With more than 25 years of experience covering all aspects of building surveying for both residential and commercial clients in both the public and private sectors, Brittain Hadley, www.brittain-hadley.com, St. Peter Port, Guernsey, found itself struggling with its aging file server. With offices in Chiswick, West London, and Surbition in Surrey, staff of the British independent firm of Chartered Building Surveyors is in the field almost 50% of the time, meeting surveyors and clients.

It was not, however, able to connect to its file system to access needed files while mobile. When a strong Internet connection was available while working remotely, the team members would have to access files using a VPN (virtual private network) connection, a slow and laborious process.

“We work with very large documents, including CAD (computer-aided design) files, so accessing them from our file server with a VPN connection was frustrating,” relates Nathan Sproule, director of Brittain Hadley.

“Often we’d have to resort to emailing files back and forth. But when changes were made it became a version control nightmare,” he continues. “Even worse, it could be nearly impossible to email large CAD (computer-aided design) files, so we’d be stuck and have to wait to access what we needed when we could be in the office.”

With the end of life for their Windows Small Business Server 2003 system upon them, Brittain Hadley needed to quickly replace its old file system with a new solution—and what they wanted was an application based in the cloud. With a cloud solution they could not only flexibly support their mobile team, it was thought, but would also be able to seamlessly protect data without a physical infrastructure.

In seeking a cloud-based solution that would meet their needs, Brittain Hadley turned to service provider, Torix, www.torix.co.uk, High Wycombe, Bucks, U.K., for a recommendation—and Torix quickly suggested Soonr Workplace from Silicon Valley company Soonr, www.soonr.com, San Jose, Calif.

What immediately impressed Brittain Hadley about Soonr Workplace was that the secure file sharing solution would support its file names and folder structures, exactly the way they were, which made the migration to Soonr easier.

Once Soonr Workplace was in use, the benefits continued to compound for the building surveying firm. Not only could its mobile workforce access files from any field location with ease, it could be sure that multiple devices were always in sync, eliminating its version control headaches. Even more, the system easily supports even its largest CAD files.

“With Soonr we can now be anywhere and easily pull up the folder we need,” reports Sproule. “Now we’ve invested in iPads for our team and with Soonr we can easily access content on those iPads no matter where we are working. We can go to a site at the drop of a hat and have all the drawings and photos we need, without having to go back to the office to get them. It’s truly doubled our productivity in the field.”

In addition to easy mobile access and support for their growing stable of mobile devices, Soonr Workplace has also given the building surveying firm new levels of file security and control. Files can be easily shared with only those that need them, minimizing potential for data loss or exposure. Surveyors only see what they need to see.

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