The University of Nottingham has over 50,000 students across the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia campuses, and a large number of permanent and visiting staff. Senior leaders within the University are focused on ensuring technology is continually update to deliver the best student experience and enable staff and research group to be uninhibited and perform to a world-class level.

Shaping Cloud were engaged to deliver an SC:Strategy on the messaging, calendar and email archiving services across the institution including China and Malaysia. This would include a 4 year business case, architecture, cost-benefit analysis and delivery schedule.


Shaping Cloud delivered an SC:Strategy presenting the University with 3 separate scenarios to migrate the messaging services across the three countries over the next 4 years.

Our report covered several key areas:

  • A high level current state capture for UK, Malaysia and China campuses.
  • Brief solution overview and costings per option, showing the risks to the University, costs and high level transition timelines.
  • Summary and recommendation of the solution they should choose.

A number of significant design decisions had to be made regarding:

  • How global email users could be handled from an Active Directory perspective, particularly in respect to China based email users with respect to privacy laws and potential impact on service.
  • Whether moving to a cloud based email solution was the correct direction for The University of Nottingham.
  • How best to accommodate the Email archive solution located in the UK.
  • It also included full cost-benefit analysis and various factors such as growth of student & staff numbers. The report identified various cost savings, totalling over £1million.

As a follow up to the initial IIA, Shaping Cloud then engaged with another technology partner to do a deeper analysis into how the University could migrate over 13TB of data from the TransVault archives up to the Office 365 tenancy. These two key pieces of business intelligence gave the University a full business case for their migration to the cloud.

Jon Vining, University of Nottingham

Shaping Cloud are seen as a strategic partner and are working closely with the leadership team. They have been able to use their extensive experience in the Education sector and strong ties with Microsoft to add value to the University’s decision making process.

SC:Strategy in Numbers

High level findings of the report



Across 3 different infrastructures in England, China and Malaysia, which could be consolidated into a single Office 365 tenancy



In the mailboxes and the TransVault Archive that needed to be moved across to Office 365 totalling over 13TB of data


potential savings

Identified by the SC:Strategy over a 5 year period through a move to Office 365