La solution AvePoint
The solution to the government’s SharePoint management needs is DocAve Software, AvePoint’s fully integrated platform. “We very much appreciate that we can manage various aspects of SharePoint in one platform, from only one interface,” Scholl said. “Once you get to know the interface, finding your way around is pretty easy.”
The first issue IT decided to tackle was replicating SharePoint content across the intranet and extranet. With DocAve, IT can input updates in the intranet and automatically synchronize them to the extranet. They can also easily tag internal only updates (such as promotion announcements) to prevent those from being replicated and shared externally. “Using DocAve to synchronize our SharePoint content means we’re only updating information in one spot, we are less prone to error, and have consistency between the two networks,” Scholl said. “Our day-to-day work has gotten much easier. DocAve saves us lots of time keeping our records consistent. With just one click, the update is done. So far, we’ve synchronized 10 megabytes, but already have a lot of requests coming in.”
The organization also saw value in the ability to replicate the other way – from the extranet to the intranet. “For projects involving other government agencies, we copy lists and their contents from the extranet to the intranet,” Scholl said. “After editing the content, the results are then replicated back to the extranet so that all project members can access them.”
The government also uses DocAve to manage SharePoint backup. They previously used custom PowerShell code to run jobs, but found that the solution was overcomplicated. With DocAve, they set up automatic full backups for both SharePoint Foundation and SharePoint Server on a daily basis, so there’s no need to handle anything manually. “With DocAve, we are confident that, in case of a disaster – which luckily hasn’t happened yet – we would be able to put our entire intranet back up in no time at all,” Scholl said.
IT also gained the ability to perform SharePoint content restores at the item level, which is not possible with native functionality. This is extremely beneficial for the IT team, as it can more quickly resolve user requests to retrieve documents they may have accidentally deleted. “We can easily restore items back for our end users,” Scholl said. “With DocAve, it only takes five minutes.”
Lastly, DocAve allows the organization to copy SharePoint content with full fidelity – meaning any site or site collection can become a template. In some cases, IT needs to copy sites and create new versions for each calendar year. Where SharePoint templates sufficed in the past, it was still time consuming to reconfigure settings like permissions. “DocAve lets us duplicate existing sites with just a few clicks,” Scholl said. “It has helped us spin up sites faster so people can start working with them immediately.”