DocAve Governance Automation for SharePoint
Simply put, DocAve Governance Automation Service Pack (SP) 1 is the next generation of the original product released in June 2012. Within those few short months, new features and new service catalog offerings have enhanced the product to the point where it’s a true tribute to AvePoint’s Development and Product Management teams vision and thought leadership. An entirely new approach to marketing and positioning this revolutionary product was necessary, but with a product of such scope, depth, and magnitude, where and how do you start to efficiently explain the product’s core value?
As a starting point, it was important to identify the first items the customer or prospect sees when reading a product brochure, product page, and other materials: name, logo, and tagline. Let’s go into each aspect of the new tagline we’ve created for Governance Automation, “Your Policy. Our Automation. SharePoint as a Service Redefined.”, piece by piece.
Microsoft SharePoint governance cannot be easily defined and not one company in the marketplace “owns” how to “do” governance. Everyone has different opinions about what SharePoint governance entails, and how it applies to their roles and responsibilities.
Your governance policy is no different. It is unique to your organization and should match the readiness and maturity level of your company’s SharePoint environment and people. This living document needs to be created by your individual governance board, as well as evaluated and adjusted so that the plan grows with your SharePoint environment and organizational needs.
Governance Automation SP1 neither creates nor writes your governance policy. However, it does scale SharePoint policy configuration to help define policies, metadata, approval processes, permissions, and auditing parameters associated with SharePoint management tasks like site/site collection provisioning and maintenance. As your SharePoint environment matures, Governance Automation SP1 will scale with your ever evolving governance policy.
For more information on how to follow a few best practices for governance policy development and implementation, please see AvePoint Enterprise Trainer & Evangelist Randy Williams’ “How to Implement an Effective SharePoint Governance Plan" white paper.
Since first opening its doors in 2001, AvePoint has been solely dedicated to solving customers’ business challenges with its fully integrated, award-winning management and governance solutions for more than 10,000 customers worldwide. Within the context of that experience, our team listened to organizations as they shared their stories of building custom solutions, via internal or external development consultancies, and how they tried to tie these solutions into an overarching governance policy.
By utilizing the entire DocAve 6 platform – including modules for administration, storage optimization, compliance, data protection, migration and reporting – AvePoint saw an opportunity to build a governance-focused product that would transcend the capabilities of niche SharePoint security management and provisioning tools for site and site collection provisioning, lifecycle management, and permissions management.
How does “Our Automation” help with “Your Governance Policy”?
1. Configure the available options and service levels for site availability, storage allocation, and lease expiration by associating backup, storage, archiving, permissions, and auditing configurations with a policy level (e.g. bronze, silver, and gold).
2. Expose all available options for end users to request resources, such as a site or site collection, through an intuitive service catalog and elegant UI.
3. Subject all service catalog requests to fully auditable approval processes, requiring management and/or IT approval, to verify requests are in full compliance with governance policies.
4. Automatically assign upon approval the appropriate permissions, backup, storage tier, archiving, auditing, and ownership policies to site and site collections as they are provisioned.
5. Automatically notify responsible owners of pending changes, such as service agreements and upcoming content and lease expirations.
Governance Automation SP1 resolves ambiguity around provisioning, managing, and archiving sites and site collections while simplifying the way business users interact with IT. Users can quickly begin to utilize their SharePoint resources without overburdening IT staff with incoming requests and request fulfillment. “Our Automation” ensures all changes are made in compliance with your predefined, organizational governance policies.
SharePoint as a Service Redefined.
Microsoft itself does not give a standard definition for what SharePoint truly is. Rather, Microsoft says that the platform was designed for “making it easier for people to work together.” Essentially what this means is that SharePoint is whatever an organization wants it to be; anything from a simple document repository to a full Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, depending on the organization’s unique business objectives and available capabilities. Governance Automation SP1 redefines SharePoint as a “service” to the organization.
A “Business Service” is a general term that describes work that supports a business but does not produce a tangible commodity. According to a recent definition from CIOSearch.TechTarget.com, a good business service:
"Aligns IT assets with the needs of a company’s employees and customers and support business goals, facilitating the ability of the company to be profitable. Documenting the value that an IT department provides to the business often involves an audit of IT infrastructure processes, the creation or updating of an IT service catalog and/or the provisioning of an employee self-service portal to improve communication."
Governance Automation SP1 enables organizations to deliver SharePoint as a service by:
1. Allowing end users to request resources, such as a SharePoint site or site collection, as their business needs dictate and allows SharePoint to be the service that supports many other business services such as sales, operations, and accounting. For example, a sales representative can simply request a new site or site collection for a new customer by using the intuitive UI in Governance Automation SP1. Once approved, the sales representative’s request is provisioned and SharePoint becomes the service in which the representative manages his or her new account.
2. Resolving ambiguity around provisioning, managing, and archiving sites and site collections by providing end-users with an intuitive service catalog containing all available SharePoint resource options. More specifically, our automation simplifies and solves pain points that inhibit SharePoint’s “service” capabilities and realizing SharePoint’s true Return on Investment (ROI). For example, the inability to provide quick and easy answers for questions like “What can I request?”, “How do I request?”, “Who do I need to approve?”, and “What am I accountable for and for how long?” detract end users from readily adopting SharePoint.
3. Improving ongoing realignment of cost allocation and enable chargeback to business units by utilizing holistic auditing to analyze business usage of SharePoint assets. Governance Automation SP1 enables chargeback calculations to functional business units or departments through the generation of insightful analytics detailing the accountable-business users, classification, and storage usage of site collections and sites for SharePoint assets.
To summarize in terms of our new tagline: With Governance Automation SP1, organizations can encourage end users to adopt SharePoint and enable them to request resources, while ensuring all requests are fulfilled within your established governance policies. Our experience and automation allows you to provide SharePoint as the best quality “service” to your business units and make it easier for end-users and IT administrators to work together. Helping organizations shatter departmental silos and bolster business productivity and collaboration is what SharePoint is designed for, after all.
What do you think of our new tagline? Do you think that it properly represents the new features and capabilities in Governance Automation SP1? Feel free to leave a comment below!