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NewsGator Unveils Social Sites 2.7 With New Features For Enterprise Social Computing


New ‘Social Sites Ideas’ functionality embeds innovation management into social computing workflow

DENVER - Innovation drives recoveries of companies and entire economies, yet far too many good ideas die on the vine. That’s why NewsGator today released Social Sites 2.7 with groundbreaking new functionality for social computing: innovation management.

Called Social Sites Ideas, the new solution captures, vets and advances fresh, new employee suggestions for improving business results. It is ideal for product development, cost reduction programs, business process improvements, customer service enhancements, going green and more. NewsGator Social Sites 2.7 is the latest version of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007-based enterprise social computing product that connects people with colleagues and content in topic-based communities.

Social Sites Ideas makes it easy for employees to offer new ideas for consideration throughout the entire organization. Colleagues can “vote up” an idea they like, invoking the wisdom of the crowd and add detailed comments. Employees are notified of relevant new ideas, votes and comments. The best ideas are promoted to management for final review and implementation. Social Sites Ideas is the only innovation management solution fully integrated into an enterprise social computing environment. Thus, innovation is an organic part of the social computing workflow, not a siloed application, with noteworthy actions reported in activity streams.

“All companies have great ideas, but only the organizations that have an easy, established process for identifying, evaluating and advancing them can truly benefit from those ideas,” said NewsGator Vice President of Products, Brian Kellner. “That’s innovation. Since all computing is becoming social, enterprise social computing and Social Sites in particular are natural platforms for innovation management. Social Sites Ideas adds the necessary structure to drive the innovation process without adding a costly new enterprise application.”

Why innovation management matters
It’s not enough to throw money at innovation. R&D investment and innovation success don’t always correlate, say researchers: “[M]ore spending doesn’t necessarily lead to smarter spending or better results,” Kevin Dehoff, Booz Allen Vice President, declared in 2007 with respect to the company’s Global 1000 Innovation study. “With increased competition leading to thousands of new products being released every year, companies must improve their innovation processes to succeed.” Disciplined processes around ideation, project selection, product development and commercialization are indicators of success, the report found.

Using Social Sites Ideas, employees can view or search proposed innovations within individual communities or across them all, and can filter by an idea’s popularity or status. Managers can blog about the progression of ideas through the discussion and implementation phases, and user profiles include a history of ideas that the user has proposed. Organizations can create private communities, or “campaigns,” for confidential idea cultivation in closed groups. Any community can further collaborate on new ideas in dedicated wikis.

Smart companies encourage innovative thinking and don’t let great ideas dissolve into the ether. Yet for many companies, installing an entirely new enterprise innovation management application is overkill, especially in this economy. With Social Sites Ideas, NewsGator has met a need for structured innovation processes in the context of the way people are already working, or soon will be: enterprise social computing.

A Fortune 15 financial services giant used a pre-release version of the Social Sites Ideas platform to name an important new corporate portal. The task took a week and a half instead of the usual three months. It involved a wide swath of stakeholders (employees) instead of an outside marketing agency, and the company saved $100,000 to $500,000 in agency fees. Employees gained a sense of ownership and immediately began proposing other valuable ideas for the company.

As a complement to Office SharePoint Server 2007, NewsGator Social Sites leverages Enterprise 2.0’s most popular computing foundation. “Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides a robust application platform for social computing that enables partners like NewsGator to extend Office SharePoint Server 2007 with advanced social computing features,” said Owen Allen, Microsoft Sr. Product Manager for SharePoint ISV partners. “Social Sites Ideas is a good example of the type of social business application that can be built on top of Office SharePoint Server 2007 to help an enterprise enhance their competitive position.”

More about Social Sites 2.7
Other new features in Social Sites 2.7 include:

* Activity Stream Email Digest: Users can now stay connected to enterprise social networks via enterprise or mobile email through an email digest that reports colleague and community activities every 24 hours.
* New Web Parts: display a social network graph of a user’s implicit professional relationships; a list of the colleagues following a particular user; and, for administrators, user activity over the past 30 days.
* New community features: Community creators can add blog, wiki and announcement modules to communities, and site administrators can add or limit these additions.
* A simple yet powerful RSS reader: Users can easily read, mark, tag, clip, rate and initiate discussions around stories in their own feeds or in those that are centrally managed by the NewsGator Enterprise Server.

For more information about Social Sites Ideas and Social Sites 2.7, visit

About NewsGator Technologies, Inc.
NewsGator Technologies helps enterprises and media companies leverage social computing solutions to deliver real business value. The company’s enterprise social networking and widget services are in use by hundreds of the world’s most recognized brands, including Biogen Idec, CBS, CNN, Discovery, National Geographic, Procter & Gamble and USA Today. NewsGator Social Sites and Enterprise Server give enterprises better ways to collaborate, share content, expand employee knowledge and improve productivity. NewsGator’s Widget Services and iPhone applications enable media and brand companies to better engage their audiences and extend the value of their brands through viral syndication of content. NewsGator also offers free, award-winning RSS aggregators for the Web, desktop, mobile devices and e-mail clients. For more information, visit


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