Barnhill Pairs Procore, Egnyte for Seamless Collaboration
Barnhill Contracting Company uses Egnyte and Procore to make project documents seamlessly accessible for executives, architects and external partners.
“With Egnyte's security features, we can be more proactive than reactive... Egnyte's been super easy to use to the point where we just sign our guys in. They have a shared drive, so it's very simple for them to access what they need when they need it."
Network Administrator, Barnhill Contracting Company
Established in 1949, Barnhill Contracting Company offers commercial building, site infrastructure, transportation, and asphalt services throughout the southeastern United States and is consistently ranked among ENR's Top Contractors in the country. Headquartered in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the company has several statewide offices and over 900 employees.
With an average of 90 active projects on Procore, Barnhill Contracting Company was very excited to integrate Egnyte and Procore so its office and project teams had a single source of truth for their documents.
Challenge: Finding a Better Way to Securely Collaborate
Seven years ago, Barnhill Contracting Company undertook a strategic project to bring control and consistency to their file systems. The inception of this initiative began with Jason Deans, director of virtual construction. "Back then, all our file storage was on a shared drive internally and on premises,” Deans said. “You couldn't find anything. Documents were scattered in different locations. It took an hour for executive leadership to locate the right folder.”
In addition, project teams had an aversion to File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Instead, they preferred to transfer data through traditional means by burning it onto a CD and delivering the information to the intended parties. Deans needed a better way for teams to collaborate on large files internally and with outside parties such as architects and subcontractors. He also needed a way for collaborators to securely access files via mobile devices without requiring the use of email applications.
“I played around with Box, Dropbox, and a few other services looking for viable solutions. Then, working with Arthur Reed, our network administrator, we determined that Egnyte had the best feature set,” Deans said.
Barnhill initially rolled out Egnyte within its VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) department. But within a few months, executives wanted their own Egnyte accounts. Before long, the entire building division migrated their files onto Egnyte. "Once we migrated the building division files, over half of our company used Egnyte,” Reed said.
At that time, the company used a project management tool that didn’t integrate with Egnyte and wasn’t meeting all its needs, including support for project financials. Barnhill replaced that project management tool with Procore, but project-specific data still resided in two different locations that did not sync between Egnyte and Procore. It was confusing because so many documents doubled up, said Newall Rand, operations technology manager.
“Someone would save a file in Procore, and another person on the same project would save the same document to Egnyte,” Rand said. “A project team member could not find the right information because they did not know what the other team members were doing.”
According to Rand, Barnhill used another project management tool for punch lists, drawings, and submittals. “Basically, we still had two separate systems that were not talking to each other well,” he said.
Solution: Procore and Egnyte Keep Everyone in Sync
The Procore-Egnyte integration became a topic of discussion during the company's folder structure reorganization. Keeping in line with the initiative to rely on a single source of truth, project files needed to be accessible to stakeholders who did not have access to Procore. That meant they needed a solution to sync Procore files with files stored outside of Procore.
"We were trying to get everything down to where there's one source of truth for a project,” Reed said. “From Day One all the way through closeout, whether they have access to Procore or not, everyone needs to be working from the same latest version of files. The Egnyte and Procore integration makes that happen."
Once the enhanced Procore connector went live, Egnyte documents synced in real-time, allowing Barnhill's project teams to work in the Procore environment and access the documents from a single source of truth in Egnyte. That meant users could leverage a common folder structure without jumping between Procore and Egnyte.
"When an executive in the office needs to find a project document, they can go to the designated drive in Windows Explorer to find the same information as a project manager working in the Procore Environment," Deans said. "If an architect does not want to have access to the Procore project files, we can easily collaborate and share on those same files in Egnyte."
“From Day One all the way through closeout, whether they have access to Procore or not, everyone needs to be working from the same latest version of files. The Egnyte and Procore integration makes that happen."
Network Administrator, Barnhill Contracting Company
Results: Eliminate Duplication with the Easy-to-Use Connector
Barnhill's IT department trusts Egnyte’s enhanced Procore connector to sync files in both places. They are confident the data will be available to users whether they are accessing it through Egnyte or the Procore environment.
“When team members sign into their desktop app, they have access to their data right there,” Reed said. “They don’t have to spend time downloading, editing, and re-uploading. We have a very small IT team and don’t have a lot of time to train, and our building division folks don’t have much time to sit down and listen. With Egnyte, they just sign into their app and start working. It's intuitive."
A Win-Win Situation with Zero Complaints
Before creating a single source of truth for project file collaboration and storage, employees got frustrated. The VDC department could not collaborate on large files internally or externally. Employees could not find what they needed, and, at times, executive leadership would spend an hour looking for a project folder. In some cases, IT staff were pulled in just to find files.
On-premises versioning was cumbersome and not user intuitive. With Egnyte, they can restore the previous version in a few clicks, which Reed said makes him feel more secure.
Today, the IT team spends less time dealing with on-premises challenges. Auditing was a disaster before Egnyte. Finding out which user dragged a folder or where the user dragged the information was complicated and time-consuming. With Egnyte, Barnhill's IT crew pulls up a quick audit report to diagnose the issue. “The audit report will tell you who's accessing what, and how often,” said Reed. “With Egnyte's security features, we can be more proactive than reactive."
As Barnhill continues its journey toward creating a single source of truth, they are looking to migrate away from on-premises file storage. Reed says, “Egnyte's been super easy to use to the point where we just sign our guys in. They have a shared drive, so it's very simple for them to access what they need when they need it."