Go Back

ESA Heightens Customer Focus with Data Management Efficiencies

“It was an easy decision to work with Egnyte. I had prior experience with the product and was confident with the product’s capabilities.”
Spencer Mains
Director of ESAtech

Challenges: Going from Analog to Digital

In business for over 50 years, ESA environmental consulting has 21 offices across California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southeastern United States. ESA clients range from government agencies to non-profit organizations to private industry. ESA scientists, planners, historians, archaeologists, engineers, designers, and technical specialists provide critical thinking, in-depth analyses, and committed follow-through to guide successful policy development and project planning and deliver enduring multi-objective solutions. ESA is 100% employee owned.

The trigger to work with Egnyte began with a casual conversation about “what if” something goes wrong. Headquartered in San Francisco, where there are a lot of earthquakes, ESA needed a way to retrieve content and stay on task. Business continuity needed to be thoroughly addressed.

Before cloud adoption, ESA’s field staff couldn’t quickly transfer data or files. Engineers gathered field data and then traveled back to the office to send information. There was no way to transmit this information digitally from the field. Teams wasted a significant amount of time. In addition, there was the challenge of having 100+ people working on Computer Aid Design (CAD) files. This environment raised a range of concerns related to the capture of data, delivery of information, provision of service to the end-user, security, and continuity. ESA needed a single source of truth to deliver uninterrupted, secure data to the end-user.

“Most of our people are not in cubicles; they are onsite in the field. The challenge was getting this data into a single place and reducing the stress of the transference of data. I had to find digital alignments to serve our day-to-day needs,”

With information coming from locations throughout the United States, document control became a challenge. To make matters worse, ESA also utilized a data center that required a lot of maintenance. Large amounts of field data enter BIM-based environmental impact assessment models. The challenge is moving these large amounts of data from the field into the office where the modeling work happens and where teams, often operating from different sites, can collaborate on the data effectively.

“It was an easy decision to work with Egnyte.” He cautioned, “It is equally important to ensure products align with a company’s culture... In the case of ESA and for professional services as a sector, Egnyte is a no-brainer.”

Solution: One Source of Truth

As an organization, ESA looks at technology strategically by evaluating whether a tool can make a difference with client satisfaction. It is also important for ESA to partner with software providers.

“The exchange is a journey,” said Spencer Mains, Director of ESAtech, ESA. “Once you go into implementation, ongoing innovation is important. A strong belief and high empathy for the worker and what they endure every day is vital to the success of the digital workplace.”

For Mains, it was a no-brainer to roll out Egnyte as ESA’s single source of truth. Egnyte reduces work stress by providing one location for production and storage. When off-site personnel work on mobile devices and remote desktops, the information ends in the same production environment. Engineering firms can retain their content, comply with contractual obligations, and comply with warranties. With Egnyte, ESA can archive such content and quickly retrieve it when needed.

Egnyte does not stand in the way of business. Collaboration is swift and secure, which helps to ensure success. Mains provides an example: “A colleague contacted me letting me know he had a huge problem. He said, ‘I have to get an ERP done by the end of the week and I don’t know how I’m going to accomplish that.’” Mains offered up the solution. They set up shared space on Egnyte where all 15 people on the team, 5 of them from the client side, could co-edit in real-time the environmental impact review. What normally took weeks was down to a few days. For the ESA team, this event was a paradigm shift.

Security and governance was a deciding factor for partnering with Egnyte. ESA works with clients that require security assurances and service continuity. Today, ESA is able to assure team engagement and project information is secure and business will proceed uninterrupted.

With Egnyte for AEC, ESA’s clients can:

  • Access field data and technical documents.
  • Collaborate on the production of technical documents easily and efficiently.
  • Be assured valuable and sensitive information is secure.
  • Be assured services can proceed uninterrupted.
“It was an easy decision to work with Egnyte.” He cautioned, “It is equally important to ensure products align with a company’s culture... In the case of ESA and for professional services as a sector, Egnyte is a no-brainer.”

Results: A Heightened Focus on the Customer

ESA is a professional services consultancy with a focus on environmental science, engineering, and architecture. Driven by utilization rates, the less time they spend on administration work, the more time they can deliver for the client. The less time they spend on administrative work, the more time they can spend on delivering for the client. “Eight minutes a day saved from doing administration may not sound like much”, says Mains, “but if you have 400 people that is a lot of time. And when they use that time on for more intellectual tasks delivering greater value back to the customer, you start to see real results.”

For Mains, it was a no-brainer to roll out Egnyte as ESA’s source of truth. Egnyte reduces work stress by providing a single location for production and storage. Regardless of whether people are working offsite or on remote desktops, the information ends up in the same location. ESA can also obtain archived content within the storage environment within minutes.

Making the change to Egnyte was handled in a deliberate manner. The first step was to migrate content. During the journey, Mains contemplated introducing all the bells and whistles the platform offers. Instinctively, he knew that approach could overwhelm the organization and jeopardize progress. Mains stayed the course with a more pragmatic approach.

This cadence is proving out. Main explains that at some point ESA will reach the advanced user phase. He says, “A lot of people do not realize Egnyte’s capabilities, but it is important to introduce features incrementally.” Today, the ESA IT department’s role has evolved from providing Egnyte tech support to providing education. ESA is teaching people about the appropriate use of Egnyte and how to leverage the software in their daily work practices.

And that push to get employees to buy in is paying off. Mains said he was recently out for a walk when he heard a voice call his name. It was a coworker wanting to buy him a beer. “Hesitantly I agreed, thinking, ‘Where is this going?,’” he said, jokingly. The colleague proceeded to tell him about working from home and using Egnyte, singing the product’s praises. His colleague said it was ,“...fast, snappy, and completely delightful.” “Nine times out of ten, you get comments that things are not working well,” Mains said. “When you get that kind of feedback, you know you are doing the right thing.”

“Helping an organization get beyond being stuck in the past is gratifying. It helps team morale, and they are more committed to the mission,”
Overview

ESA is a 100% employee-owned environmental consulting firm. They plan, design, permit, mitigate, and restore—for projects across our communities, infrastructure systems, open spaces, and wildlands. ESA is 50 years strong in 21 offices across California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southeastern United States.

www.esassoc.com

Locations

San Francisco, California

Industry

Engineering and Environmental Consulting

Download Full Case Study

More Case Studies

Yamaha Modernizes Its File Systems to Prevent Data Loss

Balfour Beatty saves $5M by simplifying project collaboration

PCL Construction reduces IT costs despite doubling data