Expanding Your Information Governance Reach

Recently, we’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the tasks associated with Information Governance and what tools can aid in that effort. It seems clear that information management and risk mitigation are key components of any successful information governance program. Sherpa Software’s products assist hundreds of customers to do just that with email content, but we are committed to expanding that focus even more.

The proliferation of storage (whether cloud-based or on local machines) has made it largely unnecessary for end users to think about what, or how much, electronic content they save.  Powerful desktop search facilities have accelerated this trend by making it easier than ever to find old files based on random words or phrases in a document, presentation, etc. From a user point of view, this is a dream – save everything you create just in case you need it somewhere down the line! For anyone concerned with enforcement though (IT departments, records managers, legal counsel) the prospect of each user storing years worth of documents can turn into a governance nightmare.

Through the use of Attender Online, our new SaaS platform, Sherpa can help extend your governance and policy enforcement activities to the file system. Whether those files are located on network shares or user desktops, Attender Online can identify them, provide you with an inventory and offer a way to remove or quarantine content based on a wide variety of criteria.

The system is very easy to use. Simply login to the Attender Online dashboard and configure your company settings. Then, deploy the connector and file agent – either to an application server that can access the network shares or to each user desktop computer. This process connects your environment to the Attender Online cloud. This process allows your business critical data to remain on-premises while still leveraging the efficiency and affordability of the cloud.

AO-Diagram

Attender Online Agent Architecture

From here, define your business process in a workflow and attach it to a policy. The workflows that power Attender Online can evaluate files based on name, size, age, date or attribute. They can even perform keyword searches against file content using words, phrases, wild card matching or Boolean logic. Using the criteria “locate Microsoft Office files over 5MB” I was able to build this inventory report below showing files on my local hard drive:

AO_FileInventory

Sample File Inventory Report

I could also opt to take action against these files by adding a copy, move, delete or compress action to my workflow.

Attender Online is not a total information governance solution yet. But it is a very powerful tool for professionals charged with managing content in files or email. Stay tuned to the blog for news on additional content sources – we hope to have some exciting news about SharePoint 2013 to reveal shortly!

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