Talon FAST™
#Elliott Wood Centralizes Unstructured Data with Talon FAST™ **About Elliott Wood** Strongly committed to sustainable design, Elliott Wood’s reputation for delivering high quality is based on its award-winning, design-led structural and civil engineering solutions. The company has over 120 members of staff working from offices in Central London, Nottingham, and Wimbledon on a wide range of projects of varying sizes across diverse sectors. Founded 20 years ago, Elliott Wood is renowned for large scale residential, commercial, and healthcare developments, as well as hotels, super-prime residential properties, education, leisure, and cultural buildings, and regeneration and retail schemes throughout the UK and overseas. The company provides fully integrated solutions and works with leading architectural practices, developers, contractors, interior designers, artists and sculptors. Elliott Wood has been utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) for many years, and they invested in Autodesk Revit eight years prior to the Government’s Level 2 BIM mandate. **The Challenge: Counter-productive File-Sharing and Saving** Elliott Wood’s team was spread across three different locations, and collaboration quickly became fraught with difficulties. All three of Elliott Wood’s offices were already linked through a Private Wide Area Network (PWAN) to avoid bandwidth issues that could arise through a public network, but it didn’t improve the slow downloads. As business grew and projects became more collaborative across the different locations, these slow speeds caused enormous frustrations when it came to saving big files and managing the data sets. Elliott Wood was losing time and revenue with their current storage. The PWAN was configured such that all master files were stored on the company’s main server at its central data centre in Wimbledon. For file integrity and version control, any changes to drawings had to be saved at this central location. This was where shortcomings in the downloading and uploading processes were starting to hold things up. It was becoming an unacceptable norm for these processes to take up to 20 minutes. Steve Faulkner, Associate Director at Elliott Wood recalls: “Using a central Revit file could involve having three copies open for three people at the same time. This is where the delays were becoming frustrating for the team. If you’re opening, changing, and then saving a file in one office it’s not an issue. In our Wimbledon office, our users are where the files are stored. No time gets eaten up in what should really be very simple and intuitive actions that a user should be able to perform on the go. Put a branch office set-up into the mix and everything changes. Every ‘save’ becomes a saga.” Elliott Wood’s business is centered around Revit files. These files can quickly become large and unweildy, making transferring over any network an agonizing process. Without a proper storage solution, these files would quickly slow down bandwidth across the company and hinder project completion. An immediate data centralization solution was needed. Elliott Wood had an idea: if file saving is hyper-fast when the file is locally saved, as in the case of their rapid up and down-loading at the Wimbledon office, why not replicate that same local storage solution in each location? After searching for such a solution, they stumbled up Talon FAST™. The Talon FAST™ software creates an intelligent file cache at each distributed location. This means only necessary files are stored locally, and central data is accessible to the entire enterprise. By creating a “single set of data,” FAST™ enabled Elliott Wood’s users to edit and share files as often as they needed to. Since the PWAN gives priority to Revit files, the FAST™ solution has made file access easier for Elliott Wood’s Revit team. **The Solution: FAST™ Centralizes Data** Steve Faulkner believes that Talon FAST™ has been “a breath of fresh air” to the business. He explains that the process of opening a file in pre-Talon days took almost 3 minutes, and now they can open in a file in less than 30 seconds. Thanks to regular synchronization with the central data set, users can now work without worrying about current versions or file-sharing. Synchronisation is now for every 15 minutes per person. Across an eight-person team that equates to 2 hours saved per day, or 40 hours per month. Not only does this save time and money, but it improves project completion times, which in turn increases revenue. Elliott Wood saw significant benefits from the Talon FAST™ deployment: - Talon FAST™ reduced file transfer speeds to 20 seconds, down from 3 minutes - Talon FAST™ resolved Elliott Wood’s file version control issues, allowing for better collaboration across teams - Talon FAST™ utilized Elliott Wood’s exisiting infrastrucutre and PWAN to unify hardware into one storage solution - The Talon team answered all questions to help Elliott Wood in the transition process **Vision for the Future** “The response was overwhelming. All our users feel very strongly that we can never return to pre-Talon days and we can never be grateful enough for the help Talon gave us on this journey. Personally, I think it’s an excellent result when an initiative taken from a business and productivity perspective actually thrills staff because it has improved the quality of their professional tools.” *Learn more about centralizing data with FAST™.* Learn more »