Document Management,Microsoft's Outage, Axceler Offers Yammer, SharePoint Support
A couple of notable points this week in the document management space, including the outage of Microsoft, will be of concern to many business users. HP-Autonomy is back with an upgrade to LiveVault, while Axceler’s ViewPoint offers Yammer and SharePoint support and Layer2 is helping SharePoint users find information. Lets take a look ...

Microsoft Experiences Outage

Microsoft’s was still experiencing problems almost 24 hours after the first reports of an outage.

Reports of the outage first started appearing mid-morning Eastern Time on August 14 with various problems reported throughout the day, including problems with SkyDrive.

As a result, many users -- although not all -- could not access their email messages, with others reporting problems updating their contacts list.

As a side note, other media reports suggest that the Azure cloud was also experiencing problems with its SQL databases in the North Central USdata center region, although this has no bearing on the outage.

In a statement issued to the media, Microsoft said it started an investigation into, which it states is affecting “a small number of users,” and is working to resolve the issue.

At the time of writing, a notice on the status page indicated that while the majority of problems have been resolved,  some users will still be experiencing syncing problems between their email and their mobile device. It adds that an update will be issued around 2 pm ET.

Typically, Microsoft has not explained what happened, or why it happened when outages take place, which belies its new-found “openness” that appeared to be taking hold with the announcement during the week that it will report Office 365 uptime every quarter from now on.

The irony of this outage just days after the Office 365 announcement will not be missed by many and will certainly put a considerable question mark over investing in Microsoft cloud products. After all, if Microsoft is not going to be clear about outages like this, is it going to be clear about outages for its other products? Updates on this later.

HP-Autonomy Automates Data Protection, Recovery

There are a number of updates in the air across the HP-Autonomy portfolio, with a major announcement expected early next week. However, for this week, HP-Autonomy (HPA) has announced an upgrade to its LiveVault product to v7.7 that unifies data protection and recovery across physical and virtual environments.

The cloud-based solution, which comes with VMWare vSphere support, automates the process of back-up and recovery in dispersed environments that lack the support of a virtual environment, forcing enterprises to manage multiple back-up and support technologies as well as staff training.

The result is that enterprises that want to use the cloud have to choose between the agility and economy of the cloud, and the compliant and regulatory-safe option of on-premises deployments.

However, LiveVault is offering a way around that by offering IT administrators a single interface from which they can manage data back-up, recovery and protection across physical and virtual machines.

As one of the key elements of HP Autonomy's Unified Data Protection portfolio, LiveVault 7.7 can offer Changed Block Tracking (CBT) to managed back-ups across the Internet and to the cloud as well as multiple data retention options up to 7 years.

LiveVault 7.7 will be available as of the end of September and continues HP’s strategy to turn the Autonomy acquisition into something profitable. More from HPA next week.

Axceler ViewPoint Offers Yammer, SharePoint Support

Axceler has also been busy this week with the announcement that its ViewPoint Enterprise platform now supports both Yammer and SharePoint.

As a result enterprises will be able to see from the ViewPoint Enterprise dashboard what employees are doing with enterprise Yammer and SharePoint deployments, monitor collaboration in the enterprise, and identify the platform power-users.

Learning Opportunities

The SharePoint-Yammer combination is a useful one. Only yesterday, in a report published by Forrester, we saw that Yammer can fill out some of the gaps in SharePoint functionality.

Specifically, and according to Rob Koplowitz in the Forrester report, SharePoint suffers from uneven user adoption and enterprise social functionality. Yammer, however, can solve that.

But enterprises can only solve problems if they know where the problems are. Axceler’s upgraded ViewPoint provides just the tool to do that.

The dashboards offers a single view into everything that’s happening in Yammer and SharePoint to help identify problems affecting collaboration across the organization.

The new version is available as a free pre-release download from the Axceler website. The full release will be available on October 1 and will be available as SaaS.

Layer2 Knowledge Management v2.4

Finally this week,  Hamburg-based Layer2 released the latest version of its SharePoint Knowledge Management Suite, which is now in v2.4.

The suite tackles the problems enterprises are having with collaborative knowledge management across SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013.

While it has a number of features that enables it to do this, in this release it is offering Taxonomy Manager for SharePoint. This extends the metadata management features already in place in both SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2010, with advanced import, export, update and deployment features as well as the XML-based SKOS format for data interchange.

Tag Suggester complements this by providing an easy way to add accurate tags to SharePoint items or documents. This can now be done automatically based on rules, or on existing content properties.

Other elements that SharePoint Knowledge Management Suite brings to SharePoint include enhanced navigation as well as the Tag Directory Web Part for developing enterprise taxonomies.

This goes a long way towards solving one of the biggest problems in any enterprise system at the moment, notably finding information.

There is a lot more in this release that is worth a look at if you are having trouble finding content in SharePoint.