Monday, March 12, 2012

Successfactors Jam makes SharePoint documents more collaborative

Microsoft SharePoint is a document collaboration tool used by about 100 million users in the world. Microsoft reports that it makes about a $1 billion a year with SharePoint. With that kind of traction in the market and Microsoft's might behind it, SharePoint is going to be around for a while. Many SAP customers use SharePoint or have used SharePoint in the past to store their documents and collaborate around documents.  So I was pleased to explore the SharePoint connector for Jam and share the value it brings to customers. This is how it works. While using SharePoint, a person will be able to publish a link of a document or the document itself to Jam.

If a link is posted, anyone who clicks on the link will be redirected to SharePoint. If the document is posted to Jam, the document is converted into a format that reduces the barrier for collaboration and enables collaboration at a more granular level. For example if a PowerPoint presentation from SharePoint is posted to Jam, users view and comment on the document even if they do not have PowerPoint software installed in their computer. They can view and comment not just at a page level but also at a 20*20 pixel level.

Let's take a example of a graphic artist sharing a series of images with a client, stored in a PowerPoint file. She can comment on the color of a button the size of 20*20 pixels to convey her concepts. The client can also discuss the screens at the same level to respond to her comments or add new comments.

If a doctor is sharing an x-ray with a colleague, she can point our a small area on the x-ray and have a discussion about that image without the need for any additional software.

If the document contains a team photograph of a project team, each member can be tagged in the photograph, like we do on Facebook, so that colleagues who are distributed can put a face to a name.

The document stored in Jam is automatically indexed and made searchable from the SuccessFactors Learning management system, should anyone search for it using a keyword from there. Thus the document is also immediately made available for informal learners and on-the-job learners.

I believe SharePoint as a document management system is not going to go away anytime soon. So I am very pleased to find out that Jam and SharePoint work spaces compliment each other well and bring additional value for customers should they choose to use both together.

I'll write about the more granular collaboration enabled by SuccessFactors Jam in a later post. It has some very compelling uses.

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