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BOSTON, June 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Microsoft Corp., a leading provider of social-computing tools and technologies, today announced ongoing commitment from partners and customers who continue to adopt Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 as the platform for social-computing. In addition, Microsoft announced the Podcasting Kit for SharePoint (PKS), an open source initiative that helps partners and customers accelerate the development and deployment of podcasting solutions. Microsoft made the announcements today at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, an event that brings together the latest trends and practical information about Enterprise 2.0 in one place.
The need for social-computing tools is a natural extension of digital collaboration and is increasingly becoming incorporated into business productivity solutions. According to an April 2008 Forrester Research Inc. report, "Global Enterprise Market Forecast: 2007 to 2013," 56 percent of North American and European enterprises consider Web 2.0 to be a priority in 2008, and the market will increase from $764 million in 2008 to $4.6 billion by 2013. Microsoft is helping to lead that trend by providing the social- computing solutions and platforms today in SharePoint Server that balance end- user empowerment without sacrificing IT control.
"What we refer to today as Enterprise 2.0 will tomorrow just be considered a natural part of the way we all work," said Tom Rizzo, director of SharePoint Server at Microsoft. "SharePoint is leading the Enterprise 2.0 revolution by providing a comprehensive business productivity platform that combines traditional collaboration solutions with newer social-computing technologies in an enterprise-capable product. Using rich blog, wiki, RSS, mashup and social-networking solutions combined with the enterprise content management and search capabilities of SharePoint, SharePoint customers are well positioned to deliver real Enterprise 2.0 solutions today."
Partners Betting on Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Social-Networking Capabilities
Microsoft is tapping into the power of its network of partners to foster innovation that complements the existing social-computing technologies it delivers with SharePoint Server. As a result, more partners are turning to the productivity platform as the foundation for social-computing, as evidenced by a number of new social-computing technologies from the following companies:
-- Atlassian Pty. Ltd. Microsoft partner Atlassian offers the SharePoint Connector for Confluence, a leading enterprise wiki. With the connector, Confluence and SharePoint Server integrate by providing bidirectional content embedding and linking, cross-product search, and single sign-on. More information can be found at http://www.atlassian.com/sharepoint. -- Awareness Inc. Awareness integration with SharePoint Server allows SharePoint Server users to seamlessly engage with external-facing Web 2.0 communities from within SharePoint Server. More information can be found at http://www.awarenessnetworks.com/what/sharepoint.asp. -- blueKiwi Software. The blueKiwi SharePoint connector and blueKiwi OfficeAssistant, a set of components that enable the integration of blueKiwi's enterprise social software suite with SharePoint Server and Office, provide SharePoint Server customers with dynamic expertise identification, social-network visualization, and an aggregated view of all conversations happening across the entire enterprise. -- Connectbeam Inc. Connectbeam, a Microsoft partner, is announcing Spotlight Connect for SharePoint, a bookmarking and tagging add-on module to its enterprise social search-and-discovery application. A demo of Connectbeam's integration with SharePoint Server can be found at http://www.connectbeam.com/demo/sharepointintegration. -- Leverage Software. Leverage Software's innovative Web 2.0 social-networking tools extend the reach of a SharePoint Server implementation and allow a company to connect with and learn from its customers, partners and corporate alumni, while maintaining the security and privacy demands of the enterprise. -- NewsGator Technologies Inc. NewsGator is announcing NewsGator Social Sites 2.0 plus Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, which delivers positive and tangible social-computing business results. -- Telligent Systems. Through its REST API, mail gateway, shared authentication and single sign-on, Community Server Evolution provides deep integration and interoperability among Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Active Directory and Telligent Community Server, an industry-leading social-computing and online-community platform built on Microsoft .NET. -- Tomoye Corp. Tomoye is delivering a SharePoint Server-ready offering to enable organizations to deploy communities of practice using proven process and technology. -- WorkLight Inc. WorkLight is announcing its new WorkLight for SharePoint, which enables SharePoint Server users to more securely view and update information from SharePoint Server through familiar consumer tools such as Windows Vista gadgets and Facebook applications.
Customers Benefit From SharePoint Server’s Social-Computing Features
SharePoint Server also is rapidly becoming the collaboration tool of choice for many organizations. According to an April 2008 Forrester report, "Topic Overview: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007," 96 percent of enterprises are considering, planning on, in the process of or have already completed deploying at least some part of the Microsoft Office system server software. For example, Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest research-based biomedical and pharmaceutical company, uses SharePoint Server blogs and wikis for collaborations among its worldwide employees.
"SharePoint gives us a powerful social-computing tool for collaboration," said David Biersach, Pfizer’s associate director of Document and Collaboration Solutions. "We have teams distributed all over the world, and the ability to create wikis and blogs helps everyone stay on top of rapidly changing information and team dynamics in real time."
Podcasting Kit for SharePoint
Demonstrating its commitment to bring the latest innovating trends of social-networking technologies to its customers and partners, Microsoft today announced the release of the PKS, a free, open source initiative that provides organizations with a centralized, easy-to-manage solution to create, manage and distribute podcasts. Built on the SharePoint Server and Microsoft Silverlight platforms, and compatible with the Zune, Windows Mobile devices, PCs and other devices that play podcasts, the PKS provides a new medium to record and distribute video and audio information via the Internet and intranet. The Microsoft sales organization implemented the PKS internally over the past year.
Additional features of the PKS allow users to do the following: -- Access audio or video podcasts on PCs, Windows Mobile devices, Zune devices and any other devices that play podcasts -- Share content by producing personal podcasts and publishing content on PKS -- Connect and engage with podcasters via integrated instant-messaging programs -- Find the most relevant content using a rating system, tags clouds and search functions -- Receive automatic podcast updates by subscribing to RSS feeds, fully compatible with Zune and other devices that play podcasts -- Play podcasts in real time using Silverlight and progressive playback
Many organizations are now using podcasting technology to provide company news, improve training and increase employee participation. Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, participated in the PKS pilot program, along with its client BT Group plc. Accenture is using and extending the kit’s capabilities to offer Web 2.0-based learning and collaboration solutions, coupled with its experience in Microsoft technologies, to its global client base.
"Corporate and public-sector learning organizations have traditionally only addressed 20 percent of how employees learn," said Tom Hoglund, global lead of Accenture’s Collaboration and Knowledge Management Practice. "The PKS, combined with Accenture’s learning and collaboration experience, enables our clients to facilitate and accelerate learning exactly when and where it is needed, independent of location or device. That’s a huge advantage."
Customers can download the PKS at CodePlex, Microsoft’s open source project hosting Web site at http://www.codeplex.com/pks.
More information about SharePoint Server social-computing is available at http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/capabilities/collaboration/overview.mspx.
More information on Enterprise 2.0 Conference is available at http://www.enterprise2conf.com.