This is a great article that covers how they did it. Though summary in nature, it hits the key points, Gartner has a more in-depth case study (by Karen Shegda) for those that want more.
A snippet from the article:
Our goal was to generate a single content model and requirements document that would address the needs of all Pfizer regions, business lines, sites and countries. In order to ensure this objective, we put the needs of Pfizer above any one region, business line, site or country and developed these guiding principles for the system design:
First, simplicity is key. The more requirements we have, the more complexity we would end up building. We wanted to focus on what was necessary, not what was possible.
Second, we wanted the system to be organizationally agnostic. We wanted to build a system and process that didn’t have to change when we reorganized. This is almost continual these days. Drug development has not changed that much for many years and as such the document management system that supports it should be equally stable.
Third, we wanted one repository. GDMS would become Pfizer’s only official repository of highly regulated and controlled documentation. “If it isn’t in GDMS, it doesn’t exist.” (With the exception that paper documents may exist that do not have an electronic equivalent).
Finally, we wanted the solution to be fit for purpose – meaning it doesn’t have to be perfect. The goal was to develop a good basic system without a lot of bells and whistles. We wanted to leverage as much out-of-the-box technology as possible and keep the customizations to a minimum. Wherever possible we wanted people and process to help manage exceptions, not software.
Read more here.
Researching archive products for SharePoint recently I turned to AvePoint because of my familiarity with their backup products. They have a products called AvePoint Extender Archive for SharePoint Technologies (MOSS 2007 and WSS v3.0) – The technical overview can be found here. The product looks interesting – it will archive documents and sites.
Some of my clients use AvePoint products for backup and restore and management. Overall they like the products but I’ve heard some complaints about user interface and licensing. Not sure if they have the same problems these days.
Speaking with Quest a few months ago they were releasing their SharePoint backup tool to compete with AvePoint and CommVault. I plan on testing their backup software later in the year. For now I’m enjoying the summer – its short in TO.