Business Situation

As the UK’s largest employer, the National Health Service (NHS) cares for more than 1 million patients every 36 hours. When the COVID-19 crisis erupted, NHS support was more vital than ever before. Under the strain of exploding national demand, the NHS’s frontline healthcare workers urgently needed the best digital messaging and email tools to work together even faster and more collaboratively.

To unlock the full potential of modern communication platforms like Microsoft Teams, the NHS prepared to lay the foundation for a flexible, responsive and future-ready digital solution.

“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.”

Sarah Wilkinson Former Chief Executive at NHS Digital


The mass-scale project was undertaken in partnership with NHS Digital, Avanade, Accenture and Microsoft. The outcome? A robust cloud-based framework that meets the collaboration challenge while helping the NHS more quickly and efficiently address the UK population’s increasingly complex healthcare needs. During this engagement:

  • 1.2 million NHS employees were migrated in just seven days to Microsoft Teams for collaborative chats, calls and video meetings.
  • All 2.1 million mailboxes migrated
  • Two petabytes of data copied to the cloud
  • 22,000 NHSmail accounts were moved to Microsoft Exchange Online each evening and 83,000 each weekend until completion.
  • Migration was completed with minimal disruption to frontline clinicians and support staff.


With the solution in operation across the organisation, the NHS can now conduct secure patient consultations via audio and video calls on a national scale. And they can do this while maintaining employe safety, enabling service continuity, creating additional capacity and improving provider and patient experiences.

Additional results include:

  • Less than 1.2% of users required support
  • Nearly 1 million Teams messages are now sent across the NHS daily

Today, the platform is instantly accessible via any device, anywhere. With its new “Cloud First” strategy full steam ahead, the NHS can seamlessly communicate and deliver care more effectively than ever before.

Client Stories

NHSmail: World’s largest email migration to the cloud

With the help of Avanade and cloud migration, NHS can now conduct secure patient consultations via audio and video calls on a national scale.

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