Chris McGrath • ThoughtFarmer - InformationWeek
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6/18/2009
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Chris McGrath • ThoughtFarmer

Thoughtfarmer are the creators of social intranet software which adds a social layer to the basic address book and read only web pages of 1.0 style intranets.All users can now add and edit content so long as they have security restrictions permission. As well as updating their personal contact details and profile, Thoughtfarmer gives access to blogs, feeds, work stream views and Twitter style social connections.Customers essentially come from two different places: people who've never had an intranet and are starting from the round up and those upgrading from an older intranet to Facebook and Wikipedia style functionality.ThoughtFarmer runs on a fully Microsoft environment of Windows Server, SQL Server, Active Directory & Exchange and is often used as a replacement for SharePoint.Chris says Sharepoint often winds up as a glorified shared drive and to make it good you have to embark on a full development project which can can take 18 months. while ThoughtFarmer is often integrated with SharePoint the fact that it can be installed and up and running within a very short period often leads to it becoming the de facto collaboration solution.Sharepoint are strong in parallel for compliance, document discovery and other structured, tracked data.While 80% of customers are using the product globally across their entire organization it is often used as a departmental solution at companies such as Electronic Arts.As a Canadian company ThoughtFarmer are very familiar with the need for multilingual capabilities and have customers all over the world, multiple language packs and support the Google Translate API.Chris says that launching from top down takes a big marketing effort and sites a core value of enterprise 2.0 as the difference between working above the flow and working in the flow - providing a better way to work makes a huge difference.Chris cites great usage of customers such as resort developer WATG, and design company IDEO as groups of people who don't allow software to get in the way of innovation and in person collaboration.

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