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Essential preparation for the Direct Access update

12 August 2021

At 10am on Wednesday 18 August 2021 we'll be making essential changes to Microsoft Direct Access, the system that allows those working from home to access the network from their laptop.

Potential impact

There's a small chance that this essential update could cause you to lose connection to the network. If this happens, you'll need to travel to a council workplace in order to reconnect to the network and update your laptop.

While disconnected from the network, you'll continue to have access to your email and M365 tools such as Teams and OneDrive, however, you may have to complete a Microsoft 365 logon with your email address and password. Access to files and folders on network drives or systems which are not cloud based will not be available until the Direct Access connection is restored.

All managers have been asked to identify a small number of critical colleagues who will be based at a council workplace on Wednesday 18 August 2021 in order to ensure we can maintain service delivery. If that includes you then your line manager will be in touch to make arrangements with you. Please remember that only those authorised by a director should be working or visiting a council building at the time.

If you're working from home and you experience a loss of connection to the network, you'll need to book a slot to visit a council workplace and connect your laptop to the network between Wednesday 18 August and Monday 23 August 2021. You must use the booking system rather than returning to your previous desk. The update will only take a maximum of one hour after which you should return home. A link to the booking system along with any further instructions will be shared on the morning of the update.

Our COVID-secure arrangements remain in place at all council buildings so if you do need to attend a workplace, you must follow all control measures put in place. Further details will be shared in your booking confirmation.

How to prepare

If you're not identified as a critical worker in relation to this update, there are a number of things you can do to help prepare for any loss of connection:

  • consider temporarily saving any working documents or those you need to access regularly to a Teams site or One Drive so that you will continue to have access to these even without Direct Access - please consult with your line manager first and ensure that any plans you put in place maintain information security at all times
  • where possible, plan some tasks that you can carry out without a Direct Access connection so that you are able to continue working until you are able to visit a council workplace
  • look out for further updates and information on 18 August 2021

The following systems and applications will not be affected:

  • email
  • Teams including Teams Telephony
  • Office 365
  • SharePoint
  • Derbyshire County Council websites
  • Recruit via Jobs.Derbyshire
  • Library catalogue via Derbyshire County Council website
  • RON Registration Online
  • S4S Services for Schools
  • Altair Pensions System
  • Derbyshire Learning Online

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your line manager.