Success Stories: Real-time document backup and continuous availability.

Hudson Gates Landing on the Same Page

“Syncplicity is the best option for our business. It’s a very simple, reliable system for backing up all of our files, and keeping them synced across multiple devices. Plus, it’s a great way to share files with colleagues without resorting to email.” 

Paul Hobbs, Chief Technology Officer, Hudson Gates Pty Ltd

Hudson Gates, headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, provides strategic human capital management consulting services as well as hosting and application management to clients in the financial services, energy, and natural resources industries. By taking a deep dive into their clients’ ecosystem and using up-to-the-minute business analysis tools, they’re able to provide a level of service unmatched by many larger firms. This service-oriented approach keeps Hudson Gates’ two directors, four employees, and collection of contractors in frequent communication. Since they work from home or from a customer’s site, it’s critical they have shared access to the documents they need to remain productive.

“Before Syncplicity,” explains Paul Hobbs, Hudson Gates’ co-director and Chief Technology Officer, “we each had our own, independent method of managing files—and sharing files was a bit of a pain.” They would share files on hard disk, e-mail them to one another or use a less-sophisticated online file sharing solution. “We’d be working on different versions of documents, sending them back and forth 4 or 5 times—sometimes until we’d get to version twelve!” Hobbs recalls. “We really needed to work from one shared document.”

As with file management, each team member’s backup system was different. This put their assets at risk in the event of failure or theft. “I didn’t want to be in a position where I forgot to plug in my external hard drive and feel that sinking feeling you get in your stomach when files are lost or work isn’t backed-up correctly,” recounts Hobbs. “We wanted to standardize on a system that works for everyone, and one that happens in real time.”

It was clear to Hobbs that they needed more synchronized, unified procedures and a dependable document management process—so they could focus on serving their clients and not worry about their documents. “We don’t want to be hassled. I’d rather have something that worked, that I didn’t have to worry about.”

In Search of Simplicity

Tasked with finding a solution to simplify document management, preserve the integrity of their files and allow collaboration and backup, Hobbs began his search. “We were looking for a backup system which didn’t rely on remembering to connect an external device or purchasing software, or anything like that,” he said. “We wanted something that was ‘set and forget.’” Furthermore, he wanted a solution that would integrate with Google Docs and have the potential for online editing, as other alternatives tend to be, as Hobbs describes, “a bit slow and buggy.”

But Hobbs had an even larger goal in mind: ultimately moving all of their operations into the cloud. “We want to ‘cloudify’ our business operations,” Hobbs explains. “We want to get rid of laptops and work on tablets. The less we need to store locally, the better.” Moving to the cloud also makes it simple for Hudson Gates to “support employees’ needs for mobility.”

Syncplicity emerged as the clear winner for Hobbs and his team. “I did a heap of research into a whole range of cloud-based backup solutions, and decided that Syncplicity is the best option for our business. It’s a very simple, reliable system for backing up all of our files, and keeping them synced across multiple devices,” said Hobbs. “Plus, it’s a great way to share files with colleagues without resorting to email.”

Getting on the Same Page

Hobbs found Syncplicity’s deployment easy. “Each team member got their welcome email, they logged in to activate their accounts, installed the client, and away they went,” said Hobbs, adding “they were particularly impressed with the sharing option.”

Working from one version of a document was an important criterion for Hudson Gates, and a result he appreciates. Hobbs calls to mind an example of drafting a proposal for a new product. “Syncplicity allows us to share documents and work on the same copy. If I change a file, it will change for my coworker. Effectively, we’re working with only one version.”

Hobbs and his team are using Syncplicity as their document manager and working on getting more mileage out of its capabilities. He describes developing a naming structure they can all use to make labeling—and locating—shared files easier and more streamlined: “What we’re looking to do is work out a document structure and taxonomy that we can use among all of us.” Hobbs continues, “Syncplicity is becoming a truly centralized document management system enabling all of us to work on the same documents.”

File backup—and the security it provides—has been a significant improvement for Hudson Gates since implementing Syncplicity. “It’s easier with Syncplicity,” Hobbs contends, “especially if you have a lot of files.” The automatic process is also liberating, as “it has removed the need to remember to backup. There’s an icon telling me everything is synchronized and I didn’t have to do anything. It’s more of a peace of mind—it’s what’s important to us.”

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