Amteck turns to the cloud to support rapid growth and collaborative workforce

Amteck is a privately-owned electrical engineering and contracting firm with over 700 employees in offices and worksites across the United States. Over the last 4 years, they've doubled their revenue through growth and a series of acquisitions. Now, they're poised to double it once more over the next couple of years.

 

Amteck employed SharePoint Server, which they customised to fit their document management needs. During their rapid growth, it was clear this could no longer support the business. Disparate applications, lack of interconnectivity, manual dependencies and high customisation costs made managing their 8TB of data a cumbersome process.

 

In addition, Amteck was evaluating cloud ERP systems to support the rapid growth expected over the next few years. As they narrowed in on an ERP provider, they sought the best way to support their document management needs with native APIs that would also integrate with their chosen ERP system. 

 

Amteck's obstacles: SharePoint Online, auditing trails and ransomware

 

With the decision to switch to a cloud ERP system, Amteck began evaluating document management systems that would easily integrate with other systems and provide the security they needed. Though they initially considered moving their SharePoint environment from on-premises to Office365, they soon dismissed it as a viable option. This was due to the resourcing and customisation required to integrate with their existing on-premises account and job-counting software.

 

"There were too many obstacles to overcome," said Drew Phillips, Director of IT at Amteck. "SharePoint is more programming-centric than what we were looking for. We wanted a better out of the box system that didn't require high customisation."

 

During this same time, Amteck's IT team dealt with two unfortunate scenarios that actually brought to light what key features they needed in their next system. 

 

Guy working

 

First, IT staff realised their auditing trail wasn't properly configured across every server during their discovery process for a customer. This meant they were not able to pinpoint when items were changed and by whom.

 

Second, Amteck was hit with ransomware after a user opened a file that caused an outbreak across all mapped drives in the network. By the time they found the issue, nearly 150,000 files were affected. While the situation was fixed with backup files, it was apparent that a solid disaster recovery strategy was needed.

 

"We house our own data, so supporting disaster recovery and everything involved is on us," Phillips said. "Moving to the cloud and coupled with our ERP system, it would be taken care of."

 

A flexible and secure solution is deployed

 

Amteck's IT team wanted to elevate their role and be integral to the company's mission, instead of just the back office work of programming, customising and maintaining. In order to achieve this, they needed a better document management solution without high levels of maintenance or customisation.

 

Amteck deployed a Box pilot program with 40 users — the first step in a phased approach to replace and modernize their Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution. Six months after, they deployed company-wide because they realised Box had the flexibility and security needed, including: 

  • End-user security features like folder permissions and external collaboration
  • Centralised admin control with clear analytics that allow you to see who is accessing what and when
  • Governance and legal holds that simplify document management, retention and e-discovery inquiries 

 

"The legal hold and discovery process was a driving factor, and Box Governance is key. After what we went through with that litigation, it was a no-brainer."

- Drew Phillips, Director of IT, Amteck

 

With open APIs, Amteck can also integrate their cloud ERP system with only minimal configuration and customisation. Box would be the storage, document management and external collaboration and the ERP would be the enterprise resource planning: accounting, payroll, A/P, procurement and CRM.

 

$100k annual savings — with potential for more

 

"Our content management strategy became a cloud strategy," Phillips said. And as a result of the move to Box, Amteck's IT team could more easily solve the needs of both IT and employees alike. For IT, there was now centralised security and access control and a better, simpler document management and governance experience. And for employees, there was improved team and external collaboration and mobile file sharing. 

 

Phillips is thrilled that "Amteck will save $100,000 a year after replacing SharePoint servers and removing equipment maintenance costs and licensing fees." After their ERP solution is live, they will migrate the rest of the remaining data. As they continue to simplify their tech stack, Amteck's savings will only continue to grow.

 

Throughout their transition to Box, Amteck learned that planning for the long term, embracing new processes and continuing to improve their approach to technology helps their company win — today and in the future.