Workplace Collaboration - General Information

Service Lead: Raymond Waters, raymond.waters@vita.virginia.gov

Workplace Collaboration Services featuring SharePoint 2013

Leverage your organization’s business insight, collaboration and decision-making with Workplace Collaboration Services featuring Microsoft SharePoint 2013

Overview

Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) offers Workplace Collaboration Services (WCS) featuring Microsoft SharePoint 2013, a Web-based project collaboration system that provides a single integrated location where employees can efficiently collaborate, find organizational resources, manage content and workflows, and leverage business insight to make better informed decisions. This service includes disaster recovery (DR) services for the production environment at the tier 6 level.  The service is available to any customer receiving standard COV messaging services through VITA’s IT Infrastructure program.

WCS provides tools that help employees easily store, share, access and use information to make decisions that enhance business operations. The service provides information on policies, procedures and best practices. Available services include hosting, implementation, training, and maintenance and support of hosted sites.

WCS improves worker efficiency while reducing IT overhead by providing a standardized and scalable collaboration service for agencies to address the business and productivity needs of Commonwealth of Virginia information workers. The service is intended to:

  • Provide common standards, policies, procedures and best practices
  • Cut costs with a unified infrastructure that offers enterprise-scale manageability and availability, including backup/restore and disaster recovery
  • Provide a common method and set of techniques for managing information
  • Document well-defined roles and responsibilities for team members
  • Connect people to enhance teamwork and work efficiently to solve changing business needs

The WCS Team provides a unified, centrally-governed approach to the SharePoint environment. The WCS Team works with the Workplace Collaboration Governance (WCG) Group on all matters related to the overall SharePoint environment. The WCG Group is the overriding authority for all architectural, design and development decisions, including all policies and procedures created for the SharePoint environment. The WCG Group includes representatives from the WCS Team, participating agencies and hosting vendor.

Features and Benefits

Collaboration – Share documents, tasks and calendars easily using blogs, wikis and email integration. Online presence allows real-time communication between team members and provides user status including whether free, busy or offline; improved collaboration lists (Discussions, Issues, Calendars, Announcements, Contacts, Surveys and Links); collaboration site templates such as Wikis, Blogs, Documents and Meetings) which provide out-of-the-box functionality to assist in team’s collaboration more effectively; and integration with Microsoft Office products, including email.

Portal Sites – Easy to manage site directories, My Sites and portal templates are available to fit the needs of your organization.

Search – SharePoint 2013 offers an exciting enhanced capability set with the new and improved search experience, including FAST and BING capabilities.

  • Enterprise Content Sources, people search, and business data search easily locates content
  • Powerful navigation of documents through a new extensible query framework
  • Ability to preview documents and take action via the “Hover Panel”
  • Search using multiple scopes such as everything, people, and conversations
  • Uses “Refiners” with any search, such as keywords, department, job title, etc.
  • Utilizes information based on your historical search behavior

Content Management – Manage data through versioning, check-in/check-out, rich metadata and workflow.

Business Process and Forms Management – Customize workflows that automate your processes from beginning to end.

SharePoint is tightly integrated with familiar applications and browsers, so user experiences are friendly and consistent. Built-in workflows simplify the tracking and reporting of everyday business activities so your staff has more time for business critical activities. Using the new “Share” concept user can easily share content with others. Security and permission settings are more easily managed from on page with the new Access Requests and Invitations link, you can control access for everything from entering a site to viewing individual documents. Streamlined content management leverages the use of shared document templates and built-in approval processes to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Data Encryption

Data encryption is a process in which plain text data is converted into cypher-text so the data cannot be read. Data encryptron is required to comply with many laws, regulations, and industry guidelines that protect sensitive data and consists of two types:

  • Data in transit:  Encrypting data in transit is already commonly applied via secure socket layer (SSL) certificates.
  • Structured data at rest:  Applied via secure socket layer (SSL) certificates.  

All databases are encrypted for all WCS customers and is included in the SharePoint costs.  You do not have to request encryption. All data stored is encrypted.  Agency data is encrypted whether it is sensitive or not. At this time, SharePoint does not meet the compliance requirements in SEC501 for storing sensitive data.  


Services in the offering

Base service 

The base service offering includes hosting of agency SharePoint solution including initial portal and site collections templates. Agency is responsible for all administration and support of agency site collections.

One class with up to 15 seats of instructor-led basic end user training is included with base service

  • Base service (agencies with available support staff)
  • VITA hosts and agency supports
  • VITA provides governance and best practices
  • VITA provides governance (farm level)
  • Data encryption

Full service 

The full service offering includes the base service offering along with support and administration of site collections with resources provided by VITA.

One class with up to 15 seats of instructor-led basic end user training is included with full service.

  • Full service (small agencies with little or no support staff)
  • VITA hosts and supports
  • VITA provides governance and best practices,
  • VITA provides governance (farm level)
  • Data encryption

Note:  If base service is selected, then all users will receive base services only. If full service is selected then all users will receive full services.

Training

Training consists of instructor-led training and online training. Instructor-led training is available at the Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center (CESC) in Chester and at agency sites in the Metro Richmond Area, and is based on availability.

Migration

Migration services are available for customers who are existing users of SharePoint and are interested in migrating existing data to the new SharePoint 2013 environment. This requires a custom work request.

Costs

The rates apply to WCS featuring SharePoint 2013 offerings. Customers will be billed monthly for services provided. Customers are responsible for all employees within their agency who utilize this service.

User fees: costs are per user, refer to Service Catalog item

  • Base offering 
  • Full offering

Storage fees:

  • Storage fees are based on tier 2 storage at CESC. Current rates apply.
  • A minimum of 10 gigabytes will be charged to each customer.
  • Customers can increase the storage amount in increments of one gigabyte as needed.
  • Customers will be billed monthly for SAN storage fees.

Disaster recovery fees:

  • DR fees are based on tier 6 storage fees. Current rates apply.
  • Customers will be billed monthly for DR storage fees.

Training fees:

  • One and two day training classes will be available for service offering customers.
  • Training costs average between $175 and $300 per student per course.

For more information about pricing, see the current VITA rate schedules.

Getting Started

  • Customer should begin the process by emailing your Agency IT Resource(AITR) and advise them of your interest.
  • The AITR and their assigned VITA customer account manager (CAM) will guide customers through required collaborative discussions, completing forms for the service offering and engage the service owner as required.
  • Forms are located on the IT Service Catalog's Form Library