Discover how SLSA funds more mission-critical activities through storage optimization with AvePoint Opus.

Success Highlights

Unburdened IT with automated archiving and self-service restores
Reduced storage costs by 50%
Scalability with data growth
Slsa banner
Surf life saving logo

Customer Location Sydney, Australia

Industry Not-for-profit

Platform Microsoft 365

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Surf Life Saving Australia is Australia’s peak coastal water safety, drowning prevention, and rescue authority. Surf Life Saving exists to save lives, create great Australians, and build better communities.

With 181,603 members and 314 affiliated Surf Life Saving Clubs, Surf Life Saving Australia represents the largest volunteer movement of its kind in the world. Since Surf Life Saving was established in 1907, over 660,000 people have been rescued by their surf life savers.

Critical Needs

  • Reduce content by 7 TB
  • Self-service recovery capabilities for archived files
  • Set-it-and-forget-it data protection
  • Safeguard against ransomware and data leaks

The Challenge

Right off the iconic Bondi Beach, Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA)’s mission is to save lives. Yet their growing IT budget and storage costs were threatening to impact their mission-critical activities. To retain their more than 10 TB of SharePoint data, SLSA was paying for extra storage, and even with their non-profit rate, the expense was growing and growing.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t just delete the excess content. “Much of our content is video footage and photographs held for archive purposes. We also have historical reports and statistics that we need to keep for the future. We need to hold on to any photos or videos, basically forever.” Staff turnover is another issue, “Often new staff won’t know the history behind data being stored and are hesitant to just delete what they don’t know about.”

Their storage strategy was unsustainable. “Every month when it was time to pay the invoice for extra storage, I thought about everything else that money could go to,” Scott says. “Nobody was going to sit there and delete it – no one is brave enough to delete data and it was too manual for IT. But we couldn’t keep paying each month.”

SLSA’s IT service provider, Exigo Tech, began to look for a solution that could handle their storage problem.

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Every dollar that is spent on IT are dollars that can’t go back to the clubs and rescue efforts. It could mean the difference in a club having a rescue boat or extra jet rescue when they need it. With these solutions, we are successfully reducing our IT budget and putting more money into saving lives.

Scott Randall
Manager - National ICT Unit, Surf Life Saving Australia

The AvePoint Solution

SLSA’s priority requirement for a solution was end-user restores. “SLSA wanted to make it easier for their users and not unnecessarily burden their admins with basic tasks such as recovering files, moving data and creating links, basically managing the lifecycle of their data in SharePoint,” Maurice Bonotto, Head of Sales, Exigo Tech, explained. “We searched the market but were having trouble finding a product that offered this capability. AvePoint was the only one that met this requirement.”

When they learned that AvePoint Opus gave end-users the power of any time, granular restores and gave admins comprehensive monitoring and auditing, they requested a demo. Immediately, SLSA was sold, knowing their data would be safe, easy to access, and compliant with government and industry regulations.

AvePoint Opus helps organizations take full control of their data storage by identifying unused or inactive content and moving it to lower-cost storage tiers or archiving it and keeping it in place. Should an end-user need to access an archived item, they can request a restore via the access link.

“Our goal is to archive at least 7 TB of data so we can stop paying for extra storage,” Scott explains. “We started small, deciding to archive everything that hasn’t been used in 2 years, but we’ll continue to refine these parameters. I like that the solution is a light touch, and I can just set it and forget.”

Exigo Tech also introduced SLSA to Cloud Backup, AvePoint’s comprehensive cross-platform, multi-cloud backup and restore solution. Cloud Backup features built-in storage, encryption, flexible pricing plans, and more for M365, Salesforce, Google Workspace, Azure, and Dynamics 365.

“Cloud Backup is part of our DNA; we include it in every Microsoft 365 bundle,” Maurice explains. “SLSA had previously been using an alternate SaaS solution for their backup, but we knew they would need more and could benefit from AvePoint’s full portfolio of solutions in the future, with other products like Cloud Archiving and Policies and Insights.”

SLSA and Exigo Tech have big plans for continuing to improve SLSA’s digital workplace, including further adoption of SharePoint, better information lifecycle, and enhancing their security postures. They plan to turn to AvePoint’s portfolio, like Cloud Governance and Policies & Insights, to address these concerns.

“We strategically partner with only a few vendors,” Maurice says. “We work with AvePoint because their products align with our core offerings as a Microsoft Gold Partner such as Modern Workplace, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics 365. AvePoint’s products are so easy to use and manage, it was very easy for our team to pick up these products and run with them, with AvePoint there to support us when we always need it.”

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The Road Ahead

According to Maurice, AvePoint Opus and Cloud Backup are saving SLSA “significant amount of money compared to the production SharePoint Online costs.” Scott agrees, estimating they reduced their storage costs by 50%, which is a big win for the non-profit.

“Every dollar counts,” Scott explains. “Every dollar that is spent on IT are dollars that can’t go back to the clubs and rescue efforts. It could mean the difference in a club having a rescue boat or extra jet rescue when they need it. With these solutions, we are successfully reducing IT budget and putting more money to saving lives.”

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