Harmonie offers a cross-platform suite of enterprise collaboration products designed to boost user adoption of the dominant enterprise collaboration tools. These include bringing central components of SharePoint into both Outlook and Lotus Notes. I have covered them on the AppGap (see Harmon.ie Provides Social Email to Help Drive Enterprise Collaboration Adoption).
Yesterday they released their list of the Top 25 Most Influential SharePoint Thought Leaders in Social Business Today. This is timely as the upcoming Microsoft SharePoint Conference runs October 3 - 6 in Anaheim.
Mark Fidelman of hamon.ie notes in his blog post that “since the demand to make SharePoint more social has increased tremendously over the past 12 months, our goal for the list was to identify the SharePoint thought leaders providing the best guidance for companies looking to increase their social and collaboration capabilities.” I am pleased and honored to be on this list.
I have been talking with a number of the software providers in the social business space. It seems that many of them have recognized that SharePoint has a dominant and secure position in many organizations for document management. Many organizations have already invested a lot in their SharePoint implementation and will not let go of it lightly.
So these social business software providers are deciding not to compete with SharePoint but to acknowledge its presence as the document system of record. They are positioning themselves as the tool to make SharePoint more social. They are positioning themselves as an engagement layer that sits in front of SharePoint.
In my view SharePoint, and other document management systems, should be treated like other enterprise applications of record in the same way as an ERP or CRM system is being treated. At least that is how I would suggest that it be treated for firms that have already invested heavily in SharePoint or similar tools. The social tools then make these enterprise applications of record more social and increase engagement in their use. This is the goal of harmon.ie with its email integration capabilities, as I understand. I think this is a smart move. Of course, if there is no embeded document management system the field is wide open for many options.
Mark Fidelman’s post gives the details on the methodology they used to determine the list. I think they are doing a great service with this effort. Despite being biased since I am on the list, I think it raises awareness that SharePoint can be made more social and that it should be made more social to increase engagement. I would only add that the other enterprise applications should be treated in the same way and I am encouraged to see many of vendors moving in this direction. Social tools need to be interagted into work processes to realize their potential and to avoid beconming isolated chat (see Putting Social Media to Work)
I will add in closing that we have designed the Darwin Awareness Engine™ so that it also integrates with SharePoint out of the box to provide visualizations of the conversations that are going on within SharePoint. It can enable organizations to listen to the voice of the employee to use the term from Forrester’s Leslie Owens. It can also look at the conversations within most of the other social software tools, as well as those on the Web. You can find more about it at our web site and I will be writing more about our SharePoint connection next week.