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Al-Balagh Breaks Down File Management Barriers and Scales Faster

Using Egnyte to unify its data environment in the cloud, the firm eliminated the infrastructural and file access burdens that threatened its growth.

Achievements with Egnyte:

  • Reduced project setup time from one week to one day
  • Enabled near-instant file access from any location
  • Took a major step forward in digital transformation
Al-Balagh Breaks Down File Management Barriers and Scales Faster
Ajo George
"Egnyte is our central destination for any content that people need to be able to access from multiple locations. It has helped us keep our processes unified across all our sites, which has paved the way for us to keep scaling our operations.”
Ajo George
IT Manager • Al-Balagh Trading & Contracting

With a project portfolio spanning the construction, industrial, medical and laboratory equipment, oil and gas, and IT sectors, Al-Balagh Trading & Contracting employs thousands of people to manage enormous volumes of data. But with a heavy reliance on local servers, equipping its project sites to manage that data was a slog, and the collaboration processes that connected those sites were broken.

As Al-Balagh’s project portfolio grew, these problems compounded – until Egnyte unified the firm’s data, across all its sites, in the cloud. Since then, site setup and data management have been a breeze, and the firm can scale its operations without slowing down.

Challenge: Siloed Local Infrastructure Hinders Expansion

Every day, at every project site that Al-Balagh operates, numerous stakeholders create, modify, and exchange various project-related files. Establishing the infrastructure necessary to facilitate this work was a multifaceted and time-consuming affair. At each site, the team needed to set up a local server, create folders for document storage and collaboration, and make sure a reliable power source and backup data storage was in place.

“It took us a week, at a minimum, to set up the local server and get all the other infrastructure ready,” says Ajo George, IT Manager at Al-Balagh. “And until that work was complete, the site wouldn’t be operational and people couldn’t start working.” This was a substantial enough bottleneck when the company was only operating six or seven project sites. But amid a period of strong expansion, Al-Balagh found itself confronting these setup delays at each of roughly 15 sites in addition to their head office – adding up to significant lost work hours.

Once a site was finally launched, the team ran into a new problem: with each site relying on its own siloed local infrastructure, there was no efficient, secure way to exchange files among sites and with the head office. These infrastructure silos also made it hard to replicate the firm’s content environment across all sites, creating a confusing lack of standardization. “At best, we were relying on email to send documents back and forth, which is generally not a good practice,” George explains. “At worst, we actually had content saved on CDs and DVDs, and people had to physically come to the office to pick them up. If, for example, we prepared a Request for Quote for a subcontractor, and five people needed to review it, we had to create five different CDs. It was a real drain on our time and resources.”

Challenge: Siloed Local Infrastructure Hinders Expansion

Solution: Unify All Sites – and Their Data – in the Cloud

Al-Balagh came into contact with Egnyte through an unusual channel: Microsoft. “We initially looked into Microsoft OneDrive to help us streamline site setup and scale our operations, but we struggled to govern access permissions and standardize the folder structure across every site,” George explains. “In the end, Microsoft ended up referring us to Egnyte.”

Egnyte provided a cloud-hosted environment for storing and managing files, eliminating the need for extensive local infrastructure installation at each site and greatly accelerating site startup times. The platform also enabled Al-Balagh to create a single folder structure that stakeholders could access from any project site, and to share files via secure links – all while asserting granular access controls via Egnyte’s permissions management functionality. These features provided needed relief from reliance on email attachments and physical discs.

“The move to Egnyte made it much easier to move users between project sites,” comments Maneesha Mohandas, ERP Manager, Business Applications at Al-Balagh. “The folder structure is the same across all sites and projects, so when someone goes from one project to another, they know exactly where to find the data they need. That helps us avoid a lot of onboarding and confusion.”

Some of Al-Balagh’s project sites are located in areas with unreliable internet connections, which makes some clients wary of a file management environment hosted fully in the cloud. Egnyte presented a solution here as well – specifically, its Storage Sync product. As George explains: “In areas where we might not always have internet access, we still use local servers. But Storage Sync automatically syncs the latest version of all our content to the cloud environment as soon as internet connectivity is restored. That means we can still benefit from a centralized, universally accessible content environment, even in these far-flung areas.”

Mohamed Kunhi
"The move to Egnyte made it much easier to move users between project sites. When someone goes from one project to another, they know exactly where to find the data they need. That helps us avoid a lot of onboarding and confusion."
Mohamed Kunhi
IT Service Delivery Lead • Al-Balagh

Benefits: Stronger Productivity and a Green Light on Growth

Since transitioning from local servers at each site to Egnyte’s unified, cloud-hosted environment, Al-Balagh has neutralized administrative delays and yielded enormous time savings that can be recycled into its projects. This has made the team more productive and enabled the firm to scale freely without fighting administrative headwinds.

“Thanks to Egnyte, it takes only one day to set up a site vs. a week or more,” says George. “Now that all of our project data, procurement data, RFQs, and everything else is accessible from any location, our subcontractors and other stakeholders can access it much more quickly and easily. It took about an hour for us to create, for example, four discs for four stakeholders. Now we can get those people the info they need in five minutes.”

Al-Balagh is leveraging a wide array of Egnyte’s feature functionality and looking to expand its use of Egnyte into areas such as security and compliance. “Egnyte’s integration with Microsoft facilitates real-time co-editing of Office365 documents, so that multiple stakeholders can work in the same document together. This helps us avoid file duplication and make sure people aren’t working on outdated versions of files,” Mohandas explains. “Looking ahead, we plan to learn more about Egnyte’s features related to ISO 27001 compliance and ransomware.”

All in all, Egnyte has proven to be a major driver of Al-Balagh’s broader digital transformation. The platform has virtually eliminated the firm’s reliance on paper and physical discs for content sharing, and has created a designated channel for document management that exists separately from email – a much more sound business practice. “Users now load their files into Egnyte, and that’s where those files exist from then on,” George explains. “No more photocopying, email sharing, or digital redundancies. Egnyte is our central destination for any content that people need to be able to access from multiple locations. It has helped us keep our processes unified across all our sites, which has paved the way for us to keep scaling our operations.”

At a Glance
Industry

Architecture, Engineering, & Construction

Location

Doha, Qatar

Number of Employees

2,500

Egnyte Products

Platform Enterprise

Learn More

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