Southland Industries is one of the U.S.’s largest building systems expert companies. Because Southland specializes in the design, construction, and service of mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, process piping, automation and controls systems, as well as comprehensive energy services needs, the data needed to work on projects across all of these areas is massive. As their projects grew in scale and scope, so did the amount of data they were producing on a daily basis.
Like many companies that handle large amounts of data, Southland realized that continuing to replicate terabytes of data to 16 locations was unsustainable. Duplicating the files across multiple offices always presents the risk of overwrites, leading to costly rework. Having multiple file versions in different locations also limited the ability for the team to do collaborative work due to the need to pass updated files back and forth.
To pursue its growth objectives, Southland needed a common data environment for collaboration and a unified platform for optimizing joint ventures. They sought a solution that would allow for more collaboration and quicker access to information.
Southland worked with Workspot to deploy Workspot GPU cloud workstations for their employees across their many office locations. Workspot is a cloud-native Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution. The workstations enable the hundreds of CAD and BIM experts on Southland’s staff to use processing-heavy applications and collaborate on complex 3D designs, all while keeping it secured on the cloud. By partnering with Workspot, Southland Industries was able to increase productivity through the implementation of hardware and software that allows for real-time collaboration.
The “Soft ROI” of cloud migration
Many cloud service providers tout the cost savings, but that can be difficult to quantify, and is not an immediate return on investment, at least from a financial perspective. For Southland there have been significant benefits in terms of other “Soft ROI” – such as keeping their workforce nimble and able to respond to work where it happens. Instead of being limited by the location of branch offices in a particular region, Southland can now send designers to work virtually on projects anywhere.
Israel Sumano, Senior Director of Infrastructure Services for Southland, noted that a major benefit of moving to the cloud was the added agility that it provides to their workforce. Because Southland’s employees are geographically diffuse, and they are not always located in the place where the demand for work is at its highest. During the recession, for example, there were some cities that had more of a slowdown than others. If they had had the DaaS system in place at that time, they could have virtually redeployed some of their workforce from the slower areas to those that were still booming.