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Savills Ireland Streamlines Operations with a Centralized Source of Project Files

ALEC’s First Project in Egnyte:

  • 250,000-square-meter built up area
  • 500+ stakeholders across multiple departments
  • 28 terabytes of project data
Toby Wells Molesworth
"The company had ambitions to support a more flexible and secure hybrid working model... If you look at the man hours saved the first two weeks of the pandemic, Egnyte paid for itself right there and then."
Toby Wells
CIO • Savills Ireland

Savills Ireland is a full-service real estate advisory firm with offices in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. With Egnyte in their arsenal, Savills Ireland can now streamline communication and improve collaboration between their dispersed teams. Publicly available data, enhanced with internal business intelligence, is immediately available to distributed users in the cloud, at any time, and from anywhere.

Challenge: Outdated Infrastructure Slows a Distributed Workforce

Savills Ireland sought to provide their 400 hybrid-work employees more immediate access to content at anytime. When CIO Toby Wells arrived in 2016, he found an outdated technology infrastructure with file storage limits and no archiving capabilities for deleted files. Savills needed a way to manage their data and make it available to employees where and when they needed it.

“I found a very traditional infrastructure – desktops everywhere, on-premises email, and Windows file servers across the sites,” said Wells. “The company had ambitions to support a more flexible and secure hybrid working model.”

Anchored to traditional on-premises technology, Savills couldn’t support the needs of a growing and modern workforce. Their Windows 2008 file server had a 4 terabyte file limit, which meant that once a week they would need to delete old files to make room for the new files. And, because they lacked archiving, after 30 days, backups became complex and difficult to retain.

Sharing files across a remote workforce was an even bigger challenge. Smaller files were zipped and emailed, but any files that were too large to email had to be uploaded to a USB drive and delivered by motorbike. Oftentimes, people would lose files in their email or would work from multiple versions of files, resulting in significant rework.

Without the ability to easily access files remotely, employees would resort to storing files on laptops with the inevitable version control issues.

“Every Monday morning I would go to the office and print off whatever material I needed for that week’s site visits,” said Savills Ireland's Director Andrew Sherry. “And if my schedule changed or I forgot something, it was back to the office to print out what I needed.”

Savills Ireland

Solution: Simple and Secure Access to Content Anytime, Anywhere

Savills chose Egnyte to ensure their employees have access to all the necessary information, regardless of location or device. Improved workflows made tedious tasks a thing of the past and helped to eliminate any confusion about next steps and where documents are stored. Quality assurance processes are now streamlined by having one central version for each document in its dedicated folder - eliminating email attachments flying around with outdated versions.

With previous advertising agency experience, Wells understood the importance of efficiently handling large files. To ensure Savills was able to operate at peak performance and reduce latency, he deployed Egnyte as a cloud-first, but not a cloud-only, solution.

“Cloud-first only works to a point,” said Wells. “Work still needs to get done if people are out on a remote site or on an airplane and don’t have connectivity.” With Egnyte, teams stay connected and up-to-date no matter where they go. When teams go on-site they either upload the documents they need to Egnyte or sync the files to their Egnyte desktop app so they can access them offline. They have the same experience as in the office - making changes, annotating documents, and taking notes are all possible offline with any updates automatically syncing once back online - while global file locking ensures version control measures remain strong and rework is eliminated.

Streamlined workflows, supported by Egnyte’s unique co-editing and collaboration features, are helping field employees do their jobs more efficiently. Employees on the jobsite used to waste time traveling back to the office to perform follow-up scanning and emailing tasks. Now they use iPads to mark up drawings in real-time and automatically save them to the respective job folder, making them immediately available to their colleagues.

“It’s really improved our quality assurance processes. I'll download the documents through Egnyte, make my edits, and then upload it back to Egnyte in the same folder,” said Savills Ireland's Head of Building & Project Consultancy Allen Devine. “It’s no longer the case where we have emails flying around with five different versions of documents. It’s one document stored in one folder.”

Benefits: Reducing Workload Without Jeopardising Quality Of Work

Egnyte’s solution has streamlined operational efficiency at Savills, reducing time spent on tasks and improving the client experience.

“A few weeks ago we had a meeting with one of our clients who was opening a new pub. There were 10 of us in the room and we realised that no one had the material the client had sent with them,” said Sherry. “I was able to very quickly pull it up on the screen and show the documents using the Egnyte app on my iPad. That saved everyone in the room countless hours of going back and forth. I'm a big advocate of how much more efficient Egnyte has made us.”

An additional benefit with Egnyte has been a much quicker job turnaround. Instead of driving back to the office to start the billing process, employees streamline the effort by directly uploading their notes to Egnyte - resulting in shortened billing cycles and quicker revenue realization.

“Instead of waiting for people in the office and going back and forth with edits for a couple of weeks, we can do it in real time,” said Devine. “Now we’re billing a job at the end of the first or second week instead of the end of the month. Our timeline from on-site, to finishing the report, to billing, is considerably shorter."

IT operations have also seen major improvements since the move to Egnyte. “Because it is so easy to use, help desk calls for file sharing and file recovery have been eliminated,” said Wells. “And we don’t need to waste time maintaining a physical server. It frees our resources up to work on more important projects.”

The true test of Egnyte was when the pandemic hit. Savills Ireland quickly distributed laptops with Egnyte loaded on them and sent the teams home to work. “I told them the “e” drive was now the “z” drive and all they had to do was click on that green thing (Egnyte) and they could get to all of their files,” said Wells. “If you look at the man hours saved the first two weeks of the pandemic, Egnyte paid for itself right there and then.”

Recently, Savills Ireland reviewed their data security against internal and external threats such as ransomware, and have implemented Egnyte’s snapshot recovery, which provides at least 90 days’ worth of immutable backups. “We’ve been delighted with the ease of deployment and use of this solution. It adds another critical layer to our systems and defense strategy. We’re looking forward to Egnyte’s next developments in PDF file handling and eSignature capabilities.”

Egnyte has not only modernised how Savills Ireland does business; it has also completely changed the perception of IT. “We have changed IT from being a reactive support function to being a proactive organisation,” said Wells. “We deliver solutions and technology that create efficiencies and improve our security posture. Egnyte is a huge part of that.”

At a Glance

Real Estate


Dublin, Ireland

Number of Employees


Egnyte Products

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