Success Story – Sync & Share NRW

ownCloud Connects Hundreds of Thousands of Users with Rigid User and Security Requirements for Germany’s Largest University System.

In early 2012, Dr. Raimund Vogl set out on a mission. Researchers at the universities all over Germany were increasingly using Dropbox for file sharing in breach of data privacy legislation. But mandating they stop wasn’t a sufficient solution. Dr. Vogl had to find a file sync & share alternative that would meet the needs of the research and student communities and still offer the security mandated by law and good IT practice.

The University of Münster is part of a 22-institution network of publically funded research and education facilities that required a solution that would meet the needs of the entire network. Focused on achieving both user satisfaction and a secure environment, Dr. Vogl spearheaded a task force to carefully examine all the options.

After two years of intense research, ownCloud was selected for on-premise file sync and share across research and applied science universities in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany in a project called “Sync & Share NRW.”

Getting the consortium together across 22 independent entities for a project of this scale was both intense and challenging. We used an incredible amount of due diligence to consider all of our options. In the end, ownCloud was clearly the right choice. Dr. Raimund Vogl, Director of IT

Infinite user scalability

With an anticipated 500,000 users, scalability was paramount. The task force didn’t guess at user requirements. Instead they went through an extensive process to survey prospective users to uncover their needs. A survey of researchers and students showed that ownCloud must support a wide range of file formats and sizes from all types of access devices.

Compliance assurance

ownCloud’s on-premises approach assures that all data governance policies can be monitored and enforced.

ownCloud has all of the features that our system required, including the ability to distribute the systems platform across three geographically dispersed locations. But equally important, we’ve watched ownCloud closely over the past two years and they have demonstrated steady innovation and a commitment to reliability. Dr. Raimund Vogl, Director of IT

Low administrative burden

Despite the number of anticipated users, self-service was a top priority. With very limited human resources available for ongoing support, the ownCloud sync and share capabilities had to be reliable, easy to troubleshoot and intuitive to end users.

Low risk decision

ownCloud’s open source approach provides confidence that support for the platform is widespread and lasting.

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