St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences Drives Microsoft SharePoint Adoption and Seamlessly Integrates 2 TB of File Share Data with DocAve

Critical Needs

  • Easy access to file share content through SharePoint without migrating
  • Access to critical legacy data without disruption
  • Retain file permission structure in SharePoint

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  • St. Pölten University
  • Customer Location Austria
  • Industry Education
  • Platform SharePoint 2013
  • AvePoint Solutions Connector

Success Highlights

  • Integrated two terabytes (TB) of file share data with SharePoint, ensuring seamless access to legacy data for 250 SharePoint users
  • Avoided the need to carry out a month-long migration project that would have significantly disrupted business operations
  • Mapped user permission structure from file shares directly to SharePoint to ensure seamless access to content while maintaining security across both platforms
With DocAve, our users have the ability to work with data living in the network drive from anywhere via SharePoint.
Franz Kern Manager of IT and Infrastructure, St. Pölten University

The Challenge

St. Pölten UAS deployed SharePoint 2013 to facilitate better communication and resource-sharing among its 250 employees. While the university’s IT department recognized the platform’s productivity benefits, users still needed access to legacy data that remained in file shares. “SharePoint does not provide native capabilities to map and expose data in a network drive directly to our environment,” said Franz Kern, Manager of IT and Infrastructure at St. Pölten University UAS. “We needed a way to make legacy data accessible in SharePoint without the hassle of migration.”

The university required a solution to ensure employees working outside the office could access important content at all times. “Without performing a migration, it was impossible to guarantee that all of our employees could maintain access to this legacy data while using SharePoint,” Kern said. “We could not spare the effort and time needed to migrate such a large amount of data, so we sought a solution that would allow us to bypass that step.”

The organization also needed a way to retain the file share permissions structure while accessing content from SharePoint. “We have a rather complex permissions structure that would not easily map to SharePoint in a migration scenario,” Kern said. “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for our users to work in SharePoint while making sure everyone had the right permissions.”

With these goals in mind, St. Pölten UAS searched for a third-party solution.

The AvePoint Solution

After testing several third-party solutions, St .Pölten UAS chose to implement DocAve Connector – part of AvePoint’s DocAve Software Platform for SharePoint migration, management, and protection. “DocAve addressed our needs perfectly,” Kern said. “It allows users to access all of our file share content from one place. This was essential in making sure our employees actively use SharePoint moving forward.”

With DocAve, St .Pölten UAS was able to connect 2 TB of file share data directly to SharePoint. Allowing users to collaborate on legacy file share content through SharePoint helped the university drive platform adoption by providing a single point of access for employees. DocAve also helps the university minimize the amount of data stored on its content database, reducing the burden on its SQL Server and maintaining optimal performance. “Our remote workers previously had difficulty accessing network drives from outside the office,” Kern said. “With DocAve, our users have the ability to work with data living in the network drive from anywhere via SharePoint.”

By connecting file share content directly to SharePoint, DocAve also helped the St. Pölten UAS IT department avoid what would have been a disruptive, month-long migration project. “Every employee considers data to be important in different ways,” Kern said. “Migration would have meant interrupted access to data. Even for a limited time, that was not a feasible option for us. We also did not have the time to coordinate a migration of this size. DocAve saved us one month of work that would have been spent on migration, and there was no interruption for users.”

With DocAve’s rapid file share integration capabilities, St. Pölten UAS was able to increase SharePoint user adoption, leverage the platform’s document management functionalities for its legacy content, and boost productivity. The ability to retain all data in file shares meant that IT could rest assured that no content would be lost. “By connecting our data instead of migrating, we were able to prevent any loss of information, especially data in archive,” Kern said.

DocAve also allowed the St. Pölten UAS IT team to maintain its complex permissions structure as it existed in the network drive. Since SharePoint does not have the ability to retain file share permissions on a one-to-one basis for users, the team would have had a very difficult time overcoming this challenge without an external solution. “AvePoint’s technical support team was very helpful in adapting our permission structure to SharePoint and making sure everyone had the correct permissions, meaning work could continue seamlessly on the new platform,” Kern said.

The Bottom Line

DocAve allowed St. Pölten UAS to keep 2 TB of legacy data on file shares while allowing end users to access all of the content within SharePoint. “Through file share integration, we enabled all users – especially those working remotely – to have continuous access to important documents,” Kern said. “Because of DocAve, we did not have to migrate any of our file share content, which was a very important time-saver for our entire team.”

About St. Pölten University

St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences (UAS) was founded in 1996 and has approximately 2,600 enrolled students. Study opportunities include degree programmes and continuing education courses in the fields of health and social sciences, business, and technology.

St. Pölten University