Teach for America Moves To the Cloud with SkySync
SkySync saved us thousands of hours.Anthony Jarrett, Director of Enterprise Services - TFA
Teach for America is a non-profit organization with a mission to eliminate educational inequity by developing committed leaders in our classrooms today who will continue to fight for our students tomorrow. The organization, founded 25 years ago, recruits committed recent college graduates and professionals of all backgrounds to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools. It also trains and develops these corps members so that they have an immediate positive impact on their students.
With content scattered across 50 regional offices and no simple way to access and share organizational data located within local Network File Systems, Teach for America employees began using Cloud storage services on their own with no oversight or security from IT.
To give users ownership of their content and enable secure sharing inside and outside of the organization, TFA’s IT department made the decision to migrate its more than 2,500 users from on-premises NFS to Box. However, moving that content manually and organizing it into individual Box accounts became a time-consuming process.
“Initially we let users pick and choose what they wanted to move to Box on their own, but some users had more than 10gb of data each. It was decided that IT should handle such a complex process. We needed something that could easily sync our local servers to Box, while maintaining our permissions and file structures as well,” said Amish Chudasama, Senior Director of Enterprise Services and Integrations at Teach for America.
“We searched the internet for different solutions, and Box recommended SkySync to us,” said Patti Santacroce, TFA’s Managing Director of Enterprise Services. “With SkySync, we got the help we needed from day one and were able to quickly put it into production.”
Using SkySync’s User Home-Drive Mapping and Advanced Folder Grouping tools, Teach for America was able to begin migrating its user base and easily replicate entire folder hierarchies to Box with a few clicks of a mouse. “It was a very simple, easy way to transfer our users to Box, especially the ones with large drives,” Santacroce said.
“SkySync’s ability to create folders was a lifesaver,” TFA’s Director of Enterprise Services, Anthony Jarrett added. “Initially we would have had to move content from our shared folders to Box, and then manually recreate folders on the Box side. SkySync automatically creates folders right out of our shared drives, which has saved us thousands of hours.”
And because SkySync tracks the state of all migration processes, the move to Box has been painless. “SkySync is completely self-maintaining,” Jarrett said. “If it encounters an error during a job, it will go back automatically and just pick up folders and files it missed instead of starting over at the beginning. Doing that manually would have been a nightmare. It simply would not have worked.”
With the migration close to 70 percent complete, TFA’s IT department has already begun to decommission its local servers as users have adopted Box, enabling them to scale back on overhead and staff resources required to manage the servers. And reports have shown hard evidence that users are actively leveraging Box’s sharing and syncing capabilities.
“Box has all of the capablities that our users wanted and we are able to regularly monitor their activity,” Santacroce said. “They are in charge of their data and how they collaborate most effectively.”
Stellar Technical Support
“One of the biggest reasons for our success was the help that we got from the SkySync team,” Santacroce added. “SkySync’s Technical Support Director was incredible. He held our hands in the beginning to get us started and even now, he’ll drop what he’s doing to help us out when we need it.”