Engineers at Vandis help clients build secure cloud and on-prem environments. By using Lucidchart, they've cut their documentation process from between 20 and 40 hours to a mere four.
Vandis is a security and infrastructure solutions integration company based in Long Island, New York. The company’s work in the cloud has led them to become a Microsoft Gold Partner, an AWS Advanced Partner, and a Google Cloud Partner. According to Vandis’ head of cloud architecture, Tom Ricardo, Lucidchart played a significant role in getting the company to where it is now.
“Lucidchart helped make us scale our cloud practice more quickly by standardizing on one platform for our team to collaborate on architecture.”
Collaborating with customers
Vandis helps clients build secure cloud and on-prem environments, and when they start working with a customer, the engineering team first needs to determine what their current network looks like when they step through the door. Typically, their existing architecture documentation is awkward and inconsistent.
Now, the team at Vandis can whip out Lucidchart while with a client and build a diagram of their current network and outline suggested improvements. Or they can draw it out on a whiteboard, take a photo, and recreate the design in Lucidchart 20 minutes later.
Vandis helps clients migrate between cloud providers or from on-premise to the cloud. A Vandis engineer built a multi-cloud design in Lucidchart, and it has become their go-to template. The Vandis team can customize it for each client to include only the necessary platforms. Vandis team members now call this master diagram their menu since they can work off it to quickly build diagrams on the spot.
With Lucidchart, Vandis always has the most up-to-date shape libraries to ensure they can use the appropriate icons without having to find a stencil kit. Using these professional icons builds confidence with customers.
Vandis engineers can make changes to diagrams on the fly, and clients see those changes in real-time. Lucidchart also makes it easy for Vandis to distribute diagrams—the entire team can share diagrams with clients directly, so they can make their edits, download the diagrams to be added to a design document, or export them to a Visio file to send over.
Working in the cloud
When the head of Vandis Cloud Architecture was asked about his favorite Lucidchart features, he immediately listed the ‘nimbleness’ of the platform. The Vandis team loves that Lucidchart is in the cloud rather than a desktop application. It allows the constantly-mobile Vandis team to work on the go. Tom explains:
“The Vandis team can work on Lucidchart on tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Our engineers are on planes and trains and in the back of cars constantly, and they can continue to work there without interruption. Before a presentation, any team member can quickly make changes to fit the client’s unique needs.”
Lucidchart’s iOS app also grants the Vandis team flexibility. If a Vandis engineer is in a subway station when a client requests one of the diagram assets, it can be sent over via mobile device in just three clicks without disrupting the commute.
Lucidchart also ensures Vandis engineers never lose their work. Right before heading to Google Next to represent Vandis, a team member’s computer became inaccessible. But because they used Lucidchart to build all their visuals, they were able to pull up Lucidchart on a personal computer and have every document at their fingertips.
“We were able to log into Lucidchart on a personal laptop or smartphone and continue the meeting without disruption.”
Communicating across teams
With Vandis proliferating, the engineering team has a lot on their plates; they need to be able to communicate with each other quickly and efficiently to keep projects moving and provide the optimal customer experience.
Lucidchart allows Vandis lead engineers to pass information off to team members seamlessly. Instead of endless meetings or lengthy email threads, engineers share diagrams which provide all the documentation colleagues need in a single location.
A Vandis engineer once walked into a meeting with a potential client to discover they were expecting a prepared PowerPoint presentation while they had been expecting a whiteboarding session. But all they had to do was open Lucidchart and start talking through a design, resulting in a very productive meeting. Today, that client is one of Vandis’ most significant accounts. Tom explains:
“Lucidchart allows us to turn things over infinitely quicker. There was no way we could have handled our client load without Lucidchart.”
This increased efficiency stems mainly from the use of templates, as Vandis can now choose from the templates available rather than starting from scratch each time. Using Lucidchart has cut the documentation process from between 20 and 40 hours to a mere four. For the team at Vandis, choosing Lucidchart means choosing increased innovation and efficiency.