2010 Review – Communities


You may have heard someone say these words before – maybe even shout them.  But what did they really mean when they said it?   Well, they might have been talking about how they could work together better, using SharePoint 2010′s new “Communities” features… or they may have been fighting during a hockey game.  Let’s go with the SharePoint angle for now…

SharePoint Communities is all about real-time collaboration, social networking (in the context of business, of course), and identifying the right people resources for your project.   That’s all great, but how does SharePoint do all of that?

Work right where you are:

Taking advantage of it’s browser-based interface and integration with Office Communications Server (OCS), SharePoint allows users freedom to work where they are most productive.   “Where is that”, you ask?  Well, it’s wherever you are, that’s where!

Through the use of web-based tools like wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, and the newly re-named “My Profile” sites, SharePoint 2010 offers a variety of collaborative tools to enable real-time work – wherever you may be.

Team up with the right people:

Using the My Profiles, in conjunction with Search in SharePoint 2010, you can find people within your organization with specific skills, or who have worked on specific projects that may interest you.  You can search by colleagues and/or people you may know in common.  Get introduced to the “expert” in a specific field, find a mentor, or just find an answer.   SharePoint 2010 Communities allow you do do all of that in real-time!

When you do find that person, SharePoint and OCS allow you to see if they are available to meet, and if not when they will be.  You can send an IM, make a phone call, or send email – immediately.   Be in touch instantly.  Get engaged and stay engaged from wherever you are.

In my days at Microsoft, they were already ahead of the curve on this concept.  In fact, I used to say, “If you couldn’t get in touch with me, you didn’t try“.    No more excuses when you use SharePoint 2010 Communities!

Reduce Code:

Using familiar tools like SharePoint Designer, users can create custom solutions, including linking to data, workflows, and other custom, internal solutions.

All in all, I think SharePoint 2010 made some significant improvements of the feature set that was previously available. Finding and connecting with colleagues has never been easier. Just think of the many, seemingly minute, time wasters that will be eliminated just by using real-time communication.

Plus… this may be your opportunity for you to work from home and say, “Goodbye” to Rush Hour!!!!

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