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[February 09, 2012]
Focus on Workflow [Information Today]
(Information Today Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) FEATURED PRODUCT As any professional knows, completing one project can require using multiple programs and several windows, with users jockeying between computer documents and emails in the process. Add phone calls and face-to-face meetings with co-workers, and productivity can take a palpable hit. harmon.ie offers a way to get the team working efficiently with a platform that enhances group communication.
harmon.ie's products bring the functionality of Microsoft SharePoint or Google Docs to Microsoft Outlook; harmon.ie for SharePoint can also be used with IBM's Lotus Notes, and the latest release features a new social document tool designed to streamline collaboration, harmon.ie for SharePoint also includes an activity stream, which provides real-time document status updates - detailing who made changes to the file - as well as the ability to connect with colleagues via phone, video, chat, and email.
"What harmon.ie actually does is it brings collaboration into the window where people spend their day, which is email," says David La venda, vice president of marketing and product strategy. In Microsoft Outlook, harmon.ie appears as a sidebar and lets users drag and drop documents in and out of SharePoint without opening another window. SharePoint "provides a lot of value: social networking to document management to being a platform for collaboration," Lavenda says. "But getting people to adopt to new technology, like any new technology, is extremely difficult because it requires them to change their business habits." As collaboration becomes a more integral and valuable part of everyday business, Lavenda says it's critical to get people to take advantage of available tools. He cites a Forrester Research, Inc. report that notes that 80% of organizations have SharePoint but only about 11% use it. harmon.ie is designed to introduce professionals to SharePoint without disrupting their normal workflow - attaching documents to emails - by enabling users to complete SharePoint tasks through an email client. "That's the main value of what we bring," Lavenda says, adding, "We're seeing a lot of good traction, a lot of good feedback from the market." Lavenda says harmon.ie has about 500,000 enterprise users and 500,000 free downloaders, ranging from companies with four employees to companies with more than 100,000. The freemium platforms support Microsoft Office 365, as well as other Microsoft cloud offerings, and also offer updates, including new features and bug fixes.
"We do about a release a quarter," Lavenda says, noting that there are plans to add other email clients, such as Gmail and other back-end systems besides SharePoint and Google Docs. A mobile edition for tablets and smartphones offering the same functionalities as the desktop interface is also in the works and will be announced later this year, he says, harmon.ie's foray into mobile will allow SharePoint to be accessible anywhere. "So it's really about creating an aggregation platform for collaboration, where you can bring many different types of collaboration capabilities into a single window and take it anywhere with you," Lavenda says. "That's really our vision for the future." ALEXA MANTELL (c) 2012 Information Today, Inc.
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