Horizon Beverage has a highly mobile and distributed workforce, numbering approximately 350-400 people, travelling daily to restaurants and liquor stores. Lew Pollock, Vice President of Technology at Horizon Beverage, explains: “Between the five states that we operate in, our mobile sales force is on the road constantly. They require access to a variety of files, such as inventory spreadsheets, pricing and promotion information, or presentations. Many of these files are too large to easily send by email and we had been using USB drives to deliver them. However, this sometimes caused version control issues and we could realistically only send out updated USB drives once or twice a month. As the company grew so did the requirements for file sharing and we looked at a better approach for this.”
Horizon Beverage wanted a file sharing solution similar to Dropbox or OneDrive but one which would be native to its own network and subject to its security policies. Pollock came across Micro Focus Filr at just the right time: “Filr provided exactly what I was looking for at a reasonable price. It enabled us to share files with our mobile workforce without a heavy IT burden. We could implement it without the need to create new file repositories, inboxes, or access requirements.”
Filr was soon up and running and very well received within the organization. Horizon’s sales people have been pleased with a central repository where they can find up-to-date pricing and promotion information, as well as presentations, inventory spreadsheets, and sales tools to help the end customer, and ultimately increase revenues. Filr gained popularity within other parts of the organization too and soon HR was using it for its staff benefit forms and the graphics department shares proofs of new sales displays via Filr. Customer service staff use Filr on a daily basis as well.
Recently, Horizon Beverage upgraded to the latest version of Filr, a process which was surprisingly easy, according to Pollock: “During the upgrade process, we received excellent support from Micro Focus which really impressed us. A configuration error in the initial set-up had given us some performance issues, and when Micro Focus spotted this, it was very quickly corrected so that when we went live with the newest version of Filr, the performance had improved enormously, a real benefit for us.”
Internal and Filr-connected staff are treated exactly the same with the same Active Directory rights and security policies.
Filr delivers improved administration, a feature Horizon was particularly pleased with. Pollock: “We had given some input to the Micro Focus development teams and were so pleased to see that our feedback had been taken on board and translated into meaningful improvements to Filr. The information flow, saving and finding information, and reporting have all improved and made our lives much easier. Filr enables easier file sharing and synchronization as well. With the new Files On-Demand desktop clients feature you don’t need to download all of your files from the Filr server. Instead you can download only the files you need just by opening the file. This offers the advantage of quick provisioning, super-fast file syncs, lower network load, and low hard disk usage.
The new functionality and enhanced performance is prompting us to extend the file sharing capability beyond our own organization and look seriously at bringing our suppliers and customers on board with Filr too. Filr is basically the only way our sales teams receive information and it replaces a lot of email traffic on our network.
He concludes: “Other solutions we looked at were cumbersome and not straightforward to integrate into our IT infrastructure. Filr is easy to work with and its functionality and flexibility surpass anything else we looked at. We are delighted with it and will be looking to expand its usage to better serve our internal and external audiences.