In today’s digital age, efficient document management is crucial for organisations to maintain productivity, ensure compliance, and manage storage costs. SharePoint Online, a popular platform for document management, offers robust archiving capabilities to help organisations handle their growing data. However, the approach to archiving can significantly impact efficiency and costs. This article compares manual archiving processes with automated solutions like Squirrel, highlighting the benefits of automation for SharePoint Online.

Squirrel vs SharePoint Chart

Understanding Archiving in SharePoint Online

Archiving is the process of moving inactive documents from primary storage to a secondary, often more cost-effective storage solution. This practice helps improve system performance, reduces storage costs, and ensures compliance with data retention policies. Effective archiving allows organisations to maintain access to important documents while managing their storage resources efficiently.

Manual SharePoint Online Archiving Process

Steps Involved in Manual Archiving

Identifying Documents for Archiving: Employees manually review documents to determine which ones are no longer actively used but still need to be retained.

Moving Documents to Archive Storage: Selected documents are manually moved to an archive folder or external storage solution.

Updating Metadata and Records: Metadata and document records must be updated to reflect the new storage location.

Managing and Monitoring Archived Documents: Ongoing management to ensure documents are accessible and compliant with retention policies.

Challenges of Manual Archiving

Time-consuming and Labour-intensive: Manual archiving requires significant time and effort from employees, diverting resources from more critical tasks.

Risk of Human Error: The manual process is prone to errors, such as misplacing documents or failing to update metadata correctly.

Lack of Consistency and Standardisation: Different employees may follow different procedures, leading to inconsistencies in how documents are archived.

Difficulty in Maintaining Compliance: Ensuring compliance with data retention policies can be challenging when relying on manual processes.

Automated Archiving with Squirrel

Introduction to Squirrel

Squirrel is an automated document archiving solution designed for SharePoint Online. It integrates seamlessly with SharePoint and Azure Blob Storage, providing an efficient, secure, and cost-effective way to manage document archiving.

How Squirrel Automates the Archiving Process

Setting Lifecycle Policies for Documents: Squirrel allows administrators to define policies for document lifecycle management. These policies determine when documents should be archived based on their last access date or other criteria.

Automated Identification and Archiving of Documents: Squirrel automatically identifies documents that meet the archiving criteria and moves them to Azure Blob Storage. This process eliminates the need for manual intervention, ensuring a consistent and error-free archiving process.

Real-time Reporting and Monitoring: Squirrel provides real-time reporting on archived documents, helping organisations monitor their storage usage and compliance status.

Data Encryption and Security Measures: Squirrel ensures that all data is encrypted during transit and at rest, providing robust security for archived documents.

Benefits of Using Squirrel for Automated Archiving

Efficiency and Time-saving: By automating the archiving process, Squirrel significantly reduces the time and effort required to manage document archiving.

Reduced Risk of Errors: Automation minimises the risk of human error, ensuring a more reliable and consistent archiving process.

Consistency and Compliance: Squirrel’s automated policies ensure that all documents are archived according to the same standards, simplifying compliance with data retention regulations.

Cost-effective Storage Management: By moving inactive documents to more cost-effective Azure Blob Storage, Squirrel helps organisations save on storage costs. The Squirrel Benefits page features a cost calculator to show potential savings on SharePoint Online costs.

Comparative Analysis

Efficiency and Time Management

Manual archiving is inherently time-consuming. Employees must manually identify documents for archiving, move them to archive storage, update metadata, and manage these documents continuously. This process not only diverts valuable resources from other critical tasks but also slows down overall productivity.

On the other hand, automated archiving with Squirrel significantly improves efficiency. Squirrel automates the identification and archiving process based on predefined lifecycle policies, eliminating the need for manual intervention. This automation saves time and allows employees to focus on more strategic tasks, thereby enhancing overall productivity.

Accuracy and Error Reduction

The manual archiving process is susceptible to human error. Misplacing documents, failing to update metadata accurately, and inconsistencies in archiving standards can all lead to significant issues, including data loss and compliance breaches.

Squirrel minimises these risks by ensuring a consistent and error-free archiving process. By automating the archiving steps, Squirrel reduces the likelihood of errors and ensures that all documents are archived according to the same standards. This consistency is crucial for maintaining data integrity and compliance.

Compliance and Security

Maintaining compliance with data retention policies is a major challenge in manual archiving. Employees must ensure that all documents are archived in accordance with regulatory requirements, which can be difficult to manage manually.

Squirrel addresses this challenge by providing robust compliance features. Automated policies ensure that documents are archived according to predefined criteria, simplifying compliance management. Additionally, Squirrel employs advanced security measures, including data encryption during transit and at rest, to protect archived documents from unauthorized access.

Cost Implications

The cost of manual archiving extends beyond the time and effort required to manage the process. Organisations must also consider the costs associated with storage and potential compliance breaches due to errors.

Squirrel offers a cost-effective solution by automating the archiving process and leveraging more affordable Azure Blob Storage. By moving inactive documents to cost-effective storage, Squirrel helps organisations save on SharePoint Online costs. The Squirrel Benefits page provides a cost calculator to help organisations estimate their potential savings.

Case Study: Implementing Squirrel in an Organisation

To illustrate the benefits of automated archiving with Squirrel, let’s consider a case study of an organisation that transitioned from manual to automated archiving.

Initial Challenges and Manual Process

The organisation faced several challenges with their manual archiving process. Employees spent significant time identifying and archiving documents, leading to decreased productivity. Additionally, the manual process was prone to errors, resulting in misplaced documents and compliance issues. The organisation also struggled with high storage costs due to inefficient management of inactive documents.

Implementation of Squirrel

Recognising the need for a more efficient solution, the organisation implemented Squirrel. The setup process was straightforward, with Squirrel seamlessly integrating with their existing SharePoint Online environment. Lifecycle policies were defined to automate the identification and archiving of inactive documents.

Results and Improvements Observed

The implementation of Squirrel led to immediate improvements. The time spent on archiving tasks was drastically reduced, allowing employees to focus on more value-added activities. The automation ensured a consistent and error-free archiving process, eliminating the issues associated with manual archiving. Compliance management became more straightforward, and the organisation saw significant cost savings by moving inactive documents to Azure Blob Storage.

In conclusion, the comparison between manual and automated archiving processes in SharePoint Online clearly highlights the advantages of automation. Squirrel offers a comprehensive solution that enhances efficiency, reduces errors, ensures compliance, and provides cost-effective storage management.

Organisations looking to streamline their document archiving process and achieve significant cost savings should consider implementing Squirrel. For more information about Squirrel and its features, visit the Squirrel Overview page. If you’re ready to make the switch to automated archiving, contact us today for a free report on potential savings with Squirrel.

Automated SharePoint Online Archiving Benefits

The benefits of automated archiving with Squirrel are clear. By transitioning from a manual to an automated archiving process, organisations can enhance efficiency, reduce errors, ensure compliance, and achieve significant cost savings.

Ready to streamline your document archiving process and unlock these benefits?

Discover More: Learn about Squirrel’s features and how it integrates seamlessly with SharePoint Online by visiting the Squirrel Overview page.

Calculate Your Savings: Use the cost calculator on the Squirrel Benefits page to see how much you can save on SharePoint Online costs.

Get in Touch: Have questions or ready to get started? Contact us now for a free report on potential savings with Squirrel and to schedule a demo.

For those who are new to automated archiving or considering an upgrade from their current system, it’s crucial to weigh the tangible benefits that solutions like Squirrel bring to the table. Here’s a quick recap:

Efficiency and Time Management: Automating the archiving process with Squirrel frees up valuable time, allowing your team to focus on more strategic tasks rather than manual document management.

Accuracy and Error Reduction: With Squirrel, the risk of human error is minimised. Consistent and automated processes ensure that documents are archived correctly and reliably.

Compliance and Security: Squirrel helps maintain compliance with data retention policies effortlessly. Robust encryption and security measures protect your archived documents from unauthorized access.

Cost-effective Storage Management: By moving inactive documents to more affordable Azure Blob Storage, Squirrel significantly reduces storage costs. The cost calculator on the Squirrel Benefits page provides a clear picture of your potential savings.

Automating your document archiving process is not just about keeping up with technology—it’s about making a smart investment in your organisation’s future. With Squirrel, you gain more than just a tool; you get a comprehensive solution that grows with your business needs, ensuring your document management is always efficient, compliant, and cost-effective.

Additional Resources

To help you further understand the benefits and capabilities of Squirrel, we recommend exploring the following resources:

  • Squirrel Overview: A detailed look at how Squirrel works and its key features.
  • Squirrel Benefits: Explore the advantages of using Squirrel, including a cost savings calculator.
  • Contact Us: Get in touch with our team for personalised assistance and a free report on your potential savings with Squirrel.

By choosing Squirrel, you’re opting for a solution that not only meets your current archiving needs but also positions your organisation for future growth and success. Start your journey towards more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective document management today.

Cutting SharePoint Costs Made Easy.

Squirrel simplifies the archiving process, making it effortless to manage SharePoint Online storage efficiently. Reduce your expenses with a user-friendly solution that’s quick to set up and simple to operate.

Azure vs SharePoint

Squirrel is an innovative automated archiving solution designed for SharePoint Online. It seamlessly integrates with Azure Blob Storage to streamline document management, enhance compliance, and significantly reduce storage costs. Easy to implement and use, Squirrel automates the identification and archiving of inactive documents, ensuring a consistent, efficient, and secure archiving process.

Curious about Squirrel?