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How S&ME Secured Their Data While Bringing Real-time Collaboration to 30+ Locations

“With Egnyte we know our data is secure and accessible. Productivity is up across our teams, and I get the peace of mind knowing our data is protected.”

– Michael Farrar, Technology Director, S&ME

90TB
of Data Transitioned 
Over a Weekend
1000+
Employees with 
Enhanced Collaboration
30+
Jobsites 
Connected

Challenges

S&ME was facing two concurrent problems. The first was that they recently moved to a decentralized model from a traditional branch model. While that shift was extremely beneficial in helping them expand and work cross-functionally, the business model was being hampered by their traditional server-centric approach. These new teams meant that engineers in Orlando needed to collaborate on drawings with teams in Nashville, but slow WAN connections from remote servers were hurting productivity and frustrating employees. As a work around, employees were copying data from one server to another which caused duplication and version control issues…they couldn’t figure out where data should be when it came to projects.

The second issue was data security. When the new Chairman of the Board took over one of his first questions was “what they were doing about data security”.

S&ME needed a solution that could solve for both.

“Our remote teams had to download files and were forced to use slow VPN connections…it was just killing productivity. And then COVID hit, and it got worse.”
Michael Farrar
Technology Director, S&ME

Solution

S&ME initially started with a pilot of Egnyte within one of their business units…and they loved it. Subsequently, another business unit, who was working remotely, found that in order to get their job done they were forced to copy their files to their local server, which resulted in version control issues. So, they joined the pilot as well. When COVID started and everyone was forced to move to a remote workforce, they quickly found that the teams that were already using Egnyte had a smooth transition, but those who weren’t on Egnyte were dealing with VPN issues and slow download speeds that significantly impacted their work.

The decision was made to move the company to Egnyte. The challenge was migrating 600-700 employees across 30+ locations and 90 TB of data to the new solution with as little business disruption as possible. After a few weeks of preparation, and working hand in hand with Egnyte’s Professional Services team, they started cutting over the 90 TB of data at 6pm on a Friday night and were done by Monday morning. The tricky part was installing the Egnyte Desktop App across all the remote employees so they could replicate their old folder structure, increasing user acceptance and reducing the impact on the business. After a little over a week, they were fully up running. Now, employees could collaborate in real-time, even on large files, and had a file organizational structure that made it easy to find the data they needed.

And they didn’t stop there. S&ME is one of the first companies to leverage Egnyte’s new Microsoft desktop co-editing functionality. Traditionally, collaboration required individuals to send a document, wait for the result, correct and edit it again, send it back – until both parties were satisfied. With co-editing users can leverage their preferred productivity suite to edit concurrently while the data remains secured and managed by Egnyte.

While the initial focus was on enabling easy and fast access and collaboration on large files, S&ME is now starting to take advantage of Egnyte’s governance functionality. With Egnyte, they can proactively identify sensitive data that is not being protected properly or that can be accessed by individuals without the right permissions. This allows them to take precise action and reduce their risk exposure.

In addition, they are making it easier and faster to find and leverage key project files by creating a templated folder structure. Working with Egnyte’s Professional Services team they are creating a template generator for their project folder structure which allows them to choose the owning organization and then deploy a predetermined folder scheme for that type of job. It not only makes it faster to set up a project, it also makes it easier to find information across projects as the folder structures will be consistent.

Egnyte Provides

  • Easy Large File Collaboration – The freedom to quickly collaborate on large files from anywhere
  • Fast File Searching – Standardized and familiar file structures make it easy to find files across projects
  • Data Security – Machine learning-based risk scoring identifies and prioritized vulnerabilities
“Our employees love how easy it is to use Microsoft co-editing in Egnyte because it helps them collaborate faster and more effectively without changing how they work.”
Michael Farrar
Technology Director, S&ME

Results

Before Egnyte, S&ME was struggling with a remote workforce who couldn’t collaborate on large files in an effective way. With a distributed file structure employees were downloading versions of files to their local domains resulting in data sprawl, multiple versions of files, and no way to collect and access the right information.

The Egnyte solution provides an organized file structure that can be accessed and leverage from any location on any device at LAN speeds. It allows engineering to collaborate on files in real-time so they can expedite their work. The common files structure across projects helps manage data so anyone can find what they are looking for easily. And the new co-editing feature allows employees the flexibility to use their familiar desktop applications while still supporting collaboration.

The enhanced security and governance that Egnyte provides not only helps identify vulnerabilities and secure their data, but it is also helping them meet National Institute of Standards and Technology controls and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations so they can prepare for CMMC Level 3 certification. Achieving CMMC Level 3 requires several key capabilities, including the ability to:

  • Categorize data as Controlled Unclassified Information and to set policies on how to transmit, store and destroy that data properly
  • Store content audit logs in a central location and support automated analysis capabilities
  • Detect cyber incident events
  • Back up the data

Egnyte supports all of these requirements, giving S&ME a jumpstart on their certification.

With Egnyte, S&ME has the data access and collaboration, management, and security they need to smoothly operate across 1,000 employees in more than 30 locations, improving productivity and providing peace of mind that their data is safe.

Overview

S&ME is an engineering, design, environmental sciences, and construction services firm specializing in the industrial, government, facilities, commercial, landfill, energy, and transportation industries with 30+ offices in 10 states.

www.smeinc.com

Location

Raleigh, NC

Industry

Architecture, Engineering and Construction

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