WASHINGTON, March 19, 2002 — In conjunction with the opening of the Federal Office Systems Expo (FOSE) 2002 in Washington, D.C., Microsoft Corp. is highlighting two versatile technologies for fostering communication and collaboration among knowledge workers in government agencies.
Faced with an ever-present pressure for belt-tightening and a growing need to be more responsive and agile, government agencies are looking to Microsoft® SharePoint™ technologies as an answer. SharePoint Team Services (an ad hoc team Web site solution) and SharePoint Portal Server (an enterprise portal solution) are designed to give individual users or entire organizations the ability to organize information, readily access that information, manage documents and enable efficient collaboration, all in a familiar, browser-based solution that integrates with Microsoft Office and the Windows® operating system.
Several government agencies have adopted these technologies and report benefits such as increased productivity and efficiency, more frequent and speedier communication, and decreased costs associated with long-distance telephone calls and meeting travel. On the federal level, the U.S. Joint Forces Command has selected SharePoint Portal Server as the cornerstone for knowledge management for the Millennium Challenge. The challenge, conducted every two years, allows the military to test all its systems and resources, including hardware, software and personnel. SharePoint is the portal for the entire command and control layout, and is used to keep track of commanders’ actions, such as special instructions for the day or orders for military aircraft. All military personnel connected to the command and control center have a SharePoint Portal user interface.
“SharePoint Portal is being used by the military for collaboration, allowing people to access and share documents at any time, from anywhere, rather than needing to assemble for specific meetings,”
said Randy Schmidt, the account executive at Microsoft who designed the solution for the Millennium Challenge.
“It is the glue that gets personnel together.”
According to the Department of Defense, because the system is so simple and standardized, the portal has required less manpower to staff than expected.
At the state level, the city of Fayetteville, N.C., is using a SharePoint Team Services Web site as a central clearinghouse where employees can post announcements, coordinate calendars, share documents and assign tasks.
“There’s so much happening now, and we’re expected to do much more with fewer people,”
said Jason Brady, public information officer for Fayetteville.
“For example, citizens now can — and want to — access government information at the drop of a hat. When citizens have those expectations, local governments must respond. We’re working to increase our efficiency, because we understand that people require that of us.”
Fayetteville’s project manager uses the SharePoint Team site to post projects and assign tasks to various employees. And Brady uses the site to track state and national legislation and post summaries of laws that potentially could affect the city.
“The city’s SharePoint Team Services Web site is one of several things that helps us do our jobs a whole lot better and a whole lot more efficiently,”
According to Trina Seinfeld, product manager for SharePoint at Microsoft, SharePoint Team Services can be particularly beneficial to government groups because of the cost and productivity savings associated with its use.
“There’s no denying that people demand more of government these days,”
“SharePoint technologies can help governments meet these demands by fostering better and speedier communications inside and outside organizations, allowing employees to focus on the important tasks at hand.”
About SharePoint Team Services
SharePoint Team Services from Microsoft enables businesses to create a secure and private work space on the Internet, where team members can get the information they need to make better decisions. Team members can share documents, create a group calendar, set up a contacts directory and conduct an online discussion — whatever an organization needs to get the job done. SharePoint Team Services enables organizations to easily manage group activities, get members of their teams working together more effectively, and find a better, more efficient way to share information and complete projects.
About SharePoint Portal Server
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2001 extends the capabilities of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office by offering knowledge workers a powerful new way to easily organize, find and share information. SharePoint Portal Server delivers dramatic new value as a single solution that combines the ability to easily create corporate Web portals with information aggregation, content searching and document collaboration features.
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