Why did Richtek choose to implement SharePoint for the business?
Shuohui Lin, Manager, Knowledge and Information Division, Engineering Information Department, Richtek:
We made the decision after a period of evaluation. We went through an internal proof of concept (POC) process where a dedicated team took many other products into consideration as well. SharePoint was ultimately chosen because we felt it was the most user friendly as it boasts the best integration with Microsoft Office.
What is Richtek’s vision for the SharePoint platform?
Currently, we are focusing on using SharePoint as our document management system (DMS). Meanwhile, we also use it for project management and allocating tasks among our teams. As for SharePoint’s enterprise social capabilities, we are not making a major push to promote those just yet. We have educated end users about how to use the My Site feature, but it is early days for enterprise social and we have plans to utilize it more down the road.
What SharePoint features do Richtek’s users like the most? How do you think these features help the company improve efficiency, reduce overhead, and generate a return on its technology investment?
As a high-tech enterprise, the technical documents we create are very important, especially to engineers from research and development who write, edit, and review the documents. Because SharePoint and OneDrive for Business are both so closely integrated with Office, it’s much easier for users to collaborate on these documents in a centralized repository. All operations can also be completed online, which facilitates work much better than other legacy systems.
How many end users access your SharePoint environment?
We are focusing on project teams at this stage, with 400 users involved altogether. More users will join the platform in the next stage.
How much data resides in your SharePoint environment?
We expect to reach about 5.5 TB of data over the next five years. Of course, this data will not be completely stored in SQL Server. Some data will be stored in file shares using the Remote Blob Storage (RBS) solution provided by AvePoint, DocAve Storage Manager.
Why did Richtek consider utilizing third-party software for its SharePoint project?
There are multiple reasons, but the main reason comes from the users’ needs. They like SharePoint very much, but the challenge was that the previous platform we used for collaboration was not Microsoft technology. Because of that, there were some concerns about data compatibility across the different platforms. Since selecting SharePoint as our new document management platform, we have been thinking about how to better enable users to maximize their use of the system and helping them acclimate themselves to the new technology. In addition to this, third-party software also enables IT staff to better manage and maintain SharePoint.
Eventually, we reached out to AvePoint. We learned about AvePoint’s long history providing solutions for SharePoint infrastructure management, which is a strength of the company, and we began to evaluate AvePoint's DocAve Software Platform.
After evaluating multiple options, we all agreed that DocAve is the most mature and reliable enterprise SharePoint management application, exceeding the software solutions provided by other vendors.
From initial assessment to current use, how has DocAve helped Richtek with its SharePoint deployment?
We purchased DocAve Connector, DocAve Backup and Restore, DocAve Storage Manager, DocAve Administrator, and DocAve Report Center to help us better manage and protect our SharePoint environment from the start.
With DocAve Connector, we connected 1 TB of data from existing file servers into SharePoint, which eliminated the need to perform any manual data migration. The content, which is utilized by our engineering team, can be accessed through SharePoint’s interface without needing to be moved onto SharePoint’s content database and utilize SQL Server storage. In the future, as we roll out SharePoint to more parts of the organization, we will utilize DocAve Connector to connect additional legacy file share content to the platform.
DocAve Backup and Restore meets our needs for SharePoint data protection. We’ve used SharePoint’s native backup capabilities as well as SQL Server backups before to test them on protecting sites and site collections. However, when restoring content, important aspects such as permissions and metadata were lost, impacting our project lifecycle records.
DocAve gives us better granular restoration capabilities, allowing us to flexibly restore content down to the item-level with full fidelity. Personally, I really like the ability to backup and restore Active Directory (AD) users and profiles.
DocAve Storage Manager is used for content externalization, saving us considerable costs on storage. From the end user’s perspective, the environment runs well without any performance issues, and they don’t notice that they are accessing data stored outside of the content database through RBS enabled by DocAve Storage Manager. It also helps our IT staff, because with less data in the SQL Server, the burden on the content database is reduced and the overall farm is easier to manage according to Microsoft best practices.
How are you utilizing DocAve Administrator and DocAve Report Center?
We have been using DocAve Report Center for monitoring user behavior as well as system performance and farm topology. Specifically, we regularly run the Compliance Report, the Usage Report, and the Infrastructure Report. In addition, we have set up an early warning to alert administrators if a user performs an action that does not comply with our SharePoint governance policy.
We have also begun to use the DocAve Policy Enforcer feature of DocAve Administrator. Although our security policy settings are simple at this time, we will expand them as our deployment grows and is adopted by additional users. We will draw upon AvePoint’s experience and the product’s out-of-the-box rules to understand what policies can help us better govern our environment. We believe that AvePoint's customer experience will help us in this area.
So far, the most common situation we have encountered is users saving too many versions of a document. Because this could potentially slow down the environment in the future, we have adopted a version control policy. This ensures that only 20 versions can be saved for all documents. DocAve Policy Enforcer automatically modifies any actions that fall outside of this policy.
In the future, we will look to DocAve Policy Enforcer to potentially help us enforce security settings on specific sites as well as automatically correct any issues with broken inheritance and permissions throughout the environment.
How has your experience been working with AvePoint’s support team?
We have been using DocAve since we began using SharePoint. We appreciate the combination of AvePoint’s products and 24/7 support service, which is always very professional, attentive, and helpful.
Throughout our initial implementation, AvePoint’s support team worked closely with us, reporting on the progress of the case almost every day. We really appreciate their hard work! As a Project Manager, I think the AvePoint support team deserves high praise for providing such mature post-sales services.