British Heart Foundation

The challenge

Employees of the British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Collaborative (BHF CRC) were working in silos with no efficient way to collaborate. The primarily remote group lacked virtual workspaces in which to communicate and work together. Managing documents was a tedious task, as each researcher had to work on a copy of the same file, then updates were manually consolidated into a final output. These issues resulted in wasted time and unnecessary administrative overhead, while also restricting the pace of research.


The BHF CRC chose to partner with the Cognizant Microsoft Business Group (MBG) because of our track record of success in enabling intelligent workplaces. We were tasked with defining and delivering a solution that was intuitive and easy for the research community to use, while also providing a secure platform for their valuable work.

Our approach

The Cognizant Microsoft Business Group hosted a series of interactive workshops to understand how clinical research is undertaken and coordinated in the UK and the challenges faced by the research communities. With this knowledge, we designed a solution based on Microsoft 365 and centered around Microsoft Teams to facilitate communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing across their diverse cardiovascular research community. 

Collaboration was simplified by co-authoring capabilities in Microsoft 365, and knowledge sharing was made more efficient through Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams also enables the researchers to meet from anywhere, and conference calls are enhanced with transcription services and tools to record notes, decisions and updates. Using Microsoft’s security measures, BHF CRC could store, transmit, and edit confidential healthcare files in a rapid yet compliant manner.

Given this technology was new to BHF CRC, an essential part of our approach was to help guide the client and drive adoption throughout the organization, as well as empower employees to articulate their ongoing needs and understand how Microsoft’s offerings can help.


Accelerating teamwork and crucial medical research

The Cognizant Microsoft Business Group’s Intelligent Workplace solution enabled BHF CRC to progress at a pace that felt previously unattainable. Onboarding five critical disease areas in cardiovascular medicine and integrating them into the initiative was done in a quick and efficient manner – a distinct improvement over the organization’s prior inefficiencies. 

BHF CRC now communicates solely through Microsoft Teams and collaborates more easily with Microsoft 365. This model can scale across multiple research departments and has had a major impact on research quality and efficiency.

Another benefit was the ease of launching a platform for researching the effects of COVID-19 on the heart. This would have taken months utilizing legacy tools. BHF CRC created a sufficient platform in a day. The platform enabled funding requests to be raised and processed swiftly, commencing life-saving research.

Greater efficiency

redundant processes were eliminated enabling significant improvements in time utilization

Improved collaboration

research teams can now collaborate in real time from any device, anywhere


teams were able to quickly respond to pandemic research needs, and are more prepared to handle similar challenges in the future