When the Product and R&D teams at AvePoint began to think about how we could improve the DocAve Software Platform in the DocAve 6 Service Pack (SP) 4 release – which is generally available today – we had to look deeper than simply “new features.” As it stands, DocAve 6 is a mature and comprehensive set of tools that helps organizations use SharePoint in a more sustainable, secure, and productive way. Simply piling on more features, while useful, was not what we were going for in this release. We wanted to be a bit more strategic – to use our investments in this release cycle to evolve our platform towards some of the new ways our customers are leveraging SharePoint.
Over the coming weeks you will hear from many of our product managers who will be focusing in detail on some of the most exciting features of their particular products, giving you a look at the “why and how” of the new capabilities we think you will be most interested in. In this post, I wanted to give you more of a top-down view at the SP 4 release and some of the themes and product goals we have been working hard on over the last several months.
It is an exciting time to be in the collaboration software space. Organizations are moving beyond the “bewilderment” phase with all of the new options and ways of collaborating that the cloud and other new technologies have brought us over the last few years. A few years ago, the questions we were getting about these new ways of working were more general – “Do you support Office365? Can you help us manage SharePoint social features?” Now the questions and requirements we get are much more sophisticated and it’s clear that organizations are at the point where they are ready to integrate new cloud and application technologies to evolve the way they collaborate both inside and outside of the organization.
So how can DocAve support these new initiatives as they try to move from point A to point B? You will hears lots of information in the next few weeks about how we have evolved our capabilities for new technologies like SharePoint 2013, Office 365, and the workflow and app model enhancements Microsoft has been making in those platforms. For example:
- All of the DocAve Migrator tools now support direct migration to Office 365 and SharePoint Online.
- SharePoint 2013 support has been added to our DocAve High Availability tool, which helps organizations setup, maintain, and failover to disaster recovery environments.
- Tools like DocAve Deployment Manager and DocAve Backup and Restore allow you to deploy protect new SharePoint 2013 technologies like the app catalog and Microsoft Azure-based workflows. For example, organizations looking to add value to SharePoint by building or buying SharePoint 2013 apps can now use DocAve to quickly and efficiently deploy those apps to any sites they need. As the apps are updated, administrators can likewise proactively push the updates to all sites running the app.
Many organizations we talk to are making investments in moving at least some of their collaboration workloads to Office 365. Microsoft has done a masterful job of both marketing their offering and also transforming the SharePoint Online platform into the place where their new innovations happen first – before they reach the more traditional on-premises version of the product – and customers are hearing the messaging loud and clear. In addition to offering these customers a more streamlined way to get their legacy content migrated into Office 365, DocAve 6 SP 4 also supports their desire for governance and control of collaboration in the cloud. Policy Enforcer is a feature of DocAve Administrator that was introduced in our last release to provide ongoing monitoring for out of policy configurations, permissions, and actions with proactive remediation of the violations. This capability has become very popular with customers, and we are happy to announce that this powerful new functionality now supports Office 365 – SharePoint Online environments as well as on premise installations of SharePoint 2013 and 2010.
We know that many organizations will be supporting hybrid deployments (workloads running both on premises and in the cloud) and multiple versions of SharePoint for at least the foreseeable future, so making sure the DocAve tools they have come to rely on are available wherever they are collaborating is a top priority. You see this commitment Policy Enforcer, and you can see a similar commitment in the work we have done with our DocAve eDiscovery tool, which now supports centralized discovery and legal hold of content across both SharePoint 2013 and 2010 from a single console. You will also see this commitment in DocAve Replicator’s ability to replicate and synchronize content between SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2010, and SharePoint Online.
Organizations have also begun to think differently about how and why they are using SharePoint. We have seen many customers over the last year begin to think of ECM and records management strategies for SharePoint, so it’s clear they are interested in more than just team collaboration and file sharing. Again, we have made investments in SP 4 to support customers with these evolving priorities. DocAve Archiver’s role in the records management process has expanded to cover such features as exporting immutable snapshots of SharePoint content to enterprise archives as well as the more generic and portable Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) format. In addition, content placed in the DocAve archive is now discoverable and subject to the same legal holds you place on SharePoint content.
As I said – it is a very exciting time to be in the collaboration software space. We look forward to telling you about all the things we have cooked up for you in DocAve 6 SP 4, so watch this space over the next few weeks dig a little deeper into the features of this release. And don’t forget to head over to our website for more information and to download your own free trial of DocAve today.