By John Soat
Hypergrowth can pile on the business priorities real quick.
TekStream Solutions, an Atlanta-based IT sales and services company, grew from three people four years ago to its current roster of 75 employees—and counting. Along with surge protectors and task chairs, TekStream realized it needed a better way to access, share, and store business content.
Real-time content collaboration is an indispensable tool in today's workplace.
That's why in February of this year the company implemented Oracle Documents Cloud Service, a new cloud offering that enables file access and sharing across a variety of platforms and devices. Oracle Documents Cloud Service gives TekStream a standard, sophisticated, and scalable approach to file sharing and content collaboration, as well as a future path to more cloud-enabled applications and services.
TekStream specializes in sales, support, and staffing related to Oracle’s Fusion Middleware product line and is a Gold-level member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN). So part of the appeal of the Oracle Documents Cloud Service is that it's "germane to what we do as a company," says Judd Robins, TekStream cofounder and executive vice president of Consulting Services.
Oracle Documents Cloud Service presents several advantages over potential alternatives in terms of ease-of-use, integration, and standardization, Robins says.
For instance, before the introduction of Oracle Documents Cloud Service, some TekStream employees were using file sharing and content collaboration services from familiar names in the market such as Box and Dropbox. In fact, that was the problem—too many separate, and separated, approaches to the same problem, which was partly the result of the company’s explosive growth. “People came in with their own ways of doing business,” he says.
If you can get people to stop e-mailing files or attaching links [to sensitive content], that’s pretty powerful.
—Judd Robins, Executive Vice President, Consulting Services, TekStream
Such a slapdash approach to file sharing and document collaboration wasn’t helping the company’s consultants make the most of their business opportunities or work most efficiently with their customers. That’s not to mention the “e” word—e-mail, which offers file sharing and content collaboration capabilities roughly equivalent to those of the telegraph. “If you can get people to stop e-mailing files or attaching links [to sensitive content], that’s pretty powerful,” says Robins.
TekStream was looking for a file-sharing platform that was relatively simple and cost effective. (Oracle Documents Cloud Service costs $15 per customer.) The company also needed a product that was enterprise-oriented, cross-platform, included support for mobile devices, and could hook into other enterprise applications. “We tried to get our arms around a standard process [for content collaboration],” Robins says. “We needed something we could own internally,” he adds.
After TekStream implemented Oracle Documents Cloud Service among its consultants and began promoting it and using it with its customers, the company realized specific—if surprising—aspects to the service. For example: TekStream was amazed by how quickly its customers were able to use the cloud service effectively, creating folder structures and content taxonomies in relatively short order. “We were pretty shocked about how easy it was,” says Robins.
Another advantage involves security and segregation. Because TekStream employs a multitenant structure in servicing and supporting its customers, content “leakage” is a constant worry. “We have to make sure that a project at Company A doesn’t ‘see’ a project at Company B,” Robins says.
Easily share content and exchange ideas while the IT department governs security and management.
Oracle Documents Cloud Service incorporates security features such as access tracking, audit trails, enterprise-level encryption, and secure sign-on, which are effective and easy to implement. In terms of isolating content, the service supports both schema and account separation, which lets TekStream develop security structures tailored for each instance of the service. “The security that’s provided out of the box from Oracle is exactly what we need,” says Robins.
Oracle Documents Cloud Service is part of Oracle’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings; along with its software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), database as a service (DaaS), and the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, they constitute the Oracle Cloud. The PaaS offerings are notable for their extensibility and integration capabilities using standard industry tools.
Using Oracle Documents Cloud Service, businesses can hook into any of the major enterprise content management platforms, including Oracle WebCenter but also EMC Documentum and Microsoft SharePoint, which many of TekStream’s customers still use. It helps make Oracle Documents Cloud Service an effective file-sharing front end for most companies, no matter what size.
Going forward, for TekStream one of the most intriguing features of Oracle Documents Cloud Service will be its ability to integrate with other Oracle Cloud Solutions. For instance, the company looks forward to joining it with Oracle Process Cloud Service, a set of tools for modeling business processes and decision-making. “Hooking ‘DoCS’ and PCS together makes a ton a sense for [employee] onboarding,” Robins says.
That type of integration opens up the ability for TekStream to offer an array of self-service applications for its customers, an opportunity the company is eagerly anticipating. “Our ultimate goal is to create solutions in Oracle Cloud,” he says.
No doubt Oracle’s expertise and experience was a major factor in TekStream’s embrace of its cloud-based file sharing and content collaboration system. And not only because TekStream is an Oracle partner, Robins says. His company was intent on “putting in a solution that we will be using three years from now,” he says.
If TekStream’s current growth path continues in that time, the company will put its collaboration capabilities—along with those of Oracle Documents Cloud Service—to the test.