How a Document Management System Helped an EU Firm Embrace Efficiency

The solution eliminated costly version-control problems


A large electricity firm based in Europe needed a much better way to manage internal and client documents. The company had worked on a basic design that matched their business flow;however, employees lacked the necessary experience to complete a complex document management solution on Sharepoint.

The Challenge

Employees wanted an easier and more reliable way to share, work with, and store their documents. Because they lacked a centralized system and global search, employees had problems finding information and documents. Without version control and file locking, users could not keep track of changes, and had to deal with multiple copies of the same files that they then had to merge manually .

Meanwhile, the management team was worried about security and the possibility of losing documents.. They wanted to be able to control access to specific sites with sensitive information, turn on auditing to access information for all SharePoint sites, and even track and control sensitive documents when they were sent outside of the company using Information Rights Management (IRM)

The Process

1. Conceptual Development

Using the input from workshops and our interviews with stakeholders, a we were able to create detailed specifications, user interface designs, and a schedule. The new information architecture created included:

  • site hierarchy with list of SharePoint site collections and web sites based on administration, security and performance requirements.
  • navigation structure – determines how SharePoint will look and feel to the end user.
  • taxonomy metadata – helps organize content by assigning content taxonomy tags so that documents can be found easily regardless of their location
  • document metadata and templates, which help with search for different document types
  • security- a list of users, SharePoint and AD groups and their permission levels on SharePoint hierarchy items: sites, lists, libraries, folders and documents.

2. Our Approach

The first step in the process was to create the new SharePoint farm. We initially did an assessment of the potential user base and document storage and then designed a farm according to SharePoint 2013 Sizing and Capacity planner.We also perform series of load tests to simulate peak load and check SharePoint performance and response time. We configured high availability SharePoint farm, which contained: two SharePoint web servers, two SharePoint application servers and dedicated AlwaysOn Availability SQL Server group with two servers.  This design was necessary due to the large number of documents and users,Application and the need for a fault-tolerent SharePoint environment

3. Prototyping and Iteration

In this phase we created SharePoint web applications, site collection and web sites structure, set permissions, created document’s content types with fields and templates all according to information architecture.

The client had significant quantities of documents spread across file servers and different legacy systems that we migrated to the Sharepoint system. we developed special set of tools and application which were able to import a large number of documents to SharePoint from different sources,  while preserving original document metadata and permissions.

Once the migration was complete, we provided demos and training for all the stakeholders and users. During this phase we also performed extensive QA testing of the environment.

The Result

I because of the SharePOint implementation, the client is able to take advantage of a standardized way of working with documents and information, So that users can focus more on doing their jobs and worry less about version control.After the new system went live,we provided technical and nontechnical support to the client’s IT department during the stabilization phase