In January of 2017, B.GOOD partnered with iCorps Technologies to begin their digital transformation. With the goals set in place by B.GOOD's VP of Data Analytics, Austin Brinson, iCorps' team of expert technology consultants helped B.GOOD achieve a secure, compliant, collaborative and streamlined IT environment that would scale with the company's continued growth. Continue on to read the full story.
Founded in 2004, B.GOOD has established itself as a foremost culinary innovator, creating healthful products with a focus on local, sustainable, practices. The company's ethos of community development and collaboration has only added to their growing popularity. Since opening, the B.GOOD franchise has expanded to eleven states, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland.
B.GOOD's rapid growth is a clear testament to the quality of their product. But like many businesses, this expansion put immense pressure on their IT infrastructure. B.GOOD's limited inhouse IT resources were constrained, with the majority of time spent on hardware and system maintenance. Employees used their personal cell phone numbers to conduct business, and relied on a mix of Window's versions and cloud services such as G Suite (formerly Google Apps). As such, there was little to no centralized management, monitoring, or system patching. As B.GOOD quickly grew from one store with 10 employees, to 50 stores with over 200 employees, it became clear that a change was necessary.
After careful consideration, B.GOOD chose iCorps for its proactive approach to technology and responsive support team. Before iCorps' initial assessment began, Austin Brinson posed the question "Where we are versus where we do we want to be?" When describing the state of B.GOOD's technological infrastructure, he remarked "We were in sort of bad shape. But there was so much to do that we had to have a good way of prioritizing it." iCorps' assessment takes an in-depth look at an organization's business objectives and the ins and outs of its technology infrastructure. Through the assessment, it became clear to iCorps' consultants that B.GOOD was in need of a corporate IT strategy that provided stability through standardization. With this goal in mind, iCorps' created a multi-phase plan that allowed for an efficient, compliant, secure, scalable and efficient IT environment. The assessment "really gave us a good starting point for a roadmap,” Brinson said.
An essential component of B.GOOD's roadmap was the leveraging of iCorps' Encompass Plus program, which provides reliable technical support and strategic guidance by iCorps consultants for a predictable, monthly IT spend. Through Encompass, B.GOOD's corporate employees have access to high-level IT advisory services, account management, iCorps' 24x7 monitoring, maintenance, and unlimited help desk resources. This support strategy provided B.GOOD with the foundation it needed to tackle its transformation into a scalable, secure IT environment. "Having the Encompass program in place lets us take care of those more technical pieces," Brinson said. "It also helps with those baby steps we needed to take getting towards a more secure point.”
Leveraging Encompass also allowed their inhouse IT employee to focus on immediate business needs, such as storefront operations, rather than routine technical issues, such as maintenance and security monitoring. “The big thing is it let’s the corporate side be more stable, so that our internal person can really focus on the restaurants,” Brinson said.
For B.GOOD's technology environment to keep up with its growth, Brinson knew they had to achieve greater scalability and security. The first initiative iCorps tackled in collaboration with B.GOOD was establishing a secure, compliant, shared computing platform by transitioning employees from G Suite to Microsoft Office 365. Despite migrating some 300 employees, Brinson recalls that the overall support workload was “very low for that transition because it was well-planned in advance.” As users quickly adapted to the Microsoft Office Suite, iCorps was also able to help B.GOOD organize and migrate their files and documents from Google Drive to Microsoft SharePoint. Getting B.GOOD's employees onto the Office 365 platform with SharePoint not only allows B.GOOD employees to work in a streamlined, collaborative environment but it also allows IT to keep sensitive data secure, manage access and permissions to data, and ultimately remain compliant.
With the Office 365 foundation in place, iCorps turned to B.GOOD's cybersecurity posture. B.GOOD chose to leverage Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS).
EMS provides a suite of capabilities for organizations to manage their on-premises and mobile devices including: identity and access management, mobile device management, information protection and security intelligence.
Brinson requested a gradual incorporation of these services, explaining "The nice thing with EMS is that it is not all or nothing... we are able to keep taking these baby steps, and get closer and closer to where we really should be, without having a dramatic, instant impact on our users."
B.GOOD is also utilizing iCorps' Managed Security services, which provides them with defense-in-depth management and around-the-clock monitoring of their network. The combination of these security solutions has given Brinson peace of mind. "I’m not concerned about security on a day-to-day basis anymore,” he said.
While B.GOOD's employees are now benefiting from Microsoft's compliant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms Office 365 and EMS, B.GOOD also uses another cloud vendor. The company houses its restaurant data and website in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. iCorps team of cloud experts have been successful in providing cross-platform support for B.GOOD's hybrid cloud environment. While Brinson handles a majority of the AWS workload, the iCorps consultants have been able to lend support when needed. "The iCorps team has either known how to do things right off the bat, or has been able to find the answers very quickly," Brinson said. "Once I hit the limits, that’s where I can have the iCorps team finish things up for me or take it to the next level."
From a technical standpoint, B.GOOD is in the best shape it has ever been in. With centralized management and monitoring, they are running an IT strategy befitting their size, capable of scaling up as their franchise continues to grow. They are, as Brinson explained, "able to do that growth without being hampered by our systems." This digital transformation has stabilized B.GOOD's corporate IT infrastructure, allowing for greater focus on customer service and brand longevity. Through iCorps' proactive, business minded IT solutions, B.GOOD continues to position their company for short and long term success.
According to Brinson, B.GOOD will continue to grow at a rapid pace and aim for aggressive growth targets. iCorps' team continues to support B.GOOD in its day-to-day operations as well as ongoing initiatives such as adhering to GDPR compliance regulations and leveraging Skype for Business. Their digital transformation continues to evolve, but the changes experienced so far permeate through the organization, supporting their growth through digital marketing and enhanced customer experiences.
“Technology fits in to each one of those pieces, to really help us communicate better with our customers about who we are and really maintain those better relationships.”