CCP Tech determined the most effective data storage solution and provided training to support Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region in sustainably maintaining growth.
Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region is on a mission to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. They envision a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region (Habitat) was founded in 1983 by seven local churches and has remained a top Habitat for Humanity affiliate since its establishment. Through faith, innovation, and passion, and thanks to the support of countless community partners, volunteers, donors and advocates, Habitat Charlotte Region has made a significant impact in Charlotte and the surrounding area since its founding.
Habitat came to Apparo for support in implementing a solution for efficiently storing and naming files in order to continue the sustainable growth of their organization. Habitat recently experienced a merger with another organization, relocation to a new office space, staff turnover, and other situations through COVID that increased the difficulty of storing files in one central location.
Data Storage Pain Points
When Habitat came to Apparo, they recognized many pain points in their data storage strategy including:
- Staff saving files in many different locations, including local hard drives making collaboration difficult.
- 2012 server and 2012 operating system that had a great risk of tech failure.
- Habitat moved off this server but needed to migrate documents to the cloud.
- Prior to COVID, Habitat went through a merger, increased the number of offices, and had files saved in many different places.
- Transitioning to work-from-home during COVID and after was problematic due to access to server and limited VPN reliability.
Data Storage Goals
Apparo matched Habitat with a skilled volunteer from CCP Tech, Ross Feldman and Bill Hammelman. They provided an overview on storing files in Teams and SharePoint and showed Habitat team members how these platforms interact with each other. Based on this information, Habitat nonprofit participants including Kerr Collins and Sagan Cichocki then selected Teams as the primary location for storing their files. Prior to the beginning of this project, Habitat had upgraded their server from the 2012 server, and needed helped on establishing a data strategy to migrate 10 years of data to the Cloud.
Their main goals from this project:
- Improve security
- Enhance collaboration
- Migrate over 10 years of data to the Cloud
- Create naming conventions
- Train staff
“Bill Hammelman and Ross Feldman from CCP Tech played an instrumental role in shaping our file sharing strategy and migration to the cloud. They provided expertise to help us solve a number of nuanced challenges and held our hand along the way. The Habitat team very much appreciates their time and expertise which they freely shared with us,” Kerr Collins, VP of Business Operations for Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region shared.
As a result of this project, Habitat has increased efficiencies by storing files in the cloud. They have established naming conventions, allowing them to easily find files. By saving the files in the cloud and sharing links, they have also increased collaboration among staff members. Two years ago, Habitat staff used Teams only for video conferencing. Through this project, they improved their usage of Teams and began using it as their main software for data storage. Some team members use SharePoint as well.
Increasing security has been perhaps the greatest benefit to Habitat. By using Teams, they are able to set permissions and privacy settings to scan for PII (personally identifiable information). Because of this, sensitive documents can be encrypted and saved for certain people to access. They are also now encrypting their emails for PII.
In addition, they were able to purge hundreds of gigabytes of data through this process. Lastly, construction workers are now able put data directly into the system while on the job instead of having to wait until they are back in the office, because editing is enabled on their mobile devices.
Volunteers Share a Few Words
Volunteers from CCP Tech shared a few words about their experience working with Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region.
“The Habitat for Humanity team was a pleasure to work with. I was impressed by their planning and thoughtful approach to their strategic implementation of cloud technology. The team had a robust plan of action in place when we began our project, and the volunteer team had the opportunity to help refine the details to ensure a successful implementation. We addressed specifics around data classification and information security helping take the plan from good to great. It has been an honor to work with a well-run organization like Habitat for Humanity, and I look forward to seeing the successful execution of their cloud strategy,” Bill Hammelman shared.
“The Habitat Team has been a pleasure to work with. They are the embodiment of making more happen with less people. Whenever we came up with a solution they were nodding in agreement, because they thought the same. They already had that idea and only wanted an outside party to confirm that was the best and most efficient approach. While I am saddened this is the end of the project, I look forward to working with their team more in the future,” Ross Feldman shared.