To succeed at such a large-scale transformation project, Ergo drew on all its Microsoft competencies, from hard-earned certification as an Azure Migration Specialist and Azure Expert Managed Service Provider (MSP), to having seven Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) in the team, the highest skills accreditation Microsoft awards. Among the first pieces of work was moving Mediolanum from a file share environment to OneDrive, using Azure Rights Management to protect files across multiple devices with encryption, identity, and authorisation policies. Always-on monitoring and threat mitigation comes from Azure DDoS Protection. Advanced security is a major challenge for every financial services company and Mediolanum is no exception. Barry Noonan saw Azure as a way to fast-track a multi-region approach.
Azure Sentinel was chosen as the SIEM (Security Information and Event Manager) platform, which uses built-in AI to analyse large volumes of data across Mediolanum’s Azure footprint and is integrated with MDR (Managed Detection Response) defences. At the same time, Ergo moved device and service management from Microsoft System Center to Intune, which has made configuration much faster and easier. Similarly, Azure App Service is now used to create new applications across the enterprise, much quicker than spinning them up on virtual machines. SQL-as-a-Service (SQLaaS) was implemented to enable the company’s development team to work much more efficiently in the new environment. Azure Bastion is used to connect to a virtual machine securely inside Azure without exposing Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Secure Shell Protocol (SSH) ports to the outside world.
To advance Mediolanum’s ambition to become more data-driven, a new data warehouse was enabled by Azure Data Factory, a fully managed, serverless data integration service, with Azure Event Hubs used for streaming data and ingestion. Having such a developed data platform, where flows and streams are monitored by Sentinel, prompted Mediolanum to close down its traditional data centre and entrust everything to Azure, run out of three Microsoft data centres for added resilience and performance. Ergo also implemented Azure Virtual Desktops for Mediolanum’s team of twenty developers, and as a DR solution for the entire enterprise. The desktop virtualisation solution makes it easier to configure and manage laptops for power users, as well as ensuring business continuity for everyone else in the event of a disaster. An automation template framework was set up by Ergo to make device configuration a self-service process.