Mainsoft® Corporation today released a cross-platform suite of enterprise collaboration products designed to boost user adoption of Microsoft® SharePoint® and Google Docs™. Based on the premise that business users tend to ignore IT tools that require them to switch contexts, juggle multiple browser windows, and learn new collaboration habits, the new harmon.ie product suite brings some of the best document-sharing, collaboration, and social networking tools into email, where users spend hours every workday. Customers such as Amway, Ace Parking Management, American Nuclear Insurance, Frank Rimerman + Co. LLC, and Yael Software report a significant increase in user adoption of SharePoint or Google Docs once they’re integrated in email.
Forrester Research reports that of the five or more collaboration and social tools in which most businesses have invested, only email and calendaring have been widely adopted by users.1 Eighty-three percent of business users continue to abuse email, ping-ponging document attachments back and forth, thus creating document chaos instead of using SharePoint, Google Docs or the like, according to a recent uSamp survey. 2 SharePoint adoption in particular, has been discouraging. Despite the enthusiastic adoption of SharePoint among enterprise IT and savvy IT users, the study found that one third of survey respondents with access to SharePoint refuse to use it, or use it about once a month.
“We’ve seen customers’ collaboration and social projects die on the vine,” explained Yaacov Cohen, founder and CEO of Mainsoft. “This is because IT tools come from multiple vendors, live in separate contexts, and are new to most business users. The key to driving user adoption is bringing these tools into people’s day-to-day workplace, which is email. harmon.ie transforms Microsoft Outlook® and Lotus Notes® into a rich collaboration and social workspace, called ‘social email.’”
The new harmon.ie enterprise suite includes:
- harmon.ie for SharePoint Enterprise, which transforms Microsoft Outlook into a collaboration console, with advanced access to SharePoint document collaboration, email management, and social features within the Outlook and Office Communications Server interfaces.
- harmon.ie for SharePoint, Notes Edition. Previously branded Mainsoft SharePoint Integrator for Lotus Notes, this email sidebar transforms Lotus Notes into a collaborative workspace, with advanced access to SharePoint documents, email management, calendars, and enterprise social networks within the Lotus Notes® and Lotus Sametime® interfaces.
- harmon.ie for Google Docs Enterprise, which enables people to collaborate on documents over the cloud, in their native file formats, using Google Docs and the Microsoft Exchange® email infrastructure.
harmon.ie products support departmental and organization-wide installments with centralized deployments, provisioning, and management. Personal editions of harmon.ie remain free for individual users. More than 200,000 people have downloaded the personal edition since it was launched earlier this year.
In a recent hands-on study, more than one hundred IT professionals and business users demonstrated that harmon.ie’s drag-and-drop access to shared documents is six times faster than the native SharePoint interface, which entails switching contexts and juggling several browser windows. People averaged 61 seconds to publish an email message on SharePoint via the SharePoint interface; they completed the same task in just 11 seconds using harmon.ie.3
Customers embrace ‘social email’
harmon.ie customers report significant productivity gains and an increased ability to focus on the task at hand as people incorporate ‘social email’ into their enterprise collaboration strategy:
- Amway, a multilevel marketing and consumer products company, reports 6,000 email users working in headquarters used to send 73,000 email attachments a day, on average. Since deploying harmon.ie for SharePoint, the company reports a 42 percent decrease in the average daily volume of email attachments. According to Sandy Harvey, senior analyst for messaging and collaboration, “Our business users love having SharePoint access within email. The amount of time people save using a single, easy-to-use messaging and collaboration interface has been a huge advantage.” Harvey estimates the investment in Mainsoft software will pay for itself within six months, based on the substantial time savings realized using harmon.ie to access SharePoint versus having to switch contexts and open a browser, as well as savings in email storage costs.
- To streamline its 2011 budget cycle, and overcome employees’ lukewarm response to SharePoint, Ace Parking Management, Inc. plans to deploy harmon.ie for SharePoint, Notes Edition, to hundreds of managers tasked with preparing Excel-based budgets. According to Jon Gjerset, CIO of the company, “Mainsoft hit a homerun with harmon.ie. Hooking SharePoint onto the backend, and making it palatable by integrating it into people’s familiar email environment, gives people the opportunity to realize the value of SharePoint for document collaboration and version control, without shocking them with a major new IT implementation.”
- American Nuclear Insurers (ANI), a joint underwriting association for insuring nuclear power plants and related facilities worldwide, uses SharePoint as its Enterprise Content Management platform and for managing projects and developing documents, both internally and with business partners. According to Dan Antion, vice president of Information Services, “harmon.ie for SharePoint Enterprise provides a robust link between Microsoft SharePoint, Outlook, and Exchange, making it easy for people to participate in the content management process and making collaborative content development easier."
- Certified public accountancy Frank, Rimerman + Co., LLP is using harmon.ie to promote SharePoint-based document collaboration and store client correspondence alongside the documents they relate to. According to Michael Takita, director of IT for the company, “Best practices for document collaboration are in place, but SharePoint and our content management system were used inconsistently because SharePoint is inconvenient to access using a browser. People love harmon.ie, and they’re using SharePoint regularly now that it’s so convenient to use from Microsoft Outlook.”
- Yael Software and Systems, a leading Israeli systems integrator and Google Partner, is using Google applications to communicate with its Google sales and reseller channel. According to Amit Dover, vice president of software solutions for the company. “In sales situations, it’s especially important for us to stay close to our sales and reseller channel by providing immediate access to the latest copy of documents. To meet this business requirement, we’re using harmon.ie for Google Docs to quickly bring everyone on board.” Internally, the company is deploying harmon.ie for SharePoint Enterprise to promote widespread user adoption and realize the full business benefits afforded by SharePoint-based document collaboration and workflows.
Enterprise and personal editions are now available at: www.harmon.ie.
harmon.ie (pronounced ‘harmony’) brings document collaboration to every business user by transforming the email client into a collaboration and social workspace, called ‘social email.’ Thousands of businesses already use harmon.ie to vastly increase user adoption of Microsoft SharePoint or Google Docs for document sharing, collaboration, and social networking. harmon.ie is the newest product line from Mainsoft, which has been building cross-platform enterprise software since 1993.
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- Forrester Research, Enterprise And SMB Software Survey, North America And Europe. Q4 2009.
- Results according to a September 2010 uSamp survey of 317 US business email users, conducted on behalf of Mainsoft. Respondents work in sales, marketing, human resources and legal departments of companies with 100 or more employees.
- Overview and results of The SharePoint Challenge are published at http://harmon.ie/weareallonthesamepage/challenge_results