harmon.ie for SharePoint 3.0 has got new social features

Social email software provider harmon.ie® recently 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.

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
• 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.

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

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