Situation and Challenges
Macerich is one of America’s largest owners, operators and developers of regional malls. Across the Unites States, it owns 72 malls with more than 76 million square feet of leasable space, including some of the country’s highest-performing shopping centers, such as Tysons Corner Center in Fairfax County, Va.; Queens Center in New York City; and Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona.
In developing malls, Macerich is responsible for complying with constantly evolving local, regional and federal environmental laws as new tenants rebuild retail spaces and as new malls prepare to break ground. Working with regulatory bodies requires the filing of many comprehensive reports. Macerich must exchange plans, drawings and other important documents with subcontractors who build out its retail areas to ensure that they meet regulatory requirements.
The individual managing environmental affairs for Macerich found that he was constantly burning CDs and couriering or mailing them to subcontractors as changes were made and revised plans were distributed.
In some cases, he was marking up paper documents and mailing them to the contractors. Macerich’s environmental engineer needed a more effective way to deliver electronic documents. He approached Leon Hampton, Vice President of Information Technology, with a request to find an electronic method of transferring files.
“We had considered FTP, but our network engineers locked down our system and didn’t allow FTP access for security reasons,” Hampton said. “Our environmental engineer didn’t know FTP. Additionally, he had secured a bid to build a custom FTP site because he was frustrated with burning CDs. That led us to look at alternatives.”
Hampton did an Internet search for file-transfer solutions. “One of the sites I had used previously had gone out of business,” he recalled. “Other sites just looked unseemly. And I didn’t want to share a screen with other businesses.”
He then discovered YouSendIt for Business. “YouSendIt for Business looked nice. I really liked the Dropbox and the corporate branding features that it offered,” he said. Initially, Macerich’s cautious IT department expressed concerns about the security of transmitted file. They rejected FTP because files would be kept offsite and could be intercepted. Once they reviewed the white paper ‘7 Key Criteria for Choosing a Managed File Transfer Solution’ and experienced YouSendIt for Business, their concerns were relieved.
“I reviewed the white paper with our security people and gave demos of how it works all the way up to the CIO,” Hampton said. “We saw that YouSendIt for Business uses SSL, employs sound user authentication and password protection features, scans all files for viruses, and has a secure physical structure.”
“Our security folks accepted that sending large files electronically was a bona fide business need and adjusted our network security settings to enable YouSendIt for Business for our use,” Hampton reported.
Hampton purchased YouSendIt for Business and initially opened accounts for himself, a few people in the Environmental Affairs Office and an administrative person. Subsequently, the company implemented a cost-cutting policy, and Hampton realized that other people in the organization must be sending large files and that YouSendIt for Business could slash their shipping costs and save them time.
Hampton forwarded a YouSendIt for Business brochure to top executives in the company proposing YouSendIt for Business be the company-wide solution for sending large files. Each department had unique needs that YouSendIt for Business was able to address:
The Legal Department was having difficulty trying to deliver electronic documents, some of which were as large as 100 megabytes. These files kept bouncing back from the e-mail systems of the lawyers to whom they were sent. The department hoped that YouSendIt for Business would eliminate that problem and it did.
The company’s attorneys understood that YouSendIt for Business would provide the kind of electronic audit trail that would be required in some types of legal proceedings. YouSendIt for Business would send an e-mail message to notify a recipient that a document has been sent and provide an electronic receipt when the file was downloaded.The Legal Department could now prove that a document was delivered to particular individuals and was received at a specified time.
The Legal department’s admin was provided with a department-specific Dropbox where files could be sent and picked up. “If an attorney needs to send us a document, Legal now tells him to go to the Dropbox,” Hampton said.
Next, Macerich’s Tenant Coordination Department also expressed interest in YouSendIt for Business. Employees at one mall were having trouble sending documents to a tenant who was moving in. The e-mail attachments were bouncing back. They called IT and Hampton set them up with YouSendIt for Business. Hampton now is working on informing key managers at all the company’s malls about the benefits of YouSendIt for Business.
Why YouSendIt for Business
Macerich managers were pleased with their secure and easy-to-use YouSendIt for Business solution. “I just wanted to get a file across the street, without worrying about security,” said Hampton. “I wanted a solution that would be super-simple, short, sweet, done. That was YouSendIt for Business.”
Prior to adopting YouSendIt for Business, employees complained that sending files on CDs via FedEx was expensive and wanted an inexpensive way to deliver documents. Hampton bought a YouSendIt for Business license for a year and could send as many files as needed. In fact, a full-featured, five-user account cost no more than the charge for just a couple of courier deliveries a month. “It was a no-brainer,” Hampton declared. “From a corporate point of view, it paid for itself in a short amount of time.”
- Time savings: Burning CDs and delivering files by mail or courier meant three or four days would elapse before responses or changes were received. Lawyers trying to send e-mail attachments would receive bounce-backs after multiple attempts. YouSendIt for Business reduced delivery times to just minutes or seconds and provided assured file delivery. “Now they know it always works,” Hampton said.
- Security: Macerich now has a very secure method to send electronically large files containing sensitive information.
- Ease of use: “These are business people, not rocket scientists,” noted Hampton. “Computers aren’t their sweet spot. We were able to delegate YouSendIt transfers to an administrative person.” He noted that clients and contractors now can simply click a link and pick up a file from the Macerich Dropbox.
- Convenience: Macerich managers particularly liked the downloadable YouSendIt application that was accessible from their desktops, without even opening a browser.
- Enhanced branding: With the Macerich logo on the Dropbox page, the company’s branding is extended to its electronic communications with clients and partners. Recipients see the Macerich logo and know they’re receiving a file from the right company or individual.