Looking for a tool that helps you manage SharePoint content? Plenty of third-party solutions are available. One of them comes from MetaVis. Here's an overview of the product, some insights from the company's President, and some community reviews of the product. The goal is to get you started on evaluating products in this category.
Problem: Architecting and managing information on SharePoint and using metadata to ensure content can be maintained as organizational needs evolve and new versions of SharePoint are deployed.
Options: Create an information taxonomy and tag metadata on all your SharePoint content by hand; evaluate various third-party solutions and determine if any have capabilities that allow you to architect and manage SharePoint content across sites and between on-premises and the cloud.
Product: MetaVis Architect Suite: http://www.MetaVistech.com/category/architect-suite
“It’s not just about big data, it’s about ‘big content’ -- the reams of information your organization creates, obtains, shares and manages on a daily basis. No matter where your content resides, it is always in motion and changing, which makes it a challenge to manage.
“How you organize, classify, tag, manage, secure and share content is critical to how useful it is in your organization. That means your information governance needs to be managed and updated daily so that your content is well organized, easily searched, secured and productive.
“Architect Suite is a single platform that will not only migrate SharePoint but also empowers you to design, deploy, manage and secure SharePoint as well as other common content destinations."
What You Should Know:
Any SharePoint professional knows that content sprawl is rampant. But just how big is the issue? According to SharePointSupported.com, more than 30 billion original documents are created every year. That’s huge. But even more important is that 85 percent of those will never be retrieved, and 60 percent of stored documents are obsolete. Is it any wonder that the average information worker spends 13.3 hours per week creating content, 13 hours per week searching for content, and 30 hours recreating content that couldn’t be found?
The implications are staggering for a SharePoint environment. You’re spending money supporting content that will never be found or used. It’s no surprise that for every $1 spent to create a document, $10 is spent managing it. The conclusion drawn by SharePoint Supported.com is, “If you don’t manage your information your business will pay for it. Information management should become a core competency for every organization. This can’t happen with the use of metadata.”
Information management and getting content tagged so that it’s usable in everyday business situations was the topic of conversation recently with Peter Senescu, President and Chairman of MetaVis. Senescu said, “We focus on information management tools. People want to maintain information on various systems, and they want a tool to manage that information.”
Senescu explained that MetaVis tools help companies evaluate their content and rearchitect it, which means, they “enrich it with metadata to make if findable and searchable.” What that involves, Sensesu continued, is that “it’s just a little bit of tagging.”
Think of a company that has a SharePoint implementation that “they’ve been using as a glorified file share. Maybe they want to do more and use it for legal and compliance, so they have to have some sort of workflow that’s associated with a tag.”
For instance, Senescu, went on, “They may have a nondisclosure agreement that’s been signed. Tag it as a nondisclosure agreement. Was it approved? Was it countersigned? Who’s it with?”
The problem is that organizations may not originally have created the documents on SharePoint with such tagging in place. “They need to go back and bulk-change all that information. MetaVis allows them to do that and tag it and maintain the metadata. They can keep the versioning and the last-created and modified, and all that information.”
MetaVis is an agentless client-side tool that you can install on a laptop or workstation for users, or on a server. According to Sensecu, “It’s multi-threaded, multi-job. It’s extremely scalable from an enterprise level, but at the same time, you can use it yourself.”
The reason for this flexibility is that MetaVis is “a single code base.” Senescu explained that the product provides different capabilities and views for different user roles. “If you’re just a power user, you see a certain subset of features. If you’re a super admin and you need our scripting engine to write heavy duty scripts that are based on a database, you see that. It’s very flexible.”
MetaVis competes with AvePoint, Metalogix, and Dell Software in the enterprise space. According to Senescu, “The big differentiator is MetaVis is a single code base. (AvePoint is also a single code base, but with Metalogix you have to get four or five different products to get what MetaVis has.) MetaVis is agentless, so all of our features require nothing to install. That works well with the cloud [in hybrid environments] and for people who are really sensitive about security and SLAs.”
The MetaVis web site does not provide customer case studies or testimonials.
What the Community Says:
Everyone relies on unbiased feedback from actual users when evaluating products. Peer recommendations based on experience with the product are invaluable. To help you learn about the product, below are some summaries of product reviews and links to the full content of these reviews.
"Product Review: MetaVis Power User Edition - Empower Your Users," by Wendy Neal
“MetaVis Technologies has created an arsenal of tools in a single platform to make the lives of SharePoint architects, admins, and power users easier. Their initial modules were primarily targeted to those in the information architect role, offering tools to assist with metadata design and classification of data in SharePoint. In fact, their name comes from the terms "Metadata Visualization."
“The MetaVis Power User Edition is a great tool for power users to tag and migrate their own SharePoint content without IT assistance. Quick to install and intuitive to use, you'll be uploading and migrating content in no time. And with the built in security features, there are no worries that site owners can access content that they don't have permission to see.”
MetaVis Migration Suite (SharePointReviews.com) by various MetaVis customers
Carmon Reinhart: “Providing Managed Services for top 500 companies, our company has spend some time to investigate in pros and cons of a variety of SharePoint migration tools. Besides a professional and fast support team, this tools really stands out in usability, functionality and accuracy. At this point, we have used the tool for multiple customers with completely different SharePoint farms and requirements and I can only conclude that it has never let us down.
“On the contrary, recently we discovered it even supports forward compatibility for SharePoint 2013 which was unexpected as we got a license in a SharePoint 2010 world.
“Therefore, without a doubt, if you require a fail safe migration solution, I sincerely recommend the MetaVis Migration Suite.”
Chris Eng: “Without a shadow of doubt, there are many SharePoint migration tools currently in the market. However, what sets MetaVis apart from the rest is the strong reputation of the company and its amazing team behind the tool. Dealing with having to migrate clients' documents which amount to millions of dollars, MetaVis team provides a strong assurance that my clients’ documents will be migrated securely and efficiently onto SharePoint.”
Flexible metadata tagging
Excellent customer service and tech support
MetaVis team was able to customize their tool to meet our project requirements. i.e. Pre-migration analysis and capability of defining new set of characters to replace SP invalid characters
Capability to store a list of files that failed to upload into SP in .CSV format for easy post-migration review
Performance is relatively stable and fast
Easy drag and drop feature and user-friendly interface
Pre-analysis feature takes too long to analyze huge number of files and might fail to produce an excel spreadsheet. However, since this feature is in its beta stage and is newly implemented, more improvement is expected.
Migration progress is not displayed accurately - unable to tell at what percentage the migration is currently at. E.g. the percentage of migration progress remains at 100% eventhough there are still more files to upload.