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Microsoft Updates Collaboration Solution

Microsoft Corp. unveiled a minor upgrade this week to its Microsoft Solution for Intranets (MSI) package that offers consulting on setting up enterprise intranets based on Microsoft technologies.

The new 1.5 version of MSI also integrates an upcoming technology offering from Groove Networks that provides users with a way to work on MSI-based collaboration projects while offline or outside the firewall.

MSI is a set of consulting services and documentation introduced a year ago to help customers implement intranets using SharePoint Portal Server, SharePoint Team Services, Office XP, SQL Server, Windows 2000 and Windows Media technologies. Microsoft Consulting Services offers MSI in four basic pacakges. Avanade, Hewlett-Packard and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young also offer MSI-based consulting.

Improvements to MSI in the 1.5 version include the addition of Microsoft Producer, for creating media-rich presentations for on-demand viewing; better integration between MSI and Microsoft Content Management Server; and the installation of the Microsoft .NET Framework on all servers in the solution.

Groove committed to delivering its piece, called Groove Workspace for MSI 1.5, in 30 days. It is client software that runs on Windows and integrates with SharePoint Team Services. It allows users to go offline and continue to work with SharePoint Team Services Web sites, update documents, add calendar items or contribute to discussions. All the chages are synchronized when the user reconnects. The software is also supposed to allow information workers to collaborate across corporate firewalls without IT administrative intervention.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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