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York College launches degree in cyber security  |  Case Study


York University

Half of all UK businesses have a cyber security skills gap.  York College has stepped up to change that, by launching a foundation degree in digital technologies with cyber security.  Developed in collaboration with boxxe, the degree – the first of its kind in the UK – started in September 2020.


Students made use of a new cyber security lab, designed and configured by boxxe.  Course Tutor Richard Hind said: “Research published by the UK National Cybersecurity Centre suggests that more than half of UK businesses have a cyber security skills gap, while other figures reveal that over 70% of large UK companies have been the victim of a cyberattack over the past 12 months.  It is thought the cyber security job market will continue to grow throughout the 2020s.  So this is the perfect time to start developing a career in this rapidly expanding industry.” 


boxxe has provided the Ministry of Defence with security solutions for the last 30 years.  CEO Phil Doye, said: “Our mission with the boxxe community is to make technology human – that is, to help every individual and organisation to recognise and fulfill their potential through the use of technology.  The work we have done with York College, and the result of that work – the first foundation degree in digital technologies with cyber security in the UK – is a huge stepping stone towards addressing a national skills shortage and nurturing future talent.” 


York College offers a Foundation Degree in Cyber Security course.  For people already in employment who are looking for a part-time route to a qualification in cyber security, York College offers the BCS Level-4 Apprenticeship – Cyber Security Technologist. 

Student walking on York University Campus

"Working with boxxe has been a fantastic experience, they saw my vision and brought it to life, adding their own innovative and forward-thinking ideas.  It’s paved the way to Thirteen Group being Microsoft-first in our future developments."

Jayne Allport , Head of Service, Systems & Application Improvement, Thirteen Group


Analogue working

Every one of Thirteen's properties has a substantial amount of associated documents. 
Thirteen's agents need fast access to these documents to deliver an outstanding customer experience, so they must be stored and managed efficiently.  But that wasn't happening consistently.

Thirteen's property management process was mostly analogue, relying on agents manually processing paper document and individually importing them into an SQL database.  This caused two problems:


Having to scan, save and label each document individually was a 6-step process that took Thirteen's agents a long time, giving them less time to focus on customer care.


Importing stacks of documents each day was forcing Thirteen's agents to do something that people are proven to be bad at; staying alert while performing a tedious, repetitive task. This caused 'human error' mistakes while importing documents, making it difficult for other agents to find customer information quickly.

With their legacy document management system reaching end-of-life support, Thirteen recognised an opportunity to save time and costs by working more efficiently. 
As digital transformation specialists and a trusted technology partner to Thirteen Group for years, we were thrilled to help them with this project.


Microsoft SharePoint and Power Automate

To support Thirteen's new, modern approaches to work, we proposed the development of a robust digital workplace to simplify the access and storage of essential documents.


As a Gold Microsoft Partner, we know how powerful Microsoft SharePoint and Power Automate are and how perfect a solution they could be for Thirteen's challenges.


Once we'd presented these benefits, Thirteen signed off on our solution and the project started.

The benefits of our solution:

Use Power Automate and optical character recognition (OCR) technology to shorten a 6-step document import process down to a single action.
Access relevant records on Microsoft SharePoint from any location or device.
Reduce any risk of import errors with managed metadata and make GDPR compliance simple with powerful document retention controls.
Find relevant documents much faster, freeing agents to focus more time on customer service



After our Workplace Technology Specialist finished building the custom SharePoint environment, Thirteen’s focus was to export the hundreds of thousands of documents from their legacy database and import them into SharePoint.


After starting, Thirteen quickly found that 75,000 documents had been mislabelled in the legacy database.  Missing essential information, they couldn't transfer these documents into the new SharePoint system.  The only solution was to update each document manually.  Although it would only take 2 minutes to update each record with a correct label, this would add up to 300+ full working days to fix completely.

To solve the issue, our Workplace Solutions Expert built a custom automation workflow.  Through Robotic Process Automation, this bot pulls every item of information needed to correctly label each document and places it next to each record to speed up the process.


Why choose boxxe?

With 25+ years of commercial Microsoft experience, we offer industry-leading support at every stage of the Microsoft lifecycle.

We've partnered with Microsoft and Automation Anywhere to make RPA solutions like Power Automate easier than ever to adopt.

Want to know more about how we supported the Thirteen Group?

Call us on the number below or complete the following form and one of our experts will be in touch.

0330 236 9429


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