SPC14 – Day 2 – General Motors: managing 130,000 users’ documents and records – making it easy, while maintaining control

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This is a great session, which follows nicely on the previous one. It’s about General Moters (GM), which have a large SharePoint environment. Some numbers:

  • 130.000 interval users
  • 10TB data
  • 6 on-premise farms
  • 500 servers, 8.500 site collections

Site provisioning

The presenter (the SharePoint architect for GM) mentioned the large amount of site collections. But in my opinion, this is quite reasonable. GM uses the “standard” governance guidelines (quota, two owners per site, et cetera), but they do have one nice rule: any user can request a site collection, but you must have passed 30 minutes of admin training.

GM has created a custom ASP.Net application to do the site provisioning. This includes the options to include the site within the search results, request internet access to the site, the type of site and data classification. After this, the site is created.


One nice feature (which is custom) of the new site is the GM Information security label. This way, the user always has knowledge about the nature of information which can be added to the site.


Records management

GM introduced a generic RM solution based on in-place records and the record center. The basic layout of the GM records management solution:

  • Three types of record declaration policies (when to declare);
  • 3.000 record types (= 3.000 content types, sorted by record group);
  • A specific record ribbon (see below);
  • Use the content type hub for synchronizing content types (record types);
  • Use multiple record centers (at least 100!) with multiple record libraries (at least 1000!) and one content organizer;
  • The record center can have this layout: Process (RC) | Location (Library)
  • No item level security;
  • A lot of metadata per document;
  • Auditing are enabled (either by standard SharePoint options and by Symantec tooling);
  • Record disposition is done by the record owner (normally, the user).



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