Barton Willmore: Consolidating Data While Boosting Productivity with Panzura

Barton Willmore

When the UK’s leading independent planning and design consultancy began to exhaust their on-premise storage and could no longer work collaboratively across their 13 offices, they knew they needed a solution that would allow them to leverage cloud technology. 

The Challenge

With a workforce of 350 employees distributed across multiple locations, and individual servers in every office, Barton Willmore was struggling with data islands. At any given point, it wasn’t clear which server held the most recent version of a file, and sharing resource-intensive architectural design files across offices was consuming a painful amount of bandwidth. Not only was their file system preventing their team from working effectively together but managing and organising their data was becoming increasingly costly.

The Requirements

Barton Willmore needed a solution that would enable them to use cloud storage while allowing architects located throughout the UK to work collaboratively on files of a challenging size, without causing data sprawl created by versioning. Their end product is presented as a data file, so accessibility, security and protection were imperative.

The Solution

After selecting Microsoft Azure as their cloud storage provider and conducting a proof of concept with both Panzura and another global cloud file system provider, Barton Willmore realised Panzura’s realtime access to data would give them an enormous productivity boost.

Choosing Panzura’s Freedom Collaboration not only allows them to have their best people work together – whether they’re in Edinburgh, Cardiff, London or Southampton – but it also lets them divert resources to where they’re needed at a moment’s notice. When a team in one location needs additional resource or a specialist designer, people in other offices can step in to help.

Panzura’s patented technology means that changes made to a file in any location are synced to the
master copy in the cloud, as well as to every location, every 60 seconds. Additionally, files are locked
down while being edited, so there’s no risk of overwrite - when one designer is working on the file,
nobody else can alter it.

For ultimate efficiency, these 60 second sync cycles transmit only altered portions of every file up to
the cloud and across to every site.

Though the files the Barton Willmore works on are gigabytes in size, this optimised approach not only
allows every location to have an up-to-the-minute view of every file, but it also saves a phenomenal
amount in bandwidth charges.

At every point, Panzura’s solution is protected by military-grade security, keeping data safe in transit
and in storage.

The Management Overlay

With storage and collaboration addressed and enormous gains in productivity realised, Barton Willmore chose Panzura’s to allow them to search, monitor and analyse data and activity across their entire network.

Whether they need to identify unusual employee behaviours before reputational and financial damage can be inflicted on the company or monitor a heat map of what data is hot, warm and cold based on access, allows them to see exactly what’s going on – over an extended period of time – at a very affordable cost.

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