November 26, 2012
Microsoft SkyDrive Vs. Dropbox, Google: Hands-On
Microsoft SkyDrive Vs. Dropbox, Google: Hands-On (click image for larger view and for slideshow)
If the number of companies proffering document collaboration products is any indication, the getting, sending, sharing and securing of documents is a key business concern. The latest company to join the fray is Blue Rooster, which recently announced the availability of Madison, a document-sharing and collaboration tool based on Microsoft SharePoint. Blue Rooster also announced that Fujitsu Computer Products of America is Madison's first enterprise customer.
Madison, which taps into IT applications already in place at many organizations -- Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Azure -- is designed to make it easier for users to collaborate on documents and manage project folders inside and outside their respective firewalls. Blue Rooster founder and president Kevin Conroy said Madison was especially intended to accommodate and share files that are too big to email or that require the extra levels of security that Microsoft SharePoint and Azure can provide. Madison is one of several business-focused document-sharing solutions that have come to market recently, including FileLocker, Accellion, Microsoft's own SkyDrive and Google Drive. Marni Carmichael, Fujitsu Computer Products of North America's director of business development, told The BrainYard that Fujitsu's users collaborate on documents including business plans, presentations, market research, budget tracking and department planning documents. Carmichael said the documents can be as large as 30 MB. [ Today's technologies don't live up to social's promise. Learn about Wells Fargo's Frustrating Taste Of Enterprise Social Success. ] Fujitsu Corporate Products of North America sought out a new document sharing/collaboration solution because users needed to be able to easily, reliably and quickly access information across multiple organizations and via multiple device types, and email just wasn't cutting it. "It can be frustrating for teams to sit in the same room together waiting 5 to 10 minutes to receive an email from someone in the room so we could collaborate on a document," said Carmichael. "Most email filters are not very intuitive. ... This wastes time, and more importantly undermines the momentum of sharing information and learning from each other as you try to meet your business objectives. Real-time access to information is key." Solutions such as Dropbox and Box enable users to share large documents in the cloud, but for many companies the services do not provide adequate levels of security or accountability. "Clearly, consumer solutions have increased our expectations of technology that is available, but we need security and tracking when exchanging information -- especially externally," said Carmichael. Carmichael added that Fujitsu has seen increased productivity in the short time it has been using Madison: "Madison has already increased our velocity in collaborative projects. We can share documents quickly, access them from the device of the user's choice and truly enable real-time learning and collaboration. I have noticed more teams working more closely together, breaking down some of the barriers that lack of access to information can create." Blue Rooster notes Madison's ease of use: From a SharePoint document library, users can right-click on a document or folder and select Share with Madison from the context menu. They can then enter the recipient or recipients, compose a short message, adjust security settings and send it along. From that point, the recipient receives an email with a link. The recipient clicks to login or create an account and gain access to the document or folder. Madison also provides activity feeds (which can be tied to SharePoint's social feeds), Gallery and Preview capabilities that enable users to quickly easily sort through documents, and password-protection and document commenting capabilities. New users can sign up for a free 5-GB Madison account and start collaborating immediately. Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston. Attend Online Marketing Summit San Diego, Feb. 11-13, and gather the insights and strategies you need to make the right online marketing choices to deliver the most value for your business. OMS San Diego offers three days of inspiration, connections, and practical learning. Register using code WETW01 and to secure the early bird rate on Conference Passes or a free Expo Pass.
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