The WorkerThread Blog

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Archive for May, 2008 – Customer Service e-mocracy

Posted by workerthread on May 25, 2008


I read about in the Times yesterday.  The site’s aim is to provide a forum where users can share ratings and reviews based on good or bad service that they’ve received from companies.  This idea isn’t entirely new, but their approach is. 

The site founders used to work in the city, and Plebble has some similarities with the trading screens used to monitor stockmarket movements.   Their dashboard shows latest ratings, with best and worst performers listed based on user submissions, as you can see in the screenshot, 

They aren’t generating revenue from advertising, instead the intention is to charge business for access to data.  There are of course ways in which companies (or individuals) can skew the results by posting misleading reviews, but it’s an interesting idea, and the site looks really nice.

At various stages of my career I’ve been involved in lots of different Customer Service and Customer Relationship Management applications, and it’s one area where the Web 2.0 idea of a social network being used for customers to air their frustrations or praise has really taken off.  So I wish Plebble well, I hope it succeeds.

Posted in Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Web Design | Comments Off on – Customer Service e-mocracy

SharePoint, Web 2.0 and Social Networking

Posted by workerthread on May 24, 2008 has an interesting article titled Understanding Microsoft SharePoint in a Web 2.0 World.  It discusses the Web 2.0 “Social Networking” capabilities of SharePoint, which can provide a “Facebook for Business” when the My Sites capability is put to good use.  When I demonstrate SharePoint, the My Sites capability is something lots of people get excited about (although not everyone – some people still find the thought of introducing it very scary).

I think if implemented properly, this type of Social Networking capability can add real value for organisations where knowledge management and discovery are important.   The article also mentioned NewsGator Social Sites for SharePoint, new to me, but definitely worth a look.  I’ve only ever thought of NewsGator as a company involved in RSS feed readers, but I can see that Social Sites could prove very useful.

You can get more information on Social Sites by registering here, and there is a short video demo available as well.

Posted in Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Microsoft SharePoint | Comments Off on SharePoint, Web 2.0 and Social Networking

SharePoint and Office Integration

Posted by workerthread on May 23, 2008

One of my clients asked for my opinion of Office 2007 recently, and in particular why they should bother to upgrade when Office 2003 seemed to cover everything they wanted.  For me, I think the most compelling upgrade area is the much much tighter integration with Office SharePoint Server 2007, and certainly, if you are using, or planning to use SharePoint, you should take a close look at the Office 2007 integration features.

To get you started, I would recommend a look at the white paper Microsoft Office Programs and SharePoint Products and Technologies Integration – Fair, Good, Better, Best.  This will give you a very good comparison of the way in which Office versions 2003 and 2007 work with SharePoint.

And my own favourite integration features:

Integration of SharePoint workflows, particularly with Word 2007, so that a workflow can be started from inside Word, or an approver or reviewer can update the workflow once a document is open.

SharePoint 2007 slide libraries and their integration with PowerPoint 2007.

SharePoint Excel Services and Web Access and the whole area of publishing workbooks and parts of workbooks online.

All of the BI improvements in Excel 2007, which make it an excellent client for SQL Server Analysis Services.

Blogging directly from Word or OneNote 2007.

Smart Client Authoring with Word 2007 and the Web Content Management features of SharePoint 2007.

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Posted in Collaboration, Microsoft SharePoint, Office | Comments Off on SharePoint and Office Integration