Central Institute of Technology Provides Students with Centralized Access to More than 100,000 File Share Documents through Microsoft SharePoint with DocAve

Critical Needs

  • The ability to connect file share data to SharePoint, providing access to learning materials through a centralised repository without migration
  • Reduction of printing costs by enabling student access to content online

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  • Central Institute of Technology
  • Customer Location Perth, Australia
  • Industry Education
  • Platform Microsoft SharePoint
  • AvePoint SolutionsDocAve

Success Highlights

  • Provided online access more than 100,000 documents in SharePoint while storing all data in file shares
  • Reduced campus-wide printing expenses by approximately 10 percent by enabling students to access lecture notes, presentations, and other documents online through SharePoint
  • Connected SharePoint to multiple terabytes of data in file shares while keeping total storage within Microsoft’s recommended content database limits, avoiding the need to purchase extra Microsoft SQL Server storage
quote Thanks to DocAve, our students now have online access to resources through SharePoint that they never had in the past. quote
Jodie Horton Online Coordinator, Central Institute of Technology

The Challenge

Employing a full time staff of 800 and with hundreds of part-time employees, Central Institute of Technology uses Microsoft SharePoint as its organisational intranet. The environment acts as a centralised repository for information and documentation such as policies, procedures, and forms. Central also utilises SharePoint to manage its external web content.

Through a technology survey, Central learned that one of the top requirements for students was easy, 24/7 access to class lecturer notes, presentations, hand-outs, and other relevant academic materials in digital form. “Our students needed access to these resources through a centralised repository to enable sharing between lecturers in different parts of the campus,” said Jodie Horton, Online Coordinator at Central. “We also knew that we could save on campus printing expenses if these resources were easily accessible to the students online.”

With the potential for more than 100,000 files – including Word documents and PDFs – to be stored in the new Learning Resources repository, Central administrators were concerned that storing the data directly within SharePoint would not be feasible.

“We wanted to stay within Microsoft’s recommended limits for content database size to ensure optimum performance while saving on costs by not needing to invest in more SQL Server storage,” Jodie said. “For those reasons, we chose to store our Learning Resources content in file shares and sought a solution to connect the files shares to SharePoint.”

The AvePoint Solution

Thanks to a tip from its team of developers, Central administrators learned that AvePoint’s DocAve Connector would enable the organisation to solve the challenge at hand. Part of the DocAve Software Platform, DocAve Connector allows organisations to present and manage file share documents and content directly in SharePoint without migration. Central engaged AvePoint partner NEC Australia in order to help with the implementation of the product. “DocAve Connector allows us to store our files on our file share and provide centralised, online access to them through our thousands of SharePoint sites,” Jodie said.

DocAve provides Central students and lecturers a single point of access through SharePoint. In addition to enabling online access to educational resources across campus, Central could also take advantage of SharePoint’s enhanced workflow, approval, versioning, and full-text search capabilities, making the Learning Resources content easy to access, utilize, and manage. “In addition to convenience for our students and lecturers, delivering our Learning Resources environment through SharePoint has decreased the cost of printing across campus by approximately 10 percent,” Jodie said. “This is thanks to the fact that, by connecting our file shares to SharePoint, DocAve enables our students to access their content online through one central repository.”

By storing all Learning Resources content in file shares, Central was able to avoid dramatically increasing storage on SharePoint’s SQL Server content databases – which would cause a significant increase in expenses. “Our project began by connecting 15,000 files to SharePoint using DocAve Connector,” Jodie said. “In the next year, however, our Learning Repository will expand to more than 100,000 files and several terabytes of data in total.”

The Bottom Line

Using DocAve Connector, Central is able to provide its students and lecturers with centralised access to classroom materials through SharePoint while storing all data on the organisation’s file shares. In addition to allowing online access to the materials from one centralised repository, the organisation is able to save on campus-wide printing costs and avoid the need to add expensive SQL Server storage. “Thanks to DocAve, our students now have online access to resources through SharePoint that they never had in the past,” Jodie said. “This convenience and instant access to learning materials makes for happier students and lecturers.”

About Central Institute of Technology

As one of Australia’s largest training institutes, Central Institute of Technology offers approximately 400 nationally accredited training courses and trains more than 29,000 students annually.

Central Institute of Technology