GlobalSCAPE Keeps the Data Pipeline Flowing
at Jordan & Skala Engineers.
Gaining access and collaborating on critical project ﬁles was once a small concern at Jordan & Skala
Engineers. However, continued success and growth leads to increased staff, branch ofﬁces, and proj-
ects to be managed. As the small ﬁrm expanded—nearly doubling in size in three years—the task of
accessing and sharing project data between ofﬁces one ﬁle at a time became a limiting factor in the
effective growth of the company. What was once a small concern became a business-critical issue
that demanded a solution.
So what does GlobalSCAPE WAFS mean to a ﬁrm like Jordan & Skala? It means the freedom to take
on projects that demand talents and resources from all of their ofﬁces, thinking beyond the next ﬁle
transfer, and thinking instead about the future of the company.
Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Jordan & Skala Engineers is an MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and
Plumbing) design ﬁrm with 150 employees located in ﬁve branch ofﬁces across the U.S—two of
which were added in just the past two years. Some of their smaller, more specialized services, such
as telecommunications, are fulﬁlled exclusively at their corporate ofﬁce in Atlanta, where nearly half
of the ﬁrm’s overall staff is housed.
There was a time in the ﬁrm’s history when collaboration between multiple ofﬁces was a rare occa-
sion. As occasional ﬁle transfers were needed, remote PC control software facilitated the ﬁle sharing,
with each project requiring a signiﬁcant amount of manual setup. As the company continued to grow,
Network Administrator Travis Smith began to realize the need for a scalable solution that wouldn’t
require hands-on interaction for each new ﬁle transfer.
Initially, Travis evaluated a WAN acceleration appliance solution. “In the end,” Travis explained, “it
had a wide range of features, but not enough of what really mattered.” In Travis’s opinion, the ap-
pliance approach was a cumbersome solution that would have complicated rather than simplifying
matters. On top of that, Travis felt that their technology was not optimized for CAD data. “We wanted
to ﬁnd someone who really understood CAD and had a WAN solution that enabled our organization
to deliver our projects more efﬁciently and cost effectively,” Travis said.
“Some of our engineers still call today to ask me to send a ﬁle, or to let me know their ﬁle is
ready to be uploaded,” Travis said as he laughed. “They just can’t fathom how their ﬁles are
mirrored in real time. It gets them every time.” Having a seamless solution that would not im-
pact how engineers access and work on project ﬁles was a key deliverable of this solution.
GlobalSCAPE WAFS provides ﬁle lock coherency and instantly mirrors changes to a ﬁle using
byte-level differencing, compression, and encryption, so as soon as a ﬁle is saved or closed,
only the changes to the ﬁles are moved across the WAN and appears in every other location on
the network. WAFS guarantees that users always have the latest version of the ﬁle; and be-
cause the ﬁle changes move when they happen, ﬁles are available at the branch ofﬁces when
the engineers need them. This means that users
are never waiting for ﬁles to upload, download, or WAFS guarantees that ‘‘
open across a network. users always have the
latest version of the ﬁle.
More important to Travis, however, is the automa-
tion. “All I do is set it and forget it,” Travis said. “When a project is going to require ﬁle access
and collaboration across multiple branch ofﬁces, I set up the folders once and the engineers
can begin working without pause.” GlobalSCAPE WAFS is even ﬂexible enough for Travis to
set the unique permission levels that Jordan & Skala requires on individual project folders, and
maintain those permissions across the WAN on each local server.
Another major beneﬁt that Travis has found with GlobalSCAPE WAFS is that it was designed
with CAD in mind. “We don’t necessarily have a need for complex 3D geometries, but our ﬁles
are nonetheless complex in a way that is unique to CAD,” Travis explained. As MEP engineers,
‘‘ Jordan & Skala references external CAD ﬁles from the architects,
‘‘ All I do is set it called ‘base plans.’ In addition, MEP plans require a series of draw-
and forget it. ings such as details, section views, elevations, and schedules—all
of which reference one another. With such a reliance on external
references, Travis said, “Any given drawing may only be 1 MB in
size itself, but it could have up to 10 MB of x-refs tied to it.”
Despite the complexity of Jordan & Skala’s ﬁles, GlobalSCAPE WAFS is able to mirror the
changes—even changes that occur in externally referenced drawings—to ensure ﬁles remain
fully coherent at all sites. The most crucial of these external ref-
erences is the base plan itself, which also changes as the archi-
tect’s design progresses. As Jordan & Skala periodically receives
updated base plans that can affect their designs, Travis simply
is always kept
replaces the base plan on the central server and the change is
reﬂected instantly at all other sites. With GlobalSCAPE WAFS, each engineer in every location
is always kept up-to-date with latest base plan.
According to Travis, “the principals may not know how it does it, but they have taken note of
what GlobalSCAPE can do.” As Jordan & Skala looks to the future, they plan on continued
growth in even more locations. With GlobalSCAPE WAFS, Travis and the rest of the IT staff
are able to focus on planning for that growth, not waiting to react to the challenges that it might
GlobalSCAPE Corporate Headquarters
4500 Lockhill-Selma Road, Suite 150
San Antonio TX 78249
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