“SADA is one of the best vendors out there, and contributed great value in making this project a success. Everyone on the SADA team was dedicated to getting Office 365 and Azure running smoothly to effectively drive innovation within our business.”
Jerry Chow, Director of IT, Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. has been delivering leading-edge insurance brokerage and services since their establishment in 1918. With more than 95 years of dedicated service, the organization today has grown to over 400 employees and 10 offices across the United States. As part of an industry not defined by rapid innovation, Woodruff-Sawyer’s vision was to differentiate themselves by leveraging the benefits of the latest cloud technologies in order to drive business forward and provide the best possible service to its customers.
Woodruff-Sawyer had previously been running off of Microsoft Exchange on-premise but found itself slowed. Without the ability to access files from anywhere, employees began using their mailboxes as a file cabinets, quickly reaching the limited mailbox storage capacity. Woodruff-Sawyer also experienced multiple power failures, disrupting business as the IT team worked to get the system back up and running.
Woodruff-Sawyer was looking for a cloud solution not only to mitigate its IT challenges, but to drive innovation and productivity in order to modernize and differentiate its business. They connected with SADA Systems, a leading provider of cloud transformation and technical services, that guided the agency through the benefits of migrating to the cloud and recommended tools to meet its business objectives.
As a Microsoft National Solutions Provider with Gold Competencies, SADA provided insight into Office 365 and Azure, showcasing the flexibility and productivity offered by Microsoft’s suite of powerful cloud tools. “We chose Office 365 because of its familiarity and flexibility,” explained Jerry Chow, Director of IT at Woodruff-Sawyer.
“Leveraging Azure, the Microsoft solutions provided just the kind of stability and competitive edge we needed in order to differentiate ourselves.”
– Jerry Chow, Director of IT, Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
SADA Systems worked with Woodruff-Sawyer to upgrade its technology platforms and establish effective backup and Disaster Recovery strategies. Chow explained, “SADA is one of the best vendors out there, and contributed great value in making this project a success.”
After a few months of successful use, Woodruff-Sawyer expanded its footprint in Azure by enabling Remote Desktop Services, utilizing Azure Express Route for faster connectivity, and leveraging Azure as a flexible testing environment.
Results and Benefits of Office 365 and Azure
Woodruff-Sawyer’s employees were already accustomed to Outlook, and were impressed by the familiarity and ease of use of the new solution.
“Office 365 provided the flexibility and mailbox size users needed in order to be as productive as possible,” Chow stated, “Leveraging the cloud, our teams can collaborate effectively and have the flexibility of easily working off-site or remotely. They don’t even need to have their laptop with them, but can access all their work from any device.”
“We definitely have fewer technical issues, and we never get calls about increasing mailbox size or that someone can’t get email. Office 365 gives us a lot of control over managing users, which is something we were never able to do in Exchange.”
-Jerry Chow, Director of IT, Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
This made onboarding and offboarding employees much easier because accounts could easily be changed and updated, and access to all necessary company information could easily be turned off and on. After the Office 365 environment was firmly established, Woodruff-Sawyer’s Helpdesk call volume saw a 33% decrease.
SADA also leveraged Microsoft Azure to provide Woodruff-Sawyer with automated backup and Disaster Recovery solutions to ensure information access and security. “What Azure has provided us with is peace of mind. We don’t have to worry about backup, and the disaster recovery piece is crucial,” said Chow. “Now, even if we lose power at our main office, the other nine offices will still be up and running. It makes my job easier and provides the additional stability and security we need.”