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Get Social with NewsGator for SharePoint

Social Sites® for Microsoft SharePoint 2010 from NewsGator has been very well received by leading SharePoint analysts. As recently as Thursday of this week, November 17, 2011, David F. Carr wrote for Information Week, The Brainyard, that a product like Social Sites® from NewsGator transforms SharePoint “into a satisfying corporate social network”.

Social Sites® includes features that will be very familiar for users of Facebook and/or Google+; including Profiles, MicroBlogging, Communities & Activity Streams. These social features substantially enhance the collaborative capabilities of SharePoint within the enterprise which, in turn, empowers the organizations that opt for these capabilities to derive important benefits.

Take for example Kraft Foods. NewsGator includes an archive of a Webinar including Mr. Vinicius da Costa, Associate Director for Collaboration and Social Business at Kraft Foods and Mr. Doug Caywood of Microsoft. Mr. da Costa spells out the needs at Kraft to breakdown traditional silos within the business, which, while standing, handicap the business, impeding product innovation, cross departmental communication, and lengthening time to market for new products.

Sure, the need to breakdown silos is a consistent “must have” for users of SharePoint and other enterprise collaboration tools, but Mr. da Costa provides useful detail that indicates that delivery of this “must have” is still out there somewhere on the horizon. Mr. da Costa is of the opinion that a product like Social Sites® can provide him with a process catalyst that he can use to bring a “silo-less” enterprise that much closer to reality at Kraft Foods.

We see a promising market opportunity for NewsGator for other businesses like Kraft Foods that put a high premium on the ability to quickly innovate products, as required, to meet changing market needs. As well, companies with potentially competitive businesses (for example, print publishing and online publishing), where real barriers to collaboration may be in place would also benefit from a dose of “social” to enhance knowledge exchange. As well, facilitating access, through enhanced collaboration, to authoritative resources that may already be in place within the business and, therefore, readily available translates into another big benefit. We suspect that NewsGator and its partners are all over these prospects, which bodes well for the future.

Do keep in mind, however, that enterprise business still has a way to go prior to fully embracing social media. A recent study, The 2011 Fortune 500 and Social Media Adoption: Have America’s Largest Companies Reached a Social Media Plateau? supports the opinion that the slow progress of enterprise business along the path to social media is reality. Of course, the flip side of this opinion is to posit a relatively wide open potential for companies like NewsGator in the future.

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