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Five Tips to Prevent SharePoint Sprawl

Five Tips to Prevent SharePoint Sprawl

Many companies use Microsoft SharePoint to manage documents and workflow processes, and to help organize all of the communications flying around between various offices. Enterprise clients can even use Office 365 and SharePoint to create websites and chart a course for other kinds of digital and off-line projects. But good SharePoint management goes a long way — and it’s important to understand how this type of software is best used in business.

One particular problem with SharePoint is called “SharePoint sprawl.” This is the idea that over time, the SharePoint architecture, the collections of files, folders and documents organized in the SharePoint system, becomes large, unwieldy and eventually, disorganized.

Here are five ways to control your SharePoint libraries and collections.


What this article is about:


Managing Permissions and Privileges

One of the most fundamental ways to cut down on SharePoint sprawl is to restrict the technical permissions to create new files and folders, or add to the architecture that’s already there. This starts with having a policy for SharePoint creation, and enforcing that policy as rigidly as possible. You might end up having a few point people with advanced permissions and a responsibility to look over the structure from time to time. These auditors can help make sure that the company isn’t generating too much activity that can have a negative impact on how well you organize SharePoint materials.

No Duplicates

It’s also a good idea to be vigilant about duplication. Suppose a document gets created at the team level, and put into a team folder. Maybe at the same time, someone at a management level is opening a folder for a group. Where does that document go? What if it goes both places?

Keeping an eagle eye out for duplicates is part of “pruning” the SharePoint structure to prevent sprawl.

Good Governance

In general, data governance is a concern at most businesses of any significant size.

Data governance, again, revolves around planning and policy. When you start to look at how the business typically generates data, and how it’s stored, and how it moves in transit, there is the capability to fine-tune the data flow for individual business processes. This sets your business up for success, and also prevents the kinds of disorganization that people like to call “sprawl” or “bloating” in a system.

Effective Use of Metadata

Companies can also go over how to use features like tagging and managed keywords in SharePoint. These types of metadata allow for more agile file retrieval and better classification of data objects within the system. When you get acquainted with terms like “folksonomy” and understand collaborative processes better, your SharePoint policies will benefit from that.

Utilize External Software

You can also improve enterprise use of SharePoint in Office 365 with the addition of some third-party tools that help safeguard data in your company systems. Cloudally’s comprehensive backup platform assures that the data you need will be there when you need it — even if it’s months or years in the future. In many ways, managing data in SharePoint or anywhere else is managing a timeline, as well as a volume of data. Any limitations or restrictions in the native applications can be extremely harmful when it comes to processes like e-discovery. Talk to Cloudally about getting real, comprehensive protection for your valuable data. Ask our Support Team for more information.


Now that you know about how to prevent SharePoint sprawl, you might want to have a look at what we created for you…

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How to Recover an Office 365 Account – For your business!

Recover Office 365 Account

Deleting accounts is a necessary part of doing business from time to time. Employees leave for other jobs, and you need to get rid of their accounts and close off access. However, even the best intentions can sometimes go awry. An administrator selects the wrong user account and deletes it before realizing the mistake, which is why its necessary to know how to recover an Office 365 Account!


What this article is about:


Office 365 offers a way to restore deleted users. However, the restoration only works if you discover the error within 30 days of deletion. After an employee leaves the company, the administrator deletes the corresponding account. However if the employee returns after this 30-day period, the administrator will have to create a brand new account because restoration will not be possible.

Before beginning, double check your Office 365 license is still available to assign to the account. The following procedures are for business users not using Active Directory for their Office 365 accounts.

Restore Office 365 Accounts in Microsoft

To begin, an administrator must sign in using administrator credentials. Once logged in, navigate to the Admin center.

  1. In the Admin center, select Users and then Deleted Users.
  2. Once on the Deleted users page, choose the username, or names, to restore.
  3. Select Restore.
  4. Follow On screen prompt to set passwords.
  5. Once restored, click the Send email and close button.

If the account cannot be restored, it means that there might be a conflict involving either the username or the proxy address. With a proxy address conflict, the restoration should remove the conflicting address and assign a new one to the restored user.

Resolving User Name Conflict

There are a couple of different reasons for a username conflict to occur in Office 365.

  • One reason is that the user you wish to restore still has an active username within the system. To fix this, you must replace the existing account with the restored one by first deleting the active user in the account.
  • The other main reason is that a new user has a similar name to the previous user. Therefore the new user’s username is the same as the previous user. To fix this issue, you must assign a new username to the restored account.

To perform the secondary repair, first, log into your Office 365 administrator account. Once logged in, navigate to the Admin Center and begin the restoration process as explained in the previous steps. After setting the password and clicking to restore, however, you will see a message indicating that there has been a problem while restoring the account.

On the message indicating there was one of the accounts, you may do one of the following,

  • Cancel the restore and rename the active user, then attempt the restoration again.
  • Type a new primary email address for the user and click Restore.

Choose the option that best works for your users. Review the results and then select close.

Other Options Worth Mentioning

Recovering an Office 365 account may not be done to reinstate a user. Instead, you might want to recover the account of a terminated employee due to litigation such as wrongful termination. However, Microsoft deletes the account 30 days after the license has been removed so without a 3rd party backup, that account is gone forever.

CloudAlly allows you to archive employee mailboxes and retain those archives for as long a your internal retention policy requires. While archived, an administrator can still perform a cross-user restore to legal, HR or auditing for example. Furthermore, the administrator can export data in Outlook compatible .pst format for local access. Last but not least, with CloudAlly, archives can be retained indefinitely or deleted once you’ve met your internal retention policy requirements… Start to backup your Office 365 with a Free 14 day trial.


Now that you know how to recover an Office 365 account…

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Microsoft SharePoint Backup Comparison (2017)

Microsoft SharePoint Backup – 2017 updates

CIO executives and IT managers are facing a tough decision selecting between SharePoint On – Premises, and SharePoint online of Office 365. This is much more apparent since 2013 when we reviewed the choices at hand.

It has been 4 years since we first brought you a comparison between SharePoint On-Premises and Office 365’s SharePoint Online. Since then, Microsoft has updated their SharePoint software with the new release of SharePoint 2016.

While a lot has stayed the same, the subtle changes might make a difference in determining which product best serves your needs.

Here is a basic overview of the primary differences between SharePoint Online and SharePoint On Premises:

Updates to SharePoint On-Premises

If you are familiar with SharePoint 2013, you may have some reservations about using the software on-premises. However, the 2016 release has many updates that make it more user-friendly.

One of the greatest updates that SharePoint 2016 has is the easier patching ability. Previous versions required IT personnel to take the server offline to perform updates. Now, installation of these patches occurs without taking the servers offline. These software updates help fix security holes and bugs.

Other notable updates include:

  • Improved naming system with shorter easier to understand names
  • Increased file size allowance
  • Increased storage number of records
  • Increased list threshold
  • Automatically updated links for relocated files
  • Faster search

SharePoint Backup
One other area Microsoft improved is the ability to use SharePoint 2016 on-site in a hybrid situation. Administrators can connect the on-premises SharePoint with online storage. Searches conducted include results from both online and on-site locations.

ProsCons
  • Full Customization
  • Increased Cost of workforce and equipment
  • Reduced Bandwidth (when not part of hybrid setup)
  • Redundancy required
  • Compliance with local security regulation
  • Scale up/out costs
  • Full Control
  • Additional set up for disaster recovery
  • Migrate when necessary

SharePoint Online

Microsoft is always working to make their Office 365 SharePoint better for their customers, with Cloudally’s Microsoft Sharepoint Backup the online option is extenuated, and adding hybrid compatibility for on-site SharePoint 2016 to work seamlessly is a huge upgrade. Also, it is important to mention that Microsoft has added security framework to make their Online Storage compliant with HIPAA, SSAE, and EU Model clauses to name a few.

ProsCons
  • Reduced workforce/hardware costs
  • Not controlled locally
  • Automatic updates
  • Greater bandwidth use
  • Anywhere access
  • Added storage costs
  • Complaint friendly
  • Limited customization
  • Enterprise grade security
  • Easy scale up/out

As Microsoft stores your files on their Azure servers, they offer automatic redundancies. These redundancies protect your data from loss due to hardware malfunction.

Overall Comparison

Sharepoint 2016 and SharePoint Online, via Office 365, operate the same. Users store documents and share them with their colleagues. Thanks to recent updates on both the onsite 2016 platform and Office 365 both programs can now work seamlessly together.

The following will help you with a better understanding of their differences.

CategoryOn-SiteOnline
CostRequires purchase of hardware and software license plus IT personnel to maintain systemAnnual subscription of Office 365 Plan billed per user
Deployment and MaintenanceIT personnel to deploy and manage farm, patches may be delayed due to workloadMicrosoft controls environment and installs patches when released
Business ContinuityDependent on internal capabilitiesBuilt-in redundancy and failover for data centers.
FeaturesSupport for Enterprise feature, with installation ofOffice web appLimited, preconfigured features
CustomizationFull server side code and client side code support.Full client side support. Limited server side support
SecurityDependent on internal capabilitiesEnterprise grade security
ComplianceDependent on internal capabilitiesEu Model Clauses, US-EU Safe Harbor Framework, HIPAA, FISMA, ISO 27001, FERPA, and SSAE16 compliant
StorageMore expensive storage devices with scalable size, more than 100GBCheaper costs, site collection up to 100GB, maximum content in single tenant Office 365 plan based.

Which Best Serves Your Needs

There are no absolutes when it comes to determining the best fit for your business. Office 365’s online Sharepoint makes it easy for your employees to access the files they need from anywhere. The greater fluidity allows you to utilize a remote workforce in addition to your in-house personnel.

However, due to security regulations, some information cannot be stored in a cloud setting. That means you must invest in Sharepoint software housed in on-site servers. Local service limits your company’s ability to allow employees to work remotely.

Bottom Line

In most cases, the middle ground might be your best option. By investing in on-site Sharepoint 2016 software, you can house sensitive information locally. Storing sensitive documents on-premises can help you maintain compliance with government regulations.

However, employees can store data that does not contain restricted information in the cloud environment. Workers can then access these non-sensitive documents from anywhere. With Sharepoint 2016 and Office 365 both having hybrid capabilities you can have the best of both worlds.

Disaster Recovery in High Priority

Choosing to go with Microsoft Sharepoint Online backup is placing your disaster recovery in top priority and your recovery protocol in place. An online backup of all your Sharepoint files allows you to recover data lost due to viruses or human error, eliminating data center issues.

Without a 3rd party backup service, such as Cloudally, your company lacks protection against malicious attacks. Ransomware attacks can occur at any time, forcing you to pay a hefty price to recover your information. With a proper backup in place, you can recover compromised files without paying the enormous fees requested by the hackers.

CloudAlly offers continuous support with Microsoft SharePoint backup. Data is saved daily to your online depository. Files deleted from your Office 365 online account remain within your CloudAlly backup until you choose to remove them.

There is no way to know when a ransomware attack or malicious employee error may occur. However, having CloudAlly Sharepoint backup available can protect you. Learn on Microsoft SharePoint and Check out our FREE TRIAL.

SharePoint Online – The things you need to know

SharePoint Online Features

Microsoft SharePoint has been here for some time now, and today it’s also offered in an on-premise or cloud offerings. SharePoint is a key player in a very crowded space of business collaboration and content management with strong competitors like Alfresco, Google Drive and Drupal just to name a few. SharePoint Online Features is essential to understand the solution.


What this article is about:


Sharing features

To begin with, employees can access and share their documents using SharePoint Online.

  • The documents are stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere using mobile device or personal computer.
  • Employees can share information using SharePoint Online, share documents, assign tasks and follow up their status, share news and knowledge.
  • With SharePoint Online you can have a ‘site mailbox’ in which you can attach emails to each SharePoint site which for example can help capture all project’s emails in one common place.
  • Employees can post and share information and pictures in a news feed, comment on other posts and follow posts of others.
  • Sharing and collaborating is possible with other employees, partners or customers. Access can be granted for specific documents or to the complete site (project wall).
  • For each site there can be a light public facing site (with customized URL) in which information about the project or activity can be shared publicly.
  • SkyDrive Pro enables you to synchronize information on your computer or mobile device and also keep the files in SharePoint Online SkyDrive Pro space.

SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2013

SharePoint Online offers most of the capabilities of SharePoint 2013 (on premise version), features that are not included are :

  • central administration
  • full-trust code
  • analytics
  • BCS+
  • some advanced search features

Storage capacities

SharePoint Online offers storage space of 10GB plus 0.5GB per user (excluding Kiosk or external users) which can be used for the team sites. Each user also have 7GB of SkyDrive Pro space. Maximum site collection size is 100GB and maximum file size is 250MB.

In SharePoint Online small business plan there can be a single site collection, the Midmarket plan support up to 20 sites collections and Enterprise plan supports up to 3000 sites. Additional SharePoint Online storage can be purchased ($0.2 per GB/month).

SharePoint administration panel is different from the on premise SharePoint farm administrator one as in SharePoint Online it is Microsoft that manages the farm itself. You should note that Internet Explorer 6 and 7 are not supported in SharePoint Online.

Data retention

The recycle bin only retains deleted items for 30 days (administrators have additional 30 days), thus you can restore deleted list, library, list item, site, document or web part page. Microsoft backups your SharePoint Online data and keep it for two weeks.

CloudAlly offers a must have complementary service for SharePoint Online, an automated backup service that provides unlimited archive retention and the ability to restore items from any point back in time (including items that deleted from the recycle bin).


Now that you know more about SharePoint online features, you might want to have a look at what we created for you…

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