CUSTOMER'S BUSINESS: The leading independent public relations firm with a global footprint in 30 countries
CHALLENGES: Geographic constraints and replicating solutions across multiple locations
RACKSPACE SOLUTION: Rackspace Services for SharePoint
BUSINESS OUTCOME: Standardized deployment process, reduced latency, tailoring sites for regional users
Many enterprises are turning to Microsoft® SharePoint for their content management and document collaboration needs, but Edelman Public Relations, the leading independent global PR firm, is leveraging the platform for more than just its out-of-the-box organizational benefits. With the number of technological features and functions available to assist with every aspect of the business, Edelman relies on SharePoint for managing its global presence of 54 offices in 30 countries.
When David Rosenberg started at Edelman as an intern five years ago, little did he know the SharePoint environment he was building would soon be the grounds for a global deployment. From his beginnings as the primary creator of Edelman’s SharePoint environment to his current role as the Vice President of Internet Services, Rosenberg has had a hand in every element of the tool.
When the need arose for a deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, where Edelman did not have a datacenter presence, Rosenberg and his team made the decision to look for a dedicated SharePoint solution that would support their global presence, while also allowing them to maintain full control of the SharePoint environment they had created. Rosenberg had worked with Rackspace before, so he was confident in the breadth of services and depth of technical support that is synonymous with the Rackspace brand.
With a Rackspace Services for SharePoint solution, Rosenberg and his team could migrate their customized SharePoint environment from in-house servers to Rackspace hosted servers — and have a dedicated Rackspace team that takes care of managing their SharePoint servers for them, around-the-clock. This frees up Rosenberg and his team to be able to focus on customizing and maximizing their SharePoint, without the hassles of managing the SharePoint infrastructure itself, which consumed a lot of their time before.
“We aren’t in break/fix mode anymore; Rackspace took care of that,” said Rosenberg. “Forrest Burrows, our lead tech and the rest of our Rackspace team are just as responsible for our SharePoint as we are.”
Like many SharePoint teams, before working with Rackspace, Rosenberg and his team were spending too much of their limited resources on procurement and the mundane task of installing and racking servers. Now they can focus their efforts on user experience and delivering business needs on top of the platform that Rackspace maintains, creating an opportunity to expand SharePoint beyond document management. Rosenberg says that this relationship allows him to keep his team small and nimble.
“All of the day-to-day living and breathing of machines used to take up a majority of our time,” said Rosenberg. “Rackspace took on the maintenance burdens, which unloads this large responsibility from our shoulders. Now we can work more efficiently and our efforts align directly with the strategic initiatives of the business.”
Due to Edelman’s global presence, it was necessary for Rosenberg to create a unified strategy that was easy to replicate across multiple locations. As Edelman’s business became more public facing, it became increasingly important to have language-specific SharePoint sites.
Using a staging site located in Chicago, Edelman created separate translations for the numerous regional Japanese dialects. After being staged, the content can be pushed into the Production Farm and delivered to end-users in Asia, who can toggle between Edelman’s site in both their native language and English.
In addition to creating the ability to customize global sites, Rosenberg says that his account team at Rackspace mitigates many of the pain points associated with large companies. Before Rackspace came into the picture, procuring and on-boarding new acquisitions was a difficult process, each different from the next. Edelman’s account team at Rackspace has helped create a standardized IT process used during acquisition and consolidation, providing for each segment of Edelman to run in the same manner with the same practices.
Rosenberg knows his account team members at Rackspace by name and can call at them whenever he needs them. He added that Fanatical Support® is something that is “an enormous value-add” to outsourcing with Rackspace.
“One night I got a message at 1:30 a.m. informing me of an issue; by the time I got to the office the next morning, it had already been solved. If we had to take care of it in-house it would have taken two days to fix, but with Rackspace it took 45 minutes,” said Rosenberg.
Rackspace is known in the industry for their skill and support as well as a broad technical portfolio that includes dedicated hosting, virtualization, email and cloud-based infrastructure. According to Rosenberg, the depth of experience and knowledge that the Rackspace team for SharePoint brings to the table is invaluable.
“It is all of the other ‘stuff’ that makes such a huge difference,” said Rosenberg. “We can add a firewall, get around-the-clock service or spin up a cloud. That is something that the other providers just can’t do.”
From the moment Rosenberg began the customer on-boarding process, he says his experience has been nothing short of exceptional. He feels that Forrest and the rest of his Rackspace team have become instrumental to his internal team. It is that difference that Rosenberg says he relies on, and ultimately why he continues to put his trust — and his infrastructure — in Rackspace hands.
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