Wah Lee has placed great importance on consolidating enterprise content over the past few years. What kind of role has Microsoft SharePoint played in this? In which ways is SharePoint important to your IT department?
Qingxian Shi, Chief Information Officer, Wah Lee Industrial Corp:
SharePoint serves to integrate all the systems operating in our company, which includes search, workflow, and SAP systems. So instead of searching in disparate systems, our staff can find the information they need on our SharePoint portal at any time. We now prioritize the investments in SharePoint, which will be the single entry point for information in our company.
How well is SharePoint adopted among your end users?
It is used very frequently. The first thing almost all employees do when they arrive at the office every day is log onto our SharePoint portal where all information can be found, including daily attendance check, PTO requests, department management, and personnel information.
Why did Wah Lee choose to implement AvePoint solutions for its SharePoint environment?
When we introduced SharePoint to integrate all of our systems, we found that the amount of data in the environment was growing to the point that it might cause a systemic breakdown. In light of that, we began to look for tools for SharePoint that would allow us to search and access documents stored in our file servers.
We’ve studied quite a number of tools before we were introduced to AvePoint by partner SYSTEX. DocAve Connector was highly stable and best met our requirements. After we adopted DocAve Connector, AvePoint’s other solutions also came into view.
It was natural for us to consider using other AvePoint products, because its integrated solutions would be a lot easier for us to maintain. Later we introduced AvePoint Compliance Guardian and AvePoint Watermark, both of which have helped us greatly in the area of information security. When integrating all of these systems, we want to make sure our employees will not have to change their user experience and as an IT team we can provide necessary protection.
How much data in your file shares has been connected to SharePoint?
Approximately 20 TB of data has been connected via DocAve Connector. That amounts to all the documents accumulated in our file shares over the past seven years.
What has DocAve Connector brought to Wah Lee in terms of cost or time benefits?
The SQL Server database maintenance cost and time have been significantly reduced. In the past, the data was located in file servers. However, you cannot imagine how heavy the workload would be for the database administrators of managing a 20 TB database. And as the volume of data increases, the response speed of the database will slow down. This is why we chose not to migrate our file share data, but instead connect our data to SharePoint leave our BLOB data on file shares. It turns out that there is no impact to end users accessing information and the response time is within reasonable range. It has largely facilitated our backend management.
So, in that way, we can focus on SharePoint itself since the volume of its database is not that large. All we have stored on it is metadata, so it is less troublesome for us to maintain the system.
Are there any specific Taiwanese or international regulatory policies or rules that you have to comply with?
Yes. Our customers’ policies and requirements regarding information security vary. Therefore we will make adjustments or restrictions in accordance with their security demands. We used to employ our own system for information security enhancement. Then we found that AvePoint could provide us with what we need for more comprehensive protection. For instance, some of our customers require that all the emails and attachments be sent to only their own staff, otherwise they should not be delivered.
How does AvePoint Compliance Guardian help Wah Lee protect its SharePoint data?
Some of our customers’ source documents have already been exposed to us during the research and development (R&D) process. Our customers may offer us some confidential R&D data that must not be disclosed. In the past, such data was managed manually by IT administrators or the people involved in the project. Now we can spare our customers any worry simply by setting up rules that will automatically prevent a breach of confidential data. Our customers are impressed by our capabilities in safeguarding their data and are willing to continue working with us.
AvePoint Compliance Guardian has greatly enhanced the information security of our entire SharePoint system and reduced the burden on both our management and workforce.
How do you use Compliance Guardian for reporting?
The Compliance Guardian reporting function enables us to know if there are any employees violating any pre-defined policies and regulations. If a collective infraction occurs, we launch a relevant education and advocacy campaign. If it is an individual misbehavior, we normally talk to the person privately and will inform his or her director for improvement.
What is the greatest benefit that Compliance Guardian has brought to Wah Lee?
It protects the intellectual property of our company. We want our employees to harness all the information and knowledge we have, but at the same time we don’t want to see inadvertent data leakage by our staff. That is why we need Compliance Guardian to help us better protect our internal documents. Compliance Guardian prohibits the delivery of non-disclosure documents and helps us prevent potential loss.
How does Wah Lee use AvePoint Watermark to share and protect documents?
If leakage of any types of internal documents occurs, we want to know the source and exact time it occurred. We also want to put in place some protective measures such as automatically adding watermarks before documents are sent out. AvePoint Compliance Guardian can also block confidential documents from being stored in the wrong place and prevent leakage. The two products work together perfectly.
In the future, how do you expect to benefit from SharePoint and AvePoint?
In the future, we hope to upgrade to SharePoint 2016 so that we can benefit from the latest platform’s functionality. We believe that AvePoint will develop corresponding features and help us with the upgrade.
Have you or your team been engaged with AvePoint’s technical support team? If you have, are you satisfied with its services?
They’ve been doing great. We bought AvePoint products from partner SYSTEX, which offers technical support for us. If there’s any problem SYSTEX can’t fix, technical engineers from AvePoint will soon become involved to handle the issue. The response speed and feedback quality are both satisfying.