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Integrating SharePoint into the Social Fabric of the Workplace

The title of this blog post seems to promise a dissertation on SharePoint and social computing--and why not? A tremendous shift is happening in the work world, caused by Facebook, and helped along by SharePoint. And maybe you have an opinion about that. I'd actually be quite interested to hear that opinion ([email protected]). But since this is a blog for telling you about products in SharePoint land, let's now look at this product:

Neudesic Pulse Social Software

The idea behind Neudesic's Pulse 3.0 enterprise social software is that users can be social within the context of whatever application they choose. With this "social fabric" approach, Pulse integrates with SharePoint, pulling conversations and feeds into many aspects of SharePoint beyond just Team Sites.

Neudesic's Ramin Vosough and Jason Nobel walked me through a demo of Neudesic Pulse. Through a unified activity stream, users can comment on and follow documents, ask questions and follow coworkers, and provide feedback all within SharePoint.

SharePoint As Hub

My Site becomes a hub where users can interact with their activity feeds and follow people, groups, systems, documents, and list items and tag any item into a topic area for later retrieval. Users can send emails to a group and can reply in Outlook or SharePoint; they can create groups around interests and lock them down to a few or invite all or even invite customers into a group to see a special locked down area.

User accounts sync with Active Directory (AD) or other authentication providers, and if an AD account is disabled or deleted, the user is no longer granted access to Neudesic Pulse. Content is stored in the Neudesic Pulse data store in SQL Server, and can be managed,deleted, or archived, depending on company policy. Pulse also has mobile support for all major mobile platforms.

Nobel showed his My Site with an activity feed along one side, a Team site displaying an item-level conversation, and an intranet with the capability to bring in customers as well. Vosough showed a CRM feed, and how one could follow an account in SharePoint as well as follow related documents, and he showed the direct messaging capability and the capability to embed an activity stream in a line of business application.

The thought crossed my mind how little we fully get from our own SharePoint implementation. From my perspective as a SharePoint end-user, I came away feeling this solution offers potential for enhancing user adoption and engagement.

To learn more about Neudesic Pulse, see Neudesic's website.
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