#Major Financial Firm Achieves Seamless Collaboration Through FAST™ **Company Overview** StatePlus was established in 1990 by the SAS Trustee Corporation (STC) to provide financial advice to public sector employees and their families. They pride themselves on their culture of authenticity, transparency, and a genuine desire to help their clients reach their financial and life goals. By combining a deep knowledge of public sector issues with over 25 years’ experience in planning for retirement, StatePlus has helped 60,500 clients take control of their money. With over $16 billion of funds under management and a 25-year history, StatePlus is an established and stable financial management organization quickly growing across the world. **Challenge: Creating a Seamless Centralized Environment** For StatePlus, centralization is key. As a financial services company, their day-to-day operations revolve around centralization and collaboration between offices on detailed financial data. These data sets are typically stored in large spreadsheets and throughout large on-site libraries which need to be updated frequently. Any changes in the financial markets and economy can impact these data sets, so StatePlus needs to have a smooth and responsive storage solution for sharing these updates between offices. However, financial data sets require precise and regular updating, so if users can’t communicate between company offices it poses serious operational risks. This is especially true when it comes to file version differences, as users might overwrite changes made to documents, resulting in a loss of all changes by other users. StatePlus was experiencing major delays and poor response times between offices, which slowed down production and had the potential to severely impact a customer’s financial holdings. Without proper file version protection and a smooth sharing environment between offices, StatePlus was facing serious issues managing their financial data sets. To further compound the problem, StatePlus didn’t have a fully centralized environment. For most financial businesses, a cloud storage platform is perfect for sharing and updating the host of financial data sets they need to manage. However, StatePlus was still using a mix of on-premise and centralized data center storage to manage data. As mentioned, for a financial services company like StatePlus, a distributed storage environment like this can hinder response time and cut down on efficiency, so moving all data into the cloud would be a better option to create a centralized environment any user can access and update, from any office. **Solution: Collaboration and Consolidation with FAST™** By moving all existing data into the cloud, StatePlus could provide unfettered access to all data sets to every user around the world. This would cut down on on-premise storage costs, remove the need to maintain upkeep on a large data center, and ensure that there was no risk of data loss from data isolated in branch offices. Since StatePlus was already using some Microsoft file storage solutions, migrating into the Azure cloud was an easy next step. While updating on-premise hardware might provide some minor improvements, improving collaboration between branch offices would have better results across the board. On top of that, centralizing all the data into one cohesive file share would allow users to access, update, and share financial data sets without worrying about file versions or WAN speeds. With FAST™ they could not only achieve a centralized file set, but they could migrate all data into Azure cloud without needing to invest in extra hardware or infrastructure, so it was a perfect fit. In addition to creating a centralized environment, FAST™ created a 24x7 seamless collaboration experience for all StatePlus users. With global file-locking and intelligent file caching FAST™ can prevent any issues with file version differences and will only store currently active project data in branch locations. This cuts down on excess files and limits the amount of data that needs to be transferred between remote offices and the centralized data set. If users need to make changes to a file stored in the on-premise cache, only the changes will be sent back to the Azure cloud, ensuring StatePlus’ files are up-to-date without interfering with local bandwidth. With FAST™ in place StatePlus can now provide a better financial management experience to all its users and clients. The time sensitive nature of financial data is no longer an issue thanks to FAST™, and StatePlus users can send out incremental updates based on financial market shifts without needing to worry about upload time or file versions. Now that they no longer need to worry about local backups and replication, StatePlus IT managers can focus on consolidating old storage and enhancing StatePlus’ existing infrastructure. **Results** With FAST™ StatePlus was able to centralize their isolated data sets, provide a seamless collaboration experience to all users, and consolidate current on-premise storage data into Azure cloud. With these changes StatePlus could now operate on an efficient and tight schedule, ensuring financial data was always up-to-date for the benefit of StatePlus employees and clients. Additionally, with FAST™ users now had access to a 24x7 collaborative environment. With intelligent file caching and global file locking in place, users could now work on the most up-to-date files without worrying about bandwidth or file versions. This cutdown on unnecessary edits and made sure every bit of financial data StatePlus tracks is accurate. “We love FAST™. It’s done so much to improve our productivity and accuracy. Before we would struggle to share files or keep up with changes, and so we could often make mistakes due to files being incorrectly overwritten. Now, we don’t need to worry about that at all. Between FAST™ and the Azure cloud, we’ve got a storage solution that can scale alongside us and provide lightning fast response times.” StatePlus saw significant benefits from the FAST™ deployment: - FAST™ intelligent file caching allowed users to access and manage data without worrying about bandwidth or file version challenges - FAST™ enabled StatePlus to migrate all data into the Azure cloud and maintain a centralized data set - With FAST™ StatePlus can consolidate old hardware and eliminate branch office backups - StatePlus no longer needs to worry about discrepancies in their financial data and can provide the best possible experience for employees and customers **Vision for the Future** “We’re excited to see where FAST™ takes us in the new few years. We’re going to be rolling out FAST™ to any new offices we open, and we’re excited to introduce FAST™ into those environments. The Talon guys have been great, and we look forward to working with them in the future.” *Learn more about consolidation and collaboration with Talon FAST™* Learn more »