In an interconnected, competitive global environment, organizations of all sizes and all industries face pressures to improve customer relationships, drive innovation, improve operations, and build high-value partnerships. Microsoft believes that the best way to achieve these goals is by empowering people to do more in their roles by connecting them better to the people, processes, and information they need to do their jobs.
Today, despite many organizations’ considerable investments in both information technology (IT) systems and human talent, results can still fall short of expectations. That’s because a gap exists between the types of structured, predictable processes that are supported by traditional IT solutions and the real work that people do day-to-day in terms of finding and sharing information, working together in teams, and performing routine tasks that rarely justify dedicated IT investments to automate.
These sorts of unstructured activities are not as easy to measure as transaction-based work, so it can be hard to recognize how ineffective processes in these areas can slow innovation and customer-facing processes, produce errors, inhibit teamwork and information sharing, cloud visibility, reduce morale, and generally squander the organization’s investment in both people and systems. Also, because few IT systems have focused on trying to solve these problems in a strategic way, IT decision makers have been forced to view them as discrete processes to be solved with stand-alone systems such as portal sites, search engines, business intelligence (BI) systems, and content management solutions, rather than a single problem of organizational productivity requiring a comprehensive IT investment strategy.
Solving the productivity problems inherent in complex, collaborative information work is therefore both a business priority and a strategic IT challenge. Microsoft offers a solution that meets the needs of both the business and IT with a set of integrated software products, servers, and services that comprise a business productivity infrastructure. The business productivity infrastructure streamlines the way people do business with Microsoft Office by providing capabilities to support unified communications, business intelligence, enterprise content management, and search, built on a secure, well-managed infrastructure, and offering an extensible platform for the rapid development of Office Business Application services. An optimized business productivity infrastructure also provides IT with a more flexible and easily adopted set of technologies to support the changing needs of business units and business users quickly and at lower cost, demonstrating the strategic value of IT as it relates clearly to the work people do every day.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is an integrated suite of server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight. Microsoft SharePoint Server supports all intranet, extranet, and web applications across an enterprise within one integrated platform, instead of relying on separate fragmented systems. Additionally, this collaboration and content management server provides IT professionals and developers with the platform and tools they need for server administration, application extensibility, and interoperability.
Manage content and processes
Simplify compliance efforts and keep business information more secure through a comprehensive set of tools to manage and control electronic content. Streamline the everyday business processes that are a drain on organizational productivity by using electronic forms and out-of-the-box workflow processes that users can initiate, track, and participate in through familiar Microsoft Office applications, e-mail, or Web browsers.
- Control documents through detailed, extensible policy management. Define customized document management policies to control access rights at a per-item level, specify retention period and expiration actions, and track content through document-auditing settings. Policy integration with familiar client applications makes compliance transparent and easy for employees. Integration with Information Rights Management helps ensure that proprietary and confidential information is better protected even if it is not connected to a server.
- Centrally store, manage, and access documents across the enterprise. Organizations can store and organize all business documents and content in one central location, and users have a consistent mechanism to navigate and find relevant information. Default repository settings can be modified to add workflow, define retention policies, and add new templates and content types.
- Simplify Web content management. Provide easy-to-use functionality to create, approve, and publish Web content. Master Pages and Page Layouts provide reusable templates for a consistent look and feel. New functionality enables enterprises to publish content from one area to another (for example, from a collaborative sites to a portal), or to cost-effectively manage multilingual delivery of content on multiple intranet, extranet, and Internet sites.
- Extend business processes across the organization. Forms Services are driven solutions make it possible to more securely and accurately collect information both inside and outside the organization without coding any custom applications. This information can then be integrated easily into line-of-business systems, stored in document libraries, used to start workflow processes, or submitted to Web services, thus avoiding duplicate effort and costly errors resulting from manual data entry.
- Streamline everyday business activities. Take advantage of workflows to automate and gain more visibility into common business activities such as document review and approval, issue tracking, and signature collection. Integration with familiar Microsoft Office client applications, e-mail, and web browsers simplifies the user experience. Organizations can easily modify the out-of-the-box processes or define their own processes using familiar Microsoft tools such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer or Microsoft Visual Studio development system.
Improve business insight
Effectively monitor business drivers, empower better informed decisions throughout the organization, and proactively respond to important business events.
- Present business-critical information in one central location. Create live, interactive business intelligence (BI) portals that assemble and display business information from disparate sources by using integrated BI capabilities such as dashboards, Web Parts, key performance indicators (KPIs), and business data connectivity technologies. Centralized Report Center sites give users a single place to find the latest spreadsheets, reports, or KPIs.
- Quickly connect people with information. Enterprise Search in Office SharePoint Server 2007 incorporates people and business data along with documents and Web pages to provide more comprehensive results. The Search Center provides a single integrated location for employees to find content, processes, people, and business data relevant to their specific needs. This enables people and organizations to make decisions based on the latest information and facts more quickly.
- Share business data broadly while helping to protect sensitive information. Excel Services running on Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides access to data and analytics in real time, interactive Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets from a Web browser. Use these spreadsheets to maintain and efficiently share one centralized and up-to-date version while helping to protect any sensitive or proprietary information embedded in documents (such as financial models).
- Take advantage of your unstructured business networks to drive better decisions. Employees can use new knowledge management tools to get the most from their powerful unstructured business networks, both inside and outside their organizations, thereby connecting with people more quickly and efficiently. By exploring these undocumented business relationships and finding subject-matter experts, individuals are able to make better decisions more quickly.
- Unlock business data. The Business Data Catalog enables structured data from line-of-business applications, such as SAP and Siebel systems, to be integrated into Office SharePoint Server 2007 through Web Parts, lists, people profiles, search, or programmatically. Centrally managed connections to back-end systems can be defined once and then reused by end-users to access back-end data without writing any code — easily making business data part of portal content. The Business Data Catalog also provides the ability for Enterprise Search to integrate back-end business data into the search experience, without having to write any protocol handlers, iFilters, or custom code.
Simplify internal and external collaboration
Share knowledge, find information, and collaborate more easily and more securely both within and across organizational boundaries. Leverage your partner and customer network, and use your personal networks to connect to other people effectively.
- Enhance customer and partner relationships. With smart, standards-based, electronic forms–driven solutions, you can collect business information from customers and partners through a Web browser. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration and support for other pluggable authentication providers makes it easier to work with non–Active Directory directory service sources, thereby simplifying extranet setups and facilitating tighter connectivity with customers, partners, and suppliers.
- Ubiquitous Enterprise Search. Enterprise Search in Office SharePoint Server 2007 has great relevance and incorporates enterprise content such as people and business data, along with documents and Web pages, to provide more comprehensive results. Enterprise Search is ubiquitous in Office SharePoint Server 2007, with tight integration into SharePoint sites, Web Parts, SharePoint lists, people profiles, and more. This enables people to look for the information they need wherever they navigate within the portal. Enterprise Search has the capability to search through business data, and the search results can be highly customized; for example, surfacing specific metadata elements of back-end records.
- Work when and where you want. With offline access to SharePoint lists and document libraries, via Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, you can free yourself from limitations of corporate network connectivity. Tight integration with Microsoft Office Groove Server 2007 further enhances the offline experience for users.
- Connect and share knowledge. New knowledge management tools empower employees to create and use people networks, both inside and outside their organizations, so they can connect and share knowledge more quickly and efficiently with other people.
- Personalize operations. My Sites provides a totally personalized experience for users, with a dedicated site for each user. Each site can be used to store, present, view, and manage content, information, and applications in a controlled fashion. Each site can also be used to present information about the user, such as skills and roles, colleagues and managers, groups and distribution lists the user belongs to, and documents the user is working on. And each site contains stringent privacy control and enhanced security mechanisms, so that each user can choose how much information to present, and to whom. My Sites can also be fully customized to suit individual requirements.
Empower IT to make a strategic impact
Increase responsiveness of IT to business needs and reduce the number of platforms to maintain by supporting all intranets, extranets, and Web applications across the enterprise with one integrated platform.
- Get enhanced interoperability support. Office SharePoint Server 2007 is built on a scalable architecture, with support for Web services and interoperability standards including XML and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Office SharePoint Server 2007 also has rich, open application programming interfaces (APIs) and event handlers for lists and documents. This enables integration with existing systems and provides the flexibility to incorporate new non-Microsoft IT investments. LDAP integration support for other pluggable authentication providers makes it easier to work with non–Active Directory sources. Out-of-the-box WSRP Consumer Web Part enables integration with other WSRP-compliant portal solutions.
- Enable IT to focus on more strategic tasks. Users can now create sites, initiate workflows, self-provision applications, access back-end data, define security at a per-item level, restore deleted items, and complete other tasks without involving IT. This reduced user dependence on IT improves productivity and also enables the IT department to focus on providing real value-added services to the organization. With the Business Data Catalog, you can define and deploy business application configurations to access data residing in back-end systems. This feature can be reused by business users to create personalized views of business data without having to develop any custom code.
- Simplify deployment, management, and system administration. Managing a Web server farm, deploying new pieces of content, and managing synchronization across those sites is now much simpler. Deployment can be done in “top-down” or “bottom-up” fashion. Simplify site staging through out-of-the-box Site-starter Templates for common Web sites, with Area and Page Layout templates and preconfigured navigation. And enhanced capabilities to back up and restore content helps IT professionals schedule backups, back up multisite collections, and then restore each one individually.
- Robust system monitoring, usage tracking, and monitoring tools. These tools help isolate and solve problems faster and improve the operational efficiency of the system infrastructure.
Portals and Team Sites
Microsoft SharePoint Server
Microsoft SharePoint Foundations
IBM Websphere Portal
Microsoft Exchange Server
Business Process Applications