Case Study – Værnesregionen
Like many public-sector organizations, Værnesregionen faced new demands for workplace collaboration due to COVID-19. These shifts, though effective, also widened data-security risks in Microsoft 365.
With quarantines and office closures in effect, “the access to our M365 environment was increased because people started working from home — and everywhere,” said Ole Jørgen Berg, an IT consultant for Værnesregionen. “More work is being done outside ordinary working hours, and much more data is stored in various solutions such as OneDrive and SharePoint.”
Although Værnesregionen had been using M365 before the pandemic, it hadn’t deployed an effective solution to easily recover data that was lost, corrupted, or deleted beyond standard retention periods.
Strong backup and restore were quickly identified as essential needs for the Værnesregionen IT team, which is tasked with helping municipalities leverage modern technologies for the public good — a duty that has taken on new importance in recent months.
Because of the global health crisis, “things happen faster; more data is stored and there is an increased need to reach everything 24/7,” Berg said, adding that he and his colleagues must be ready to handle a wide range of scenarios — including data loss. “This is independent of which unit you work on and where you sit. If missing data is reported, it must be retrieved quickly.”
They also needed a tool designed to evolve alongside M365.
“Support and operating solutions must work seamlessly, even after continuous updates, without having to make major configuration changes,” Berg said.
Finally, the team sought a backup solution with an extended lifespan and an easy recovery function. With larger amounts of critical data being produced at all hours, a restore could be required at any time.
“We needed longer retention and to be able to retrieve data for a longer time back than what is standard in the M365 solution,” Berg said.
The AvePoint Solution
AvePoint’s Cloud Backup gave Værnesregionen the capacity to meet all of those needs.
Cloud Backup is a 100% SaaS solution that provides automated, comprehensive backup and restore services for M365, Salesforce, and Dynamics 365. It features built-in storage and encryption and offers flexible pricing plans based on the number of users or the amount of data.
In June, Værnesregionen began using AvePoint Cloud Backup for 8,500 users in M365 (3,500 employees and 5,000 students).
The value quickly became evident: An initial 18 TB of data in Cloud Backup grew to 23 TB for Værnesregionen workloads across Exchange, OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint — development that Berg attributed to the demands of COVID-19.
Getting started with Cloud Backup was simple. “There’s little administration or maintenance needed, and it’s easy to set up,” said Berg, who also praised the ability to expand, change, and customize backup settings.
“It is easy to back up data and perform a restore,” he added. “It doesn’t take advanced training. It only works, with no trouble, even after updates in M365.”
With the option to automatically run up to four backups daily, Værnesregionen teams can save time while boosting protection and convenience.
“With AvePoint Cloud Backup, our security has improved,” Berg said. “We have better backup and easier restore, and it’s easier to get more people to restore. We don’t have to think about it.”
The Bottom Line
Knowing that its data is protected and easily retrievable has brought peace of mind to Værnesregionen during a chaotic time.
“Cloud Backup is an advanced solution but at the same time very easy to use,” Berg said, adding that AvePoint’s 24/7 customer service helped ensure a successful launch and continued success. “It has left us with a good impression.”
Gaining new capabilities from Cloud Backup gives Værnesregionen the bandwidth to focus on critical day-to-day IT needs in the region while knowing that recovery is easy if a data-loss incident does occur.
Fortunately, Værnesregionen hasn’t yet needed to perform a major restore. But with Cloud Backup, teams can be confident in their ability to restore data that’s crucial to the continuity of important public services during the pandemic.
Værnesregionen is a collaboration of Norwegian regional municipalities that includes Frosta, Meråker, Selbu, Stjørdal, and Tydal. With a collective 45,000 residents, the organization works with critical shared entities in the region to ensure delivery of key services within health, education, society, and more.
Read the full case study here.