Preventing SharePoint From Becoming a Dumping Ground

Almost a decade ago, some people viewed SharePoint as almost laughable. Now adoption has become so widespread that “People are using it as a dumping ground,” says CommVault’s senior director Simon Taylor.

The Exchange problem of the turn of the century is now a SharePoint problem: “You can have a lot of data that shouldn’t be in there. People are looking for some form of lifecycle management,” Taylor says.

With the rise of social media, and its integration in SharePoint, comes the need to retain blog posts and media feeds, which can create “a huge retention problem.” Other aspects have changed as well. “Decision-making has moved from the legal representative to IT,” Taylor says. “Legal says ‘Let’s retain stuff for 5 years and we have 30 copies of a document.’ But IT is saying ‘I need to tier-- what other solutions are available?’”

“We’re seeing customers that were using our software to protect and manage are now into archiving. We’re positioning ourselves to become a lifecycle management tool for SharePoint data.”

CommVault’s Simpana solution uses a semantic data system to figure out what customers have. It archives items based on policy, moving them out of SharePoint while offering easy recall of archived data. Users can simultaneously search across SharePoint data, as well as Exchange, Lync, Windows, and other data. Consistency matters, says Taylor: “The ability to find data across multiple repositories--anything you can do to make document management seamless for end users is important.”

“SharePoint is very well positioned as an active repository. It’s incredible the amount of SharePoint tools and apps that sit on top of the SharePoint environment. You can only see the deployment of SharePoint increase,” Taylor says. What does he see for the future? If he had his way, “SharePoint becomes a broader platform, extending across everything Microsoft does—Exchange to SharePoint to public folders, whether IM, email, or documents.”

To see where CommVault Simpana fits in all this, go check out the website. 

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Caroline Marwitz

Caroline Marwitz writes at the intersection of technology, design, and psychology, riffing on her years as editor and web content manager for SharePoint Pro Magazine and editor at Windows IT Pro...

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