This week there’s been a couple of wild claims doing the circuit, not least of which is the demise of SharePoint at the hands of Salesforce.com’s Chatter, while Microsoft gets social with Outlook.

Outlook Gets Social

The promised link between Microsoft Outlook and social networking has finally happened with Microsoft reporting this week that software updates between LinkedIn (news, site) and Outlook have just been released in beta.

Designed for Office 2010, the new set of applications that will also include email links for Facebook (news, site) and MySpace (news, site) will go on general release later this year.

The LinkedIn connection to Outlook lets people using the email program stay in tune with any changes in job status, contact information or affiliations being shared by friends at the career-focused online community.

The company says that the new connections are all about bringing, friends, family and colleagues into your inbox and enables you to communicate with them and see their social activities at the same time.

If you’ve been following us here you will be aware of the problems that managing unstructured content in emails is causing enterprises.

Likely that the same companies can hardly wait to thank Microsoft for this new Outlook ability. The test version of Outlook is available online at the Office website.

SharePoint To Be Killed By Chatter?

That Salesforce.com (news, site) has launched the private beta of Chatter, an enterprise collaboration tool for the cloud will stir some interest; that some of those involved in the private beta say Chatter heralds the end of SharePoint should cause more than a stir.

The end of legacy collaboration software like Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus Notes is here," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. "Consumer Internet services like Facebook and Twitter have shown us better ways to collaborate . . .".

Muscle-flexing aside, Chatter does come with a number of document collaboration tools, amongst other features, that should be useful for those with document management issues.

In this respect the document sharing and security settings are of interest. With Chatter, users can instantly and securely search the Chatter feed to access, share and even download the documents and other information files via an Internet browser.

It also enables users to manage who has access to what information based on Force.com platform security settings, which decides what information can be seen by who.

If you’re interested in more, you can find out more from the website, but nothing there would seem to back up Benioff’s claim that SharePoint is on its way out!

We Can’t Leave Paper Alone

According to AIIM (news, site) office staff just won’t give up on paper copies, despite the wide availability of scanners and document management systems.

A recent survey by the content management organization found that 62% of important paper documents are still archived as paper. Even when documents are sent off for archive scanning, 25% are photocopied beforehand “just in case” and less than a third of the paper originals are systematically destroyed after scanning.

Despite the fact that the legal admissibility of scanned paper documents has been established for nearly 20 years and is nailed down in legislation and standards around the world, there is still this suspicion among users that they may need to produce the original paper copy at some stage, the study says.

In the survey, 70% of the respondents agreed with the statement, “Users feel that paper records are needed for legal reasons.” Even at the organizational level, in 25% of businesses the legal admissibility of scanned documents is still seen as an issue.

According to AIIM president John Mancini, we still haven’t tapped into the real potential savings of using document management software, because we just can’t let the paper go.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can download the research from the AIIM website.

How Is Your Records Management?

Something else from AIIM this week that might help companies see how effective their records management software: take AIIM’s quick, easy online assessment to find out what stage of records management competency your organization is in, and then learn more about that stage, its risks and the benefits of progressing to the next.

Participants will be asked 13 questions in order to determine their organization's Records Management competency. Once the assessment is completed, participants can download the Solution Brief for their identified stage which includes information on:

  • Current state of records management
  • The risks of your current state
  • The benefits of progressing to the next stage.

And it’s all free.

Iron Mountain Adds Archiving

We couldn’t let this week go by with some mention of the acquisition of Mimosa Systems by Iron Mountain for an estimated US$ 112 million in cash.

Iron Mountain is a major player in the information management market with this deal providing it with an on-premise content archiving solution -- in this case Mimosa NearPoint -- to complement their cloud based offering.

Mimosa NearPoint is an email archiving and eDiscovery solution. Version 4 was brought to market last June, offering an integrated content archive that includes not only email, but also content in blogs, wikis, documents and more. It also improved content search, case management and came with a new user interface and data capture methodology.

It's these capabilities along with being able to now capture and manage content from additional devices like desktops, laptops and systems like SharePoint that caused Iron Mountain to choose Mimosa. If you want to know more, check out our analysis.