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Simplify Office 365 Governance Where You Work, When You Need It

As Office 365 and SharePoint Online continue to gain momentum across enterprises, balancing the demands for business agility while ensuring IT governance controls is a challenge many organizations encounter. We introduced DocAve Governance Automation Online to our AvePoint Online Services platform back in 2013 to address this need by empowering business users with self-services to request SharePoint Online resources on demand while enabling IT to proactively enforce controls and provision services within governance boundaries.

Through DocAve Governance Automation Online, business users have access to a role-based service catalog to request new sites, user access rights, and the moving or restructuring of content. These requests are then routed through an approval process to the appropriate business stakeholders and automatically executed without direct IT involvement. For IT administrators, DocAve Governance Automation Online enables configuration of policy-based provisioning so that they can proactively maintain control over their SharePoint Online deployments. The automation also provides operational efficiency, allowing IT to be business enablers.

Today we introduce our latest release of DocAve Governance Automation Online. With this release, I’m excited to share the strides we’ve made to further simplify Office 365 for business users and enrich their user experience to increase productivity.

Sign In to DocAve Governance Automation Online Using Your Office 365 Account

We’ve all been there – staring down a login screen having to recall yet another username and password. The business case for having single sign-on (SSO) is pretty self-evident, and since DocAve Governance Automation Online manages Office 365 SharePoint Online, why not let users log in with their Office 365 credentials? We achieved SSO by integrating the AvePoint Online Services platform with Azure Active Directory (AD).

Azure AD is the identity and access management cloud service leveraged by Office 365 that provides a rich set of capabilities including multi-factor authentication (MFA), self-service password management, global password policy, and on-premises directories sync. Organizations manage Office 365 security and access by configuring these settings in Azure AD. By integrating AvePoint Online Services with Azure AD, organizations can now ensure that all of their Office 365 users adhere to their defined security policy, which mitigates risk. End users benefit by having direct access to AvePoint Online Services and DocAve Governance Automation Online right inside of Office 365.

Direct access to AvePoint Online Services from your Office 365 app launcher.
Direct access to AvePoint Online Services from your Office 365 app launcher.

Surfacing DocAve Governance Automation Online Services Where Your Users Are

As our main objective for this release was to enhance the end user experience, we looked for a way to present DocAve Governance Automation Online seamlessly to users within SharePoint Online, where they work every day. Through the Office 365 add-in model, we are introducing a provider-hosted add-in for DocAve Governance Automation Online that can be added to your SharePoint Online site collections in order to make important information easily available to end users.

The Site Information Card is an add-in part that can be automatically placed on the home page of every site in your SharePoint Online environment to surface the information and services that DocAve Governance Automation Online has to offer for that site. Who owns the site? What is its purpose? Does it contain confidential content? End users will now have easy access to this information without having to leave SharePoint Online, along with the ability to request DocAve Governance Automation Online services to manage user permissions, create a subsite, manage content lifecycle, or perform a security audit. The Site Information Card will automatically take on the branding of the SharePoint Online site to maintain a consistent look and feel throughout your environment.

Site Information Card as it appears on a SharePoint Online site.
Site Information Card as it appears on a SharePoint Online site.
Initiating service requests from the site card.
Initiating service requests from the site card.

In addition to the Site Information Card, the DocAve Governance Automation Online add-in enables business users to directly access DocAve Governance Automation Online interfaces such as “My Tasks” and “My Requests” from within SharePoint Online to easily track open tasks and the status of submitted requests.

Applying Lines-Of-Business Applications When Your Users Need Them

In addition to enhancing the business user experience, this release also aims to assist developers in deploying their customizations into SharePoint Online. Many organizations develop distinct line-of-business applications using custom artifacts such as site columns, content types, list instances, list definitions, and composed looks. Traditionally, developers had to provision these custom artifacts with full trust code and sandbox solutions. With Office 365 and SharePoint Online, developers can no longer employ the same approach and must use the new Cloud Add-In Model to create custom software solutions. DocAve Online Deployment Manager is designed to make this process easier.

DocAve Governance Automation Online in combination with DocAve Online Deployment Manager enables business users to request a custom site with an appropriate pattern provisioned based on their specific business need. This way, a project manager can request a new site with a specific project pattern, or sales can request a new site with a pre-defined customer pattern. An administrator can also proactively enforce that a predetermined pattern is applied to a specific DocAve Governance Automation Online site-provisioning service.

In the future, we plan to extend this capability in DocAve Online Deployment Manager to enable pattern subscriptions so that if a new version of a pattern has been deployed, all of the subscribed sites can be easily updated with a click of a button.

With this latest release of DocAve Governance Automation Online, we have taken our integration with Office 365 and SharePoint Online to the next level to enhance your user experience and utility. We are excited for you and your organization to enjoy the benefits.

Have a question about how AvePoint Online Services can help your Office 365 governance? Leave a comment on this post or join the conversation in our product forum!

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