Understanding Operating in the Hybrid Cloud - Office 365 & SharePoint 2013 - An EPC Group Case Study

By Errin O'Connor posted 08-06-2014 12:58


Understanding Operating in the Hybrid Cloud - EPC Group Case Study


This blog post will provide "from the consulting trenches" (Hybrid Cloud) strategies and granular details of EPC Group’s approach to the new Hybrid Office 365 and/or SharePoint 2013 architecture's growing proliferation and how it may affect your organization.


New Hybrid (Office 365) Governance Fundamentals


Users that Ignore Governance and Planning for the Real World 

If it’s easy to get around it, they will:
  1. To ensure it will happen, enforce it transparently
  2. If it’s to complex, it won’t happen
  3. Strike a balance between:

Note: Always consider compliance around HIPAA, PHI, and PII related data in Office 365 and/or SharePoint 2013.


EPC Group’s Hybrid Governance Framework

  • Step 1 – Understand what to Enforce
  • Step 2 – Balance the enforcement
  • Step 3 – How and where to enforce
  • Step 4 – Prioritize the enforcement solutions
  • Step 5  Continue to Review and Enforce

When and What to Enforce - EPC Group Framework

Governance Feature

Enforce Nothing

Enforce Something

Enforce Everything


Policy Document (‘here’s our policy on exposing PII’)

Monthly Audit (manual or physical; random or comprehensive)

Automated Audit on Upload

Site Quota

No Quotas or Suggested Quotas

Tiered Options;

business rules

Chargeback model

Site Creation

Training on Where it Goes

IT creates for you

Fully automated with workflow

Site Expiration

At owner discretion

Manual email sent to site owners asking..

Automated notification/expirationbased on business rules

Site Removal

Up to owner

IT manuallyremoves/archives

Automated deletion/archival based on business rules / workflow


What to Enforce – What is the Balance (EPC Group Framework Example)


Governance Feature

Enforce Nothing

Enforce Something

Enforce Everything

Site Templates

Let users pick from laundry list

Limit list of templates

Automatically pick site template based on business rules

Metadata /


Users pick metadata columns & manually enter metadata

Document Library templates and managed metadata

Automated metadata population; automated business rule enforcement

Site Classification


Site Label (i.e. HBI/MBI/LBI)

Automated site placement based on user input & verification

Mission Critical Classification

Governance Document

IT manually creates site in “special” environment

Automated site placement bin redundant data-center based on user input & verification


Enforcement Scope – How to Enforce (EPC Group Example)


Governance Provisioning Tools (EPC Group Example)


Object in SharePoint 2013 and/or Office 365


Create Site Collections

Create Sub Webs

Create Hierarchy

Available on

Office 365

People | My Sites | Social


Web Parts | Apps




List Templates (STP and XML)




Web Templates (WSP and XML)



Site Quotas




Web Event Receivers



SPD Workflows and Actions



Feature Stapling





Site Definitions


Timer Jobs


Custom Site Provisioning Handlers



Matching the Policy to the Office 365 and/or SharePoint 2013 Scope (EPC Group Example)


Policy Type


Possible Options

Security\ Identity Management


Web Application

Provisioning workflows

Timer Jobs

Web application polices


Reactive reporting


Web Application


Timer Jobs

External Database

Event Receivers



Custom Forms

Event Receivers

Feature Receivers

Custom Field Controls



Web Application

Timer Jobs

External Database




Control Delegates


Considerations in Complex Environments

•  Multi-tenancy (Office 365 Issues when a user goes outside of I.T. to create a new “environment”)
•  Global Clients with PHI, PII, Safe Harbor, Intellectual Property, EU Pushback, NSA Concerns in recent news

Frequently Asked Questions of EPC Group

•  Common user interface and navigation
•  Site directory and Office 365 and/or SharePoint 2013’s new Layout
•  Common header and footer content (standardize and creation of governed branding guide)
•  Structured provisioning with workflow
•  Site Mapping | Mapping the Owner to Content

EPC Group’s Nationally Recognized Practice Areas

EPC Group leading SharePoint, Office 365, Infrastructure Design and Business Intelligence Practice areas continue to lead the way in providing our clients with the most up-to-date and relevant information that is tailored to their individual business and functional needs.

Additional "From the Consulting Trenches" strategies and methodologies are covered in EPC Group's new book, "SharePoint 2013 Field Guide: Advice from the Consulting Trenches" covering not only SharePoint 2013, Office 365 and SharePoint Online but Information Management, ECM\RM and overall compliance strategies in this ever changing world of "Hybrid IT."


#Collaboration #SharePoint2013andOffice365IdentityManagement #Office365BestPractices #EPCGroupLessonsLearned #Office365Hybrid #HybridCloudOperations