How a Proof of Concept Helped Modernize And Secure Farrow’s Technology

Farrow is a diversified, family-owned customs broker and logistics provider with over 100 years of expertise in international trade. With over 700 employees and 29 offices and warehouse locations, Farrow is the largest privately owned customs broker in Canada.


The CIO at Russell A. Farrow Logistics (Farrow), Arlene Coates, who joined the company in 2019, put in place a strategy that, amoung other things, included the modernization of many of its legacy systems.  The organization was still early in its cloud adoption and acutely focused on security. Having successfully worked with them in the past, Arlene approached CrucialLogics for help. Arlene was confident CrucialLogics had the knowledge and expertise to guide and assist the team in implementing a number of projects while also enabling the team to be self-sufficient with the new tools after implementation. Arlene commented, “I feel like I’m in a partnership where they genuinely listen to the concerns and collaborate with us to develop innovative and creative ways of solving problems.  With their Consulting With A ConscienceTM approach, it never feels like a sales pitch or that I’m being upsold.”


First, CrucialLogics led the migration of the existing email system to Office365, which provided the organization with better productivity tools while enhancing overall security. Arlene said, “Mail for any company is critical, but it’s also the ingestion point for many of our businesses. I appreciated that the team took the time to really understand our business before designing the migration and adoption plan.”  This first project also included the adoption of advanced threat protection tools.

Next, they introduced the Windows Virtual Desktop to enable employees to work securely from home without moving Farrow hardware back and forth from the office. CrucialLogics quickly built a proof of concept that allowed the leadership team to see the value of the proposed solution. 

The final project was to modernize the corporate intranet and document management platform using SharePoint. Again, they started with an iterative approach to show the value of a modern intranet and ensured employees learned as they went. Arlene commented, “It was the most painless light lift of a corporate Internet I’ve ever seen. It was delivered on time and on budget, and the organization was absolutely blown away.  We could have spent half a year to a year on it, and it was literally a couple of months, and we were up and running.”

With the ongoing assistance of CrucialLogics, Farrow is well on their way to completing the initial modernization strategy.  “These projects have boosted the communication and morale of our employees, and more importantly, they have strengthened our overall data security, helping Farrow mitigate the overall risk of cyber security breaches.”  Arlene reported, “Employees are really enjoying working with the new tools and taking on a lot of their own training to learn the different platforms. “It’s been very, very positive feedback so far.”

It’s been a really good partnership, and I often reach out. I see the partnership being a long-term one.

Arlene Coates, Chief Information Officer Farrow