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Baker Tilly is deploying Huddle to standardise its collaboration platform globally

Baker Tilly is deploying Huddle to standardise its collaboration platform globally

Global accountancy and advisory firm Baker Tilly International has deployed Huddle’s cloud-based collaboration platform in a bid to improve efficiency and centralise collaboration management for over 150 member firms and 700 offices globally.

The company said before implementing Huddle it relied on a heterogeneous mix of platforms (including SharePoint) developed internally to support collaboration between clients and colleagues on tenders or projects. For a company stretched across 700 offices worldwide, that meant wasting a lot of time training stakeholders, and a lot of resource managing local data restrictions.

“Teaching people how to use a new technology every single time we embarked on a new project was inefficient. When you have numerous people working on one file, trying to deliver one specific outcome, there’s often the temptation to go back and forth via email or use tools such as Dropbox,” said Paul Ginman, chief operating officer, Baker Tilly International.

“As cybercrime is growing at an increasing rate it represents both escalating risks and costs for our member firms and their clients. The rising sophistication of cyber criminals has increased enterprise level exposure and therefore it is an issue that is currently high on most board level agendas. Clients trust us with their sensitive data and as the risks around protecting that data grow, our systems need to be more robust to combat them. Consumer level tools do not have the same security measures as something like Huddle,” he said.

The move to Huddle helped centralise permissioning and data management, and helped bring member firms and other stakeholders onto one standardised platform, he said.

Ginman told BCN that finding a good fit for Baker Tilly in terms of tooling was quite challenging as a growing number of firms – like Box, Dropbox and Atlassian – move into this space.

“We found that many of the platforms are either too tailored and required a large amount of development time to deploy, or they were extremely complicated to use and had features we didn’t need.”

“Collaboration is a people process, not a business process, and so it is far more important to us that our people can use a tool easily – which denotes an off-the-shelf system – than it being specifically tailored to a specific service line or business function,” he added.

Ginman’s comments are interesting in light of how some collaboration incumbents are moving forward. Box for instance seems to be quite focused on tailoring its platform to specific sectors with its Box for Industries initiative, having also aligned its acquisition strategy with that mantra.