Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust Streamlines Migration Process to Reduce Time to Value for New Schools Joining Trust with AvePoint

Success Highlights


Reduced migration preparation time by 90%


Cut migration costs in half with data discovery and automated processes


Reduced time to value for new schools with a speedier overall migration timeline


Improved user experience by migrating only necessary content

Bath wells case study image
Bath Wells Multi Academy Trust logo

Customer Location Radstock, England

Industry Education

Platform Microsoft 365

Established in 2012, the Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust is a growing charitable organization currently supporting 39 primary schools across southwestern England. The trust is responsible for the strategic direction and overall management of schools within its network and is directly funded by the government.

Critical Needs

  • Data migrations from file systems, Microsoft 365, and Google Workspace
  • Automated and scheduled migrations
  • Ensure all settings, metadata, permissions, etc are discovered and migrated
  • No disruptions to day-to-day school hours

The Challenge

By 2030, all primary and secondary schools in the UK must affiliate with a multi-academy trust, an overseeing body for individual academies. This mandate has prompted a surge of new schools seeking affiliation with Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust.

Centralizing all new schools' digital workplaces into the trust's centralized Microsoft 365 tenant is a critical piece of initiation to Bath & Wells; it’s up to the trust’s IT team to clean up the new schools' digital environments and migrate them to the trust's environment.

"Most of these schools are using the cloud, but not always in the most efficient way," explains Ben Ford, Trust ICT Manager at Bath & Wells. Some schools have retained their self-hosted infrastructure alongside cloud data, while others have struggled to establish proper data governance for their cloud workspaces. "It's like being given a car but not being told how to drive – they just figured it out as best as they could."

Ben’s team’s previous migration process was manual and time-consuming, making it difficult to understand the new schools’ environments, let alone perform the migration, which impacted user experience. With 15 new schools in the pipeline, they needed an easier way to migrate data from separate tenants to a centralized one.

Books in library bath wells case study

The data discovery is fantastic. Before, we could only see the user count, and we had no idea about the content structure. Now, with information from Fly, we can make more informed decisions and leave behind an average of 80% of users and 25% of data that are not critical, saving us a lot of time.

Ben Ford
Trust ICT Manager, Bath & Wells Mult-Academy Trust

The AvePoint Solution

Bath & Wells trialed AvePoint Fly, AvePoint’s migration tool, and knew it was the solution to meet their needs. “Even though we were only setting up a trial, AvePoint offered great assistance, so we were sold,” says Ben.

Fly delivers a three-step approach – via a self-guided tool or with help from AvePoint – to migrate on-premises or cloud-hosted mail, content, and collaboration into Microsoft 365 or SharePoint. Data can be migrated from existing Microsoft accounts or from SaaS providers such as Box, Google Workspace, and Slack.

Fly's data discovery tool provided the information Ben's team needed for more successful migrations, helping them better determine what content to move and where to map it to in their centralized environment. Ben praised the tool, saying, "The data discovery is fantastic. Before, we could only see the user count, and we had no idea about the content structure. Now, with information from Fly, we can make more informed decisions and leave behind an average of 80% of users and 25% of data that are not critical, saving us a lot of time.”

Bath & Wells has found that implementing Fly has made their migrations frictionless and easy. They have been able to run five migrations in just a few months, with each migration improving their processes and solidifying their approach to onboarding new schools into their centralized tenant. Now, their migration process is structured and effective.

According to Ben, "The only manual work required is a few hours of moving domains over to ensure there's no disruption to mail flow and delivery. However, we're now talking about 1-2 hours of prep work compared to 1-2 days of prep work previously – it's a huge time savings."

Throughout the process, staff are kept informed of the timeline and which day they will lose access to their existing accounts. The actual migration is scheduled for overnight, so the only change for staff is the new credentials they will need to use to log in after the migration; all of their information will already be in the new tenant.

Beyond time savings, Fly's scheduling and automation capabilities have allowed the trust's IT team to avoid weekend work and overtime, further reducing costs; Ben estimates Fly has cut their costs by 50%.

Ben foresees a consistent need for migrations in the near future, explaining, “Over half of schools are still with local authorities, so we’ll see a lot of movement in the next five years. We’re not sure how many or how often, so AvePoint’s pricing model to tailor the cost to individual projects rather than yearly fees gave us a lot of flexibility.”

The Road Ahead

The migration to the trust's centralized Microsoft 365 tenant is a critical first step in establishing a productive relationship between the trust's IT team and its new schools. Thanks to Fly's streamlined process, the trust has been able to start off on the right foot with its new schools, ensuring a smooth and successful transition that sets a positive tone for their ongoing collaboration.

According to Ben, the trust's lean IT team of only four support staff has been able to manage all the migrations in their pipeline with ease, thanks to Fly's automated and streamlined process. He adds, “Plus, we know we can rely on AvePoint’s hands-on support if we need it. It was a pleasure to work with AvePoint.”

Bath & Wells is happy with their experience with Fly and AvePoint and looks forward to continuing to build strong relationships with their new schools.

Ready to simplify your data migrations? Try AvePoint Fly today!

Get a Demo