For a large-scale events organization, the busy season is always hectic and requires peak productivity from its team. When The Parade Company experienced a security breach that left them unable to work in the heart of their busiest season, it put the large event they were planning at risk.
The Parade Company is a nonprofit event-planning organization based in Detroit, Michigan with about 19 employees. The events organized by The Parade Company entertain hundreds of thousands of people every year. Some of the events organized by The Parade Company include America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White, the Ford Fireworks, and The Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot races on Thanksgiving morning.
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In 2015, The Parade Company was using on-premises file shares to collaborate. This was a serviceable solution when working on-site; however, there were numerous challenges accessing the file shares when working off-site. Disaster struck during the busy events season in May 2015 when a trojan horse followed a user who was remoting into their PC and infected their servers.
With work halted just ahead of their popular Ford Fireworks event in late June, Kari Shepley, The Parade Company’s Sponsorship Activation & Project Manager, urgently contacted Apex Digital Solutions to help get them back online. “The team at Apex worked all night and helped get us fully back up and running fully in just a couple of days,” Kari reflected, “This expedient work saved us many lost hours in the middle of our busy season.”
“[After the Trojan Horse attack], the team at Apex worked all night and helped get us fully back up and running fully in just a couple of days. This expedient work saved us many lost hours in the middle of our busy season.”
When Microsoft Teams launched, The Parade Company embraced the opportunity recommended by Apex to finally replace their file shares. Apex’s seamless integration of Microsoft Teams brought Parade Company’s shared drive to the cloud, making collaboration simpler, more flexible, and secure.
The Parade Company was worried that their users’ level of comfort with traditional technology would be a roadblock in their rollout of Teams. However, Apex provided both in-person trainings and access to self-service online learning with BrainStorm’s QuickHelp. This combination of guidance techniques helped rapidly drive adoption of the Teams platform across the Parade team. QuickHelp is still used today to identify and better understand the capabilities of the broader Office 365 suite including Planner, SharePoint, and PowerPoint.
Microsoft Teams provides The Parade Company with easier access to collaborate more effectively from anywhere at any time. They use Microsoft Teams on their desktops at the office, phones on the go, and tablet devices at events to pull information on the spot, making them more agile and efficient than ever. When offices were forced to close during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, The Parade Company was able to seamlessly transition to a fully remote workforce as a result of Microsoft Teams; a feat which would have seemed impossible before.
“Microsoft Teams has granted us unprecedented flexibility in how and where we collaborate as a team,” said Kari, “I can meet with my team and look at all of the information I need for those meetings while I’m travelling in the passenger seat of the car.”
Microsoft Teams has been completely embedded into the way The Parade Company collaborates around all areas of their business including event planning and management of internal initiatives. Every event has its own unique channel where team members can easily organize the specific messages, files, and notes specific to that project. This level of organization paired with real-time document editing and seamless external guest access has enabled The Parade Company to collaborate on a level that they could never attain with their on-premises shared drive.
While The Parade Company is primarily using Microsoft Teams for collaboration today, they are evaluating opportunities to fully leverage Microsoft Teams Meetings and Calling in the future. Plans for new headquarters have been announced and will enable The Parade Company to expand in-house events and rentals – a great opportunity for Microsoft Teams Rooms to enhance the event experience.
“Microsoft Teams has granted us unprecedented flexibility in how and where we collaborate as a team. I can meet with my team and look at all of the information I need for those meetings while I’m travelling in the passenger seat of my car.”
Apex’s expertise and guidance has empowered the Parade Company team with cloud-based collaboration through Microsoft Teams, significantly improving how they work, especially during their busy events seasons. “Apex has helped answer every single question we have ever had,” remarked Kari Shepley, “They have done a fantastic job of helping me get the information and instructions for how to use Microsoft Teams out to the rest of the organization.”
“Apex has helped answer every single question we ever had. They have done a fantastic job of helping me get the information and instructions for how to use Microsoft Teams out to the rest of the organization.”
Apex’s Ignite for Microsoft Teams service offering will empower your organization to streamline collaboration and unleash the power of teamwork across your entire organization. Apex Digital Solutions can assist with the evaluation, purchase, deployment, and success management of Microsoft Teams. Learn More >>