DocAve helps Seattle Ports to efficiently direct its data traffic.

Working at warp-speed

A busy and high-profile port city receives the gifts of time and productivity.

How the Port of Seattle tamed its information overload.

Cruises to wild Alaska alongside groups of whales. Sailboats gliding across steely waters that abut expanses of greenery. Flying fish! Seattle's draws are as varied as the types of seafood you can find at its downtown market. And Seattle's ports—its airport and its seaport—are the foundation of what makes these industries possible. What else could even come close to supporting the city's annual traffic of nearly 200 cruise ships and more than 34 million airline passengers?

If you took a look behind the ports' scenes, you would see that they use massive amounts of data to help the city and many of its operations thrive. But data on its own is just a lot of information sitting there, aching to be useful. It takes a certain type of person to cultivate data and make it sing. Paul Jeyasingh, the Systems Engineering Manager at the Port of Seattle, is one of those people.

Unfortunately, the data system he was dealing with at the Port of Seattle was a bit tone deaf.

Instead of harmonizing with how port employees actively used it, the system’s lack of cooperation was making operations problematically slow.

Did someone accidentally delete a document? Well, they were in for two days of recovery work, plus a halt to any related tasks. Fishing just one document back from the deletion abyss involved restoring the entire database. "This typically took at least two days," according to Jeyasingh, because of the database's size. The company's mandated requirement for document recovery was 24 hours, an expectation that the Port of Seattle was not able to meet with the system's native capabilities alone.

To make matters worse, the slow port data system was even causing security concerns. “After employees leave the organization, the process of cleaning up user accounts from all of the different sites where they had permissions was tedious and would take days,” recalled Jeyasingh. This drawn-out process repeatedly left the company feeling inefficient and unproductive.

Instead of focusing their energy on critical tasks, employees were wasting time babysitting the data system that was supposed to help them do their jobs.

Jeyasingh knew he needed something more fit for the challenge of managing the United States' fifteenth busiest airport and its eighth busiest seaport. A system that made things easy.

So port administrators (probably) exchanged the most spirited of high-fives when they saw AvePoint at a conference and watched the company’s demonstration of the DocAve Software Platform.

“We were quite impressed by how well DocAve was able to backup and recover [SharePoint 2010] objects, and it was very easy to use.”

- Paul Jeyasingh, Systems Engineering Manager, Port of Seattle

Jeyasingh wasted no time getting the new SharePoint 2010 installed. Suddenly, tasks that used to take days now took only minutes. Recovery time for lost documents was slashed from two days to 30 minutes, at most.

That's a lot of saved time—a savings of 99 percent, to be exact.

Clearing out accounts for former employees also turned into a simpler process. Now, it only takes a few minutes to update access permissions in SharePoint 2010 and make sure the port's sensitive data is safe from potentially prying eyes.

Altogether, the leaps and bounds of upgrades coming from the new port data system have made the port's data much more useful. Employees no longer have to play perpetual waiting games at work, and unauthorized system access is less of a threat.

Without the headaches of a slow and bogged-down system, the Port of Seattle can now easily focus on supporting the regional businesses that make the beautiful Pacific Northwest so special.

Partner Spotlight


AvePoint is the established leader in enterprise-class big data management, governance, and compliance software solutions for next-generation social collaboration platforms.

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