Guide Dogs

Working together with Guide Dogs to support their application and infrastructure

The client

Guide Dogs is a UK charitable organisation whose main focus is providing support to blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services.

The challenge

Guide Dogs was working with a new agency – AKQA, to manage their existing Sitecore site and further develop it.

They needed a new hosting partner who could design, provision, build and maintain the infrastructure. The partner would collaborate alongside AKQA and ensure that the infrastructure for Guide Dogs would meet all requirements, provide optimum performance and allow Guide Dogs to maintain ownership of the provisioning.

As Guide Dogs relies heavily on donations and sponsorship, most of which is managed via the website, the application and infrastructure needed to be monitored and supported 24/7 to ensure that downtime or poor website performance did not impact the success of the charity.

The solution

Just After Midnight pride themselves on being a new breed of MSP who are flexible enough to fit into internal teams where needed.

Our team designed, provisioned and built the Azure hosting for the Guide Dogs site:

  • Setting up the application deployment pipeline using the industry-standard Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
  • Using Terraform to provision all the Azure resources required for the new solution
  • Recommending best practice actions for the application team, setting up the Sitecore deployment pipeline in TeamCity and Octopus Deploy to streamline the deployment process for the client and the agency
  • Everything sits within Guide Dogs’ own Bitbucket, so they retain complete ownership over it

Crucially, we produced documentation at every stage of the process so that the agency and client had a full understanding of how each component worked and any known issues.

The project required an excellent level of communication between the three teams – JAM, Guide Dogs and AKQA – so that our pipelines were parallel. We had regular team catch-ups, ensuring that our activities were always aligned.

This meant that we could “hand the keys” back to the Guide Dogs team at the end of the design and build. They maintain ownership of the infrastructure we built, safe in the knowledge that we understand it inside out and are supporting it 24/7, as well as the application.


  • Guide Dogs has complete peace of mind knowing that they have ownership of their infrastructure and that it’s in the hands of an expert team to monitor, support and maintain it
  • Design and build of the infrastructure was completed to a very high standard, to the delight of the client, and is capable of standing up to increased traffic and usage around the time of campaigns
  • The infrastructure and application are both fully supported and maintained 24/7 by a team of Azure and Sitecore accredited experts
Hundreds of thousands
of users per month
Flexibility and ownership
over infrastructure maintained by the client