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Supporting the FCDO rollout its new IT platform

The rollout of the new IT platform called Osprey, is part of important work to bring together all parts of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) onto one platform.

Phase one of the programme involved the replacement of legacy IT with the rollout of new cloud-based devices and laptops to ex-Department for International Development staff.

The new platform will allow users across the FCDO to collaborate efficiently on a single modern cloud-based platform. May 2022 saw the first stage of the rollout, and FCDO Services was commissioned to support with organising the return of old devices, issuing of new devices and successful user support to allow user access to the new platform.   

Collaborating with our partners

We managed the rollout across two sites – King Charles Street and Abercrombie House, East Kilbride and provided technical support on the ground.

The team worked closely across directorates, with the FCDO’s Information and Digital Directorate, Osprey team and a third-party supplier.  

The rollout started in May 2022 and completed in September 2022. With more than 2,300 units in the UK deployed during the rollout, the key to the success of the project was ensuring the devices went to the right people at the right time.

The Osprey team used a booking system to manage the rollout and a forward-looking approach was essential to ensure correct volumes, scaling up and down based on requirements.

Taking place during the summer months, the team had to be highly organised to facilitate the distribution of the new devices within the given time period. 

Providing the right team

The team facilitating the rollout consisted of apprentices, experienced installers, and IT experts. This mix worked well and provided an excellent learning and development opportunity for our apprentices.

Involvement in this programme enabled our apprentices to get hands on project experience, meet customers and gain valuable experience and mentoring from more senior members of the team.   

IT experts were available during the setup of the new users to resolve any issues and answer questions on the new system.   

Technical support

As part of the program our Microsoft 365 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) worked across a wide range of activities to support the FCDO and the third party supplier.

Our SMEs were responsible for preparing the target accounts for users, ensuring the migration to the new platform went smoothly for all and that users were in the correct groups, distribution lists and teams as soon as they were migrated.

Our engineers staffed Tech Bars on the ground in King Charles Street and Abercrombie House where users received hands-on support as part of their migration experience. 

The expertise and experience of the team on the ground enabled them to tackle challenges under pressure and in an agile way, implementing solutions that ensured the project was able to continue at pace.

These solutions included writing complex scripts to perform repetitive but critical tasks for each user migrated to the platform. Our SMEs carried out the decommissioning of the tools and the old environment as well. 

We also supported the overseas rollout by providing remote support to staff.  

Osprey – phase two

Our teams received excellent feedback on the rollout from FCDO colleagues and we are now supporting the rollout of phase two of the programme to FCDO colleagues overseas and Partners across government.

This phase will see all ex–Foreign and Commonwealth Office colleagues based in the UK and overseas receiving their new devices and being set up on the new system.   

I want to call out the really fantastic performance of the FCDO Services experts who completed the whole migration programme over 20 months. Their work, commitment and can-do attitude has been outstanding, and I would honestly say as key members of the team we would not have succeeded without them.”
Osprey Programme Manager, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office