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Partnership Adds Social Networking Capabilities to SharePoint

Earlier this week, I wrote about how Ingram Micro was going "all Facebook" with a set of social networking sites where solution providers could connect with each other to partner on business opportunities or on mergers and acquisitions.

Well, that's the opportunity for partners to do some online networking with each other. Now Microsoft is moving to make social networking itself a business opportunity for its partners.

Microsoft announced a partnership with wiki provider Atlassian Software Systems and RSS specialist NewsGator on Wednesday at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. The basic idea is for the two firms to put together packages that make it easy for companies to "expand social computing opportunities in the workplace."

The packages will work with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft's runaway hit server product that did $800 million in business in fiscal 2007. SharePoint is well on its way to joining Microsoft's club of billion-dollar-a-year products (Windows clients, Office, Windows Server, Exchange Server and SQL Server).

NewsGator went GA on Wednesday with NewsGator Social Sites, a collection of site templates, profiles, Web parts and middleware for SharePoint Server and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

Atlassian is making immediately available plug-ins for exchanging information between SharePoint and its Confluence wiki product for the enterprise.

Derek Burney, general manager of SharePoint at Microsoft, said in a statement, "Microsoft's relationships with Atlassian and NewsGator represent dynamic new opportunities for integrating social computing technology into a company's business productivity infrastructure."

Do you see business value for your clients in social networking? Could you make money from it? I'd like to hear your thoughts at sbekker@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 18, 2007 at 11:57 AM