SharePoint has a lot of capabilities, but the ability to manage changes between your SharePoint environments is not one of them. Which is why MetaVis Technologies (news, site) developed the Change Control and Release Manager.
The SharePoint Ecosystem Thrives
Jed Cawthorne was correct when he said that 2011 is a year in which we will see an continuing growth in partner built add-ons for SharePoint 2010. And there is a lot of room for solutions that can enhance and/or improve native SharePoint functionality.
According to Steven Pogrebivsky, CEO and Co-founder of MetaVis Technologies, MetaVis is focused on tools designed to perform specific purposes for SharePoint. Although probably best known for their migration tools, many of the tools that MetaVis now offers fill niches that SharePoint users really need, but aren't getting out of the box.
Managing Changes Between SharePoint Environments
CCRM is a much needed tool for organizations who manage a fairly complex SharePoint farm, and even for those with a simple farm, but several different environments. It supports the ability to quickly and easily manage a number of different types of changes between SharePoint environments.
The primary capability within CCRM is Activity Management. Activities are groups of actions such as compare, copy and synchronize. Grouping a set of activities into a single function allows administrators to quickly execute sets of changes on a particular environment. Once you have an activity created, you can modify it or use it to create a new activity that is similar.
CCRM - Create Activity
With a change of the target setting, you can easily run an Activity created for one environment against a different environment (assuming you have the correct permissions).
Activities can be created using Live Compare, or built separately. There is complete auditing and reporting so you can keep track of all changes being made. In addition, you can schedule Activities to be run at specific times.
One request from MetaVis customers was the ability to export Activities and take them somewhere else. Perfect for consulting organizations who may work on SharePoint projects off site and need to take their updates on site to be applied.
Supporting Office 365
CCRM works for all versions of SharePoint, not just SharePoint 2010, including BPOS and, as of today, Office 365. In fact, MetaVis announced that their entire product suite of migration and classification tools works with Office 365, ensuring that even if you choose to work with SharePoint in a cloud environment, you can still manage your content and environment.
Office 365 support also includes the ability to migrate Exchange Folders and Outlook content and file system content into SharePoint in the cloud.
MetaVis seems to have a keen understanding of functionality needed to support SharePoint environments. Their solutions and tools are built in one of two ways: as a separate application that runs outside of SharePoint (designed for Administrators and Power Users) and tools that run integrated with SharePoint (designed for the average user).