The AvePoint Solution
A deployment of AvePoint Cloud Governance in June 2020 helped DLA Piper quickly gain effective control over its M365 environment to support safe, simple collaboration between 2,735 U.S.-based coworkers.
Cloud Governance empowers users with self-service IT resources for provisioning, moving, or restructuring M365 content, as well as lifecycle and permissions management. Using the SaaS platform, administrators may apply policies to govern how collaborative workspaces are requested, created, and approved — and to ensure ongoing compliance with established policies.
Now, when a DLA Piper team member wants to create a workspace, the task no longer takes hours. Nor is it manual: Cloud Governance allows the automated self-service process to begin immediately.
“Cloud Governance has brought us agility,” said Ibrahim, adding that DLA Piper teams can create specialized workflows to trigger the proper level of protection.
AvePoint’s MyHub tool — an all-in-one platform for IT administrators to manage and create M365 workspaces — provides a birds-eye view of the action, as well as an added layer of customizable control.
For example, “when a user requests a team via MyHub, they are prompted to designate it a client-facing or an administrative site,” Ibrahim said, noting that distinct security, governance, and approval policies created by DLA Piper’s information security and information governance departments are integrated into the framework. “AvePoint gives us the capability to customize for different site types, which is a powerful tool.”
That’s a big plus compared to M365 tools used out-of-the-box.
“There’s all this great stuff they say you can do, but somebody has to program it all,” Ibrahim said. With AvePoint solutions, “we configured the backend, we enable it in Teams, and it’s just there for our employees to use.
“You want to make sure the people in those workspaces are supposed to be in those workspaces,” Ibrahim said. “Microsoft governance tools are great, but they only go to 90%. We need the extra 10%. That’s what AvePoint provides us.”
MyHub also has helped DLA Piper reduce sprawl and shutter old workspaces by sending automated renewal confirmations to project owners every 90 days to confirm whether a site is still needed.
After all, “at the end of the day, we’re not going to get an unprompted report back from an owner, ‘Hey, this project is over with and you can delete the workspace,’” Ibrahim said, noting that inaction can have greater consequences. “If data is not purged or certain information is not archived within an inappropriate time, that opens up a risk bucket.”
The new process has paid off and brought order and efficiency to data management. “I can tell you right away, we’re roughly at 400 sites now,” Ibrahim said. “We used to be at 2,000 or 3,000 sites.”