This month marks the tenth consecutive year that we have been a proud sponsor of Microsoft TechEd North America, which is Microsoft’s premier technology conference for IT professionals and developers. It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since we first attended this event, at the time touting products for backup and restore as well as migration from SharePoint Portal Server 2001 to SharePoint Portal Server 2003.
AvePoint, SharePoint, and technology itself have evolved dramatically, now addressing trends including big data, cloud computing, mobile device management, and social networking. Building on that, how can you utilize SharePoint amidst your other enterprise technology investments as part of a comprehensive data management strategy?
Interoperability is a major trend in today’s multichannel landscape, and is helping to drive our focus of collaboration with confidence to the market. To that end, I’m proud to share what we unveiled to the market at TechEd North America, falling firmly within our mission to help enterprises collaborate with confidence through the prism of productivity, cloud computing, compliance, and governance:
· Cloud Computing: Powerful backup, administration, and management capabilities for cloud, hybrid, and on-premises deployments. AvePoint has become a master of the hybrid, supporting our customers running SharePoint 100% on-premise, 100% in the Cloud (Office 365 in multi-tenant mode, or Azure or Amazon in dedicated hosting mode), or any combination of deployment scenarios. The future will be hybrid for a long time, so whether it means supporting across deployment locations or across any number of geographically dispersed environments, AvePoint provides a scalable, hybrid-enabled, global roll-up management approach.
· Compliance & Governance: Visit our website to learn more about our latest features and products to ensure information is available to those who should have access, and protected from those who should not. Two new notable additions from AvePoint include Compliance Detector, our latest community educational solution allowing anyone to scan websites for free in order to report on a variety of guidelines for accessibility and privacy; and Policy Enforcer, allowing our customers to not only report but also enforce best practice policies and rules in real-time against their SharePoint deployments.
It’s evident that our evolution is also aligning closely with the vision of Microsoft and that of our customers and partners. At TechEd North America, our flagship management platform for SharePoint governance, DocAve 6, won Best of TechEd in the SharePoint category – the second time in our company’s history that we’ve won this prestigious award.
· Collaboration and Content Partner of the Year
· Office/SharePoint App Developer Partner of the Year
· Public Sector Partner of the Year – Public Safety/National Security
This broad recognition truly demonstrates AvePoint’s breadth and depth of support in our ever growing eco-system.
Lastly, at the very beginning of June, we were honored with being named Best Collaboration Solution in the 2013 GOVTek Executive Government Technology Awards, commissioned by the Government Technology Research Alliance, which honors industry leaders whose vision, innovation, and remarkable accomplishments improved the way government delivers services, interacts with citizens, shares information, and protects its national assets.
All of this is showing us that collaborating with confidence, ensuring that enterprises have solutions that can stitch together all of their enterprise technology investments to ensure they are increasing productivity while ensuring data security, is resonating with our customers and partners. It’s also a testament to the core values that have been the bedrock of our company since we first opened our doors in 2001 – passion, drive for excellence, teamwork, and innovation – that have armed us with the ability to continue meeting the needs of our customers and partners, a need that stretches across products, regions, and industry verticals.
It’s been an extremely busy and exciting past month for us here at AvePoint, but stay tuned for even more product and solution updates that will continue to help organizations worldwide collaborate with confidence. The best is indeed yet to come!
AvePoint recently sponsored an IDC survey with Microsoft in Asia that found 80 percent of businesses in that region want to adopt enterprise social platforms including Microsoft SharePoint in the next 18 months, but are reticent to do so because of data leakage, security, and compliance concerns. This tells us that more than ever, despite the macro-economic slowdown, businesses recognize the fervent need to improve their innovation velocity and competitiveness in today’s hyper-connected information world. This means ensuring information is available to those who should have it and protected from those who should not is of paramount importance.
This brings up a seemingly simple question, then: How can we help enterprises leap frog the adoption curve and truly bring enterprise collaboration and social into the confines of the enterprise?
It’s a simple question but requires a nuanced answer. While this is already a given in the consumer space, enterprises are different from consumers in that they have much more liability when it comes to intellectual property (IP), public relations, and other legal concerns with regard to the exchange and flow of information. The differentiator now, as opposed to even just a few years ago, is that merely terming this collaboration initiative as a pipe dream is no longer sufficient. It’s no longer sufficient for knowledge workers, and it’s certainly not accepted by enterprises’ customers and clients.
Let’s be honest with ourselves – business users will always find ways to get their jobs done, regardless of what legal and compliance stakeholders desire. A real-world example includes compliance officers rejecting an ask to share data externally through SharePoint. Instead of taking no for an answer, workers decided to use the “free” Google Apps platform to share information – thus opening up the organization to a tremendous liability risk to its corporate IP.
This reality that keeps many compliance officers awake at night opens the door for AvePoint to provide the elixir through our traditional strength in infrastructure management and governance as well as our expanded integration story of compliance and risk management for enterprise collaboration platforms. We can provide that peace of mind risk averse yet growth seeking organizations desire today, the ability to truly embrace enterprise collaboration and social initiatives.
From my travels worldwide speaking with CEOs, CIOs, compliance, and risk officers, I clearly see the need to consolidate platforms, improve information worker efficiency, and empower stakeholders to have access to the right information anywhere and anytime. With that said, the enterprise must have visibility and control over who, what, and where that information is being shared – both inside the walls of an organization and outside to its customers and partners.
This tension is where AvePoint has its greatest strength – we can help customers refine their enterprise collaboration and social vision by utilizing all their various investments today (be it SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Box, Dropbox, Jive, and others) and stitch together a cohesive information collaboration story that offers strong security, compliance visibility, and enforcement capabilities that risk and compliance officers need. Our unique capability in cross-platform compliance and governance, in addition to our background in infrastructure management across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments, help customers worldwide leap frog the SharePoint adoption curve and focus on improving worker efficiency.
In the coming months, we will continue to share real-world success stories on how AvePoint’s focus on collaboration with confidence helps enterprises smash barriers to productivity and unlock the next wave of innovation from their most important asset – their employees.
Just a few days removed from Microsoft SharePoint Conference (SPC) 2012, it’s gratifying to me to know that a little project code named Tahoe back in 2001 has grown to bring in more than $2 billion annually in sales for Microsoft and generated an $8 billion ecosystem, according to Jared Spataro, Senior Director of SharePoint Product Marketing at Microsoft.
More than 10,000 people packed the keynote address at SPC 2012 in Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV, where Spataro specifically named AvePoint as the premier infrastructure and governance management company for SharePoint in the first three minutes of his keynote address. He, and other Microsoft executives including Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President, SharePoint, went on to showcase SharePoint 2013 and all of its new features, including:
· New SharePoint Experience – The User Interface is redesigned in an effort to make the user experience cleaner and simpler, with quick access to newsfeed, documents, and sites as well as streamlined ways for saving documents, editing lists, sharing content, and theming sites.
· Social Networking – SharePoint 2013 adds rich new microblogging, newsfeed, community, and other social features. With the acquisition of enterprise social networking platform Yammer, it’s clear that we will see more connections between Yammer, SharePoint, and other Microsoft technologies. While it’s still early on, it’s important to give time to see how this integration plays out in the future.
· Search – Microsoft made it very clear during the keynote and throughout the conference that one of the largest investments it made in this release of SharePoint was combining FAST technology with learnings from Microsoft Research and Bing to provide more powerful navigation of documents, sites, people, conversations, videos, reports, and more.
And that wasn’t all. Another key takeaway for me was the reinforcement that Microsoft is in fact “all-in” on Cloud. Microsoft announced during the keynote that all new releases will go into Office 365 first with 90 day release cycles. This represents a very significant shift in Microsoft’s product release strategy – Spataro said himself that “We’re at the end of three-year release cycles.” – and AvePoint is well situated to meet that new paradigm with our tremendous R&D and support resources.
It was also fantastic to hear from Yammer executives – Co-Founder & CEO David Sacks and Co-Founder & CTO Adam Pisoni – talk more about the future of enterprise social and how they are looking to integrate Yammer into Microsoft technologies. Interestingly, Yammer will still act as a standalone cloud platform given its 200,000 customers. I believe that right now Yammer/SharePoint integration is in its nascent stages, and it will be interesting to see as the acquisition closes how deeply Microsoft decides to integrate Yammer. Pisoni had an amusing comment, stating that “Yammer is the water cooler of today’s companies.” From a Compliance Officer’s perspective, though, do you really want your water cooler conversations heard by everyone in the company?
And therein lies the rub in today’s business landscape: addressing the dichotomy of vast collaboration and security. As SharePoint continues to grow into being a total information worker productivity platform, AvePoint and its solutions for compliance, governance, and management are better positioned than ever to enable enterprise collaboration with confidence.
Here at AvePoint, we make it our mission to pursue enterprise readiness in every area of our business – from our sales and product teams to marketing, customer support, and operations – in order to not just meet but exceed the needs of our ever-growing customer and partner ecosystem. We know that our success will only go as far as the success of our customers and partners, so we tirelessly drive forward in order to always meet that gold standard.
Consequently, we very rarely look back – instead, we constantly look ahead to what’s next. Where’s the next challenge; what’s the next burgeoning trend?
For starters, it is one thing to start quickly out of the gate but lose stamina and eventually fall to the back of the pack. It is a completely other – and much harder – task to start strong and continue to lead the pack. There are always challenges around every corner, obstacles and hurdles one must jump through in order to not become a story of an explosive rise – and just as explosive fall from grace.
The interesting thing about this is that virtually all of these honors have taken place during one of the worst economic times in our recent history – that amidst a time of trial and tribulation, of dreams being shattered and companies unfortunately not able to survive, AvePoint has continued to forge ahead.
And again, it’s not always about where we’ve been, but where we’re going. The future is extremely bright at AvePoint, and I’m fully confident we will continue our forward momentum as we close out 2012 and embrace 2013. In this year alone, we have:
· Released the enterprise class management platform for SharePoint governance, DocAve 6
· Charted the course to productivity for all with AvePoint MyView in the SharePoint 2013 Marketplace
The journey continues – and there is plenty more to come as we wrap up 2012! Expect more news from us as we step up our tempo in expanding our integrated software solutions to help organizations comprehensively govern and scale their enterprise social collaboration platforms with confidence.
The future goes to those who are confident, willing to take calculated risks, and challenge traditional thought. AvePoint has lived by these principles since 2001, and we will not change course – we owe that to our customers, our partners, and the global SharePoint community.
Part of what it means for AvePoint to be enterprise ready in every aspect of our business – from our product development to our customer support and global operations – means staying ahead of business and IT challenges that enterprises worldwide are facing today with regard to their technology investments.
In speaking with our customers and partners worldwide, the message has never been clearer: Organizations are mandated to do more with less as well as empower employees and partners to work more efficiently to increase their competitive edge. Enterprise collaboration systems, social media, mobile devices, and cloud solutions can help promote innovation, encourage free thinking, and spawn creativity, but they also drastically increase content and create a new set of compliance and risk management challenges.
The trend toward big data presents an increased level of risk (Gartner estimates that enterprise data will grow 650 percent by 2015). At the same time, accidental data exposure, privacy breaches, loss of secure data and intellectual property, and exposure of personal information is on the rise, resulting in a greater emphasis on governance and risk reporting.
In terms of compliance and risk management, organizations’ biggest challenge is navigating the delicate balance among the trends of Enterprise Social, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and maintaining control of the information flowing through enterprises. So while the need is real to ensure employees are more connected and practicing transparency through enterprise social initiatives, it is vital that companies have a clear view of who, what, when, where, and how information has been accessed and distributed.
The reality is that while in a perfect world, risk and compliance officers would love to forbid the use of enterprise social platforms due to fears of information leakage – a recent IDC study found more than 60% of today’s data leaks come from within organizations – but people will find ways around restrictions to exchange and store information in order to get their jobs done. The need for efficient information exchange to gain competitive edge or just to stay relevant is more pressing than ever, and organizations and IT leadership can no longer afford to just run away from facing these challenges. In fact, Gartner predicts that “by 2016, 20 percent of CIOs in regulated industries will lose their jobs for failing to implement the discipline of information governance successfully”.
The time has come for an end-to-end solution that brings business, IT, and risk officers to the same table and speak the same language in order to proactively address the joint challenges they face today. This is why AvePoint offers a combination of our award-winning DocAve Software Platform, Governance Automation, and Compliance Guardian to help our customers stitch together a better enterprise collaboration story.
Mitigating risk is just one – albeit important – piece, though. While we bring cyber security to the forefront by proactively preventing, detecting, tracking, responding, and resolving the 60% of breaches that occur internally, we also address the need for enterprises to incorporate cloud computing into their technology investments. AvePoint comprehensively supports this story for enterprise collaboration as well, whether it’s through our support of hybrid environments , or software-as-a-service DocAve Online offering for organizations only using Office 365 – SharePoint Online, or for those who wish to utilize Windows Azure for SharePoint Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
AvePoint is well positioned to tackle tomorrow’s challenges today – helping customers govern and scale their social enterprise collaboration platforms with confidence.