ShareGate Desktop may have made its name as a SharePoint migration tool, but it can do so much more than move content to the cloud. Just ask fellow MVP and ShareGate Desktop power user Marc Anderson (@sympmarc)! I recently had a chat with Marc about some of the day-to-day tasks he takes care of with the ShareGate Desktop app.
Benjamin Niaulin: I wanted to talk to you a little bit about—things are changing. You’re in town to speak at a user group about going from classic to modern [SharePoint], and there are tons of questions surrounding that topic.
You've known and played with ShareGate Desktop for quite some time now, mainly for migration projects. I know that you've used it in other scenarios as well. So, really, as we see the landscape changing, if I could say it like that, we've seen migrations going from on-prem to on-prem (version upgrades) then on-prem going to Office 365. We're talking a lot about reorganizing, restructuring, modernizing and ShareGate Desktop is still, I think, a very good fit for that. What do you think?
Marc Anderson: Do I need to say that I'm a big fan of ShareGate Desktop? I mean, I think I've made that more than clear to most people. But it's not an artificial fandom: I find that the ShareGate Desktop application is useful on a day-to-day basis. I mean, I fire it up, if not every day, every other day or every three days to accomplish something within SharePoint for my clients, whether it's on-prem or in the cloud. And it's just an incredibly useful tool for doing all kinds of things.
BN: I'm curious—what are your top three use cases for ShareGate Desktop that aren’t migration?
MA: Sure. The obvious one is migration—you're moving content from one place to another. Traditionally, migration has meant from one version of SharePoint to another.
But I use ShareGate Desktop all the time to move content around, maybe between libraries, maybe to reorganize things, maybe to split one library into two because suddenly the content that's in there just doesn't really make sense in one single place.
As we go from classic to modern, we're reorganizing content along the way. So it's still technically migration, but it's not this heavy-duty, capital "M" migration that people think of.
I also use the app all the time to augment metadata on lists and libraries where there just wasn’t any before. When I start working with new clients, I find a lot of document libraries with only a title and a name. Everything is a document. And that’s just not as useful as it would be with some metadata on that content.
So very often, I'll go the standard export to Excel route: export all the metadata for each of the documents or list items, and then make the changes in Excel, which is often a lot easier. It's easier to sort of drag data down a row and do some formulas and things like that that might help tag things, and then import that data back into the list or library. It's great because it doesn't touch the "modified" or "modified by" information, because I don't own that content; having me touch it is not very helpful.
BN: And I think it's good to add that metadata, in the sense that a lot of things in SharePoint depend on having the right content types, having the right metadata. So that could be for applying retention policies, your content types could have other things that you have, integrated workflows. So being able to, in bulk, apply the right metadata while preserving the document’s integrity is definitely a big use case that we’ve been seeing our customers adopt as well.
MA: And so, that's a great example of something I've said in the past: ShareGate Desktop is not just a migration tool; it's a day-to-day “tending the garden” tool. I use it to make sure that content is still alive and useful. And sometimes we have to morph that content for that to happen.
MA: The reporting tools are also really helpful.
For instance, we know we're running up against a quota in storage. For bigger companies, that tends to be something that happens every once in a while. We don't really know where the content is—that's the problem.
So we might use a report in ShareGate Desktop to say, "Well, show me the relative sizes of all of the folders in this document library so I can at least know where to look."
There's just a lot of capability in there that I find myself using on a regular basis.
BN: Thanks again for coming, Marc.
MA: Thanks for having me.
BN: Always thrilled to have you here.
TL;DR - Top 3 post-migration use cases for ShareGate Desktop
- Reorganizing and restructuring your sites structure (see how to do it in this video tutorial)
- Augmenting list and library metadata (see how: Bulk edit content)
- Monitoring for continual optimization using ShareGate Desktop reports
How does ShareGate Desktop help you manage SharePoint on a day-to-day basis? What are your daily administration tasks that could be made easier? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @sharegatetools.