Customer Success Story:
MWH Global uses ad hoc file sharing to securely collaborate on projects
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MWH Global, Inc., now part of Stantec, is a global engineering, consulting and construction management firm focused on water and natural resources for built infrastructure and the environment.
MWH Global needed a single file sharing platform to streamline file exchange for its 5,000+ employees.
MWH Global uses a custom Thru web portal to enable thousands of its employees and partners to securely collaborate and manage projects.
- Employees and partners collaborate securely on large-scale projects from a single platform
- All file transfers are logged in Thru so admins can track activities and run user activity reports
- Employees can receive files of any size with Thru Dropbox™
- Automatically purge files after a set time period with retention policies
- Simplified authentication with Active Directory Single-Sign-On
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MWH Global, now part of Stantec, provides water, wastewater, energy, natural resource, program management, consulting and construction services to industrial, municipal and government clients in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, India, Asia, Africa and the Pacific Rim. The Stantec community unites approximately 22,000 employees working in over 400 locations across six continents. Their work—engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics, from initial project concept and planning through design, construction, and commissioning—begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships.
MWH Global is a top engineering and design services firm that has engaged in some of the most significant water and natural resources projects in the world. As with many large-scale projects in this industry, the design process for MWH employees can last numerous years and requires an extensive amount of collaboration among technical professionals.
Many of the files involved in MWH projects are multiple gigabytes in size and must be transferred and stored securely. Since various files involved in the design process are important for meeting project deadlines, it is also vital that each file is tracked so that the owners know exactly who is touching what and when an operation was performed.
To give employees a single solution for securely exchanging large design files, MWH Global chose Thru as its ad hoc file sharing service for employees around the world. With Thru, MWH Global designed a custom file sharing portal with the following features:
- Send and receive large files – Exchange files and folders of any size with support for multiple formats.
- Simplified authentication – For employees with Active Directory Single Sign On.
- Logging, tracking and auditing – All file transfers are logged by Thru including all activities to files, including but not limited to Reads, Downloads, Uploads and Moves.
- Customizable record retention policies – Administrators can set retention policies for files stored in Thru to be deleted after a specific time period.
- Security and antivirus – File transfers are secured in transit and at rest with encryption and full file end-to-end antivirus scanning.
To design complex infrastructure, engineers use Building Information Management (BIM) software to produce 3D model designs. Since tools like FTP and email were not designed to handle these multi-gigabyte design files nor keep this data secure, engineers use Thru as their file sharing platform to collaborate securely. Using a custom Thru web portal, engineers from any office location can easily upload and retrieve design files from the cloud and work from their own devices. With the ability to collaborate in real time from a secure virtual office, MWH Global can streamline global project management and meet their deadlines on time.
Scalability for any size workload and unmatchable enterprise-grade security are top reasons why companies like MWH Global use Thru for enterprise file sharing and collaboration. With access readily available via web, Microsoft Outlook and Salesforce plugins and mobile devices, Thru enables enterprises to easily manage infrastructure projects with the ability to exchange, sync and share files from anywhere, anytime and from any device.
MWH Global Contributes to Historic Panama Canal Extension Project
One of the most significant projects MWH Global has designed is the expansion of the Panama Canal—also known as the “Third Set of Locks Project.”
In 1914, the 50-mile long Panama Canal was opened to bridge together the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Rather than ships having to sail around the whole continent of South America, the Panama Canal united the two oceans and gave ships a “shortcut” for crossing between these two oceans. The Canal was built with a system of locks that lifts ships using pumped water from a manmade lake to rise them from sea level (Atlantic or Pacific) up to the Canal’s level (85 feet up); and then on to the other side. A century later, the Canal’s two sets of lock chambers became too small to accommodate some of today’s larger ships (known as post-Panamax) that carry twice as much cargo as the previous “Panamax” ships. To increase the maximum vessel size in the Canal, a new lane of traffic with larger locks was needed so that larger ships could pass through.
In 2007, MWH Global began designing the Third Set of Locks Project to expand the Panama Canal in collaboration with other companies. The new locks had to be double the size of the originals and also be able to conserve the amount of water being used from the man-made lake, which is also a source of drinking water for Panamanians. It took over 400 engineers to collaborate on the design of the project from five different global offices.
On June 26, 2016, the expansion of the Panama Canal was officially opened. Here are some interesting facts about the Third Set of Locks Project*:
- MWH Global’s new design more than doubled the capacity of passing ships from 4,600 containers to 12,800 containers.
- It took 4.3 million cubic meters of concrete to build the new set of locks.
- Each new gate weighs 8 million pounds.
- Ships using the Canal instead of going around the Cape Horn (the southernmost tip of South America) save 7,872 miles of travel.
- New water basins created in this project recycle 60% of the fresh water that is used in the locks to lift ships.
* Information courtesy of http://mwhglobal.90dev.com/markets/ports-waterways-and-coastal/panama-canal-supersized/ [archived by third party].