Find out how the food company controlled Microsoft 365 tenant growth with automated archiving and backup

Success Highlights

Archiving of 5 TB of data since deployment
Timing savings of more than 12 hours/week on archiving
Improved accessibility of archived data with self-service user restores
Enhanced archiving strategy with robust backup solution
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Hero logo

Customer Location Lenzburg, Switzerland

Industry Food and Agriculture

Platform Microsoft 365

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Hero Group is an international food company focused on branded nutritional food products. The company was founded in 1886 in Lenzburg, Switzerland, where its headquarters are still located today. Hero's main product categories of Baby & Toddler Food, Natural Spreads, and Healthy Snacks are complemented by its activities in Baby & Toddler Milk, Gluten Free and Specialties. The Group, which lives by its mission to delight consumers by conserving the goodness of nature, boasts a global footprint and its portfolio consists of many well-known international and local brands.

Critical Needs

  • Expedited reduction of data in native storage
  • Long-term control of data growth in Microsoft 365
  • Self-service user restores of archived content

The Challenge

Facing exponential growth in their Microsoft 365, Hero needed to reduce the amount of data in their tenant. “We realized we had 1 TB of storage capacity left,” explains Bas Kemperman, Head of Competence Center Business Applications. “At the rate of our data growth – about 100 GB/week – that left us 10 weeks before we ran out of storage.”

At one point, Hero was down to only 200 GB of available storage. One wrong move – such as a user uploading their file share folder directly to SharePoint – would max out their storage capacity. “We would’ve been in trouble,” says Bas. “I had sleepless nights and probably some additional gray hairs.”

The team began to manually review sites, working with site owners to determine what could be moved to external storage. The process was labor intensive, required significant communication with both site owners and users, and was not a long-term fix for their problem.

Hero realized there had to be a smarter way to approach their storage issue and began to seek a solution.

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With automated archiving, we don’t have to harass users to delete outdated content anymore. It allows us to fully leverage Microsoft 365, giving us space to move more data from file shares into our collaboration platform. Should something be archived that a user needs, they can easily restore it themselves.

Bas Kemperman
Head of Competence Center Business Applications, Hero Group

The AvePoint Solution

Hero considered a few other options on the market but found they were “one trick ponies,” according to Bas, only doing part of what they needed. “We needed a partner who could help us implement the tool, had a good relationship with Microsoft, and a reputation for being reliable and quality.”

AvePoint Opus was the only solution that met their requirements. AvePoint Opus helps organizations take full control of their data storage by identifying unused or inactive content and moving it to lower-cost storage tiers or archiving it and keeping it in place. Should an end-user need to access an archived item, they can request a restore via the access link.

The self-service restores via ReCenter were key for Hero. “For archiving to work, it’s important that people can always get their files back. With AvePoint Opus, users can see that their file was archived, where it was originally located, and restore files themselves, allowing us to be more aggressive with our archiving.”

Hero has relied on AvePoint to help build its archiving strategy. The AvePoint team has offered suggestions, like moving older document versions into archiving rather than simply removing them, that have helped save time and resources while implementing Hero’s strategy. “A cool tool won’t be useful if you don’t have people that can support you. AvePoint tailored advice to our specific situation, enabling us to leverage the tool better, and it’s really helping.”

Their end users have not felt the impact of this archiving, which Bas says is the ideal situation. “You know you are archiving correctly when users don’t notice anything. It means you are archiving things people aren’t using anymore.”

Hero has also partnered with AvePoint for its Microsoft 365 backup needs. They knew they needed a backup solution for business continuity, but the solution that was preferred based on current implementations for server backups, wasn’t user-friendly and required the infrastructure team to intervene to recover backups.

Because they were happy with the transparency and expertise offered during the archiving procurement, Hero decided to try AvePoint’s backup and recovery solution. Cloud Backup provided a more comprehensive backup and integrated better with Microsoft 365, which allowed for faster restores – without the assistance of additional teams.

Overall, Hero’s archiving strategy has vastly improved since the implementation of the AvePoint solutions. Bas says, “The big advantage of using two solutions from the same organization – Cloud Backup and AvePoint Opus – is that you can define archiving strategy in line with a backup strategy. It allows us to be more aggressive with our archiving settings because we know a backup is always available.”

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The Road Ahead

With AvePoint Opus, Hero is saving themselves at least 12 hours a week in manual archiving manpower. “This doesn’t count hours that I’m no longer worrying about it,” says Bas, which is priceless.

Since deploying the solution, Hero has archived 5 TB of data, but has plans to archive a lot more. Their ultimate goal is to archive 10 TB of data annually to help better control the growth of data and the size of their Microsoft 365 tenant.

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