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AvePoint Case Study

Anglo American Seamlessly Synchronises SharePoint® Content Worldwide with DocAve® Replicator

“AvePoint wins hands-down in terms of customer service.”

Mark Jarvis – Portal Owner, Group Applications, Anglo American

Anglo American
CUSTOMER LOCATION:
Global Headquarters:
 London, United Kingdom
INDUSTRY:
Mining 
PLATFORM:
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
 Three geo-distributed farms totaling 14 Front End Web Servers in: 
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)
CRITICAL NEEDS:
  • Real-time two-way synchronisation of SharePoint content across unreliable networks
  • Automated scheduling of content replication according to business needs
  • Intelligent network bandwidth usage in order to prevent business disruption
AVEPOINT SOLUTIONS:

SUCCESS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Synchronise SharePoint content in real-time across geo-distributed environments on three continents for more than 20,000 end-users
  • Deployed both full and event-driven replications according to up-to-theminute organisational needs
  • Improved business productivity worldwide without overburdening network bandwidth

CUSTOMER PROFILE

Anglo American is one of the world’s largest diversified mining groups – including platinum group metals, copper, iron ore, metallurgical coal, as well as nickel and thermal coal. The company has 107,000 full-time employees spread throughout Africa, Europe, South and North America, Australia, and Asia.

THE CHALLENGE

With numerous facilities located worldwide, Anglo American turned to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 as an intranet portal and collaboration platform in order to provide workers – regardless of their location – with the most up-to-date information necessary. Anglo American had just migrated from a distributed content management portal environment based on a competing platform to a consolidated, decentralised Microsoft SharePoint platform with three farms located in Johannesburg, South Africa; Santiago, Chile; and Brisbane, Australia. Upon completion of the migration, the environment began providing the organisation’s 20,000 SharePoint users with corporate communications and other business-related content out of the South African and Chilean environments whilst providing project collaboration, communities of practice, and team sites across all three farm instances.

With the move to a decentralised, globally distributed architecture, Anglo American quickly realised there were critical SharePoint challenges that had to be addressed. First, because staff was located throughout the world, many in rural locations due to the nature of the organisation’s mining work, inconsistent network connectivity created a major challenge in accessing the information with acceptable performance. Furthermore, with the volume of traffic and data (600GB) stored across the Anglo American’s SharePoint instances, ensuring there was no degradation of service was critical.

SharePoint does not natively provide the ability to efficiently synchronise content across farms in real time, and consequently prompted Anglo American to look for a solution from a third-party vendor

THE AVEPOINT SOLUTION

After testing various third-party SharePoint replication solutions, Anglo American decided on AvePoint’s DocAve Replicator for SharePoint solution in July of 2009. “DocAve Replicator worked very smoothly with our decentralised SharePoint environment”, said Mark Jarvis, Portal Owner, Group Applications at Anglo American. “A major contributor to us finally deciding on AvePoint, though, was the quality of support provided.”

Global Real-time Replication of SharePoint Content

Immediately, Anglo American put DocAve Replicator to work in order to perform event-driven, two-way synchronisation of content among the organisation’s three SharePoint farms, located in Australia, Chile, and South Africa. DocAve enabled the administrators to create multiple replication plans, which included full replications every 12 hours as well as event-driven incremental replications among its geo-distributed farms.

To solve the issue of sporadic network connectivity and large events taking up precious bandwidth – such as a quarterly financial results presentation broadcast over the organisation’s network – Anglo American administrators used DocAve’s network throttling and scheduling functionality to ensure only a pre-established level of bandwidth was allocated for replication, so business productivity would continue unimpeded.

Unparalleled Service and Support

Throughout the entire purchase and implementation process, AvePoint’s sales and support teams consistently delivered high-quality service that not only impressed Anglo American’s SharePoint Project Team – it played an instrumental role in AvePoint winning the mining giant’s business. “Our AvePoint sales representative was always available and willing to assist us when necessary”, Jarvis said. “The quality experience started right there – and honestly, AvePoint wins hands-down in terms of customer service.”

After purchasing DocAve Replicator, the Anglo American SharePoint Project Team contacted AvePoint support for assistance in the customising and configuring the solution. “I’ve been able to build a personal relationship with the AvePoint support team”, said Philip Reay, Anglo American’s SharePoint Program Architect. “If we have an issue, an AvePoint support representative is prepared to log on and assist us at the drop of a hat. It’s phenomenal; you just don’t get that from anywhere else.”

“If we have an issue, an AvePoint support representative is prepared to log on and assist us at the drop of a hat.”

THE BOTTOM LINE

Using DocAve Replicator, Anglo American can now effectively deliver the most updated content for all 20,000-plus SharePoint users across three continents regardless of poor network connectivity. Furthermore, with both scheduled and event-driven replications, administrators can ensure there is enough bandwidth to prevent business disruptions that could derail operations.

As a result, Anglo American administrators are now more confident in its decentralised architecture thanks to DocAve, and are considering utilising additional solutions from the DocAve Software Platform to more efficiently and quickly manage its vast SharePoint environment.

“From the first time we made contact with AvePoint up through today, our experience has been great”, Mark Jarvis concluded.

ABOUT AVEPOINT

AvePoint is a global technology company and software innovator headquartered in the United States. Since its founding in 2001, AvePoint has become the world’s largest provider of infrastructure management software solutions for Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies. Propelled by the world’s largest SharePoint-exclusive research & development team, AvePoint is the premier provider for EPG, SMB, MidMarket and Government organisations demanding the most powerful and flexible infrastructure management solutions for their SharePoint environments and assets. AvePoint’s award-winning DocAve Software Platform is recognized as the industry standard for comprehensive and scalable SharePoint backup and recovery, administration, replication, migration, archiving, deployment management, reporting, storage optimisation, and content lifecycle management.

AvePoint is headquartered and maintains its principle engineering centre in Jersey City, NJ, with wholly owned sales and engineering centres in the USA - San Jose, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Washington D.C., Houston, Boston; Melbourne, Australia; London, United Kingdom; Munich, Germany; Johannesburg, South Africa; Tokyo, Japan; Singapore; and China -Beijing, Changchun, Dalian. AvePoint’s global team, fortified by an expansive network of certified partners, helps more than 6,000 enterprise customers – including many Fortune 500 companies and government agencies – to protect, manage, optimise, and integrate their mission-critical SharePoint environments. AvePoint is a Depth Managed Gold Certified Microsoft Partner and GSA provider.

AvePoint Australia:
459 Collins Street, Level 22
Melbourne, VIC 3000
+61-3-9620-0200
www.avepoint.com.au

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