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NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit migrates seamlessly and securely with Quest migration solutions

We were able to see a return on our investment right away by cutting down significantly on the man hours needed for the migration and we no longer worry about the risks involved with user mistakes,

Chris Reynolds, Head of Innovation and Product Development.


AGEM had an IT team of only three that is responsible for managing 1,500 users on Microsoft 365. Part of their scope is to look for economies of scale across the board.

Six years ago, AGEM outlined a cloud-first goal for themselves and their customers. The IT team knew they needed to migrate SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010 to Microsoft 365. But with their team’s limited resources they were faced with manually migrating SharePoint 2010 to Microsoft 365. They knew it was worth it because Microsoft 365 was flexible, could scale, and was an important part their upgrade strategy. They realized that it was going to be a long road to the finish line because of complexities of their overall environment.

They began their journey facing an incongruent estate spread over a wide geography that was supporting customers in 60 CCGs, NHS England (NHSE) as well as provider trusts and local authorities. The ecosystem was constantly evolving and increasing in complexity and they knew they had no time to waste.

They manually began the process of moving from a disparate legacy position to one integrated, intelligent solution.

Because they were manually migrating from SharePoint 2007 and 2010 to Microsoft 365, they were at significant risk of human error, it was consuming their daily workload, throughput was slow and they were not able to focus on their other core duties.

One of the first tasks for AGEM was finding a solution that could remove the manual processes but could also prove that they could accurately and seamlessly migrate their local legacy SharePoint farm, including financial management accounts. It was important that they would be able to show, through any future audit, that the information wasn’t altered in any way and was secure.

“Prior to our engagement with Quest, we were stuck in manual processes and dealing with the shortfalls of the out-of‐the‐box option to perform the work, said, Chris Reynolds, Head of Innovation and Product Development. “This meant, we were not able to granularly restore a document or library easily and with the confidence it would be done correctly.”

For AGEM it wasn’t so much the amount that they needed to move. They needed a solution that could securely move the data and yet had the flexibility to move both small to large amounts.


“When we started looking at Quest, we were blown away at how seamlessly we could make the migration happen.” Quest actively engaged with AGEM and spent the time listening to what they were trying to achieve and how they wanted to get there. Quest took that knowledge and then presented their migration solution and roadmap to success.

“Quest showed us how they could help us get to our goal instead of just trying to sell us licenses and not giving us a plan like some of their competitors,” acknowledged Reynolds. “And then, it changed our whole approach.”

AGEM started moving small amounts of data at first to ensure that they were complying with all of NHS when moving sensitive financial content from on‐premises data to the cloud. They were thrilled that they could maintain version control, and that they were able to see the content on premises and in the cloud. That made them comfortable knowing they were ready at any time for any type of audit.

Additionally, AGEM was able to leverage the automation of the tool, giving them the tactical ability to focus on other parts of the business. With Quest, they were able to get so much more accomplished and lowered their stress levels because they no longer faced manual processes or had to worry about human error.

“We were able to see a return on our investment right away by cutting down significantly on the man hours needed for the migration and we no longer worry about the risks involved with user mistakes,” said Reynolds.


“If I didn’t have Quest, I would not be able to do what I have been able to do. The financial data we moved would still be sitting on a server that was barely working. If I would have had to move that amount of data with the number of folders and substructures, two of us would have work for a month but we were able to do that in a day.”

Training and support through Quest has really helped AGEM. The technical support has been second to none. For example, they had special characters that they used including a padlock symbol that didn’t display correctly in the Quest migration solution. The support team fixed this in the next weekly update.

“The right tool pays for itself in weeks. You don’t need people to sit and turn the handle to make sure it is working.  Quest has an incredible flexibility to evolve with ever-changing space and we know that Quest can deliver time and time again and we can always see the audit. We have trust and faith in the solution.”

As they continue their journey to the cloud, AGEM is looking to the future and is investing in a customer- facing Microsoft 365 team to deploy solutions for customers so they can get up and working quickly.

They want to leverage their experience with Quest and wrap it up as a service for their customers. They can now rationalize data, find the rubbish, which they are finding is typically around 80 percent, and move over only what is needed. The AGEM Microsoft 365 team has become more agile and able to respond to the things in a more efficient and effective way allowing them to focus on their core role.

“We are now looking at many other ways we can utilize Quest solutions. We are spreading the word and want other people to get the same return on investment that we have, said Reynolds. “I really believe in the Quest migration solution. It worked well and is still working well.”

The NHS is a massive collection of hundreds of organizations delivering different services under a single umbrella and AGEM is one of five commissioning support units. As the NHS moves forward, interoperability between organizations is going to be key. To support this a critical element is rationalizing backend data and this is where Quest sits in.

“We want everyone to look at us for best practices and with the continued support and help of Quest we know we will be able to wrap all of this up into a service to help our customers and other business units of NHS, said Reynolds.

About NHS

NHS Arden and GEM (AGEM) Commissioning Support Unit provides a range of services to NHS England and is one of the largest CSUs in the country. They act as a valued and trusted partner for commissioners, local authorities, and providers to tackle the challenges they face in building integrated, high‐quality, and cost‐effective services that lead to better health outcomes. They are passionate about working collaboratively with our customers, to deliver integrated, high‐quality, and cost‐effective services that lead to better health outcomes for all.