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Archive360 Pursues Microsoft Cloud Triple Play

Bill Tolson
Bill Tolson
Tibi Popp

Archive360, a Microsoft cloud solutions provider, has updated its FastCollect for SharePoint data migration platform; added support for the newly announced Azure storage tier, and introduced support for Azure’s cognitive and media services.

The moves surfaced at this week's Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida.

FastCollect is Archive360's original product line. This latest iteration adds support for the Sharepoint Online environment, with plans to support SharePoint on-premises environments sometime in the future. Two key features have been added to this go around, according to Bill Tolson, VP of marketing, Archive360: SharePoint Analysis, and SharePoint Extension.

The Update

Analysis allows users to characterize in detail their various SharePoint systems. Things like the number of documents, type of documents, folder structures, and more. “So you get a very detailed, granular report on your current SharePoint Online inventory,” explains Tolson.

Tolson says users can dig down even further into author information, even creating metadata based on when the files were last updated or accessed. “The interesting thing about this capability is it gives you a very granular characterization so that then you can build a strategy of what to do next. What should be done with that data?” says Tolson.

As Tolson points out, a lot of SharePoint data can just take up valuable space. FastCollect works to open up storage resources in myriad ways, including moving inactive users or files to a separate server like Archive to Azure automatically, or through other cost-cutting measures like the SharePoint Extension.

Extension allows the automatic extension of SharePoint storage to the customer’s own Azure account at a lowered cost. SharePoint Online has a storage limit of 25 TB, which may sound like a lot, but Tolson points out the amount is quickly reached by many larger companies. Additional storage must be purchased from Microsoft at 20 cents per GB, per month. With FastCollect, customers can save up to 90 percent, according to Tolson.

A New Tier, A New Solution

The second announcement relates to the company’s Archive2Azure solution and its day-one support for the newly announced Azure Archival Tier. Microsoft announced the release of a new Azure storage tier to go with the already existing Hot and Cool Storage services, dubbed Archival Storage.

This latest storage tier creates a much lower price point. “It is, in reality, a storage tier that’s really perfect for low-touch data, inactive data, data that needs to be held for long periods of time,” explains Tolson. “Things like insurance policies that you might need to keep for 30 years.”

“Having a very low-cost storage place that, with our Archive2Azure management system sitting on top of it, allows you to index when need be, search it, retrieve stuff, review it, tag it, export it in various file formats. So on the information governing side, I think this is really exciting for a lot of large companies that have massive amounts of data.”

Cognitive And Media Services

The third piece of news has Archive360's CTO and Co-Founder, Tibi Popp, the most excited.

Cognitive and Media Services aspect of Archive2Azure sits on top of all of the aforementioned services. This allows for the archiving of media files like video and voicemail using Microsoft’s evolving machine learning capabilities.

“This is where, until today, the market technology wasn’t really there for enterprise,” says Popp. Now by taking advantages of media services from Azure, Popp explains, Archive2Azure can parse video files or other media and create text transcripts for archiving purposes. This also allows for files to be stored in their native format, further saving on space.

“Your video just became searchable. Discoverable for all kinds of business reasons,” says Popp.

While previous automatic transcription services have often suffered from inaccuracy, Popp asserts that thanks to Microsoft heavy investment in the technology, they’re seeing results of 98 or 99 percent accuracy when it comes to transcribing media to text. Even moving between American English and British English, Popp says the results are above 90 percent accurate.

Additionally, the company has added translation services. Companies can translate documents into 53 different languages, according to Popp.

Optical Character Recognition Done Right?

Add to that, users are now able to scan handwritten documents for archiving purposes. Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, has been in the works for many years, Popp points out, but handwritten documents have long been a point of consternation. Microsoft has been working to improve that and the technology is now at the point where Popp and his company feel confident enough to include it in their solution.

“Now we’re dealing with a healthcare company with contracts with sidenotes and footnotes written by hand,” says Popp. “We can actually recognize that text and make it available for discovery.”

The technology works through a Microsoft cognitive service API, says Popp, so as the technology improves, the service automatically benefits.

The announcements were made at this year’s Microsoft Ignite conference. Archive360 is a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider and its Archive2Azure solution is Azure Certified. The company, operating since 2012, bills itself as the leading provider of data migration and management solutions for Microsoft Cloud.