Supporting collaboration in a multi-site workplace

6-minute read
ADW Johnson has worked with TasmaNet to roll out a solution based on business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet^ to a number of its branch offices to support better collaboration on large files between teams.*

For businesses managing teams in multiple locations, effective collaboration on large project files can be a challenge.

Poor or unreliable upload and download speeds can dramatically affect, or even restrict, the ability to send and receive large mission critical files, while downloading and working on local files can also lead to version and quality control issues.

And these challenges are not limited to businesses with multiple offices or branches.

With remote work already a growing trend, the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to accelerate the rate of change, with many employees around the country now working from home.

As the number of businesses managing dispersed teams continues to increase, many are considering how technology solutions can better support multi-site and remote-work collaboration.

This was precisely the challenge that led ADW Johnson to explore a solution based on business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet with the support of its retail service provider, TasmaNet.

“Transitioning our network to [a solution based on] business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet has been a positive experience. We were able to transition all our ICT activities at our Central Coast and Newcastle offices in one go, and started seeing benefits very early on."

Scott Robinson, Director at ADW Johnson

Enhanced communication and concurrent contribution

More than 100 employees make up ADW Johnson’s team with ranging skillsets, qualifications, specialties and experience in civil engineering design, town planning, surveying and project management.

The team operates primarily out of three offices across New South Wales, including Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle.

Some of their current projects include planning and building rehabilitation centres, community football precincts, retail distribution centres, and retirement villages.

Due to the diverse nature of complementary skillsets found within its teams, ADW Johnson is often able to see projects through from start to finish.

This means ADW Johnson employees are often collaborating on large project files, at times needing to work concurrently on the same ones as each team contributes its part of the bigger picture.

And collaboration can be made more complex as they work with data-heavy tools and applications specific to their industry.  

For example, AutoCAD design files and large PDF files are frequently edited and shared between team members with large file sizes.

To support employees in their work, ADW Johnson Director Scott Robinson and Mitch Highman, IT Consultant at Unique IT Consulting, approached retail service provider, TasmaNet.

Their goal was to find a connectivity solution fit for purpose that could provide ADW Johnson with options for faster speeds and a more consistent broadband experience.

A consistent network to support a reliable team

ADW Johnson make an ambitious service commitment to their clients every time they take on a piece of work. To meet that commitment, they need the support of a reliable network that helps deliver a consistent experience to ensure they can deliver work on time.

"We value reliability and stability so highly because we understand that the cost of downtime can be immense,” says Scott.

“Downtime can mean a loss of productive output from staff, up to 30%, or it can mean the loss of direct revenue to the business if downtime happens at a critical moment in working with a new client."

With that in mind, says Scott, the cost of not upgrading to the solution recommended by TasmaNet was just too high to justify staying on the old solution.

Greater network stability and consistency in upload and download speeds than their previous solution were two features available to ADW Johnson through their business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet solution that led ADW Johnson to adopt the solution at TasmaNet’s recommendation.

"The stability and reliability of our new TasmaNet service powered by business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet has been excellent to date," says Scott.  

"Improving our network to a solution based on symmetrical wholesale speeds of 100/100 Mbps* has been immensely beneficial to the business. Allowing our staff to better collaborate with each other between sites, and allowing our staff to work remotely on centralised files.”

Scott Robinson, Director at ADW Johnson

A solution based on the business’ requirements

In helping ADW Johnson find the right solution, Brendan Cooper, Business Solutions Specialist at TasmaNet, said that taking the time to get to know the business was key to choosing the right solution.

“We knew their team valued customer service and emphasised high quality design, documentation and management.

“Further, we knew the applications they used as a part of their day-to-day included 3D modelling, video calling and large email transfers, meaning they were going to need premium network performance to operate effectively,” says Brendan.

Based on these needs, ADW Johnson and TasmaNet selected business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet for the company’s Newcastle and Central Coast worksites, with a 4G backup on a separate network to operate as a failsafe.

The new solution is based on a wholesale Committed Information Rate, which means the sites connected to nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet have wholesale data on the nbn™ network that is not impacted by other best efforts internet traffic on the network, helping it to perform closer to the level and standards they expect.

Today, thanks to the help of their business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet solution, ADW Johnson can have upwards of 80 employees connected concurrently via remote Virtual Private Network to centralised servers and files, making collaboration much simpler and more efficient.

Without needing to download local copies of project files, employees can update large documents concurrently with less risk to the business in areas of version and quality control, let alone missed deadlines due to unexpected downtimes caused by a lack of bandwidth.

This helps ADW Johnson deliver its projects on time and with the confidence they need to make commitments to clients as they continue to grow into the future.  

“Reliable and fast internet is business critical for ADW Johnson. When they came to us with their needs to provide their work sites with better collaboration tools and faster internet, we knew they were the perfect candidates for nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet.”

Brendan Cooper, TasmaNet

* nbn is very happy with ADW Johnson’s experience with the nbn™ broadband access network. Of course, end customer experiences may vary. Of course, end customer experiences may vary. An end customer’s experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to their premises, whether they are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside of nbn’s control (like their equipment quality, software, chosen broadband plan, signal reception, or how their provider designs its network).

^ business nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet upgrade option is only available on the nbn™ fixed line network and for limited premises in the nbn™ fixed wireless and satellite footprints.

# nbn provides wholesale services and wholesale speed tiers to phone and internet providers. An end customer’s experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the nbn™ access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to their premises, whether they are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside of nbn’s control (like their equipment quality, software, chosen broadband plan, signal reception, or how their provider designs its network).