AvePoint today announced a general release of Office Connect. The product pulls Microsoft applications together and consolidates content to simplify its migration to SharePoint.

Specifically, it enables users to create content in Outlook, Office and Windows File Explorer and then move it into SharePoint, where it can be managed, shared or used collaboratively.

Leaving aside the question as to how much content users want to move from their desktops to SharePoint, Office Connect offers Microsoft users additional collaboration capabilities and enhanced productivity through a single, unified interface.

SharePoint Adoption

The release of Connect tackles a problem that has long plagued enterprises, notably moving content from numerous unsanctioned locations into an enterprise content management (ECM) system.

SharePoint is now present in more than 60 percent of enterprises.

So enabling users to easily move their content into SharePoint can’t be overestimated. Office Connect lets users migrate in one click, removing the need to alternate between SharePoint and multiple app interfaces

Applications like this will arguably drive user adoption of SharePoint in the enterprise. While there are no hard statistics, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest some workers are reluctant to use SharePoint.

Why Connect?

Daniel Wilkens, product manager at AvePoint, said Office Connect was designed to help enterprises create a single source of truth for content, notably for SharePoint. Because content is often dispersed throughout multiple applications and databases, many enterprises have issues with information accessibility, productivity and records management.

AvePoint wants to solve business user problems as well as those facing the IT department. "Office Connect is intended to solve problems for both sides of the market – helping end-users adapt easily to SharePoint by introducing it to familiar applications, and helping administrators capture and classify content within SharePoint to drive user adoption,” he told CMSWire.

End-users often struggle to adopt SharePoint because it represents a change in behavior, he explained.

“End-users are used to working within local applications, email and saving content to their desktop, and learning a new way to do things affects their productivity. When documents are not created, stored, or collaborated on within SharePoint, it prevents administrators from driving these initiatives forward,” he said.

Content also gets trapped in personal repositories like inboxes, a desktop folders and local file shares.

Office Connect:

  • Enables sharing from desktops, Outlook or Office applications through SharePoint
  • Unifies scattered information by saving content to SharePoint from multiple applications and sets up favorite SharePoint locations.
  • Migrates content from user inboxes, desktops and network drives to SharePoint eliminating the need to save information in multiple places