mobile data expenses and managing suppliers if not addressed properly. Mitigation: We will do the utmost to demonstrate value of the corporate solutions to the business. We will provide clear guidance on the areas where choice exists. Error! Unknown Page 15 of 15

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