Oxford Instruments has some of world’s brightest individuals as customers. Since the 1950s scientists, researchers and academics have been using their high-tech tools and systems to image, analyse and manipulate matter at the atomic and molecular level. With teams and customers based all over the world, communication is critical.

A move to Office 365 was an obvious choice.  Its cloud-based collaboration tools would make working together much easier. But there was an initial snag. Their syndicated model was limiting their ability to use its apps and functionality to their full potential.  Oxford Instruments asked OCSL to create a better answer.

A fresh perspective

OCSL’s experts had to use their deep technical expertise to make this complex migration, simple.

Firstly, we recommended hosting AD-FS for Seamless Single Sign-On (SSO) in Azure. It would deliver the reliability and security previously lacking. Next, with careful analysis, we figured out the most cost-effective migration route. Migrating mailboxes back into an on-premises Microsoft Exchange, before migrating to Office 365 would save both time and money.

Working out how to move complex and customised SharePoint sites also required detailed planning.  Data volumes were another key consideration. For example, One Drive for Business amounted to 220 GB of data alone.  We identified the right tools to migrate large volumes of data with speed and accuracy.

By identifying tasks Oxford Instruments could undertake, we helped drive up cost-efficiency further. Our planned, test-and-learn approach for the migration was critical; for a global, round-the-clock organisation, downtime wasn’t an option.

A better answer

By carefully writing, then testing different scripts we made sure data, licensing and user identities around the world were correctly mapped. Following a successful pilot, all Active Directory user accounts were synchronised between old and new tenants.

For employees this meant a seamless experience during and after the migration. (So, no logging on to discover all your emails or files have disappeared.) 

Previously only a small number of employees had access to collaboration tools such as SharePoint Online, Yammer, OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business. Now, more and more of their global workforce will be able to take advantage of these key tools. 

Improved security has been another key outcome. With a best-practice SSO in Azure the IT team has greater control over user access. And their global workforce now has the freedom to sign in to devices wherever they may be, secure in the knowledge that IP and data will be safe.

Successful Outcomes

  • Improved employee collaboration
  • Greater security & control
  • More employees can access Office 365 functionality and apps


Interested to know more about how we can help?


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OCSL took this challenging migration project, with no real blueprint and made it a complete success.

Chris Hurden

Senior Network & Infrastructure Engineer

Oxford Instruments

Office 365 Migration Case Study


Improve global collaboration, securely


Migrate syndicated Office 365 to Office 365 with SSO hosted in Azure

Solution overview

Office 365 design, installation & migration from syndicated version of Office 365 to Office 365 with SSO in Azure

Microsoft Azure

  • Highly Available SSO estate
  • (ADFS \ Domain Controller WAP & AADC)

O365 Email Migration

  • Exchange Hybrid configuration& migration
  • OneDrive for Business configuration & migration
  • SharePoint Online configuration & migration
  • Skype for Business Online configuration & migration