GCN LAB REVIEWS
An info and expertise concierge for the office
- By Greg Crowe
- Feb 06, 2012
As organizations have gotten larger, the logistical difficulties in providing collaborative environments have only gotten tougher. Getting relevant information to the correct people is crucial to prevent reinventing the wheel, but most platforms are not very helpful in getting users access to the people and information most pertinent to what they are doing right at the moment.
This can be mitigated somewhat through user registration — a user can enter current title, job description and roles in current projects. However, we all know how high a success rate we can expect in trying to get our users to fill out forms — in other words, not a very good one. And even if they are completely compliant, that information might be out of date in a matter of weeks, or even days.
That's why the GCN Lab picked DiscoverPoint, which prevents agencies from constantly reinventing the wheel and instead helps users move forward with new tasks and projects, as its Technology of the Month for February.
Digital oil: What is it?
DiscoverPoint from Discover Technologies is designed to point users in the direction of the most relevant information and subject-matter experts within the shared platform environment. As your job focus changes, so do the searches that DiscoverPoint makes.
Every time you log into the shared platform, DiscoverPoint will show you your "Discovered Information" page. This contains lists of potential colleagues, suggested documents and suggested sites, each sorted by relevance to what you are currently involved in. It will even show you the relevance percentage score it gave each item.
But the really cool things start happening after you've been using the system for a while. As more personnel and documents relevant to what you are doing become available on the system, they will show up on your discovery page.
Secondly, as you perform more Web searches and read more documents, DiscoverPoint will change the items it pulls up for you. So, if after months of working on a project for one office, you get assigned to do research for another office entirely, your launch page will start to show you documents and experts associated with your new task.
There is a search function that will pull up resources like the "Discovered Information" launch page does. You can access this search by typing into the search form as always. But you can also activate it by selecting a phrase of text of a document you are reading. Just opening and reading a document will show a list of relevant resources to the document in a column on the left. DiscoverPoint takes every opportunity to provide you with experts and links you might need.
DiscoverPoint is designed to work out of the box with Microsoft's SharePoint. Discover's Advanced Connector Engine provides support for PKI authentication for SharePoint without any modifications being necessary. For the rest of you, Discover Technologies' software experts can help you integrate with practically any content management/collaboration platform that you might be using. It can be installed either on the server running the content management system or on a separate server.
From what we saw, DiscoverPoint could save your staff dozens of hours that would have to be spent either digging for data that might be out there or creating new information from scratch. Enterprise-level collaboration is no easy task to be sure, but DiscoverPoint makes it not only possible but pretty simple as well.
Discover Technologies, www.discovertechnologies.com
Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.