City of Greenville Migrates Critical Workflows and Gains Flexible Microsoft SharePoint Backup and Restore Capabilities with AvePoint

Critical Needs

  • Help from outside experts in executing migration
  • Migrate SharePoint content with full fidelity
  • Ability to quickly restore content at the item level
  • City of Greenville
  • Customer Location Greenville, NC
  • Industry Public Sector
  • Platform SharePoint 2010
  • AvePoint Solutions Backup & Restore Migrator

Success Highlights

  • Eased burden on IT to perform SharePoint discovery, design a project plan, and execute migration by engaging AvePoint Client Services and its Migration-as-a-Service (MaaS) offering
  • Selectively migrated desired data – including Nintex workflows – within one month with full fidelity, ensuring continuity between source and destination
  • Reduced time to granularly restore SharePoint content from two days to two hours – 88 percent faster than before
We looked at other SharePoint migration service providers, but only AvePoint’s technical team fully understood what we needed
Renée Jones Database Administrator, City of Greenville

The Challenge

To support the work of its 850 employees, the City of Greenville created departmental intranets housed in SharePoint 2007. Not too long after SharePoint 2010 was released, the city decided to migrate to a newer version of the platform. However, its IT team lacked the necessary knowledge and resources required to conduct the migration on its own. “We’re not very strong with SharePoint,” said Renée Jones, Database Administrator at City of Greenville. “So, we needed help to get us to our destination without losing any data. We also wanted the ability to scrub the data as much as possible before migrating to avoid moving anything we didn’t want.”

Although the city doesn’t use the platform for document management like many other organizations, its SharePoint-hosted intranet is still crucial to government operations. Each department has a dedicated area to communicate mission statements and goals, and share commonly requested forms. “We use Nintex Workflow a lot to process forms and requests,” Jones said. “We wanted to give employees a sense of continuity after migrating, so for us, it was important to be able to migrate those to our new SharePoint environment. However, there was no easy way to do that out of the box.”

The city’s IT team also wanted to ensure all users had access to their work whenever they needed it. That meant stepping up its SharePoint backup game. “We were running automatic SQL Server backups, which took no time at all,” Jones said. “But when someone needed a specific item restored, that presented a problem. It could take up to two days to do a granular restore because the process involved setting up a test environment.”

The AvePoint Solution

To conduct its migration, the City of Greenville engaged AvePoint Client Services (ACS). Through its Migration-as-a-Service (MaaS) offering, the ACS team supported the city’s IT team throughout the entire project – from discovery and designing a project plan to execution and evaluation. “We looked at other SharePoint migration service providers, but only AvePoint’s technical team fully understood what we needed,” Jones said. “And the fact that AvePoint is a Microsoft Gold Partner was a big selling point for us.”

AvePoint used its fully integrated SharePoint management platform, DocAve Software, to conduct the migration. With DocAve, the city’s IT team was able to migrate three environments – internal production, quality assurance (QA), and an extranet – according to requirements in one month. “With DocAve, it was easy to look at what we wanted to migrate from our old SharePoint,” Jones said. “Our larger requirements were around migrating critical Nintex workflows and web services. DocAve allowed us to look at every site and item in SharePoint 2007 and bring what we wanted with full fidelity. The content migrated very well, and we’re confident that we didn’t lose any data in the migration.”

In addition to DocAve’s migration capabilities, the city’s IT team gained invaluable aid and expertise from AvePoint’s technical team. Although the city wasn’t operating on a tight schedule, AvePoint helped its IT team design a migration project plan around factors like content database size and operational requirements. “AvePoint performed the migration according to plan,” Jones said. “We really appreciated that there were no big surprises or delays.”

Since it had such a positive experience, the city reached back out to AvePoint for another project. “When we had to upgrade our SharePoint service packs, we automatically went back to AvePoint for help,” Jones said. “It wasn’t a very long project, but they were a real help to us.”

Not only was DocAve essential in the city’s migration, it also provides more flexible SharePoint backup and restore capabilities. With DocAve, the IT team has the ability to run different types of backups on a custom schedule. “We run full backups once per week, usually on Saturday mornings,” Jones said. “We also schedule automatic incremental backups every evening. It’s convenient to be able to schedule these outside of working hours.”

Administrators also experience significant time savings when restoring content. Where the previous SQL Server backup approach required a lot more work to retrieve a single item, DocAve allows the city’s IT team to quickly and painlessly restore SharePoint content at a more granular level. “Before, there was the possibility of losing work when doing a restore,” Jones said. “Now, with DocAve, we can recover data down to the level we need. It used to take up to two full days to recover something from SQL backup. Now, it only takes two hours, and we don’t lose any metadata.”

The Bottom Line

The City of Greenville swiftly and efficiently upgraded its SharePoint environment with help from AvePoint’s MaaS offering. AvePoint’s white glove approach supported the city’s IT team throughout the entire migration – from planning to execution – and was key to the project’s success. Following such a positive experience, the city’s IT team also adopted DocAve to gain additional capability for SharePoint backup and restore such as automatic incremental backup jobs and item-level recovery with full fidelity. “AvePoint Client Services really understood our migration goals,” Jones said. “They made sure important content like our Nintex workflows were migrated to our new environment. Everything went according to plan, which was a big help for our team.”

About City of Greenville

Greenville is widely recognized as the cultural, educational, economic, and medical hub of eastern North Carolina.

City of Greenville