“Syncplicity allows people to focus on their work instead of their systems. It dials down their frustration. There’s nothing to slow us down because we have access to everything in the cloud.”
Barb Newman, Performance Group System Director, Mediative
Mediative, a division of the Yellow Pages Group, provides their clients with integrated digital marketing solutions—connecting advertisers, publishers, and retailers with their audiences across the entire buying cycle. Headquartered in Montreal, with other offices in Kelowna, Toronto, and Vancouver, the 150-person company boasts Canada’s eighth largest digital advertising network with 17 million unique visitors per month.
The Mediative Performance Group division provides services ranging from strategic digital marketing consulting to paid advertising and seo solutions. “We focus on leveraging data to target our clients’ audience effectively,” explains Barb Newman, the division’s System Director. “Our performance-based marketing methodology is rooted in research on user behavior and understanding where customers are coming from.”
Operating in a competitive, technology-centric marketplace, Mediative aims to stay ahead of the curve. “We consider ourselves to be leading-edge in the marketing field and we want to show that in our infrastructure,” says Newman, who was tasked with finding a way to get her division’s systems into the cloud. “Our ultimate goal is to have no servers in our server room,” she points out, adding that, “this goal was always primarily business-driven—our clients and their customers come first. While we want to work efficiently with each other, it’s first and foremost for our clients.”
Part of becoming a virtual company and having the systems in place to serve their clients most effectively—is accommodating the many employees who work remotely. “Teams are located across the country, and we believe that even if you’re sitting in a different city, you’re still a full member of a team.” The document server sitting in their server room, however, was increasingly limiting the team’s productivity, even those working in the home office. The division needed a solution that wouldn’t bog anyone down.
“The only way to get to data was via VPN or e-mailing docs back and forth,” Newman says of their old system. “There are so many challenges working this way and it became a real nightmare.” Newman explains that employees used creative workarounds to get their work done: “The VPN was the official way to share, but because the process tended to be clunky and slow, employees would email or even Skype to get around it, unofficially.”
Such haphazard data-sharing methods created challenges beyond version control, as Newman describes: “When you have all of these documents all over the place, you also have backup and recovery issues. If the master document gets deleted, it’s gone!” She continues, “even if the document was on corporate server, it gets backed up every night. But if you’ve worked 8 hours on a document and have to resort back to a previous version, that’s 8 hours of work you’ve lost.”
Newman’s search for an alternative ended with finding Syncplicity, which was selected “Because it was enterprise level solution. It solved more problems than just keeping everyone in sync. Backup and recovery were huge reason why we went with it. It killed two birds with one stone. Plus,” Newman adds, “we needed a solution to work for MSOffice and Google Docs, and Syncplicity does that.”
The ability to administer the solution centrally was important as well. “Being able to add people to the corporate account, remove people centrally, give people access to files centrally, and to see who has access to what centrally,” Newman says, “puts us in control of our important business assets.”
Deployed in July 2011, “Syncplicity has been great for our organization because it allows people to focus on their work instead of their systems. It dials down their frustration. There’s nothing to slow us down because we have access to everything in the cloud.”
In fact, Newman’s team experienced Syncplicity’s value during their first week using the solution. “Our VPN corrupted a file my colleague was working on,” Newman recounts. “They would have lost eight hours of work, but they were using Syncplicity.” With a full day’s worth of work recovered, this was not taken lightly by anyone on the team. “Syncplicity saved the day!”
Newman notes, “With Syncplicity, each time you save a document, you’ve got the most recent version and can recover it yourself. You don’t have to wait for an IT guy to go recover it from last night’s backup.” Also speaking to the time saved, Newman adds, “you’re not connecting to VPN, not running around finding out who has master copy, not worrying or spending time figuring out ‘are you updating most recent copy.’”
“We save at least an hour each week—and that would be a bare minimum—for forty people, multiplied by the number of weeks, that’s over two thousand hours a year.”
An added benefit enjoyed by the Performance Group division is their ability to use Syncplicity to share large files with their clients. “Typically, we would attach a file in e-mail or upload it to a client’s basecamp site,” Newman says of their previous procedure. “But when they don’t have a way to do this or have file size limitations, we can generate a sharable link in Syncplicity giving them access to the file.” This solution ensures they can share the files they need to share, when they need to share them—without delay or inconvenience to their clients.
Newman describes Syncplicity’s service and support as “second to none! They’ve been great.” She has found that Syncplicity offers a level of support one can’t expect from other companies. “Nine times out of ten, when you’re dealing with companies like this, you have correspondence over e-mail. With Syncplicity, all we need to do is ask for phone call or remote desk top session.”
Syncplicity is working so well that “Even to discuss going back to another method would cause people to throw up their hands. The amount of time it saves in workflow collaboration is incredible.” For employees and clients alike, Syncplicity has taken collaboration to the next level.