Connecting E-Mail into Microsoft SharePoint

By Jacob Ukelson posted 09-13-2010 11:49


Connecting E-Mail into Microsoft SharePoint

By Jacob Ukelson, chief technology officer of ActionBase

Recently, we’ve focused on the concept of how organizations value the option to have follow-up, tracking and process management capabilities available with e-mail. Organizations seek software that can take e-mail correspondence and make it traceable. This first occurred because of the new trends and customer expectations of Microsoft SharePoint. Organizations find it beneficial to have the ability to consolidate discussions or conversations with their related actions.

The context of this is in many cases more important than any of its atomic elements. When you trace a discussion’s message back and forth to view the documents related to it, as well as all subsequent process activities, you create one web of social activity that encompasses the whole flow of the conversation, its context and all participants involved. It allows you to trace where documents are and who is participating in each activity. By collating the whole process thread (like in IM or Google Wave), you can simplify collaboration through the way people share and view the same information, in the same context and in the same discussion history.

We’ve met with several large Fortune 100 company executives, who work extensively in Office and SharePoint, to discuss the process of connecting e-mail into SharePoint. The executives agreed on the importance of having software that allows them to connect the dots between e-mail and sites within SharePoint to enable follow-through on all activities within Word and Excel. Software that connects e-mail into SharePoint allows executives to manage, monitor and control the risks associated with daily processes managed via e-mail and spreadsheets. Executives value the option to have an extra layer of management and control on top of familiar Excel spreadsheets and Outlook environments to help enable risk management, compliance and business efficiencies for organizations.

Therefore, we concluded that the key element to future success for organizations that use SharePoint is the capability to provide one view of the flow that connects e-mail, Word and Excel together within one context to help lower risk. Process risk is a major source of risk-related loss for many organizations. Connecting e-mail into SharePoint provides organizations with a complete, end-to-end solution by which to process the real-world risk caused by e-mail and spreadsheets.  Most importantly, connecting e-mail and SharePoint allows employees to be in sync with one another without duplicating items. This leads to a more efficient work environment, saving time and money.

Jacob Ukelson is chief technology officer of ActionBase, a company that provides human process management and action tracking solutions that enable organizations to manage business-critical processes.

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