Sopra Steria Simplifies SharePoint Site Provisioning and Enforces Governance for 38,000 Microsoft SharePoint Users with DocAve Governance Automation

Success Highlights

Empowered 38,000 users to provision SharePoint sites that fall within defined governance policies, increasing platform adoption by 177 percent
Reduced SharePoint management burden on IT by making a catalog of available service requests available to users based on role
Following a merger of several companies, migrated content from multiple sources and integrated it into a single framework
Sopra Steria logo

Customer Location Annecy, France

Industry Consulting

Platform SharePoint 2013

Critical Needs

  • Allow users to provision sites in real time that adhere to organizational design and structure guidelines
  • Simplify management of SharePoint site provisioning
  • Migrate content from multiple legacy systems

The Challenge

With more than 38,000 employees in 20 countries, Sopra Steria delivers successful transformation programs to address customers’ most complex and critical business challenges. To help both private and public sector organizations make the best use of technology, Sopra Steria uses Microsoft SharePoint 2013 extensively: dozens of servers hosting 4,7000 site collections.

While SharePoint was a significant improvement over the company’s previous Alfresco enterprise content management platform because of its scalability and collaboration features, Sopra Steria’s IT team of six SharePoint administrators still experienced challenges in managing the volume of user requests coming in. The process of provisioning SharePoint sites that adhered to organizational structure and design standards relied too heavily on the IT team.

IT also needed guidance in completing a complex migration project. After merging several companies into the organization, IT was tasked with moving data from multiple sources to SharePoint. With multiple legacy systems to deal with, they sought external help to complete these critical migrations.

Sopra Steria also sought a third-party SharePoint governance solution that would give the business user more power. “We looked for a tool that would allow a user to quickly create his own site in a controlled setting,” said Florian Deckert, Collaborative Tools Manager at Sopra Steria. “We wanted something user friendly that would give end users more control over management and free administrators to work on other projects.”

DocAve Governance Automation lets us offer self-service site provisioning while ensuring users follow the policies outlined by IT.
Florian Deckert
Collaborative Tools Manager, Sopra Steria

The AvePoint Solution

To manage its extensive SharePoint infrastructure, Sopra Steria implemented DocAve Software and DocAve Governance Automation, AvePoint’s solution for SharePoint governance. “One of the main reasons we chose DocAve was because it allows us to manage our SharePoint farms from a centralized console,” Deckert said. “Not only do we have an integrated platform with a wide variety of functionalities for SharePoint management, we also have a solution that enables self-service site provisioning – something we could not accomplish natively in SharePoint. In the framework of several mergers, we fully experienced the quality of DocAve Migrator to operate complex migrations from sources other than SharePoint.”

With DocAve Governance Automation, Sopra Steria empowers its end users to provision sites within organizational governance policies in just minutes. IT defines a catalog of available services that vary depending on a user’s role. “When business users submit a request to create a new site, they are directed to a questionnaire that guides them to the most relevant template,” Deckert said. “We created four standardized site templates in DocAve Governance Automation that are used for different functions: pre-sales, project, social, and information repository. IT customizes these templates, making certain SharePoint features available for some and not others. For example, timelines are only available on project sites, while picture libraries are only offered on social sites.”

Implementing these restrictions allows Sopra Steria to give more control to the users while reducing the management burden on IT. Because they are responsible for creating templates and designating which services are available for each user role, IT has peace of mind that users are not straying from organizational policies when it comes to SharePoint sites. “DocAve Governance Automation lets us offer self-service site provisioning while ensuring users follow the policies outlined by IT,” Deckert said. “Since much of this process has been automated, our team has much more time to work on other IT services, such as backup and file share management. Previously, our admins would have manually connected to the geographically-dispersed farms to perform the different operations. Now, no team members need to be dedicated to SharePoint full time, as we have really reduced the time needed to manage the system.”

DocAve Governance Automation’s content lifecycle management capabilities have also been a huge time-saver for the organization. Based on organizational retention policies, site owners are automatically notified when a site’s retention time expires and can take necessary action. This puts business users in a position to perform operations that were traditionally reserved for administrators, such as moving a site, deleting a site, and renewing a site lease. “With DocAve Governance Automation, we still oversee content lifecycle management from creation to deletion, but we no longer have to perform manual tasks to see them completed,” Dreckert said. “Since we implemented DocAve Governance Automation, we’ve deleted 7,000 site collections and retained 4,700 – all of which were provisioned by end users. It has decreased the time we spend managing SharePoint, and widely contributed to adoption. In 2014, we received 90 requests for working groups. In 2016, we received 250 – an increase of 177 percent.”

Pleased with its initial experience with AvePoint, Sopra Steria will continue to engage AvePoint Technical Account Management (TAM) services. ”The TAM team is extremely efficient,” Deckert said. “Our technical manager masters all the advanced features of SharePoint, DocAve, and DocAve Governance Automation, and that has been invaluable when executing complex tasks.”

Sopra Steria has also had positive experiences with AvePoint’s technical support team. “I really want to highlight the excellent responsiveness of AvePoint’s support team,” Deckert said. “When we needed a quick fix, we always obtained help promptly.”

The Road Ahead

DocAve Governance Automation enables Sopra Steria’s end users to provision SharePoint workspaces that fall within organizational policies, settings, and customizations. Through a pre-defined set of catalogued service requests, end users are also empowered to manage content lifecycle operations according to corporate retention policies. With complete visibility into these requests, IT allows end users to take a more proactive role in SharePoint management without fear of employees straying from organizational governance policies. “We would never have been able to achieve what we have done without DocAve Governance Automation,” Deckert said. “Thanks to AvePoint’s solution, my team members were able to free themselves from many SharePoint administration tasks and focus on other important work.”

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