Following a merger, Aralez Pharmaceuticals had the opportunity to rethink traditional IT. Rather than building a data center, buying and leasing loads of network and server hardware, along with hiring the staff to support the environment, Aralez sought a new, forward-looking vision when it came to their IT strategy and services. The organization decided to migrate existing solutions and provision new services on a cloud-based infrastructure that would be able to provide their business and end users with a full set of enterprise-class solutions with a focus on security and privacy.
To help Aralez Pharmaceuticals put their new strategy in place and achieve their long-term goals of achieving a cloud-based IT structure, blum Consulting’s technology team focused on four solutions to address specific needs. blum Consulting has developed a broad range of capabilities and experience with Microsoft’s Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Azure platforms. This experience was key to providing solutions to meet Aralez’s needs.
Migration of Email Systems
Given the company’s recent merger, integration between the companies’ email systems needed to occur. With one company running Exchange on premise, and the other running it online, blum Consulting’s team configured a new Office 365 tenant for Aralez which allowed all emails from the existing systems to be merged into the new one. Our team leveraged its experience from over three dozen recent migrations to Office 365 to ensure minimal down-time and disruption to the end users, making sure that there was no loss of existing email, calendar or contact entries.
Historical Documents and Information Management
Like most companies, Aralez had a large amount of historical documents and information saved on file shares on physical servers on premise. As the company continued to grow, the practicality of managing this content on premise, along with making it easy for their global workforce to access this information would become a challenge. In addition, Aralez wanted to create a more collaborative environment and take advantage of features like version control and history to enhance the end user experience. To help Aralez achieve their goal of moving to the cloud and resolving these issues, blum Consulting designed a flexible SharePoint information architecture and implemented it in SharePoint Online. This architecture was built to support the management of this important, historical information, as well as create a flexible new structure for future document management and collaboration. The SharePoint solution also included an improved search capability which made finding and discovering files more efficient for end users.
Cybersecurity is key for any organization—especially a pharmaceutical company dealing with highly personal information. blum Consulting implemented a best in class security solution which enabled Aralez to move to the cloud, while simultaneously achieving a higher level of security for the business. The solution utilized Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite, including Microsoft Intune and the Azure Rights Management solution, which allowed for the implementation of customized cybersecurity policies based on the company’s unique needs.
For example, one of Aralez’s practices revolves around having a mobile-enabled workforce. Utilizing the Intune solution, policies could be “pushed out” to end-user devices requiring features such as full device encryption, unlock pins and segregation of content on the device. These items upheld the requirements in Aralez’s bring your own device (BYOD) policy and allowed for separate profiles for both work and personal use on devices, which was key.
Document Signing Solution
The last phase of this project dealt with integrating a secure document signing solution. Aralez identified a third-party solution, DocuSign, as the enterprise solution for electronic signatures. Although DocuSign does have the ability to initiate the signing process from within a SharePoint document library, many documents that would participate in these workflows would not be originating from SharePoint. As such, using the native DocuSign processes made sense. However, Aralez wanted to store the final, fully executed documents within the appropriate SharePoint libraries. blum Consulting brought their custom application development capabilities to the table and created a simple web service that the DocuSign Connect push service would be able to communicate with. The resulting solution allowed the final copy of the document to be stored in SharePoint along with relevant metadata pulled automatically from promoted fields within the DocuSign document itself.
As a result of the solutions implemented, Aralez Pharmaceuticals has been able to accomplish its goals of reducing on-premise infrastructure, ease of access to content and data (both new and old), and integration across cloud solutions—all of this with a focus on security.
blum was able to leave Aralez Pharmaceuticals with an effectively operating set of IT services that are easily maintainable and meet employee needs. From a financial perspective, by moving to the cloud, there was no need to build out an expensive data center, buy racks of servers or hire additional staff to maintain this equipment.