“Collaboration can become complex and disorganized if you let it, but with Egnyte we have simplified the process.”Alistair Roberts – Director of IT
Committing to One Philosophy
M&C Saatchi was formed in 1995 by brothers Maurice and Charles Saatchi. It has quickly grown to become the largest independent advertising agency in the world with over 2,000 employees and more than 20 offices spread across the globe including Cape Town, London, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Stockholm, and Sydney. Believing its corporate philosophy of “Brutal Simplicity of Thought” and that “It‘s easier to complicate than simplify,” M&C Saatchi has successfully produced campaigns for Adidas, Coca Cola, Etihad Airways, Flora, Land Rover, Virgin Holidays, and more
Developing campaigns for such high profile clients, it is crucial for M&C Saatchi to have the latest technology that can provide flexibility, security, and usability, allowing the company to not only grow its business but its clients‘ businesses as well. Being spread across the globe and in different time zones, collaborating on projects needed to be “brutally simple” so M&C Saatchi could stay focused on delivering award-winning marketing services to a variety of industries.
“We‘re able to securely store, edit, and share files between multiple offices around the world without running into bandwidth, file versioning, or access issues. M&C Saatchi is a fast-paced organization and Egnyte keeps up, bottom line.”Alistair Roberts - Director of IT, M&C Saatchi
Challenge: Unify a Decentralised Workforce
One of the biggest challenges of having over 20 offices around the world is making sure every team has access to the necessary project files, such as high resolution photos, video clips, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint/Keynote presentations, Word documents, and project bids regardless of location. Since all of the offices didn’t share the same infrastructure, designers and account managers would often resort to using consumer solutions such as Dropbox and Huddle. This left M&C Saatchi very decentralised which presented problems for Director of IT Alistair Roberts.
“We had employees bringing in personal consumer services to share and work on files, some of which contained private and sensitive information. We had no insight into where exactly these files were stored and who could view them. I knew we needed to find a solution that offered more control and that could be easily used by everyone. Egnyte is that solution.”
Not having a centralised infrastructure for users to access and collaborate on files meant teams had to send project documents via email and unauthorised cloud-only solutions, but because most design files are large by nature, they often encountered bandwidth problems sending and receiving files. Becoming more and more frustrated, users would often collaborate as individuals rather than a team which led to multiple versions of the same pitch or ad campaign leaving them guessing as to which was the latest version. Not only did this delay the process of completing the project, but it delayed sharing their work with clients.
To avoid dragging down their local servers once projects were completed and no longer being worked on M&C Saatchi would move the files to tape back-up libraries. With an annual growth in storage of 33%, mass amounts of data were being pushed to these libraries. At an average cost of ₤10,000 pounds, and an additional ₤25,000 pounds a year to maintain, Alistair felt that continuing to use tape was no longer cost or performance efficient.
Benefits: Simplification Through Hybrid Adoption
After looking at file sharing services such as Dropbox, Box, and Huddle, Alistair knew he wanted a solution that offered a hybrid deployment model. After discovering Egnyte’s adaptive enterprise file services platform, Alistair quickly decided that it matched what M&C Saatchi needed in a solution.
Leveraging their existing VM server estate, M&C Saatchi deployed Egnyte Storage Sync instance (VM) next to their existing storage, syncing their locally stored files to the cloud and enabling real-time file sync across their offices around the world. This allowed employees in any office to collaborate together as if they were at the same location and provide uninterrupted access to project bids, PowerPoint/Keynote presentations, video clips and any other project files from one central access point. Designers and account managers could now access and collaborate on files from anywhere, on any device, regardless of location.
Because Storage Sync bi-directionally syncs data between on-premises storage and the cloud, users could take advantage of the accessibility of the cloud with the speed of on-premises storage. Instead of clogging their network bandwidth downloading and sending large files, employees could easily download a selected project file or folder to their computer, make the necessary changes or additions and then sync that file or folder back to the cloud so it could be accessed by the other team members. File change conflicts are elegantly handled by email notifications and file versioning which saved project teams’ time by not having to search for the most up-to-date version of a file, helping to deliver projects to customers on time.
Another key benefit to choosing Egnyte’s hybrid deployment is when files are synced from M&C Saatchi’s on-premises storage to the cloud, those files automatically have a second copy. The unique architecture of Egnyte’s platform has built-in redundancy, maintaining multiple copies of an organisation’s data to protect against hardware failures. In the case of on-premises storage failure, all files, including past 90-day versions, can be retrieved from the cloud. This allowed IT to no longer rely on moving data to expensive tape back-up libraries saving time and money. It also addresses business continuity challenges in a low-cost, highly flexible solution which ensures “always on” capability.