We have been receiving a growing number of inquiries from customers asking about the business value as well as Microsoft's vision of "Social Networking" and "Enterprise 2.0" and "Social Media" and other buzzwords related to Social Computing in the business environment. While we do have a number of information resources and related news articles on our product information website that describe how the social computing capabilities of SharePoint and Office products provide business value, the holistic vision for how the overall Microsoft Office system can enable an organization to harness the knowledge and talent of its people to achieve business objectives was succinctly described in a white paper authored by Dan Rasmus, Director of Microsoft's Center for Information Work, and published more than 9 months ago.
In the white paper, Dan describes the critical need for businesses to strive towards a Dynamic Knowledge Environment (DKE), which has the right mix of technology and several classic knowledge management principles. The ideal DKE would include:
Organizations can implement many of the capabilities of the DKE using products currently in the market, n conjunction with internal practices that foster knowledge development and knowledge sharing. Looking ahead, several technologies under development may expand the boundaries of knowledge management even further and integrate even more deeply into the way we work.
Microsoft has been creating the building blocks for a people‐centered dynamic knowledge environment for over 30 years. The latest versions of Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Windows, and Microsoft server technologies offer the richest tools for knowledge creation, collaboration, content management, enterprise search, and unified communications, within the familiar Office interface that people already know and use.
However, technology is not the only necessary component for a Dynamic Knowledge Environment. Success depends on a total organizational commitment to a culture of learning. Knowledge contributors should be recognized and rewarded. Incentive structures should be examined and modified to encourage people to develop their own skills and the skills of their colleagues through collaboration, discussion, mentoring, and communities of practice. As workforce transition accelerates because of trends in demographics, globalization and technology, organizations must act quickly to preserve their knowledge assets. A Dynamic Knowledge Environment offers comprehensive capabilities to create, transfer, and retain knowledge, based on a rational and cost effective IT infrastructure.
For more information about Microsoft's Vision for Information Work and Dan's white paper, go to http://www.microsoft.com/business/peopleready/business/relationships/insight/talent.mspx.
And for a recent video interview (~17 minutes) of Dan being asked about the challenges and opportunities (for Microsoft and our partners) in the New World of Work, go to http://blogs.msdn.com/ptstv/archive/2008/04/30/partner-tv-the-new-world-of-work.aspx.