Croop-LaFrance, Inc. is a privately-held IT services company of 180 full-time employees based out of Victor, (Rochester) New York. Founded in 1995 by David L. Croop with certifications under the New York State OGS Contract and NYS MBE / Minority-Owned status (including ‘8A’ Small Disadvantaged Business and GSA contract certifications), Croop-LaFrance serves higher education, government, and commercial customers throughout upstate New York and parts of New England.

In 2008, Croop-LaFrance launched CloudDOCX, a hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) document-management service, through Amazon Web Services (AWS). CloudDOCX delivers secure electronic storage, search, access, and retrieval of records with strict audit controls, full backup, recovery, and restoral of records.

Croop-LaFrance chose AWS for CloudDOCX based on the need for a highly-scalable, cloud-computing platform with high availability, dependability, and flexibility to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems and data.

CloudDOCX maintains a fleet of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances running Apache servers to permit encrypted Secure Socket Layer (SSL) transmissions for client sessions. Each CloudDOCX client is provided with a dedicated virtual server instance within the Amazon EC2 infrastructure, allowing Web service interfaces to launch instances, load them with a custom application environment, manage network access permissions, and run specific images within a secure firewall.

In addition to the server, Croop-LaFrance creates a dedicated Amazon Elastic Block Storage (Amazon EBS) device with each instance to contain all customer data, providing off-instance storage that persists independent of the life of the instance. This Amazon EBS device can be attached to any server within the Croop-LaFrance infrastructure, allowing CloudDOCX to resize the customer’s server instance or hard drive capacity independently, with tight access-control policies around both servers and Amazon EBS.

Backups (snapshots) for the Amazon EBS device are stored through Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as incremental, block-level changes accessible only to the CloudDOCX team under strict access controls through 256-bit SSL encryption for HTTPS traffic and Neighborhood Watch.

AWS is pivotal to providing fast, secure access to documentation and reducing storage requirements for Croop-LaFrance CloudDOCX clients, such as:

  • A registered Investment Advisor managing over $6B in assets and owned by one of the world’s largest investment managers with more than $400B in assets under management, whose use of CloudDOCX on AWS reduced turnaround time by half. Accessing client reports went from hours or days to being instant. Remote storage needs were also cut in half by utilizing securely invoked retention cycles, allowing the Investment Advisor to shred eight tons of off-site paper records.
  • A payroll processing firm with a tax services client base of 2,200 customers, whose use of CloudDOCX on AWS made access to records immediate and client-accessible through full text-searching and rapid document-location, reduced production costs by 60% in elimination of paper processes and resource costs, enabling an annual ROI payback in two quarters.
  • An energy company providing propane and fuel distribution, whose use of CloudDOCX on AWS improved customer satisfaction through professional quick response, drastically reduced the need to call dispatch for information, virtually eliminated lag time for paperwork, and saved labor on research and storage by as much as 75%.

CloudDOCX clients are thrilled with the level of service that CloudDOCX and AWS are providing. “We need daily access to various accounts-payable files and found ourselves facing a growing burden in getting to records quickly as we expand operations,” says client Rob Luken of Home Properties, Inc. “Since moving to CloudDOCX electronic records management service for storage and retrieval, we have very quick access…searches are easy, and access to the requested files is immediate.”

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