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Woods Bagot: ArchitectureAnd Design Firm
Global architecture and design firm Woods Bagot uses Hightail to help itsworldwide teams work together effectively.
If you’re a business without a headquarters and with keyemployees based in 14 locations around the world, youneed an effective communications system. For globalarchitecture and design firm Woods Bagot, using FTP toshare the large CAD and PDF files that are essential to itsbusiness was stifling that necessary exchange of ideas.The firm’s strategists, designers and project leaders foundFTP made sharing information slow and producedbottlenecks while colleagues waited for files to transfer or for the IT department to create new accounts so clientscould see and approve drafts.Group Chief Information Officer, Nectarios Lazaris alsorealized that FTP was extremely wasteful. “There are justso many people involved in managing an FTP server including operating system and local data backup,” heexplains, “that it ends up costing a lot of money. Plus CPUmemory and disk space are expensive resources.”
After examining numerous sharing services, Nectarioschoose Hightail because of the company’s solid reputationin the software-as-a-service space and its long-termviability. He also liked that Hightail would provide everyoneon the Woods Bagot team with exactly the same service,whether they were in Shanghai or Sydney.“Having the ability to transfer large files quickly from onestudio in Perth so that it’s instantly available to another studio in London is essential to us,” he says. “Hightail alignswith Woods Bagot’s vision and business strategy.”Every day 700 Woods Bagot employees use Hightail toaccess and share graphics, video and other files and worktogether as a team. Nectarios cites a recent example of adesigner in the firm’s New York office who developed high-res 3D renderings of a proposed tower in Tokyo. Saving hiswork on Hightail let the project leader in the Tokyo officeeasily access the files and quickly present them to the clientfor approval.
AN INTEGRATED PLAN
According to Nectarios “we share anything and everything.Large PDFs of drawings, documents, a lot of visualizationanimation work—it’s big stuff. The amount of data that wetransfer around the world is significantly larger thancompanies 20 times our size.”
Case Study:Woods Bagot
What they do:
Full-servicearchitecture and design firm
No. of employees:
Removing those files from the firm’s own servers was a keydecision and Nectarios was impressed with how quickly hewas able to deploy Hightail company-wide thanks to itsseamless Active Directory integration. One person was ableto get 700 employees across 14 offices worldwide startedon Hightail in just two days.“With Active Directory integration, when a new employeestarts they immediately get a Hightail account,” hecontinues, “It’s actually easier than creating an emailaccount. Overall when you compare the cost of running anFTP server on-premise, Hightail is an absolute no-brainer,both technically and financially.”
THE OFF-SITE SOLUTION
The global nature of Woods Bagot’s business means manyof its employees, especially at the executive level, spend alot of time travelling, whether to the firm’s other offices, or for site visits and meetings with clients. Execs also speak atthought leadership events like the World ArchitectureFestival or to Architectural Design students at StanfordUniversity.Using Hightail mobile apps gives them easy access to thenecessary presentation materials and ensures that they canshowcase the firm’s latest work on their phones and tablets,whether they are iOS, Android or Windows 8 users.For Nectarios it was important that this mobile use alignedwith the firm’s mobility policies. That Hightail’s EnterpriseManagement Services and security policies help protectWoods Bagot’s intellectual property when team membersshare information is crucial. “Being able to save adocument on your PC that automatically syncs to your iPadis great,” he says, “but knowing it’s done securely is evenbetter.”
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