Creating Incredible Business Solutions through Design
Who: Bennett Design Associates Inc. (www.bennettdesign.ca)
Type of business: Interior Design & Workplace Strategy and Management
Fast facts: Bennett Design is one of Toronto’s largest independent Interior Design firms and is proud of their unique commitment to people, the environment and culture. They are a curious and innovative team who begins every project by asking ‘why’. With over 20 years experience and hundreds of successful projects under their belts, this Uxbridge, Ontario-based studio is proud of their impressive client list including notable companies like Uber, Air Canada, Warner Music and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
What makes the company tick: Challenging the status quo. Creating inspiration to ignite business potential through innovation in workplace design.
What it needed: Reliability, productivity, mobility, and security in their IT solutions.
For the first time in 10 years, I am confident that our IT is reliable, protected and is supporting our business.
Bennett Design was founded in 1997 by Sue Bennett. In the early days, the business was built around Sue’s need to have freedom in her personal and work life to allow her to work at the job she loved, but to enable that flexibility to spend time with her young family. As her children grew, so did the business.
As with most typical start-ups, the infrastructure of the business evolved as the business needs changed, and as the business model, clients and services became more sophisticated, and the work and workstyles changed, Bennett Design realized a need to be a leader in exemplifying the Future of Work.
With a commitment to a ‘Family Friendly’ business model, Bennett Design began it’s new strategic direction by supporting it’s staff through flexible employment initiatives, and at the same time started examining the designs that they were providing clients and developed IP to better understand their clients needs, and to allow them to create client-specific, forward thinking solutions.
With this change in thinking, Bennett Design realized that their current IT solutions were archaic in capability, reliability and security. Working in high resolution vector-based programs, the design production teams were constantly hindered by processing speed, inefficient program delivery and hardware malfunctions. In a deadline driven industry, the firm was debilitated by poorly implemented third-party file synchronization software, and it was common for files to go missing or creative work to be overwritten and lost.
Today, Bennett Design provides strategic, creative and management space solutions for corporate and retail spaces across Canada. The business is smart, flexible and can now adeptly handle projects of all sizes – from a thousand to a million square feet.
Bennett Design has been recognized on the Canadian Profit 500 for multiple years, and Sue is proud to have repeatedly made the Profit W100 Top 100 Canadian Women Entrepreneur list.
Bennett Design is proud of their success, but it didn’t come without making some important changes. Their mandate to create a mobile, flexible and highly productive team required them to get serious about technology and that ultimately led the firm to 360 Visibility, and the Microsoft platform of products.
Bennett Design resolved their file-sharing challenges with a reliable and secure solution combining Office 365, Azure Backup & Azure Active Directory.
Microsoft partner 360 Visibility Inc. provided Bennett Design with state-of-the-art productivity and communication tools available in the Microsoft Cloud, including: Office 365; Azure Active Directory; and Azure Backup. This combination of key, cloud-based technologies solved the firm’s IT frustrations and gave their production team reliable new tools to create, collaborate, communicate, save, and share their work with confidence.
With Office 365, employees get the newest productivity technology from Microsoft and always run the latest version of apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. In addition, that same subscription to Office 365 also gives the company access to valuable cloud-based business services, like email and video conferencing with Skype for Business.
Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) provides the secure identity and access management solution in the cloud. With Azure AD, Bennett Design has based their security on user identity, which helps defend against today’s advanced threats. Additionally, Azure AD allows them to extend their security practices to integrate partners and customers.
Azure Backup provides Bennett Design with the capability to back up, protect, and restore their data. This service replaces existing on-premises and off-site backup solutions with a Microsoft Cloud-based solution, making it reliable, secure, and cost-competitive. This service, and the infrastructure that supports it, has created the peace-of-mind IT solution the company was looking for.
Since migrating to the Microsoft Cloud, IT has become a non-issue for the company. The firm’s administration and production staff are productive, frustration free and are finally relieved to have their work stored centrally and protected properly. The entire staff work as a mobile workforce and can access their files anytime and from anyplace. The Bennett Design staff feel a restored confidence in the company’s IT and can now work in the way that they promote work to their clients. Behind the scenes, the company requires less IT management, not more.
The Bennett Design story is a lesson in strategic business success and reminds us of the importance of insulating and future-proofing your business through the use of protected IT products, services and solutions. In a business that is critically dependent upon deadlines, creative work and file sharing, back-up systems, security and reliability are paramount to the daily operations, and ultimately to the company’s viability. No matter what project, team member or device type, IT has to work seamlessly for the company to succeed.
Does your file sharing and backup system work properly? And, if you had to recover it, where is your company’s backup data stored? If you’re not sure about either of those questions, talk to your IT team about the state of your IT infrastructure. And if you already subscribe to Office 365, try SharePoint! It makes organizing and sharing files easy and pain-free.