Michael Rose remembers the Northeast blackout in 2003. When the power went out, MJM and all its employees lost power and access to the file servers in their Manhattan headquarters. In order to continue working, they had to find a way to get someone into the building, locate charged UPS power units, then use them to briefly start up the fileserver and copy critical files over to a portable drive. Employees were frustrated because they had to halt business during the blackout. Management was frustrated because the key services the company counted on weren't available. There was a clear need for a more flexible and dependable business continuity solution.
MJM is a premier, global Face-to-Face marketing and communications agency. Employees help develop messaging, branding and presentations for clients' events. With projects running and team members working across the world, employees need access to their files from any location. Typically, a team will drop in at a conference site for a week, deliver all the content and excitement of a live event for a Fortune 100 client and an audience of key corporate leaders, and then move on.
Before Egnyte, every project process began with a team conversation discussing how to get the files to the event. In most cases, due to the large number of files and the total data size, this meant cloning the project onto a hard drive, shipping it to the client site and then using that drive as the onsite source for the production data. This process was time consuming, unreliable, and required an inordinate amount of prior planning. MJM's technology team knew they needed an enterprise level file sharing and sync solution.
At first, MJM worked with Box, a cloud only file sharing solution. Rose liked the easy file access that Box provided and worked with the IT team to implement Box and set up key employees and contractors as users.
MJM's Box setup helped the production teams get to their files from the road, but they found that not having local access in the office made accessing and editing large files extremely cumbersome. Meanwhile, unsynchronized local servers didn't match the Box content, and pushing updated files manually to the cloud was putting pressure on MJM's limited ISP connectivity. Clearly, an automatic local/cloud sync would be an improvement, and Box suggested that such a tool was on the roadmap. Local storage would provide fast access to large presentations and files, and employees wouldn't be dependent on an Internet connection for file access. Unfortunately, the Box local/cloud sync capability for servers never made it off the drawing board and into the product. It was at this point that MJM began thinking "outside the Box" and looking for another business storage platform.
Rose and the MJM team found Egnyte through another WPP company. They liked that Egnyte already offered a solution that was a combination of local storage plus cloud. With the local option, MJM team members would now be able to access those large files quickly, while also having the flexibility of accessing them via a web browser, anywhere in the world.
MJM deployed Egnyte's local cloud on a Netgear device in the office, synchronizing to the Egnyte cloud file service. Having the files locally gave employees fast local access to large PowerPoint files and large projects from inside the office. Local access also significantly reduced the use of network bandwidth, enabling the whole company to increase productivity. Only the cloud could give MJM's team easy access to client presentations at any time and from any location.
"Egnyte gave MJM both place-shifting and time shifting. Employees like that they can access files from any location. Egnyte enabled us to decouple the physical office from file access, giving employees more flexibility in access points and more hours in their day to work on projects."
Fast forward to 2012, when Hurricane Sandy devastated the US Northeast coastline. Just as in 2003, parts of New York City—including MJM's office near Union Square—lost power for days. If MJM didn't have Egnyte, they wouldn't have been able to access their files and business would have come to a stop again. However, during the Sandy outage, Rose said he didn't get a single phone call requesting access to critical files, from anyone working on a project. Employees could continue working from their homes because they could access all of their files in the cloud. Rose noted that with Egnyte in place, the storage and file access part of MJM's business continuity plan is now a lot simpler. They don't have to spend time planning for an outage; instead, they can focus on running their business.
"Egnyte gives me peace of mind because I know my employees can access their files at all times and from any location. For MJM, neither local storage or cloud storage alone was enough. In case of a power outage, we needed a local plus cloud solution to keep our business running and our clients happy."