Community collaboration software maker launches ‘open’ SharePoint version

This week, the makers of community collaboration software, Tomoye, launched a new initiative that will allow its proprietary software to be integrated with Microsoft’s SharePoint. Although Tomoye is not the first company to attach its solution to Microsoft, it is one of the first companies to launch the solution as an open social platform for SharePoint. And by making the product available for both Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS), it opens the door to large enterprise audiences and complex government organizations.

In an interview with CivSource, Tomoye Co-Founder and CEO Eric Sauve said the partnership with Microsoft had been evolving for nearly the past two years and that SharePoint was clearly the go-to technology for Tomoye.

“SharePoint is the emerging de facto standard for collaboration across the enterprise,” Sauve said. “And with organizations looking for ways to deploy new collaborative technologies alongside their existing IT assets and data, Microsoft was the partner of choice.”

Tomoye has a history in the public sector, having worked for the US military and the United Nations on enterprise-level collaboration solutions. But with the ever-evolving environment of Web 2.0, Tomoye was looking to branch out to a wider audience.

“We’ve worked in the areas of communities and social networking for several years now – brining consumer style technologies to government and business. With Microsoft, we can work with their account teams at all levels of government,” Mr. Sauve said.

Tomoye Ecco Theme 1Tomoye’s Community and Social Platform for SharePoint includes many of the same features found in Tomoye’s previous offerings. But with the power of SharePoint Tomoye can leverage their technology and bring it bare on hugely wide platform, Sauve said. The “Social View of the Enterprise” and “Open Source Licensing” functions of Tomoye’s new offering will also help bring Tomoye technology to a much bigger audience.

Some of the other new products highlights include more robust security with integrate search; crowdsourced content management; Tomoye’s real-time expertise roster, which racks and reveals experts by their online activities and by the votes of others in real-time; and Tomoye’s Web-based solution is available, starting at $35 per user with discounts available for volumes and externally facing deployments, the company said.

“This is a real value add for both customers and partners as they can leverage enterprise 2.0 immediately and maximize their existing SharePoint investments,” Mr. Sauve said.

Tomoye is based in Ottawa, Canada and Washington, D.C.