Executive Summary: ACORE Benefits from Full Cloud Migration with Ciracom Cloud and Microsoft 365
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. Due to this successful promotion, ACORE has seen over two-thirds growth of the annual U.S. renewable energy capacity.
Prior to ACORE migrating to Microsoft 365, they were heavily reliant on VPN technologies to connect to on-premises servers. When they moved to their new offices, the plan to transition to the cloud became a reality.
“I think our push came when we were moving offices and my boss didn’t want to bring all of our physical files. He wanted everything in the cloud,” recalled Mario Dasilva, Admin and Human Resource Manager for ACORE. “We were having issues connecting to our server, in addition to the maintenance and warranty cost, the cloud seemed to be the best solution for us. Moving to the new office space created the perfect timing for this transition,” he added.
To achieve their goals, Ciracom Cloud was able to determine that the following should be implemented:
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- Microsoft Teams Phones
- Migration to SharePoint and OneDrive
“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
Setting Up Single Sign On
To create a seamless experience for ACORE’s employees, Ciracom Cloud enabled Single Sign On (SSO). To ensure a successful roll out, Ciracom Cloud synced user accounts from Azure Directory to Office 365, using Azure Active Directory Connect. With that in place, users could now automatically sign in and access their Office 365 account (once they logged in to their corporate devices connected to the corporate network). 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.
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.
Migration to SharePoint Online
Since ACORE was determined to make this transition, Ciracom Cloud halted the use of their on-premises servers and VPN and migrated them to SharePoint Online. This allowed users to store, organize, and instantly share documents and data across their devices. With the SSO (via Azure Active Directory Connect), users could easily access SharePoint Online through mapped drives to their device to eliminate having to go to the web and login to access their files.
Configuring Microsoft Products
Microsoft Teams has been the backbone of communication within and outside ACORE’s organization. Teams has been their go-to for virtual meetings, communications, and recruitment efforts. When asked how Teams is being utilized in their recruitment process, Dasilva responded, “Just like everything in the pandemic, the HR world has changed. Everything is virtual. So, in coming up with the process of interviewing, we definitely heavily use Teams. We can now reach out to people who are probably living somewhere in Colorado, for instance; people who may want to move to D.C. Despite not being able to do in-person interviews, we can still engage in a virtual landscape, and that’s something I probably wouldn’t have thought about.” He also shared that they conduct written exercises after every interview through the Office 365 platform.
Prior to maximizing their cloud solutions, ACORE was having issues with their physical servers, as they were either too old or too costly to upgrade or maintain. Their staff was also experiencing significant downtime while trying to connect with a VPN, making them less productive at work. By moving everything to the cloud, Ciracom Cloud created a more productive environment, one that is significantly safer and more cost-effective for ACORE.
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.”
On top of that, utilizing Microsoft Teams became an integral part of ACORE’s day-to-day communications. Dasilva shared how quickly he now communicates and receives feedback from his colleagues, and how they can instantaneously set up meetings whenever the need arises. “Microsoft Teams is something that has been a lifesaver for all of us. In email, it may take longer to respond. But on Teams, if you call me, I usually respond right away. I’m able to connect with people more promptly,” he explained.
Overall, the solutions that have been implemented enabled ACORE’s goals come to fruition; that is, to transition to the cloud as seamlessly as possible.
Dasilva continued, “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.”
Interested in updating your business’s Microsoft technologies and migrating to the cloud? Book a free consultation with one of Ciracom Cloud’s experts here!
© Copyright 2023 Ciracom Cloud. All Rights Reserved. Various trademarks held by their respective owners.