Syncplicity and EMC: Providing File Sync & Share For All

Like email and mobile capabilities, the ability of members of your organization to safely share large files via multiple devices online with colleagues and partners is a fundamental need in today’s business world. That’s why EMC IT is making online file sharing and mobile collaboration available to all of its employees as a “birthright” when they join EMC.

It’s also why we expect to have all of our 48,000 users converted from using consumer cloud services to using our in-house enterprise online filing share and mobile collaboration tool—Syncplicity—by the end of Q2 2014.

In fact, we managed to migrate some 36,000 IT users to Syncplicity and away from using unapproved collaboration tools within just three months of launching this in-house tool about a year ago.

Prior to that time, we faced a growing problem around our users’ file sharing and collaboration practices. Our email system restricted the size and type of files they could share with colleagues. As more public cloud services became available on line, more of our business users were turning to these consumer tools to get around our internal restrictions. The problem was that free-flowing collaboration was also getting around IT controls to safeguard our data.

Deploying Syncplicity, which EMC acquired in May of 2012, in conjunction with EMC’s Atmos on-premises storage, solves the problem. It not only offers users cutting-edge collaboration abilities but its enterprise-ready features allow IT administrators to have a lot of control over safeguarding the documents being shared. With Syncplicity, it is easy to set access and use policies. Administrators can turn the knobs as much as they want in customizing safeguards.

We are also working on adding Document Righst Management (DRM) features that will let users set controls on their documents—defining who can print, edit, modify or read shared files.

Migrating users from a cloud solution to on-premise requires outreach and communication efforts. Here are the steps EMC IT used:

1. Worked with Syncplicity Support to identify cloud users (because they are in the cloud, the IT department doesn’t have visibility to the users who are using the cloud).

2. Communicated the changes between the cloud and the on-premise solution, the why (risks) and the timeline to the users.

3. The day of cutover, worked with Syncplicity support on moving the users to the Enterprise account (again, because they are in the cloud, the IT department doesn’t have access to move them).

4. Deployed the list of Syncplicity clients (either via a management tool or via link so the users could install the on-prem version).

Along with continuing to migrate users to our in-house file sharing tool, EMC IT is currently working to make Syncplicity more effective globally by utilizing our data centers in EMEA and APJ. While users in those locations can now use Syncplicity, any documents they share must be accessed through U.S. operations, which is not optimal for user performance. We are working to create a Syncplicity hybrid model in which some documents will be on premise in the U.S. and some will be in data centers across the globe.

While this change will be behind the scenes and not visible to users, it will expedite the time it takes to upload files that, for example, are coming to the U.S. all the way from EMEA.

To learn more about how EMC IT deployed Syncplicity, check out our white paper, How EMC IT Deployed Syncplicity With On – Premises Storage.

About the Author: Wissam Halabi

Wissam is a Chief Infrastructure Architect and Senior Director with 25+ years of IT roles. He has extensive experience and proven success in transforming IT to digital IT by implementing wide range of technologies, clouds and new innovations to enable business capabilities and services in an enterprise $100B+ leading Cloud and Technology company.

Under Wissam’s leadership, he is tasked to deliver blueprints, North Star strategies, innovation and POC's for End User Computing, Data Lake, Multi-Cloud (such as VMware, Microsoft Azure, office 365, AWS and others), Virtual Clients, Modern Network, IT Operations, Messaging and Unified Collaborations and Communications.

A key program for Wissam was an integration program focused on solving for the unique challenges presented by the Dell and EMC Merger for core IT functions including Network, Cybersecurity, Email, Collaboration Tools, Identity and Access & Client Devices.

Wissam has a Master of Computer Science from Boston University and Bachelor of Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology from Northeastern University.