“As a SaaS solution, AvePoint Online Services gives us maximum flexibility because we can manage multiple aspects of SharePoint Online from anywhere, anytime, and from one platform.”
- Patrick Lampert, Network Administrator, PartyLite Europe Technology
PartyLite Europe Technology is the leading direct seller of candles and home accessories, offering a unique home shopping experience and business opportunity to those wanting to earn an income and build a profitable business.
With hundreds of employees operating in 24 countries worldwide, PartyLite Europe Technology’s executive leadership realized that its on-premises solutions for team collaboration and email were not long-term solutions. To relieve the maintenance burden on IT and provide services that would be available to users across Europe, the organization decided to adopt the Microsoft Cloud.
By implementing Microsoft Office 365 – Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, employees in different countries can easily report up to PartyLite Europe Technology’s parent company. “We offer all of our employees a structured platform to find information, follow business processes, and collaborate,” said Patrick Lampert, Network Administrator at PartyLite Europe Technology. “Thanks to the cloud, working hours are more flexible. Working from home is now possible because users can access data from any device anywhere.”
SharePoint Online also hugely impacted how IT works on a daily basis. With no updates or technical maintenance to keep up with, admins can focus more on supporting employees and markets with services. “One advantage was less technical work on the backend,” Lampert said. “We had more time to devote to setting up an intranet that streamlined our processes.”
PartyLite Europe Technology’s European team led the organization in SharePoint Online adoption. Its 250 European users had such a positive experience, the company decided to extend the intranet to include global employees. “Our environment has grown to 120 gigabytes but is expected to triple within the next couple of years,” Lampert said. “When we eventually get the entire company on the platform, we’ll have more people working with documents – which means higher probability of mistakes like accidental document deletion. This was a big concern of ours, so we wanted to be able to granularly back up and restore data in the cloud.”
Another concern was SharePoint management and administration. As IT continues to build the company intranet to best serve users, naturally they will want to reorganize the environment. “Natively, there is no easy way to copy or move content from one site to another,” Lampert said. “We wanted the ability to easily reproduce something in another site. We also wanted an easy way to manage permissions in bulk as we add more users”
In keeping with its enterprise cloud strategy, PartyLite Europe Technology implemented AvePoint Online Services (AOS), a fully Azure-hosted SaaS offering for Office 365 management. Requiring no installation or agents, AOS allows admins to manage SharePoint Online the same way its employees access the platform – from anywhere, anytime. “Every IT employee can access data from anywhere as soon as it is required,” Lampert said. “Just like with Office 365, we know we’re always working with the latest version of AvePoint Online Services and don’t need to perform any upgrades.”
With AvePoint Online Services' flexible backup capabilities, PartyLite Europe Technology’s IT team can create a schedule and retention rules that work best for its needs. Admins schedule automatic backup jobs to run nightly. They take advantage of platform-level backups once a week and schedule incremental jobs four times a week. “Having AOS as a backup solution is a big advantage for us because it requires little effort,” Lampert said. “We are assured that, should we need to restore content in the cloud, data integrity is guaranteed because AOS preserves metadata.”
In addition to making cloud backup easier to manage, AvePoint Online Services also helps PartyLite Europe Technology demonstrate compliance with legal retention requirements. “German law requires the organization to preserve financial and email data for up to 10 years and also provide proof of regular backups,” Lampert said. “AOS records backup job statuses, which can help in case of an audit.”
With AOS' content management capabilities, IT has improved its ability to deploy SharePoint Online content to the production environment. “We can develop things like site collections or subsites in a test environment then copy or move it to production without having to set things up from zero,” Lampert said. “This saves us huge amounts of time because we can copy content with full fidelity.”
Admins also save time with AvePoint Online Services when granting SharePoint Online access to new users. Instead of having to set permissions manually on individual sites and site collections, admins can clone permissions and transfer them to another user. “We use AOS' administration capabilities to manage rights in bulk,” Lampert said. “This is an advantage when, for example, someone leaves the company and we want to assign permissions to someone else who is taking over responsibilities.”
By implementing AvePoint Online Services, PartyLite Europe Technology’s IT team gained extensive capabilities in SharePoint Online backup, restore, content management, and permissions management that were not available natively. IT now has many options in its backup configuration, using both granular and full backups. It can also easily move and copy content across SharePoint Online while retaining metadata – saving administrators time during deployment. “We place emphasis on the cloud,” Lampert said. “As a SaaS solution, AvePoint Online Services gives us maximum flexibility because we can manage multiple aspects of SharePoint Online from anywhere, anytime, and from one platform. You only need a laptop and browser.”
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