Architecture & Planning
SWA Group is a world design leader in landscape architecture, urban design and planning.
Needed a file transfer solution to improve the sharing of information between international offices and customers.
SWA Group implemented Thru’s File Exchange and Collaboration Platform and Content Delivery Network (CDN) to replace FTP.
SWA Group has developed an international reputation over the years for its commitment to design excellence and creativity. Founded in 1957 as Sasaki Walker and Associates, the company has completed landscape architecture, planning, and urban design projects around the world. SWA shares files and collaborates with many partners to complete contracted projects.
With more than 130 designers in seven offices and nearly half of its projects based internationally, SWA Group needs to communicate efficiently from a distance. Designers must exchange large CAD files and other intellectual property with partners, suppliers and customers around the world on a daily basis, without compromising on speed. Email restrictions on file types and latency issues made the exchange time consuming and cumbersome, and the FTP solution was not much better. Particularly problematic was the exchange of documents and files with a partner design-firm in Kunming, China, where files up to 125 MB were transferred weekly. Traditional solutions were problematic: a typical FTP connection took hours to exchange the files, T1 lines priced upward of $7,500 monthly and purchasing a Wide Area Network upgrade was cost prohibitive. Since these three options were out of the question, SWA Group began to look for a solution.
After two years of research and testing, SWA Group implemented Thru’s File Exchange and Collaboration Platform and Content Delivery Network (CDN) to replace FTP. Thru’s platform integrates with Microsoft Outlook, IBM Notes, SharePoint and Salesforce.com to allow the secure transfer of files or folders of any size without any special training or assistance required from the IT staff. Files are easily downloaded by the recipient, though they remain completely secure.
Since files and folders can be stored securely in the cloud, all users can securely and easily access files from anywhere at any time. Management is also greatly simplified, since the administrator has the ability to effortlessly set or modify who has access to different files, as well as to track and audit information on who has received what files.
The CDN dynamically distributes files to strategically located core, fallback and edge servers. This allows content to be uploaded onto multiple servers and delivered using the server closest to the recipient, greatly speeding delivery around the globe.
After the deployment of Thru’s solution, SWA Group’s global file exchanges to China which previously took 3 hours now take 12 minutes — and for a fraction of the costs of dedicated T1 lines or Wide Area Network upgrades. SWA is also pleased they can set up external partners with access to specific documents shared on projects so that file exchange and collaboration can be done automatically. SWA and their partners now download files effortlessly while keeping project information well-organized and easily shared. Since employing Thru, SWA has been able to stop worrying about file transfers and security and return to their core business.