Maître CarréEliminating local servers thanks to Cloud solutions Eliminating local servers thanks to Cloud solutions
Maître Carré designs and develops contemporary and intelligent buildings in the greater Montreal region (Canada). Recently, their objective was to no longer have to manage a local server for storage and to increase flexibility in order to make collaborative work between employees, consultants and contractors easier. Read on to discover how Google solutions helped Maître Carré overcome this challenge while maintaining security.
About Maître Carré
Since 2009, Maître Carré has designed and developed contemporary and intelligent buildings in the greater Montreal region (Canada). More than places to live, the company offers truly urban living spaces perfectly integrated into their environment. Their signature look is both innovative and harmonious, with a creative and exacting design. Maître Carré’s interventions fall into the following activity sectors: development and construction of residential, commercial and retail buildings; townhouse development; site location; financing; marketing/construction consultation; and building acquisitions.
Wishing to contribute positively to the City of Montreal, Maître Carré aims to support the local economy, restore and develop its existing heritage, celebrate diverse art forms and culture, and promote good relationships within its neighbourhoods. In addition, the buildings proposed by Maître Carré are designed to minimize their environmental footprint throughout their life cycle.
Doing away with server management and local backups while gaining in mobility and flexibility
Maître Carré’s objective was to no longer need to rely on a server on its premises. The servers were located in a room adjacent to its offices and they were becoming less and less reliable every year. They were looking to find a short-term way to no longer rely on backups made to the local server. Along the same lines, they wanted to reduce the amount of time spent by their employees on managing servers and saving data.
It was also necessary to consider Maître Carré’s work reality in order to better understand their specifications. In effect, its team works with a large number of consultants and contractors. This made the sharing of files a sensitive issue, in addition to complicating security management. The solutions had to meet this need by simplifying operations. In addition, its employees often needed to work on a tablet or laptop, whether at the customer’s site or when working from home. The solutions needed to meet these needs for mobility while maintaining security and simplifying the management of different work documents (specifically to avoid multiplication of copies).
Google Drive: a high performing Cloud storage solution retained by Maître Carré
Considering its context and all of the needs identified, the search for solutions quickly helped identify Google Drive as a logical choice for Maître Carré. The solution perfectly meet their needs in regards to the backup, management and sharing of documents, as well as security, mobility and flexibility.
To take full advantage of the Cloud solutions available to employees through Google solutions, the process was divided into 3 phases. The deployment of Google Drive took place first, then allowing for the integration of Gmail messaging, shared agendas, integrated office automation tools and complementary applications.
1) Creation of the Google account and migration of data onto Google Drive
Creating and setting up the Google for Work account was completed in less than one week, and the initial transfers of files and documents occurred immediately afterwards, problem-free. Then, to preserve a similar work experience, a version of Drive for PC was set up on all of the required workstations. This allowed employees who wished to continue working at their workstations as before by automatically synchronizing their documents between Google Drive and their computers. In less than 3 months, the changes were fully implemented within the company. By gradually discovering the tools and using them daily in their work, the employees were able to efficiently adapt to the new way of working.
2) Establishment of the Gmail messaging system and shared agendas
Having met their pressing needs by setting up Google Drive, Maître Carré was then able to extend its use to other solutions presented by the Google Apps for Work suite. As Google Drive is part of this complete set of applications, they were able to take advantage of all of its functionalities without having to make any additional investments. The existing messaging system was replaced by Gmail and paired with their address book. The shared agendas were also integrated into their work organization.
3) Appropriation of the new tools to encourage collaboration and simplify work
Following the integration of Gmail messaging and shared agendas, the employees were able to discover the advantages of using the Google Apps for Work suite for collaborative documents. While using the apps was possible but not mandatory, the conversion of text documents and spreadsheets in the Google Docs format provided advantages in that they could begin work on a document simultaneously and manage revisions and comments more efficiently for each document. An adaptation period allowed them to measure its potential and open up new perspectives.
Lastly, the Maître Carré team was able to explore the many complementary applications in the Google Apps Marketplace, and to use Google Apps for Work functionalities as they saw fit. For example, the team was interested in using GQueues to better organize work and make project management easier. This extension perfectly met its needs and integrated well with Google Apps by synchronizing with Google Agendas.
Fast results within the company
Based on their initial objectives, Maître Carré can now measure the efficiency of the solutions retained. Implementing Google Apps for Work provided quick and measurable improvements in the company’s operations and its employees’ work. This is clearly reflected in the following changes:
- Substantial simplification of document management.
- Gains in mobility and flexibility Documents are stored in the Cloud on Google Drive and are accessible from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. Employees can now work easier and more securely regardless of the context.
- Centralized management facilitated by security and authorization rules. Large savings were made in regards to the time spent sharing documents internally between team members, as well as sharing externally with collaborators, contractual employees and customers. Now, no time is lost modifying the network connection settings, which are no longer required with these tools.
- Making company management easier Project organization and supervision were significantly simplified. Efficiency and productivity also increased considerably.
- Less time spent installing updates (software, security, etc.). Google solutions are constantly evolving, and completely benefit from the changes and improvements released online, without causing occasional interruptions due to Google’s activities or modifications made on their end.
- Less money spent on IT equipment and maintenance, and no more problems related to local server management and backups.
- Improved collaborative work with the Google Docs solutions, specifically in regards to spreadsheets (Google Sheets). Employees are able to collaborate directly on the same document regardless of their location or device, as each person can see what the other person is doing in real time and can interact directly.
Solid foundations in the company’s image
Given the speed with which the selected interventions were implemented, the gains in productivity and the optimization of practices regarding work documents, this project proved to be an excellent return on investment for Maître Carré. Taking full advantage of the tools implemented, handling documents is now easier and more efficient for the company. Maître Carré also improved their mobility, eliminated the need for backups and local servers and simplified their project management. By choosing to deploy Google Apps for Work solutions for its company, Maître Carré took the liberty of applying one of the basic tenets of its IT strategy: “Quality is the key to success.”
“Simplifying access to data
and information is
a considerable advantage
for our company.“
Hugo Girard Beauchamp, President at Maître Carré