The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2001, ACORE has been the leader in uniting its key stakeholders to promote the transition towards a renewable and clean energy economy.
ACORE was relying heavily on on-premises servers that were both costly to maintain and unreliable. Their staff was also experiencing significant downtime while trying to connect with a VPN, making them less productive at work. When they decided to move to a new office three years ago, the need to transition to the cloud became more urgent.
Ciracom Cloud helped in the following ways:
“During the transition, Ciracom Cloud was extremely helpful. They communicated the process very well to us and made sure that the transition wasn’t at all disruptive. It’s just been really helpful having a company like Ciracom Cloud go above and beyond our requests.” - Mario Dasilva: Admin & Human Resource Manager
To create a seamless experience for ACORE’s employees, Ciracom Cloud enabled Single Sign On. To ensure a successful roll out, Ciracom Cloud synced user accounts from Azure Directory to Office 365, using Azure Active Directory Connect. Enabling SSO not only allows their users to easily manage their credentials, but it also eliminates the need to enter their password every time they require access to Office 365. If an employee resets their Office 365 password, it also resets the local domain password, thus their passwords will always stay one and the same.
Ciracom Cloud halted the use of ACORE’s on-premises servers and migrated them to SharePoint Online. This allowed users to store, organize, and instantly share documents and data across their devices. With Single Sign On (via Azure Active Directory Connect), users could easily access SharePoint Online through map drives to their device to eliminate having to go to the web and login to access their files.
In addition to migrating their email to Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Ciracom Cloud added Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (now called Microsoft Defender), which scans emails for cyber threats. Ciracom Cloud also deployed Microsoft Teams, the backbone of communication within and outside ACORE’s organization. Teams has been their go-to for virtual meetings, communications, and recruitment efforts.
Ciracom Cloud also implemented layers of overlapping security into ACORE’s network. Microsoft Defender for Office 365, for example, prevents unsafe URLs and malicious attachments from making it through to a user’s computer. If for some reason they get through, other solutions filter content and block known hazardous sites, bad files and links.
By moving everything to the cloud (SharePoint Online) and building online servers (Azure), Ciracom Cloud helped to create a more productive environment, one that is significantly safer and more cost-effective for virtual work.
When asked how transitioning to the cloud impacted their day-to-day operations, Dasilva said, “We were lucky we switched over to the cloud a few months before the pandemic, especially since during the pandemic we had to move our offices virtually. We didn’t have to worry about people connecting to VPN anymore. If anyone had any issues with their work computer, they still had access to their files by using their own personal laptop/desktop. There has never really been a downtime for us since then.”
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