We’ve been able to close the gap in technology between what our employees have at home, with their own cloud storage services and mobile devices, and what they have at work.

- Stijn Stabel, Head of Architecture and Innovation – Alcopa

Company Profile

Alcopa is a Belgium-based investment firm specializing in automotive and motorcycle import, distribution and retail. Today, the business employs over 2,300 employees across more than 19 countries, and comprises more than 90 individual companies.

The Challenge

As part of its role within Europe’s automotive industry, Alcopa is responsible for storing technical information on hundreds of vehicles for long periods of time – often for as long as that vehicle is out on the road. In conjunction with several thousand internal and external collaborators, Alcopa IT required a more cost-effective and flexible content management solution to replace its on-premises Network File Systems. They chose Box.

“We needed an affordable means to store a significant amount of content for long periods of time, as well as a platform that could accommodate the external collaborators that we do not manage in our active directory,” said Stijn Stabel, Head of Architecture and Innovation at Alcopa. “We have more than 600 internal users as well as anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 across our dealerships that need to be able to store and share documents easily. Our existing network storage is under-scaled to deliver that level of service.”

Uploading terabytes of active content to Box was no simple task. “All of our data is changing on a daily basis,” Stabel said. “We had to first upload the content, but also keep it in sync with our on-premises data until we trained our users and could finally break the connection to our Network File Systems.”

The Solution

Box quickly recommended SkySync to complete the in-place file migration. By creating a bi-directional synchronization between Box and Alcopa’s Network File Systems, Alcopa IT is able to upload the most up-to-date, active content to Box while users are trained in the new system. Still in the process of transitioning to Box, there has been no interruption of business as files and users are being transferred.

“In addition to SkySync’s file synchronization functionality, the option to move file properties to Box, such as who created each document and when, is critical. Additionally, User Home-Drive Linking is also a mandated function – it enabled us to automatically copy a person’s network home drive directly to their own account in Box. We love the tool’s ease of use.” Stabel said.

The Results

Though they are still in the initial stages of their migration, Alcopa’s users have already adapted to their new Box cloud content management platform

“We’ve been able to close the gap in technology between what our employees have at home, with their own cloud storage services and mobile devices, and what they have at work,” Stabel said. “Now they can work the same way both in and out of the office.”

From an IT perspective, Box’s ability to store several versions of documents has eased the workload incredibly, especially when it comes to mitigating virus and security concerns.

“We had some PCs with infected files that were synced to Box, but our users were able to restore the previous, uninfected versions of those files without remediation from IT,” Stabel said. “We’ve enabled our users to un-do the negative effects of a virus on their own. That’s huge.”

Simple, Yet Powerful

“After we purchased the software, our administrator had a one-hour conference call with the SkySync technical support team and since then he’s managed the tool completely on his own.” Stabel said.  “We cannot understate SkySync’s ease of use.”