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Thanks to the folks at harmon.ie, intergrating SharePoint and other enterprise collaboration platforms got easier. They've released harmon.ie for SharePoint, version 2.2, which continues to let users transform clunky, cumbersome email clients (from Lotus Notes to Outlook) into a collaboration and social workspace with a few added perks and fixes.

Streamlining Functionality

Harmon.ie for SharePoint 2.2 brings SharePoint to business users by providing access to SharePoint from the email client. Each of the updates it provides supports harmon.ie's committment to making things easier for the user, who, let's face it, doesn't usually find SharePoint interfaces all that intuitive. Harmon.ie lets you do in one or two steps what Sharepoint does in four.

For example, Version 2.2. adds an "Enter a Link" button, which transforms the site selection drop-down to allow pasting or typing a SharePoint URL inside it and navigating to that URL.

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To open a SharePoint library or document for which you have a URL in the harmon.ie sidebar, users can navigate to the document’s location in SharePoint.

The way documents are uploaded and photos are shared with SharePoint libraries is also streamlined. Users have the option to open the properties window on every upload, which gives users better access to document properties when uploading so they can edit appropriately.

With harmon.ie for SharePoint, Enterprise Edition users can perform a host of social functions designed to help find people on SharePoint by name, skills, or experience; get access to your own and other peoples' My Site and view and edit document ratings. With Version 2.2, users can also group email messages by original subject thanks to a new metadata field for uploaded email messages called OriginalSubject, which lets users group conversation email messages in SharePoint web views.

More Transparency, Fewer Headaches

Version 2.2 continues to improve the way people work. What may look like a simple addition is really a strategic element designed to alleviate what harmon.ie calls “document chaos.” As well, such simple changes don't just make things easier for end users. IT and general counsel will appreciate that users send links to SharePoint documents, rather than email attachments. As a result, storage space required is downsized considerably, while document links can only be opened by users authorized in SharePoint.

But is this just a perceived empowerment? When we talked with David Lavenda, vice president of marketing and product strategy at harmon.ie, we wanted to know how harmon.ie improves business processes within the enterprise. The answer looks a little like this:

  • Based on harmon.ie’s customers spanning 13 countries and 37 industries, companies have seen adoption rates of SharePoint soar from 20% to 30% before integrating harmon.ie to 70% to 80% afterward.
  • Though each company measures it a little differently, Lavenda reports that most have seen a tangible return on investment, be it from lower storage costs, fewer data leaks or better document sharing among users.

While technology can certainly affect the way users adopt best practices, most often the problem is human behavior. If users can improve the productivity without having to change the way they work, users are more likely to embrace new tools.