Farm Credit Financial Partners, Inc. (FPI) is the largest provider of technology services to the farm credit and financial services sector. FPI customers include Farm Credit System associations from Maine to California. Farm credit systems are a network of borrower-owned lending institutions and service organizations that specialize in lending and providing agriculture-related services to farmers, rural homeowners, farm-related businesses, and agricultural, aquatic and public utility cooperatives in the United States.
FPI brings strong association credit experience and a proven track record which enables Farm Credit associations to focus on what they do best - deliver first-rate credit and financial services to their customer base.
At the core of FPI’s offerings is SharePoint 2007 and 2010. Administered centrally by FPI, SharePoint is a business-critical tool that supports the sharing and distribution of legal and financial information across its customer base.
- Using a SharePoint 2007 and 2010 as a business-critical tool across 5,000+ users in highly regulated financial sector
- Metalogix tools and support provide superior control over entire SharePoint environment – mitigating risk, achieving compliance and improving decision making
- Solutions deployed: ControlPoint
While SharePoint functions as FPI’s “one source of the truth” for storing and disseminating legal documentation, credit applications and other sensitive customer financial data, FPI quickly realized that SharePoint’s out-of-the-box tools could not provide the level of permissions management and administrative control needed to enforce security policy across its 5,000+ users and meet stringent financial service industry regulations.
“There’s really not a great way to determine or evaluate permissions using SharePoint out-of-the-box,” explained Kenneth Kerr, FPI’s SharePoint Administrator. “Our customers are audited annually by the federal government and while SharePoint is great at safeguarding customer data, it doesn’t deliver the level of control or insight needed to enforce and monitor who has access to what – without getting involved in a time-consuming and manual data sifting exercise.”
FPI needed a powerful SharePoint administration tool to fix the gap. Specifically, FPI sought a toolset that would help customers and its own internal personnel to:
- Manage and gain visibility into permissions across its two regional farms
- Simplify and automate auditing and reporting
- Control the entire SharePoint environment through one interface
- Manage content, apps and feature administration
- Strengthen SharePoint security and governance
Hot on the heels of its SharePoint investment, FPI selected Metalogix ControlPoint as its toolset of choice. “We typically take a long time to step out-of-the-box and embrace third-party tools and we look at many options but ControlPoint had such a great reputation and community of users behind it that we were easily convinced,” said Kerr.
An industry-leading administration and governance tool, Metalogix ControlPoint is purpose-built for SharePoint and lets users automatically enforce governance and administer complex SharePoint environments with ease – from a single interface.
Aside from Metalogix’s industry-reputation, FPI selected Metalogix ControlPoint for several reasons:
- Increased visibility: With Metalogix ControlPoint, FPI could get the insight it needed to manage permissions, copy sites, and analyze activity, content and storage.
- Reporting and analysis capabilities: Metalogix ControlPoint’s dashboard reporting capabilities allow anyone – from IT to end users – to pull reports and respond to audit requests with the click of a button. SharePoint admins can also conduct interactive analyses and run customized reports.
- Stringent security: Metalogix ControlPoint enables FPI and its customers to manage security at the farm, site and user level.
- Ease of use for IT and admin: Metalogix ControlPoint’s centralized web-based user interface that lets FPI and its customers administer items in bulk.
- Governance enforcement: With Metalogix ControlPoint, FPI can establish global policies and prevent user actions that do not comply with those policies.
With Metalogix ControlPoint, FPI realized the following benefits:
- Simplified permissions management and one-click auditing – Using Metalogix ControlPoint, FPI and its customers can enforce permissions management and respond quickly to audit requests – all with the click of a button. “[Metalogix] ControlPoint has benefitted us immensely. The auditing capability is huge. None of the reports I generate with Metalogix ControlPoint can be pulled organically out of SharePoint,” said Kerr. “We wouldn’t be able to use SharePoint without it.”
- Environment-wide visibility and control – With its easy-to-use, central dashboard, Metalogix ControlPoint gives FPI unparalleled insight and control over its complex environments. “ControlPoint gives us a clear picture into who’s doing what across our entire 5,000+ user base, it makes governance, administration and permissions a breeze,” said Kerr.
- Time savings – In addition to the ease of pulling audit reports, Kerr stressed the time savings that Metalogix ControlPoint has generated. “Federal agencies can drop by any day to audit our systems. In the past we’d have to manually sift through a whole year’s worth of data – line-by-line. Now I just go into Metalogix ControlPoint, click some buttons and give an audit report to my customer – even better, they can go in and run those reports themselves!” The time savings for Kerr is significant: “I save countless hours thanks to [Metalogix] ControlPoint. Now I can concentrate on real development work and not SharePoint administration.”
- Improved business decision making – With enhanced visibility into its entire SharePoint environment, FPI can track KPIs such as data usage and trends that inform future infrastructure enhancements.
- Delegation made easy – By reducing manual processes and simplifying the administration of complex SharePoint environments, Kerr can confidently delegate administrative tasks to IT end users – while maintaining control of who sees what. “Instead of them being reactive, they’re being proactive, and this tool really helps us to do that.”
- Enhanced productivity through training opportunities – The Metalogix Training Academy, an instructor-led, web-based training series and certification program, proved a significant differentiator for FPI. “The training sessions made Metalogix stand out for me. I learned a lot about Metalogix ControlPoint in a short amount of time and got up to speed as a power user quicker than I could have imagined,” said Kerr.
- Dependable support – Kerr stressed his confidence in the product knowledge and professionalism exhibited by Metalogix’s support team. “Metalogix always has an answer for me. Period. The product, the people, all these factors come together to reinforce the fact that we made the right decision in selecting Metalogix.”
FPI has been a Metalogix client for three years, a relationship it intends to continue and expand upon:
“We review a lot of industry tools and the fact that we haven’t deviated from Metalogix in this time is a real testament to the power and convenience of ControlPoint,” said Kerr.
FPI plans to deploy additional solutions including Metalogix Replicator, a powerful tool for instant, bi-directional replication of SharePoint content across farms.