I am pleased to have presented my first RSM webinar with Microsoft. It’s on a set of topics near and dear to me: Microsoft tools for helping information workers collaborate.
Collaboration takes many forms in the modern workplace. Frequently, small and mid-sized organizations can compete and win on their ability AND their agility: forming and disbanding project teams quickly, finding knowledge and experts fast, etc., where their enterprise-class counterparts move more slowly through the molasses of legacy systems and infrastructure.
Last week’s webinar provided some data points about the importance of effective collaboration, an overview of how Microsoft’s collaboration platforms and products support a wide variety of collaborative styles, and how mid-market organizations can get more agile using three tools at the core of Microsoft’s collaboration strategy:
SharePoint – for (usually) asynchronous collaboration around unstructured or semi-structured content. If I have a distributed project team and need to work on a deliverable, most often I will use SharePoint as my collaboration platform because I can quickly and securely use it to organize, manage, and discover content. Easy-to-use native capabilities like version control, co-authoring, and automated retention and disposition policies are just a few of the tools that help me to collaborate with SharePoint, and some of what we explored and demonstrated in the webinar.
Lync – for synchronous collaboration around presence, IM, voice, video, and web conferencing, Lync gives me the ability to collaborate in ways that align with dynamic, mobile, “always on” team members. It also helps me shorten the time between questions and answers by virtue of its tight integration with SharePoint (e.g., I can see AND interact with the author of a key document or an expert in a particular topic).
Yammer—as enterprise social computing becomes less of a “new way to collaborate” and more an everyday part of doing business, Microsoft has invested. We are now seeing rich platforms for threaded discussions, “following” people or topics of interest, file-sharing, polling, and other forms of social engagement. Yammer provides enterprise-class “walled gardens” for companies embracing social, using the cloud to reduce the amount of technical “scaffolding” needed to get started. Expect Yammer usage to skyrocket as Microsoft integrates it more with core business applications workers use every day, rather than (as it mostly is today) a separate destination where people need to go to do “social” things.
The combination of these tools, the other business and communications applications, and the platforms for scalability, security, identity, etc. that Microsoft provides creates a very compelling collaboration toolset. Tune in for the next webinar, where we’ll do a deeper dive on Microsoft productivity technologies, on Tuesday September 10, and register at http://events.mcgladrey.com/microsoftrefresh.
For more information on collaboration technology, please contact RSM’s technology consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.
By: Mike Gilronan, SharePoint Practice Director – RSM LLP