Panzura and Workspot Help Drive Mead & Hunt’s Rapid Growth, Simplify IT Infrastructure
Meet Mead & Hunt – a multi-disciplined engineering and architectural firm operating for more than a century.
The firm utilizes design applications such as Autodesk Civil 3D and Revit among others on a regular basis. It has been experiencing rapid expansion into new locations, including a new headquarters facility. This created challenges for their growing, distributed workforce; each location became a small island, creating issues when project team members in different locations needed to collaborate, and share data. Mead & Hunt CIO, Andy Knauf realized that he needed a solution that would enable real time collaboration and greater productivity, while also simplifying the overall IT structure and reducing associated costs.
Challenge: Support Business Growth While
Controlling Infrastructure Costs
The company expanded its business footprint and showed a pattern of steady growth, adding new offices at a fast pace. This ongoing expansion required new equipment (servers, racks, networking, etc.) to be acquired, installed, configured, and tested at each new office.
Not only did this result in significant equipment costs, but it was disruptive and expensive for the IT department to send personnel to each remote location to install and manage the IT infrastructure. The firm was committed to finding an IT solution that would allow them to fulfill its growth objectives, provide them with the opportunity to bid on projects in any location, and hire architects, engineers, and project managers from beyond the typical 50-mile radius.
Mead & Hunt also wanted to provide its employees the flexibility to work from anywhere, yet collaborate effectively in a common data environment.
Solution: Simplification With Panzura and
Previously, when a new location was established, a rack of new hardware had to be delivered to the remote location. This hardware typically would consist of a few Windows servers and a SAN solution along with the requisite networking. All this then had to be configured to work together to support the local user community, and to provide backup and replication of data back to company headquarters (HQ). This required an IT person from HQ to be onsite for several days to complete the installation, and then continue to tune and adjust the setup for a few weeks after that.
With Panzura and Workspot, the process has been completely transformed. The Panzura configuration process is much simpler and can be accomplished in just a couple of days versus the week-plus required previously. Additionally, Panzura resolves the file locking problem that occurs with multiple remote users working on the same project at the same time.
Workspot provides CAD engineers and designers with access to cloud workstations, all delivered from Azure. These power users now access their cloud workstations from any location, and their device cost is much lower than before. The solution can be deployed in days and easily scaled across cloud regions to accommodate business demand. Expensive servers are no longer needed, and physical workstation refreshes are history. Having experienced recent hurricanes and close encounters with wildfires, Mead & Hunt is now also better prepared for a business continuity event by having additional Workspot cloud workstations in alternate Azure regions, ready to be activated in the unlikely event of an outage.
With Panzura and Workspot, IT is simplified and resources can be reallocated to high-value projects. With the centralization of project data into the Azure cloud, Mead & Hunt has seen significant reductions in storage costs because hardware previously required for both backups and disaster-recovery is no longer necessary. Less equipment in each remote office also lowers energy consumption and the associated costs.
With Workspot, new revenue opportunities can be pursued anywhere in the world without having a physical office. Users often experience performance that is better than physical workstations, and they are able to collaborate with distributed project teams in real-time, producing overall greater productivity.
Panzura Freedom Filer with Global Read/Write protection ensures that multiple users can reliably work on files within the same project without fear of stepping on each other. Copying files is no longer necessary, so everyone knows that they’re always working on the most recently updated files. For existing offices or new ones, data access and security, controllable costs, and ease of use are now standard expectations.
By taking advantage of modern, built-for-the-cloud era solutions from Panzura and Workspot, Mead & Hunt has been able to accelerate the company’s expansion in a secure and cost-efficient manner.
Autodesk Civil 3D and Revit
Rapid expansion was incurring significant cost in both equipment and the IT expertise required to deploy it in each new location.
Created centralized cloud storage, remote data sharing and improved user “file open” experience, reduced IT costs and simplified time and efforts involved in opening new offices. The addition of Workspot’s VDI solution delivers the last mile of high speed performance to remote workers.