A.S. Roma Shoots, and Scores

The media team streamlines operations while IT maintains a strong defense

“We can now control everything centrally – who can access, use and download files – while our users work as before. Even the most reluctant users are very happy.”

Fabrizio Preti Chief Technology Officer

The Challenge

The action isn’t all pitch-side for top-flight Italian football giant, A.S. Roma. Behind the glare of television cameras and the feverish atmosphere of the Stadio Olimpico, an information revolution is quietly taking place. It began with a vision to establish a single, global storage environment where documents and files could be securely managed and seamlessly shared – all without impacting user experience or the flow of information throughout the club.

Turning this vision into reality can be a challenge for any organization – particularly those operating in multiple geographies. A.S. Roma’s IT supports over 200 staff around the world, all of whom need access to enterprise-grade sharing capabilities. IT also support the club’s active social media team when they travel the world with the first team or sales executives exploring multi-million sponsorship opportunities in Europe, North America, and Asia.

How can A.S. Roma’s IT leaders maintain effective control of access rights and permissions without stifling the delivery of news to external media organisations or millions of social media fans? The answer, they decided, was to partner with Egnyte.

The Solution

A.S. Roma’s principle concern was information assurance. Experience with Google Drive, Dropbox and other market players had shown how difficult it was to maintain the control and visibility of content flowing through the club. Not only could this lack of visibility expose A.S. Roma to unwanted regulatory attention, but the critical nature of the content (like player fitness or a contractual status) needed the kind of ‘enterprise-grade’ security Egnyte offers.

Having evaluated a lot of different solutions offered by market leaders, including Box and Dropbox, A.S. Roma concluded these ‘consumer file sharing’ applications lacked the centralized control and user permissions the club couldn’t live without. While the starting point was security, it was by no means the only criteria.

Common to all organisations, the performance of A.S. Roma’s non-football functions relies on the swift and pain-free adoption of IT tools. An intuitive and simple user experience was therefore essential, as was seamless integration into the existing Microsoft environment, not to mention the ability to remotely access files and data across a broad range of devices and operating systems.

Having decided to move to a cloud-based file sharing system, the club’s IT leaders were also keen to retain an on-premise option - providing local access for staff as well as a secure backup; features not always available in other solutions.

With Egnyte leading at half time, A.S. Roma embarked on a (paid) pilot to test functionality, reliability and user acceptance. Photographers and members of the social media team were given access to Egnyte, and match photos were uploaded to shared folders to be published in (almost) real-time during games.

The granularity of the permissions provided high levels of security and access control. Real-time reporting features ensured complete visibility of all image-sharing activity. The speed of upload, even on crowded stadium WiFi, was impressive and feedback from users was positive from the outset.

“Egnyte can help address GDPR by controlling permissions and sharing – improving how we identify, protect and manage data.”

Fabrizio Preti - Chief Technology Officer
Egnyte Connect met AS Roma’s criteria by delivering:

Permissions-based sharing
A.S. Roma’s editors and social media teams are based around the world, sharing match images and videos across multiple websites and social networks, in languages including Arabic, Indonesian and Chinese. The granularity of permissions – down to sub-folder level - ensures content will only be shared with named and trusted individuals. Permissions are managed centrally, and real-time auditing allows for visibility of all activity – including user permission reports, log-in activity and a complete audit trail of every file.

File sharing security
Egnyte delivers total data protection at endpoints, in transit, and in storage. Multi-factor authentication and password policies protect both content and users, with no impact on experience or performance. A.S. Roma’s personnel are heavy link sharers, distributing high resolution images and video to media contacts both during and after games. This password functionality was crucial for maintaining control and security.

Intuitive and easy to use
This was key for A.S. Roma. Egnyte’s natural interface and file structure was similar enough to the club’s existing Microsoft environment that it helped drive rapid understanding and adoption, while reducing the threat of shadow IT. Egnyte Connect works across Mac and Windows environments while the mobile app allows instant connectivity and full functionality on Android and iOS devices.

Hybrid environment
A.S. Roma’s IT leaders were keen to maintain local access to ensure an on-premises backup copy of all data. The cloud-based functionality was crucial for remote sales executives, the club’s photographers and social media teams, as well as their selected media and social contacts – ensuring in-game images could be uploaded and accessed with the maximum security and the minimum of fuss.

The Rewards

A.S. Roma’s IT department now has the visibility and control it set out to achieve. The granularity of permissions delivered by Egnyte provides new levels of information assurance – protecting files, documents, users, and the wider football club. Powerful reporting capabilities give IT leaders the confidence that users are complying with internal best practices. While one-click compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) supports their wider compliance effort.

The social media team have embraced Egnyte – securely sharing content with colleagues, media, fanzines and select A.S. Roma bloggers around the world. To illustrate users’ enthusiasm; in just one month over 13,000 downloads were recorded from nearly 500 links created and shared by A.S. Roma staff.

Having clearly demonstrated its enterprise security features, and with positive comments received from pilot users, A.S. Roma has embarked on a program to deploy Egnyte Connect across all corporate activities. Now local and remote workers in marketing, sales, finance, sports and contact center lines of business will enjoy the benefits of Egnyte’s extended file sharing functionality.

Twelve months into the relationship and A.S. Roma is working with Egnyte to bring custom metadata functionality to market. Once complete, it will dramatically improve image search capabilities, allowing A.S. Roma to swiftly identify, access and share key images and videos.