MacDonald-Miller Boosts Mobile Workforce Productivity with Code42 (Video)

Ineffective data security strategies are expensive. Whether it’s an IT team trying to save corrupted files or perform manual data storage tasks, an employee having to redo work because a file was irretrievably deleted, or lost sales due to stolen IP, the cost in time, productivity and revenue can add up fast.

Recent research by the Ponemon Institute found that the global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, and the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive information is $148. However, much of that lost productivity can be mitigated with a comprehensive data security strategy that includes effective backup, restore, user self-service and legal hold tools.

Case in point: MacDonald-Miller, a full-service, design-build mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest, has developed and implemented a multi-faceted data security strategy that uses Code42 to save time and safeguard valuable company IP. With more than 1,000 employees — many of them mobile workers moving around to different job sites — and 10 locations, it’s critical for MacDonald-Miller’s IT team to have the right tools in place to keep its diverse workforce at maximum productivity. They turned to Code42 to help.

Mitigating employee downtime

With a highly mobile workforce of contractors, foremen, electricians, plumbers and other workers at different job sites, maintaining productivity is critical. If blueprints or plans are lost throughout the day, that can result in expensive idle time.

“All of a sudden, they can’t work,” says Eddie Anderson, help desk support agent for MacDonald-Miller facility solutions. “That’s an expensive workforce to have on hand.”

Previously, restoring lost files was a highly manual, labor intensive process with a low success rate. Workers had to drive to the company’s central location in Seattle to have the IT team work on the problem.

“We’d have to dig through recycle bins, looking for previous versions,” says Chad Tracy, network administrator for MacDonald-Miller facility solutions. “If it really came down to it, we’d have to scan the hard drive to search for missing sectors of files.”

Now, with Code42 Backup + Restore, MacDonald-Miller is saving time on lost file incidents like this, freeing up IT to take on more strategic work.

“We’re saving an hour if not more per restore,” says Tracy. “We’re utilizing that time to really revamp a lot of our knowledge base articles, help users understand self-service, get into that culture mindset and give us creative freedom. We can now jump into things like augmented and virtual reality, which is helping us as a very powerful sales tool.”

Leveraging employee self-service

Because user sophistication varies across MacDonald-Miller’s 1,000-plus employee base, developing self-service tools for IT tasks can be a challenge.

“Our engineering team is very tech-savvy. Then we have electricians and plumbers who, quite frankly, would not like to use a computer ever,” says Anderson. “When we look at a solution for self-service, it needs to be able to hit all those different aspects of our company.”

Previously, when users needed to restore a file, the process was very hands-on and manual. They would call the IT service desk and the IT personnel would have to figure out whether they would need to drive in to the central location for hands-on support.

Now, with Code42, users are able to perform their own restores. This boosts workforce productivity for both the employee needing the restore and the IT department. One sales team member accidentally deleted a bid proposal right before a presentation. She was able to use Code42 to restore a previous version of the file on her own.

“One of the best parts was, IT didn’t even know about it until she came and told us,” says Anderson.

Protecting valuable IP

MacDonald-Miller’s unique value proposition includes designing and blueprinting buildings, and then sending in a full team of plumbers, electricians and sheet metal workers to work on the build. With all that valuable design IP to protect, having an effective legal hold process is critical.

“Prior to Code42, our legal hold process was very vague,” says Tracy. “HR or IT had to find the user’s computer and manually try to search through documents, pictures and Excel files to see what may or may not have been on the user’s computer at the time of termination.”

Now, with Code42, MacDonald-Miller can use a portal to set up a legal hold for users and then monitor whether they’re copying documents on their personal drives.

“We had a pretty high-profile gentleman leaving the company,” says Anderson. “Through that portal, we were able to monitor his file history and found out 90 gigs of sales opportunities and other critical data had left to the network onto his external drive. Before Code42, there was no way of ever knowing that was happening.”

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