Over the past year, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board partnered with iCorps to fundamentally rethink their approach to strategic IT. With careful attention to the needs of their employees and collaborators, iCorps' expert consultants helped the GBREB recognize the opportunities of public cloud computing.
The Greater Boston Real Estate Board has the ability to call itself America's oldest real estate trade organization. Since 1889, they have created a robust organization with partners who specialize in commercial and residential development, management, and transactions. And when they're not busy networking, the GBREB turns their attention to education, advocacy and philanthropy—ensuring that the next generation of Bostonians have every opportunity to better their city. Unfortunately, the years have not been as kind to the GBREB's IT infrastructure. Their aging equipment was holding them back and preventing the modern innovation appropriate for such an organization. So, they reached out to iCorps, ready to embrace the next project.
Prior to working with iCorps, the GBREB had been exposed to the idea of cloud computing. They had moved their line of business applications from on-premise to the cloud via a private cloud provider. The GBREB recognized the opportunities remote computing offered. Unfortunately, they soon ran into the complications that many businesses face when using private cloud providers. The quality of their service declined, and there weren't clear boundaries surrounding data ownership. The GBREB quickly realized they would prefer a public cloud model where they could have full control of their content.
At this point, the GBREB reached out to iCorps to assess the situation. Our technicians thoroughly evaluated their everyday business processes, the content generated, and how they used and stored their data. After identifying the limits of their then provider, iCorps developed a strategic road map to ensure a seamless transition from private to public cloud.
The first core step in the GBREB's digital transformation was fostering employee buy-in. They wanted a workplace environment eager to embrace change, so iCorps launched a pilot project: introducing the marketing department to Microsoft SharePoint. The pilot allowed iCorps to gauge usability and functionality, while providing the marketing team a more intuitive data sharing and storing platform. Furthermore, this project successfully demonstrated the value of public cloud offerings from the end-user to the C-suite. Enthused by the possibilities, the GBREB committed to a full-scale migration.
To ensure that the GBREB had a solid foundation, iCorps began by modernizing their endpoints. This involved migrating their machines to Windows 10, allowing them to fully leverage the Office 365 suite. The move took place in-office, outfitting their employees with new application-layer security and access to sync engines such as OneDrive. The next step was thoroughly tracking the life cycle of their data. By carefully mapping their work processes, iCorps was able to ensure that the system set-up was intuitive for employees and didn't disrupt extant workflows. On a less granular level, iCorps wanted to ensure that all applications were effectively communicating with one another, data, and the overall system architecture. This was imperative to mitigating complications during the migration process.
As a member-based organization, the GBREB needed to provide and share information in a secure and dynamic manner. Platforms such as SharePoint and OneDrive are highly scalable, eliminating concerns around growing partnerships. Furthermore, the user-based pricing model has allowed them to reduce their on-premise footprint and backup by 70%. As a 501c organization, predictable IT spend has allowed the GBREB to better project the total cost of IT delivery, and better account for growing employee numbers. Going forth, the GBREB is continuing to optimize their processes, and is implementing Microsoft Teams for seamless communication between internal staff and external stakeholders.