Social email software provider harmon.ie® today announced availability of the Lotus Notes® edition ofharmon.ie for SharePoint 3, the first platform that aggregates Microsoft SharePoint® collaboration and social tools into an email sidebar for easy access. The new edition enables Notes customers to bring SharePoint functionality into their email environment thusly uniting the disparate IBM and Microsoft platforms. Lotus shops such as consumer products company Amway, global power and automation technologies group ABB and utility American Water are using this strategy to integrate SharePoint and Notes to streamline work efforts.
"Until we found harmon.ie, we were facing a major IT gap. We were launching a global collaboration program for 124,000 users around the globe with SharePoint, Team Spaces and a global directory, but we had no way to integrate those functions with Notes. We knew that would hamper adoption because our employees are accustomed to collaborating through email," said Chen Zuo, Project Manager for Zurich-based ABB. "With harmon.ie bringing SharePoint functionality into email, we achieved significant use of our new tools, creation of 2,400 online team sites, and improved dialogue within and beyond teams in just the first 12 months."
Advancing the Social Enterprise
Also available for Microsoft® Outlook®, harmon.ie facilitates business collaboration and enterprise social networking by simplifying SharePoint usage for typical business users who have difficulty with the multi-step navigation. With harmon.ie, business users can complete common SharePoint tasks through the email window where they spend most of their workday, eliminating the need to navigate through at least nine different windows per task. These harmon.ie capabilities – initially focused on document collaboration – have enabled enterprises using harmon.ie to increase end user SharePoint adoption from 30 percent to as high as 80 percent in just a few months.
harmon.ie for SharePoint 3 adds new 'social document' features that further streamline collaboration by providing one-click connectivity between people and documents. These features, again available from the email window, include:
- An activity stream providing both document and people status updates, marking the first time that this information is available in a multi-threaded activity stream format.
- The ability to open documents as well as view detailed user profiles from the activity stream, allowing users to perform these tasks without leaving the email interface. This reduces context-switching distractions that decrease productivity and collaboration, as well as inhibiting SharePoint usage.
- One-click phone, chat, videoconference and/or email connectivity to colleagues from the activity stream, including support for Microsoft Lync™/OCS, Lotus Sametime® and Cisco UC, eliminating the need to change windows to initiate communications.
- A 'suggested colleagues' feature that helps users expand their enterprise social graph by recommending additional connections based on their contact history including email, chat, and document co-editing.
"With harmon.ie 3, business users working on a contract can upload their version to SharePoint, track document updates, initiate a phone call or chat with the person editing the document, and even find resources like domain experts in the organization from the same email window," said Yaacov Cohen, co-founder and CEO of harmon.ie. "This helps drive the social enterprise by eliminating complex navigation between multiple applications that discourages the adoption of collaboration tools."
American Water's Experience
New Jersey-based American Water (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the U.S., adopted the Lotus Notes edition of harmon.ie for SharePoint to support a unified communication and collaboration initiative for 7,000 employees in 300 locations in 30 states and parts of Canada. The program included enterprise-wide deployment of SharePoint for core collaboration functions such as content management, document collaboration and enterprise search, plus IBM Sametime, WebEx and AT&T audio conferencing for unified communications (UC).
One of the goals of the program was to provide a 'single pane of glass' from which users can access documents, maps, email, calendaring, instant messaging, web conferencing and other UC tools to drive new efficiencies and interaction within and across business units. IT managers wanted to aggregate these functions within the email interface where users were accustomed to working but were initially stymied by the incompatibility between the IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft SharePoint environments.
The use of the Lotus Notes edition of harmon.ie is enabling American Water to meet its objectives while preserving its Notes investment and avoiding budgeting an additional $3 million in capital outlays to migrate to a single-vendor stack. The new tools help streamline the development of RFPs to manage new municipal drinking water or wastewater systems, expedite the approval and monitoring of capital projects, equip the utility's 2,000+ mobile employees with on-the-road access to information such as system maps, and otherwise foster collaboration and knowledge sharing.
"When we polled people in a recent survey about our 'single pane of glass' collaboration concept, 90% voiced strong support for the initiative and the idea of using a few common platforms to simplify and expedite work," said Steve Brescia, Enterprise Manager, Architecture for American Water. "As the connector between SharePoint and Lotus Notes, harmon.ie is playing a major role in delivering the one-stop email, collaboration and communications gateway that is powering the entire effort."
harmon.ie for SharePoint 3 – Lotus Notes Edition is available immediately. An Outlook edition is also available. The platform supports Microsoft Office 365 as well as other Microsoft cloud offerings such as Microsoft SharePoint Online, hosted solutions for SharePoint 2010, Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 and Windows® SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0.
harmon.ie (pronounced 'harmony') is a provider of social email software that brings document collaboration to every business user by transforming the email client into a collaboration and social workspace. Thousands of businesses already use harmon.ie social email to vastly increase user adoption of Microsoft SharePoint or Google Docs for document sharing, collaboration, and social networking. Formerly known as Mainsoft, harmon.ie is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner building cross-platform enterprise software since 1993. For more information, visit http://harmon.ie/
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