Case Study: WaterAid

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The Client:


Global charity, WaterAid, is a federated organization that provides sanitation services for people living in areas of extreme poverty. Around the world, 785 million people live without access to clean water, while a further 2 billion don’t have a decent toilet of their own. With offices in some of the world’s most remote places, WaterAid exists to address these issues.


The Need:

WaterAid had been using Office 365 for some time, but with users scattered
across multiple tenants in various regions, which support staff in remote country programs including places like Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia, collaboration wasn’t easy. As more IT services became available within the WaterAid group, the need to create a more unified organisation grew more urgent. Each federation operated independently, which meant staff from different geographical areas couldn’t easily communicate, see one another’s calendars, or work together easily using Teams.

WaterAid has staff located in some seriously remote regions, and we needed to find a partner who truly understood the implications of this.

The Pacific area of the APAC region is far more of a challenge than Asia itself. Issues arise with remote countries such as Papua New Guinea and East-Timor, where internet connectivity is a real issue for our remote workers, consistent power supply is another challenge added to poor internet. Empathy isn’t always easy to find in an IT partner, yet it’s essential when it comes to developing solutions that don’t have a negative impact on the end user.

The first companies we spoke to about the migration were entirely focused on their own rigid systems and processes. They couldn’t see beyond the norm, or grasp the potential repercussions of migrating workers who had extremely limited internet access.

– Peter Leslie, IT Manager APAC, WaterAid

Early this year, WaterAid’s leadership team took the decision to merge
the multiple Microsoft tenants to create a single, more collaborative
view of the world.


The organisation sought a proposal from another systems integrator,
which turned out to be too process-bound to be the right fit for WaterAid.
The UK IT Infrastructure Manager, Richard Landen, encountered Nero Blanco at a conference and subsequently contacted them to see if they could help solve the challenges presented.


The Solution:


With over 90 years’ combined experience of providing flexible solutions for even the most challenging migration projects, Nero Blanco were the perfect fit to carry out this unique migration.


Big enough to work with some of the most well-known companies around
the globe, yet agile enough to provide a personal and highly efficient service, Nero Blanco have developed a reputation for their high-calibre service and guaranteed no-risk, on-time delivery.


As with all complex migrations, the project called for a combination of expertly configured best of breed SaaS solutions together with Nero Blanco’s transparent, collaborative approach and creative problem-solving.

By contrast, Nero Blanco just got it. They understood the bandwidth and connectivity issues we faced, and the need to complete the migration with minimal disruption to our end users. Conrad, in particular, has an encyclopaedic knowledge, and the team proved themselves capable of thinking around problems as they arose.

An added bonus was the 24/7 service, thanks to Conrad being based out of New Zealand, Zach in the US and Twan and Neil in the UK!


Despite delays to the project due to COVID-19, what could have been a highly challenging project went extremely smoothly. In fact, it’s safe to say we couldn’t find a problem we could throw at Nero Blanco that they couldn’t handle! Their ability to think outside the box proved to be a major winner in providing a successful migration.


Data migration of any kind is always tricky but the project went incredibly smoothly. It’s a long time since I’ve worked with a vendor that was able to deliver such a seamless transition, and I was both impressed and amazed by how well it went.

– Peter Leslie, IT Manager APAC, WaterAid

Under the guidance of project lead, Conrad Murray, Nero Blanco delivered
on the following scope of work:

Agreed deliverables

  • planning and discovery
  • pre-migration tasks
  • BitTitan Migration Wiz
  • Okta configuration changes to bring APAC into the global settings
  • Single cutover event over the weekend of 21 August 2020
  • Post-migration support for five days from launch

Office 365 migration into a single tenant:

  • Around 210 items – both PC and Mac – shared mailboxes and resources
  • Additional 100 contacts
  • Around 60 distribution lists/email enabled security groups
  • 10 Microsoft Teams in remote geographical locations
At the water point intalled by WaterAid 3 months earlier in Samabogo, Mali.

Neil Langston

Neil loves getting deep into the code and figuring out solutions to complex problems. Then bringing it all together for a great end to end experience.

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