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Data Storage, Collaboration & Messaging Made Easy with Google Apps

Background:

EWA CyberSolutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Electronic Warfare Associates (EWA), Inc. that draws upon EWA’s 30 year history protecting the electronic data and networks of their customers. We take this responsibility seriously, and are ready to support the needs of our customers at a moments notice.

Our mission is to provide exceptional cybersecurity services and solutions for each of our customers. We accomplish this by continuous surveillance of the networked environment with a team of cyber professionals fully committed to defeating threats, empowering users, and, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their networks and data.

It’s our goal to provide ubiquitous data and network security, allowing our customers the freedom to conduct efficient and effective business operations.

Challenges:

As our electronic data storage needs continue to grow and as we produce more information in electronic format, storage space is becoming increasingly important. With a history of challenging limitations of technology, creativity, and of enabling productivity at a fraction of traditional cost, EWA CyberSolutions is an organization that values the power of good IT. For EWA CyberSolutions globally-distributed workforce our internal IT systems weren’t keeping pace with the company’s standards of quality.

Too frequently, our storage and collaboration platforms fell short, leaving employees virtually stranded without access to their important business documents and collaboration tools. Even when systems were working properly, our team felt hindered by the effort it took to reach these documents off-site. At other times, we were bogged down by too much data and our meetings took longer than normal to get everyone in the same room.

Solutions:

After an evaluation of Google Apps, which included easier access to our business documents and better video conferencing capabilities, we no longer have to wait for our VPN to sync up and our meetings can happen instantaneously through Google Hangouts. A cost analysis comparing hosted, or cloud-based, solutions to a more traditional upgrade path, EWA CyberSolutions found that Google Apps for Business would offer new functionality at 35% times less the cost.

We have simplified a section of our infrastructure, enjoying significant cost savings, and increasing productivity, our teams decided to move away from their heavy server-based, traditional solutions and implement the Google Apps suite using Suitebriar, Inc. for the deployment, data migration and training.

Results:

EWA CyberSolutions found it easier to communicate and work more efficiently as a team. We are now leveraging Google Hangouts as a unified way for people to communicate across devices by voice, video or text. With the addition of supported Global Address List, it will now be easier and faster to find our documents with Google powered Search tools and Hangout with our employees.

Google Drive is where we store some of our data including every file type (PDF, images, video files, etc). It has become a place where we can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of our work. We are able to store everything safely and access it anywhere at anytime. “All our stuff is just there” says, Brian McNally CIO of EWA CyberSolutions. We are now able to access our data from anywhere on the web, at home, at the office, or on travel from all of our devices. We have taken advantage of the secure and reliable centralized management tools. Thank you Google Apps and Suitebriar!


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Background:

Barney’s Beanery has been an LA institution for over 90 years giving customers a chill locale to grab dinner or a beer. With 7 locations, 125 employees, over 60 HDTVs, and an extensive beer list, Barney’s is a go to spot to catch any game.

Challenges:

Before Google Apps for Work, Barney’s managerial staff was struggling to keep up with the lengthy list of events and games not to mention the everyday management of the restaurant. Convoluted processes made handling the general management of the restaurant an 80 hour a week job causing staff to burn out quickly and the quality of service to wavery. Simple tasks like sharing the daily game list with tv channel between all locations was cumbersome and unreliable. Internal training documents and manuals that outlined key restaurant protocol suffered from lack of version control as there wasn’t an intuitive way to ensure that staff was accessing the most recent materials. Additionally, the executive team was challenged to abide by the California state regulations on retaining corporate emails in case of litigation.

Solution:

Barney’s IT Coordinator, AJ Sacher, began his search for a productivity solution that was capable of restricting email access based on IP address as that was the first step in the restaurant’s revolutionary initiative to de-salary employees. Barney’s wanted to ensure that employees were only working when they were scheduled to work in an effort to not only increase quality of life but to increase the quality work and the efficiencies in which duties were completed. Google for Work was the solution identified and with the addition of Google Vault, the IT Coordinator and executive team could rest easy knowing that their data was stored and could be easily accessed and searched if necessary. As the restaurant industry employee pool is typically a younger population, Barney’s was able to use the retention of emails as an opportunity to teach younger staff members the importance of professional communications with customers as well as fellow employees.

In addition to offering the necessary functionalities, Mr. Sacher was confident that Google for Work would be easily adopted as the majority of staff members already used Google’s services in their personal lives. A smooth transition from Hosted Exchange from Intermedia to Google for Work was precisely executed by the Suitebriar team allowing Barney’s to get back to business before the next big game!

Capabilities:

Once implemented, Google for Work’s Docs and Spreadsheets quickly eliminated the managerial team’s usual nightmares of scheduling staff and verifying inventory, a process that can now be completed and shared across the team swiftly. The mandated Kitchen Temperature Log, previously traditionally record with pen and paper, is now a Google Spreadsheet easily accessible via each manager’s tablet providing the executive team with instant transparency into the functionality of the Kitchen and the responsible staff members.


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Goes Google to Stay on the Cutting Edge of Technology

Background:

The Baseline team has over 35 years of collective experience in servicing the technology needs of the financial, government, education and private sectors. We believe that this mix of experience coupled with our Analise, Align, Innovate philosophy gives us the ability to suitably understand organisational pain points, so we can help companies avoid future pitfalls and assist in the realising of short and long-term business goals.

Challenges:

As an organisation on the cutting edge of new technologies, Baseline Technology Consulting can’t afford to hinder employee innovation and productivity. Moving information back and forth using the legacy systems and traditional approach of email attachment was curbing creativity. Employees were restricted with the constants of downloads and version control was becoming unmanageable.

As part of a growing company, staying on the cutting edge of technology present a major challenge for disparate IT departments to consolidate their data. Baseline Technology Consulting needed a way to integrate their communication systems in a simple and scalable manner. They wanted to free employees of restrictions based on location and device. They wanted assurance that their communication system would operate at the same level of quality that they deliver to their clients.

“We were after an email and calendar system that would be reliable but not cost us an arm and a leg,” says Gilbert O’Connor, Managing Partner with Baseline Technology Consulting.

Solutions:

By moving to Google Apps we get more than Email with Google Apps. With instant messaging, voice, and video conferencing, remote team members can connect and contribute. Collaborate together in real-time on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

With Google Apps, your employees are empowered to work from anywhere, on virtually any device.  This increases productivity, efficiency, and allows your people to get more things done.

Results:

Stay ahead of your competition by utilizing the newest cloud-based technology. Switching to Google Apps will significantly reduce IT spending allowing your business to refocus resources to innovation.  Suitebriar, Inc. has helped many high-tech and internet companies Go Google and realize the multitude of benefits gained in the fast moving world of IT.


 

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Security and Spam Filtering with Google Apps Messaging & Collaboration Tools Made Easy

Background:

Belomar Regional Council is an Interstate Regional Planning and Development Council of Government located in Wheeling West Virginia. Belomar’s Management Services Department fills the void for the many small communities in it’s service area lacking professional planning and grants management expertise in-house. Included in the services provided to municipal and county governments are technical, grant writing, and grants administration assistance along with planning assistance covering community and economic development and housing. The Management Services Department coverage area consists of Marshall, Ohio, and Wetzel Counties in West Virginia and Belmont County in Ohio.

Challenges

Some of the challenges Belomar experienced with traditional webmail was their spam filtering was not up to Belomar standards. We were on several different webmail platforms and to navigate through each became a daunting task. For example, it slowed down our network traffic and took up to much storage space. It could potentialy expose us to email borne viruses and malware infections causing our computers to actually become a source of spam and denial of service attacks. In some instance there’s the fear of frauds and scams such as phishing and attacks. These attacks could potentially harm our business workflow and and become downright irritating to deal with.

Solutions:

The Belomar Regional Council completed the transition of its employees to Google’s cloud-based email and collaboration applications. Including the switch from Postini Spam Filtering to the Google Message Filtering tool already imbedded into the Google Apps for Government Platform. In a display of both speed and teamwork, it took just under a month since the decision was made to “Go Google” for Belomar to migrate over 15 employees to Google Apps for Business.

The successful move to the cloud resulted from the involvement of the Belomar Regional Council who volunteered as early adopters and training buddies to support colleagues in making the switch. These efforts were supported by technical implementation experts from Suitebriar, Inc.

Results:

Belomar has found the ease of use of Google Apps allowing our entire organization to be under one platform instead of jumping around to several different webmail clients. With Google Message Filtering spam is no longer an issue with us. Google Apps has also fostered an environment for teamwork and productivity.

This teamwork is indicative of the collaboration these new tools make possible. The teams used a Google Site to educate employees about Google Apps, Google-hosted videos to share recorded trainings, and Google Docs to share timely information among the early adopters. Belomar Regional Council also introduced the Google Chrome for Business web browser to give employees a faster, simpler & more secure experience with Google Apps.

Good customer service is at the heart of everything Belomar Regional Council does. These new tools are empowering employees to find innovative ways to improve service. Employees can collaborate both internally and externally with customers and industry partners to solve problems faster.

On top of this, these new applications are securely simplifying the IT experience for Belomar employees, especially when employees are working remotely. As Belmomar CIO Jim Benner has said, “work is what you do, not where you are.” The added flexibility to access information and connect with colleagues while away from the office – and on a range of different devices – is helping Belomar Regional Council to be more productive in serving customers.

Belmar Regional Council expects the introduction of Google Apps to help the agency transform its business with the Google Spam Filtering and the messaging and calendaring tools and provide better results for its customers by promoting clearer communication and better team collaboration. For Belomar Regional Council, this project has been far more than a new email and calendar system – it’s about enabling a whole new way for Belomar employees to work.


 

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Goes Google to Communicate and Translate from Any Where in the World

Background:

AMI Global Security, LLC is an international security consulting firm that services foreign governments, and elements of the U.S. Department of Defense and a vendor to the United Nations. As an Federal Firearms Dealer and Defense Trade Supplier; it was imperative to reach a global market and penetrate multiple countries to develop suppliers, shippers, and reach potential customers. In a world of increasing risk of terrorist attacks and economic uncertainty; defense and asset protection are in higher demand.

AMI Global Security, LLC  in order to compete in a global market was obliged to project its’ image and accessibility to customers around the world, where the needs are the greatest.

From our New York based office, AMI Global Security, LLC’s virtual presence has reached customers and netted contracts in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Angola, Congo, France, Germany and Egypt. We have developed suppliers in China, Russia, Bulgaria, Israel, Pakistan and Mexico.

Challenges:

Our world -wide presence in the fast paced flow of world events makes us completely accessible to procurement officers from every foreign government in need of the professional services and supply provided by AMI Global Security, LLC. Security is a zero sum equation.  You either have it or you do not.  Additionally, if you do not have it, what you need, when you need, then it no longer matters why you needed it. AMI Global Security, LLC is accessible to our clients, anywhere in the world, before they need it. An email platform with excellent security that is accessible from anywhere on this planet is mandatory for our organization.

Solutions:

AMI Global Security, LLC struggled to find a secure messaging and collaborative tools to increase efficiency of communication amongst a large staff, where real-time and reliable contact is essential for our staff around the world. We looked at other solutions like Microsoft Outlook and 365, Novell Groupwise and other web-mail solutions. Our legacy solution of Web-mail was not allowing us to meet these efficiencies. Google Apps has allowed us to reach our customers from around the world by sharing our web-based Google Calendars to schedule meetings in different time zones and with Google translate we’re able to communicate with ease to our foreign partners. Using Google’s strong encryption and authentication layers of security helps reduce the risk of hackers around the world. Due to the high risk of internet fraud abroad Google’s Message filtering has worked wonders for us with the email filters for spam and virus protection.

Results:

Several months after the transition, AMI Global Security has found the flexibility and scalability of Google Apps to be essential to our day to day operations. “With Suitebriar, Inc.’s assistance in data migration, training and support for AMI Global Security, LLC has successfully migrated our organization to Google Apps. Our employees now benefit from a larger email inbox with the real-time collaboration tools they’ve needed to increase efficiency and ease of communication and foreign language translation. Our administration team also now enjoys the ability to monitor and search for emails in a much more streamlined and organized manner.”

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-Anthony Mele CEO/President AMI Global Security


 

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Making the Transition to the Cloud with Ease

Background:

CrossFit Durable is the leading Crossfit gym operator in Gainesville VA. CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for hundreds of beginner, elite and professional athletes. Everyone’s path at CrossFit Durable will be slightly different depending on their current fitness capacity, goals and preferences. We offer one-on-one coaching and group classes along with a variety of specialty programs.

Our most successful clients utilize a combination of individualized coaching and program designs to fine tune their mechanics, address specific deficiencies and attain unique performance goals with the spirit, community and camaraderie that naturally develops in our group and individual coaching sessions.

Challenges:

When opening a new business there are many challenges. For one, the main challenges we ran into was supporting a distributed network of gyms with a variety of computers and configurations. Configuring each new computer, which would include MS Outlook would require a significant amount of time and money from CrossFit Durables’ IT department. Additionally, our location has a variety of computers each with different configurations which made supporting the business even more difficult. We also recognized the cost associated with this type of IT structure and when starting a new business this can become cumbersome.

Solutions:

When CrossFit Durable first looked at Google Apps, though it was clearly appealing from a potential cost saving perspective, the technical team had some concerns. The first concern was what would be required to actually transition the company and the second was whether or not it would be possible to make a smooth transition. To facilitate the transition, CrossFit Durable reached out to Suitebriar, Inc., a Google Apps for Business Reseller to learn more on how to best implement Google Apps into our environment.

“Suitebriar, Inc. has a great team with excellent experience. They took us step-by-step through the transition process, advised and supported us,” said Scott McAlee, VP of Development and Operations at CrossFit Durable. “Suitebriar, Inc. then provided us with a series of web-based trainings to help our employees through their transition starting with Google Mail, Calendar and then Google Docs. Throughout the process, Suitebriar, Inc.’s team were always available for us which was a great resource for our IT Department to help troubleshoot any issues and help us in defining and documenting best practices.”

“Nick Connolly with Suitebriar, Inc. helped make our company’s transition to Google Apps a success, giving us the peace of mind that our IT department would not have to be concerned about our distributed networks as our business grows,” states McAlee.

Suitebriar, Inc. accomplished this by allowing  our team to become very comfortable with using Google Apps. They carried us through a seamless, two-day migration so our work didn’t skip a beat while our technology got a major makeover. Their consulting staff developed new and exciting ways for our workflow processes. For example, instead of using hard copies to keep track of our employees, customers and programs we now use Google drive and docs to allow our workflow to be more holistic. Another benefit working with Suitebriar, Inc. is their response time and knowledgeability to any questions or issues that arose. By executing the above, Suitebriar, Inc. gave CrossFit Durables’ team the confidence to take on a company-wide initiative like transitioning to Google Apps.

Results:

When asked to comment on the results of the transition McAlee states, “We have never looked back and have no regrets.” Our company is just starting out and growing, and our employees have adapted readily to Google Apps the web-based solution; staff members only need an Internet connection and a browser to complete the majority of their work. Though the web-based trainings highlighted how Google Docs can be used for collaboration, CrossFit Durable has found that the intuitive nature of document sharing has organically contributed to increased and improved collaboration internally. Additionally, the technical team experienced a considerably decrease in software-related support requests and has also been able to modify computer requirements to save money on purchasing new computers and software. According to McAlee, “these modification have resulted in a 60% reduction in overall IT spending.”

Scotts Team