This article discusses the success of global public relations firm Edelman with it’s transformation from an Intranet to a collaboration platform based on Microsoft SharePoint and NewsGator called Fusion. By combining SharePoint and the NewsGator feeds, Fusion has FaceBook characteristics such as cross-organisational collaboration and networking capabilities, search functionality and social bookmarking, graphing and reporting.
A practical benefit of this approach is the direct interaction with Active Directory®, the directory services component of the Windows Server operating system. Use of this connection supports a single sign-on model for intranet access and also acts as the information point for information coming from other information sources within the enterprise. e.g. The HR system in use, PeopleSoft, pushes Employee information to the Active Directory which is in turn copied by the SharePoint server to allow Fusion to search this enterprise wide contact list.
An extension of this is the idea that each employee’s home page in would be their My Site page on Office SharePoint Server so that each person’s homepage is personalised. As explained by David Rosenberg, Lead SharePoint Developer at Edelman, “Using the My Details portion of the My Site page, employees can update their pictures, their skill sets, their interests, the status of projects they’re working on, and so forth. Today, they can go in and indentify what projects they’ve worked on in the past and what clients they’ve worked with—but in the future we’ll be adding that information automatically by linking into other systems in the corporation.” These personalised MySite pages are also populated by NewsGator RSS feeds and Web parts into their My Site pages, so they can follow the updates of their friends and co-workers, whether they’re writing about a current project or an upcoming social event.
So Edelman have benefited from a true Enterprise 2.0 approach to a collaboration problem and developed an application where employees can search for information by practice, skill set, prior client affiliation, social media competency, and much more – and therefore deliver an improved service to their Clients.