BELLEVUE, Wash. — May 15, 2006 — Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates kicked off the first global Microsoft® SharePoint® Conference to a sold-out audience of 1,300 customers and industry partners today, spotlighting Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 as an important part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system and the company’s vision for information management. In his keynote address, Gates discussed how SharePoint technologies play a critical role in enabling “People-Ready” businesses, as well as how the company is investing heavily in Office SharePoint Server 2007 as a unified, integrated platform for collaboration, business intelligence, portals, business processes, enterprise content management (ECM) and search, benefiting both customers and partners.
“Office SharePoint Server 2007 connects people, processes and information, enabling organizations to streamline common business activities and simplify the way they manage Web content and business documents,” Gates said. “We’re delivering on the promise of a future where all your information assets are combined in a more secure, scalable solution that works where you work and helps make the people in your organization more productive and connected.”
With more than 75 million Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 licenses sold to date, Gates also outlined the top areas of Office SharePoint Server 2007 that are resonating well with the SharePoint community. Of particular note in Gates’ keynote address was the new Business Data Catalog, which enables organizations to search for and surface data from line-of-business systems. Systems architects and IT professionals who attended the conference also heard firsthand about Office SharePoint Server 2007 and its new search capabilities, enriched Outlook® software integration, offline document library support, new business intelligence dashboards and new server-based Excel® services. While these capabilities were showcased earlier in the Office System Developers Conference in March, innovations that Gates touched on in his keynote included these:
The robustness of SharePoint Server as a platform for composite applications. Unlike traditional information systems, which Gates likened to a maze, he touted SharePoint Server 2007 for its ability to bring together information and applications into a single view.
The flexibility of SharePoint Server in information management. Featuring rich workflow and search capabilities as well as new wiki and blog functionality, SharePoint Server 2007 allows IT professionals to manage both top-down business processes and bottom-up information sharing within the organization.
In a second keynote address following Gates’ presentation, Kurt DelBene, vice president of the Office Server Group of Microsoft Office System, discussed the groundswell of support Microsoft is experiencing for SharePoint Server 2007 from industry partners. More than 180 partners are already planning to build solutions based on SharePoint Server 2007 as part of the Office Technology Adoption Program. Of those, more than 25 partners stood up at the SharePoint Conference to share details about their forthcoming solutions. (Details on partner solutions can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/sharepointconference/default.mspx.)
A key attraction for partners is the new server’s unified infrastructure for intranets, extranets and Internet-based business applications. SharePoint Server 2007 erases the boundaries between intranets and extranets by providing Web content management tools formerly delivered by Microsoft’s Content Management Server product together with the robust intranet management capabilities of SharePoint. As a result, IT administrators can build rich intranet and extranet sites, as well as manage all their Web- and document-based content through a single platform.
Beyond the Web management tools, partners are also building SharePoint-based solutions that enable organizations to do the following:
Manage enterprise content. With the new forms, records management, policy and workflow capabilities delivered in SharePoint Server 2007, and the platform’s ability to connect and search different back-end systems, IT professionals have the means to comprehensively manage and control Web-based and electronic documents across the enterprise.
Drive business insight. Through new server-side Excel analysis capabilities, native support for score-carding tools and a new centralized repository for reports, SharePoint Server 2007 enables organizations to monitor their business and take action on key business data.
Collaborate across teams. SharePoint Server 2007 helps workers find information and connect with subject-matter experts, regardless of their location. Employees can share knowledge and simplify working with others through wikis, blogs, RSS and document workspaces within and across organizational boundaries.
SharePoint Server 2007 is currently in limited beta testing with customers. A broader public beta is expected later this spring. Customers interested in learning more should visit the 2007 Microsoft Office system preview site at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/sharepointconference/default.mspx.
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