Founded in 2005, Idea Grove is a public relations and marketing firm with an exclusive focus on B2B technology companies. The specialty boutique serves clients across the globe from its home base in Dallas, Texas.
Scott Baradell, Idea Grove’s president, takes pride in establishing brand identity for leading technology clients. “We know how to market IT services, but nothing about doing IT support.” Yet that’s the situation in which IG’s staff recently found itself.
The creative firm had grown to the point where teams could no longer work effectively by emailing files back and forth. It needed infrastructure to support real collaboration among the account managers, writers and designers. Brigid O’Connor, Director of Operations, recalls,
“Before BNC, we brought in an IT firm to fix things. They set up some servers, installed some cryptic software then pretty much left us without providing any sort of training.”
The technicians had created a Windows-centric network, though most of Idea Grove’s employees are Mac users. File and folder permissions were set up inconsistently and hard to change. In addition, the software made file sharing tedious, as it did not allow for multiple users or version tracking. “Our previous file sharing system was so hard to use, pretty soon no one was using it anymore. It was a mess, even worse than before,” said O’Connor.
About that time, Baradell met with a new client, BNC, a local IT services company. BNC needed help updating its website and branding. In that meeting, BNC impressed Baradell with its careful tailoring of strategy to each customer’s needs—including those using Mac environments. He immediately had O’Connor schedule a separate meeting to discuss Idea Grove’s own situation.
After listening to Idea Grove’s plight with its existing solution, BNC constructed a plan. They recommended an online server platform, based in the cloud but with an up-to-date copy on the local server. That way, the staff would have rapid local access to huge media files, while still having the security of off-site backups. And the cloud let them access and share their work from anywhere. BNC migrated Idea Grove’s files to the new environment, set up flexible, customizable permissions, and then trained the staff.
In addition to installing a Mac-friendly server and network, BNC set up enterprise-grade file-sharing software. The new software allowed writers and designers to collaborate freely on projects from wherever they are, without emailing files back and forth. The new software even provided version control, something important to Idea Grove.
O’Connor says it was a major relief getting their file servers, sharing and collaboration tools up and running smoothly. “BNC really listened to our frustrations and to our unique situation. They were not just trying to sell us something. They wanted to solve our problem.” Compared to before, the BNC solution had almost instant user adoption. “It’s so simple to use, everyone is on board with it,” says O’Connor.
O’Connor sees BNC as more of a trusted partner than a service vendor.
“BNC is with us long-term. We keep a list of IT support items for their monthly visit. But for something urgent, they’re only a phone call away.”
The most valuable benefit? It’s knowing that BNC unlocked even more of Idea Grove’s creative potential with a simple and effective collaboration solution.