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NHS moves millions of mailboxes to Microsoft’s Azure cloud

Feb 19, 2021

The NHS has moved more than two million NHS mailboxes to Microsoft’s Azure cloud, as part of the Government’s mission for a cloud-first health service.

Microsoft have announced that over two million accounts have been migrated to Exchange Online, which is a part of Microsoft's Azure Cloud.

NHS moves mailboxes to Microsoft Azure Cloud

Why this news is huge

The migration shows the NHS' dedication towards a fully integrated digital service, enabling smoother and more efficient communication between staff across NHS organisations and departments and improved access to information, applications and services, including advanced audio and video meetings and messaging platforms.

Ultimately, the streamlined digital system will reduce administrative burdens with the goal of improving patient care and reducing staff workload.


How does the NHS benefit from this migration?

With NHSmail - the secure email service used by the NHS - now based in Azure, the platform can now leverage online archiving, which will allow staff to store and manage old emails outside of their primary mailbox, and free up valuable storage space.

The NHS will also automatically update to the latest version of the Microsoft 365 collaboration suite, which will provide users with access to the latest tools and capabilities available.

This development will build on the roll-out of Microsoft Teams, which was introduced in June 2020, and open up greater possibility of providing additional services, such as OneDrive and SharePoint.

Email business signature and security

NHSmail users will also benefit from easier collaboration across the network, the ability to work on any device from anywhere, and tools for establishing project and group working hubs.


“The migration of NHSmail to Exchange Online has enabled us to provide staff across the NHS with a mail system which is functionally richer, more secure and lower cost,” said Sarah Wilkinson, chief executive of NHS Digital.

“We have also deployed a Microsoft Hybrid implementation of Office 365 to the NHSmail platform, which is allowing NHS organisations to provision O365 services much faster, integrate with the existing NHSmail identity, and collaborate more easily.

“I’m very proud of the Collaboration Services Team at NHS Digital for delivering the world’s largest ever Microsoft email migration, in the middle of the pandemic, when the organisation, and many of our staff, have been under so many other pressures.”


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