Announcements continue to come from the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Anaheim, CA this week. Social software provider NewsGator has announced new integrations Microsoft Lync and Glassboard, which will move their users closers to managing their interactions in one location.


Unifying Unified Communications

NewsGator has integrated its Social Sites 2010 platform with Microsoft Lync, a unified communication tool. The integration makes it possible for users to have a conversation that spans their Social Sites activity stream and Lync without switching between the environments.

When users post in Social Sites to another user via the familiar targeting ‘@’ or a hashtag, the message is simultaneously posted in the targeted user’s Lync instant messaging (IM) client. The asynchronous to synchronous conversation integration isn’t the first Lync integration NewsGator has pursued. Since the platform was released, the company has released integrations for presence, on-the-fly IM launches, audio and video sessions.

Glassboard Private Groups in Social Sites

In addition to the Lync integration, NewsGator Social Sites now also integrates with Glassboard and Spheres, which allow users to have internal and external conversations without creating an actual SharePoint Community, Site or Site Collection.

Glassboard is a mobile social application that allows you to create lightweight private groups for sharing information, which Social Sites aggregates in your activity stream. Privacy is a big focus of the software; using the integration you can ensure your conversations are secure -- unlike similar activities performed on popular public social networking sites. The software currently supports Android, iPad and iPhone, and Windows Phone 7. Glassboard is built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology, which should comfort users about any performance or capacity concerns.

When an Internal Community is Too Much

In addition to Glassboard, which targets private communications with external stakeholders, Spheres is focused on internal communications. Spheres for Social Sites 2010 allow you to converse with colleagues through user-generated, light-weight public and private groups. Within seconds of creating a Sphere, members can share messages, links, and questions and answers with the new group.


NewsGator Social Sites: Spheres and Glassboard

Organizations using SharePoint -- and honestly, who isn’t -- and interested in enterprise social collaboration will likely welcome a new tool. The approach is certainly easier than the list of tasks required to create a new SharePoint Site or Site Collection just to separate your team’s conversations. The functionality NewsGator provides is much more closely aligned to the features that employees have grown accustomed to in the public social networking space.