“DocAve provides us with an elegant way to move and copy content with metadata within our SharePoint farm.”
-Nils Ohde, SharePoint-Administrator, LPBK M-V
Landesamt für zentrale Aufgaben und Technik der Polizei, Brand- und Katastrophenschutz Mecklenburg Vorpommern (LPBK M-V) is the state office for central tasks, police equipment, and fire and disaster protection for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a federated state in northern Germany.
To enable better collaboration among its employees, LPBK M-V adopted Microsoft SharePoint. While its 4,000 end users initially used SharePoint to work better together – for example, on projects related to the G8 summit – adoption quickly took off, and IT implemented SharePoint as an intranet and document storage.
As users began to store and create more content in SharePoint, the organization’s IT administrators saw a need for a third-party solution that would allow them to easily move and copy content within SharePoint. “We have come a long way from our initial use of SharePoint as an information system,” said Nils Ohde, SharePoint-Administrator at LPBK M-V. “We now have a more mature collaboration system. However, as our use of the platform evolved, we found that we wanted the ability to reorganize SharePoint and optimize our architecture. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to migrate content within SharePoint with metadata.”
IT also found a need for additional SharePoint reporting capabilities, specifically for its internal newsletter. With time and resources devoted to putting it together, the secretary of state required more details about newsletter consumption than SharePoint could provide natively. “It is important for us to be able to report on how many people are accessing the newsletter articles,” Ohde said. “This information can inform a decision to devote more or fewer resources to future articles.”
LPBK M-V researched third-party solutions for SharePoint content management and reporting and ultimately decided to implement a solution that addressed both needs: DocAve Software. AvePoint’s fully integrated solution for SharePoint management, DocAve allows the organization’s administrators to manage multiple aspects of its deployment from a single interface. “With DocAve, we have a broad range of functionality at hand,” Ohde said. “DocAve meets our needs for SharePoint reporting and reorganization – and what’s more, we can manage both with a single solution.”
As SharePoint adoption increased, the organization began to use the platform in new and different ways. Because of this, IT often needs to move content around and copy templates that could be useful in other sites. Before DocAve, Ohde would use PowerShell code to shift content around with full fidelity, but it required lots of time and effort on his part. Now, using DocAve’s visual interface, admins can easily look at source and destination locations side by side to clearly see what is being moved where – and retain all metadata such as permissions. “With DocAve, I can avoid PowerShell completely, which has made my life much easier,” Ohde said. “DocAve provides us with an elegant way to move and copy content with metadata within our SharePoint farm.”
Aside from SharePoint content management, the organization also benefits from DocAve’s reporting capabilities. With the ability to run a diverse array of reports in SharePoint, IT regularly runs reports that provide insight into usage. Administrators need to be able to show how many users are actively accessing the intranet and how many employees are reading the internal newsletter. This data is sent to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s secretary of state, who can then make an informed decision about allocating resources for future articles. “Natively, SharePoint is not able to report on intranet usage or newsletter consumption with the amount of detail we desire,” Ohde said. “DocAve allows us to easily report on user activities such as how many people are reading articles in our newsletter. It is very easy to generate reports on article traffic data and submit them to our secretary of state. If the data looks good, then more newsletter articles are approved for the future.”
In addition to DocAve’s wide range of functionality to support IT as it manages SharePoint, AvePoint also provides top notch technical support. “AvePoint’s technical support team has been extremely helpful and friendly,” Ohde said. “We have strict privacy regulations that prevent us from working with companies that do not have a German office, so it is a huge plus to have German-speaking support to work with our employees. That really comes in handy, as we cannot expect all of our employees to be fluent in English.”
With DocAve, LPBK M-V has overcome native SharePoint limitations around content reorganization and reporting. The organization has gained the ability to quickly copy and move content within SharePoint with full fidelity, saving administrators time and effort previously spent writing PowerShell code. DocAve also allows IT to easily produce detailed reports about platform usage to report up to the secretary of state. “We’ve always relied on third-party tools to get things done that Microsoft didn’t natively have in their solutions,” Ohde said. “This is definitely the case with DocAve. We can now accurately move and copy content within our SharePoint farm with metadata intact. We also now have the ability to report on our SharePoint usage better than ever before.”
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