Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Market's First Full-Featured Social Email Overcomes User Resistance to SharePoint Adoption

Milpitas, CA.

Social email software provider harmon.ie® today announced harmon.ie for SharePoint 3.0, the first platform that aggregates collaboration tools and social enterprise networks into a sidebar within Microsoft® Outlook® and Lotus Notes®. Designed to remove barriers to user adoption of Microsoft SharePoint® as well as to bring a critical social component to document creation, harmon.ie enables users to collaborate with colleagues and external contacts without leaving the email interface where they spend much of their workday. Related tasks can be seamlessly completed from the same window, eliminating the need to continually switch applications.

With harmon.ie for SharePoint 3.0, business users can now share documents and track document updates; connect with colleagues and check their real-time status; initiate phone/chat/video/email communications; build their enterprise social graph and more – all from within email, with no need to change work habits. This strategy of connecting people and documents via ‘social documents' eliminates the complex navigation that typically discourages widespread use of collaboration tools.

"Enterprises recognize that the way we work today hampers efficient document authoring and editing, and therefore overall business agility. Business users working on a contract should be able to check the status of a document draft, initiate a phone call, or chat with the person editing the document from one window," said Yaacov Cohen, co-founder and CEO of harmon.ie. "harmon.ie 3.0 brings all of these processes into the email interface for improved efficiency and team interaction."

According to Gartner analyst Matt Cain, "A large return awaits organization that can exploit social constructs inside the in-box ... Organizations that encourage social and email integration are likely to be more nimble and experience higher degrees of user satisfaction." 1

New Social Features

Since its launch, harmon.ie has tackled low SharePoint adoption by allowing business users to exploit SharePoint's document collaboration features through an email sidebar. Those capabilities have attracted 400,000 paid users in enterprises around the globe as well as another 400,000 freemium downloads. Enterprises using harmon.ie have increased end user SharePoint adoption from 30 percent to as high as 80 percent in just a few months.

With the new social features added in harmonie 3.0, users can connect with co-workers and follow their business-related updates via a new harmon.ie ‘People' view. New features accessible through this view include:

  • An activity stream providing both document and people status updates, marking the first time that a multi-threaded activity stream format has been incorporated into email.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Facilitating Enterprise 2.0

The harmon.ie strategy of aggregating collaboration tools, social channels and email addresses the cumbersome work environment created by desktop window clutter that inhibits the adoption of new Enterprise 2.0 applications.

The need to repeatedly click, cut and paste between windows of multiple standalone applications interrupts workflow and causes distractions that drain worker productivity. One recent industry survey found that distractions waste at least one hour a day or $10,375 per person annually, costing more than $10 million per year for businesses with 1,000 employees. The same distractions were also shown to negatively impact work output, work quality and client relationships.

Most collaboration and social tools exacerbate the problem by adding extra steps as well as requiring users to modify their work routines in order to use them. Another survey shows that 66% of end users refuse to use SharePoint for daily document exchange because of the need to navigate through at least nine different windows to complete SharePoint tasks. In addition, according to Forrester Research, only 8% of end users working in companies that have implemented enterprise social networks use those social software tools. These user adoption gaps stem largely from the multiple steps and window navigation involved in completing tasks.

harmon.ie's ability to overcome these stumbling blocks is helping enterprises drive collaboration that is critical to gaining competitive advantage in today's marketplace.

"With harmon.ie bridging the gap between email and SharePoint, Continental is enabling seamless document collaboration that is critical to help us break the cycle of ‘knowledge monopolies' and leverage the collective intelligence of all 80,000 information workers," said Juergen Hagg, head of department, global applications & solutions for Continental AG, a global automotive supplier that is rolling harmon.ie out to 80,000 users.


harmon.ie for SharePoint 3.0 – Outlook Edition will be released in late July 2011. A beta version is available immediately.

harmon.ie for SharePoint 3.0 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.

About harmon.ie

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, the company has been building cross-platform enterprise software since 1993. For more information, visit http://harmon.ie/

1 Matt Cain, "Email Maturity Model: Optimizing the Investment" (Gartner Research, April 27, 2011)

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Press contact:
Jenna Dobkin
Ph: 415-652-2185