SharePoint is a platform that many organisations have invested in for its collaboration and team capabilities including content management. Many organisations in Australia and New Zealand are now asking how they can leverage the platform into other areas, particularly robust enterprise document and records management, with a focus on addressing compliance and record keeping challenges they face.
This is especially true in more heavily regulated sectors such as government and financial services but seamless and standards-compliant records management is a crucial element to any organisation’s governance strategy.
Traditionally this has been an expensive exercise meaning a large investment in new software and, more importantly, an even greater hidden cost in terms of changes to internal work practices and processes to ensure 'compliance'.
So is the answer to this problem managing your records in SharePoint? The analysts answer is “sort of”. While SharePoint 2010 introduced a series of important enhancements to its records management functions, a rigorous approach to information risk requires either investing in customisation of the platform or (and more cost effectively) leveraging a third party product.
Forrester Research has named RecordPoint as one of six technology partners that Microsoft perceives to be important in supplementing the enterprise records management capabilities within SharePoint 2010. RecordPoint was highlighted by Forrester in particular as providing support for Australian, New Zealand and European regulatory requirements.
RecordPoint is the only 100% SharePoint, fully VERS 1-5 certified and ISO15489 compliant Document and Records Management solution available as a commercial off-the-shelf software product for Australian and New Zealand organisations.
Unlike many of the more traditional Records Management products, RecordPoint is focused on allowing end users to manage records without stepping out of their existing business process.. This reduces the training and change management overhead and provides greatly increased productivity.
“People want SharePoint 2010 for the social media capabilities and the knowledge management aspects of the platform. With RecordPoint they can put a rock-solid records management platform in behind that that works seamlessly with the user,” said RecordPoint Managing Director, Elon Aizenstros.
The challenge is highlighted in a recent report on governance strategies at Global 1000 companies, conducted by the Compliance Governance and Oversight Council (CGOC), a practitioners' forum focused on data retention, legal hold and discovery practices.
The CGOC found that 75% of legal, records and IT executives surveyed agree on the key components of an effective information governance program. This included systematic linkage and transparency across legal, records and IT, an inventory of current legal holds which are more effectively communicated, and actionable retention schedules that are specific to data sources and data sets. However less than 1/3 of companies surveyed have these elements in place today.
CGOC Founder and President Deidre Paknad, said "Across the board, legal, records and IT leaders agree that rigorous discovery and defensible disposal of data is the key objective of information governance yet just 22% of companies are able to dispose of data routinely today because 'people' glue is too often used to link the people who understand information obligations and its value with the people who manage that information in IT.
With IT costs averaging 3.5% of revenues globally and the ever-escalating rate of data growth, it is imperative that companies break down the silos in legal, IT and records management to enable more efficient compliance and avoid managing data waste in perpetuity.”
Governance can only be truly embraced by organisations that meet the challenge of empowering users with a records management platform that works seamlessly with them as they go about their daily business.
Building on top of its vision of a more usable records management platform for end users (as well as for records managers and IT administrators), improving performance and scale of SharePoint as a records management platform was the key focus of the third generation of RecordPoint, which is available for the first time in two separate editions, Enterprise and Standard.
The Standard edition offers an entry level option for business users that still require many of the records management capabilities that SharePoint does not deliver out of the box, but do not require as complex a records classification engine as is necessary for government and more highly regulated industries.
“We want to reduce the barrier for entry for SharePoint users who want to introduce good record-keeping practice into their organisations,” said Aizenstros. ”So they can take control of the information lifecycle.”
Essential to the increased performance and flexibility in managing records with RecordPoint V3.0 is a new search-based user interface (UI).
Technically, RecordPoint have remained focused on leveraging the core capabilities introduced by Microsoft in SharePoint 2010.
“It is central to our strategy that RecordPoint builds upon SharePoint rather than replacing what Microsoft has delivered or simply ‘bolting on’ a third party connector to another product,” said Aizenstros.
“This means that anyone deploying RecordPoint is certain that it will work within their SharePoint environment.”
As an example, V3.0 has delivered enhanced storage efficiency by managing the records scalability of the SharePoint 2010 platform, enabling records capacity to scale up to 60x larger than the Microsoft recommended capacity limits.
RecordPoint V3.0 also offers a comprehensive solution for environments with both physical and electronic records, with Physical and Hybrid records management a capability that is not native to SharePoint 2010.