“Windows Vista helps us work more efficiently while conserving personal and environmental resources. It’s all about saving time while we’re helping save the planet.”
-Campion Platt, Owner, Campion A. Platt, Architect, PC
Campion A. Platt, Architect PC is an architecture and interior design firm specializing in custom residential and commercial design for high-profile clients. Its use of Windows Vista significantly improved productivity for a team of 35 architects, designers and support personnel. Several features in Windows Vista — Remote Desktop Connection, Instant Search and Shadow Copy — saved time and improved customer service while supporting the company’s “green” philosophy.
Campion Platt, founder and lead architect, spends 70 percent of his time out of his Madison Avenue office meeting with clients, traveling and working from his second home in Florida. Close collaboration with his team of architects, designers and project managers is critical to the success of the firm’s projects. “I want them to feel like I’m always there,” said Platt. “At the same time, I need to be away from the office generating new business.”
Platt’s project managers must respond rapidly to client inquiries and demands, solve problems, and coordinate with designers, expediters and printers. “I needed a way to get more done and still have a life,” said Willow Ayers, one of several project managers at the firm.
Environmental issues are important at Campion A. Platt. Projects are designed around green products and technologies whenever possible. The green philosophy extends to inside the company. As part of its goal of a paperless office, the company scans thousands of documents and then recycles the paper.
“We scan and recycle every piece of paper we get,” said Ayers. “With so many files, we were wasting a lot of time searching for documents. We considered other desktop searches but had concerns about the data security. We wanted a seamless solution that didn’t require uploading the contents of our drives.”
Campion A. Platt’s design projects are completed using AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Design Suite and Microsoft Office 2007. However, designers didn’t always systematically save their work. When the network went down or a workstation crashed, work was lost, sometimes setting them back an entire day.
“We had angry clients, an angry boss and frustrated designers,” said Ayers. “It was like the dog died. Everyone suffered.”
eMazzanti Technologies, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, helped Campion A. Platt deploy Windows Vista Business in January 2008. The new operating system came preloaded on HP xw4600 desktops with 4 GB of RAM and HP Compaq 6910p Notebook laptops. “We liked the versatility we saw in Windows Vista,” said Ayers.
Remote Desktop Connection
Remote Desktop Connection enables easy remote access to any resource or application a company makes available on the network to its employees. Platt and his project managers started using the feature immediately. Some had previously used other remote desktop access solutions but preferred Remote Desktop Connection in Windows Vista, finding it to be fast and easy to use. They use it from home and while traveling.
“Wherever I am, Remote Desktop Connection puts me right back at my desk,” said Ayers. “When I’m sick I stay home. It’s like I’m never out of the office.”
Instant Search provides fast-as-you-can-type access to any file on Campion A. Platt’s network. Everyone in the office uses Instant Search, according to Ayers, quickly accessing scanned documents, design files and legal files with just a few keystrokes.
“Before we had Windows Vista a lot of time was spent searching e-mail files. Now, with Instant Search, I enter a few keywords to find the right e-mails in seconds,” said Ayers.
Shadow Copy, previously available only at the server level, was immediately activated on designers’ workstations. It automatically creates point-in-time copies of files as users work.
“We have it set to save every five minutes to minimize the potential for lost data,” said Ayers. It’s not something we worry much about because it runs in the background.”
Shadow Copy saves only incremental changes to conserve disk space and works with all file types used at Campion A. Platt, including Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Outlook, Adobe files and AutoCAD files.
More Time with Clients
Remote Desktop Connection helps Platt run the business his way, spending more time with clients, working from his home in Florida and traveling.
“Remote Desktop Connection is invaluable. It’s easy to use, fast and seamless. The bottom line is I can spend more time on the road generating new business and still work closely with my staff on highly collaborative design projects,” said Platt.
Campion A. Platt’s project managers are also able to accomplish more with Remote Desktop Connection. Its versatility has made it Ayers’ favorite new feature in Windows Vista.
“Remote Desktop Connection has improved my productivity at least 50 percent,” said Ayers. “I get more done at home and I feel less stressed. Like my cell phone, I wonder how I ever lived without it.”
Faster File Finding
Ayers remembers an occasion when an entire day was spent searching the network for a misplaced project file. Instant Search now cuts that time to seconds. “I’m always searching for documents. Instant Search saves everyone in the office at least an hour per day,” said Ayers. Platt agrees. “I immediately found a folder our accountants had moved. I might have spent hours looking for it without Instant Search” said Platt.
Lost Work Reduction
Shadow Copy reduces lost work due to system glitches and unsaved files. “Now, the most we lose is five minutes when we have a system problem or a file is accidentally deleted,” said Ayers. “It’s a lifesaver.”
10 to 15 Percent Productivity Boost
Windows Vista has improved Campion A. Platt’s productivity, customer satisfaction and employee morale. Platt estimates the total productivity improvement for his business at 10 percent to 15 percent. “Windows Vista helps us work more efficiently while conserving personal and environmental resources,” concluded Platt. “It’s all about saving time while we’re helping save the planet.”
Download full version: MS WORD or .PDF File