The ability to access data when and where it’s needed is a game-changer for organizations. Gone are the days where departments had to truck files to centralized locations for storage. With cloud and mobile technology becoming more coveted, deploying a secure and efficient enterprise file sync and share solution is crucial.
Although studies show that the construction industries are lax in their adoption of cloud computing, the overarching importance of cloud technology is undeniable.
This article focuses on how Triofox can be used as an ad hoc file-sharing solution for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) companies.
Problem Definition: Electrical Company Case Study
Outlined below is an overview of the operational workflow of a medium-sized electrical construction company:
- Company A is an Electrical construction company with two branches in the US and almost 300 employees in total.
- They have an on-premise file server with about 4TB of data, which is replicated in the two offices using VMware.
- They also have a considerable number of field engineers and workers as they do solar and electrical installations for Oil and Gas corporations.
- Field/Remote workers previously relied on VPN to connect back to the on-premise file server to access files and Dropbox to share files easily.
The following section highlights the performance issues they encountered with the initial connectivity and file sharing solution and how Triofox addresses them.
Pain Points and Triofox Solution To Them
Research has found that construction companies have difficulty with communication and coordination, which can cause delays, higher costs, and poor ROI. Our case study also reflects how changes in the work environment due to innovative circumvention influenced by the COVID-19 global lockdown heightens the difficulties.
The pain points include:
- Employee frustration caused by VPN Performance issues.
Most of the employees worked from the offices in the past, so accessing on-premise file servers was not an issue. However, with the rise in remote working, hundreds of concurrent VPN tunnel connections on a firewall slows down the network, leading to multiple dropped connections and disgruntled employees who constantly have to reconnect with the system.
- Lack of granular control of permissions
Most consumer cloud storage platforms make it difficult for IT administrators to follow important security procedures. For instance, even though they use Office 365, they can’t utilize OneDrive/Sharepoint because, in OneDrive, you can’t set different sharing permissions for subfolders as OneDrive folder sync breaks the permission. For their contractors who work with many project folders, permissions are challenging to manage because permissions can’t be set up for each subfolder of a project folder.
Also, IT administrators can’t control which files users are syncing and who has access to shared files when using Dropbox.
- Incompatibility with estimation/database application
They use AccuBid Enterprise, a vital estimating software for their business, as it helps contractors create estimates quickly and accurately. However, this software does not integrate well with Dropbox file sync.
An ideal solution for them would be one which:
- Allows their employees to access the company’s file server both from remote locations and within the company’s network.
- Offers a secure file sharing alternative to collaborate internally with their contractors and externally with their business partners.
This breakdown makes Triofox an ideal solution.
Triofox file server access solution extends the functionality of local file servers, enabling cloud collaborative features while maintaining crucial attributes of on-premise servers such as data control and security.
It addresses all their pain points and delivers efficiently as a remote file-server access alternative to VPN and a secure file-sharing alternative to Dropbox/OneDrive. Here’s how.
- Eliminates VPN issues with its mapped drive approach
A mapped drive serves as both a physical and logical representation of a network that employees easily understand. With this, remote working employees can easily and securely access corporate files from anywhere. Hence, employees can quickly and efficiently accomplish common tasks when using file services in their daily tasks.
- Provides a granular level of control over folder structures
It’s important to have a centralized data repository. Doing so allows for easy data management and allows people in different departments to share information quickly.
Unlike other cloud solutions that allow no IT control or visibility, Triofox provides centralized access for IT managers.
- Allows For Seamless Collaboration
Collaboration tools play an essential role in facilitating efficient communication as virtual collaboration can be more complicated for contractors and engineering teams that work with real-time data. Field contractors have to report to decision-makers who aren’t directly exposed to on-field intelligence. It’s important to make sure the right information gets to the right person at the right time, as timely communication aids decision-making. This ensures that projects are managed properly and issues are resolved before they become problems during on-site execution.
With Triofox, large media files can be shared as secure web links without copying them to a different service to obtain the shareable link, preventing bandwidth drain, data leaks, and redundancy. Files can also be shared with multiple people without re-uploading and sharing updated links (because they use Office 365, files and folders can be shared as links instead of attachments via Outlook).
- Enable Offline Access
For on-field access with limited to no internet connection, the contractors can enable offline access to files they need and set up automatic synchronization of changes when internet connectivity is restored.
- Seamless Integration
It integrates with the existing Active Directory and retains NTFS permissions on files and folders. This way, existing users still have access to network shares. Through its client agents, users can access and share files via web browsers and mobile devices.
Users don’t have to worry about ad hoc software integration problems.
- Efficient Collaboration
Access to up-to-date project data enables construction workers to participate more effectively and the project team to be better organized. Files are automatically locked when in use to prevent overwriting. This makes it possible to collaborate on a project without worrying that other team members will undo or overwrite each other’s changes. Also, Triofox’s version control and file tracking feature ensures that each update is saved and traceable.
Conclusion Enterprises can be assured that sensitive data never leaves the file server while granting employees the flexibility to work from remote locations with or without an internet connection and on any device.