May 13, 2010, 8:27 PM — At its launch event in New York City yesterday, Microsoft blared the trumpets for Office and SharePoint 2010, emphasizing that the new updates are designed to give users a choice of on-premise or cloud environments, calling the new releases an intersection of the PC, phone and browser.
During the keynote, Microsoft business division heads Stephen Elop and Chris Caposella highlighted Office Web Apps, new features in Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook and the integration of Office documents with SharePoint 2010. Elop also led a rapid fire Q&A with IT execs from large companies including GE and Del Monte.
One company already seeing the benefits of the Office and SharePoint 2010 medley is Global Crossing, a telecommunications firm that provides networking services such as VPN, video conferencing and VoIP in 70 countries to Fortune 500 companies as well as to carriers and Internet service providers.
Global Crossing was an early adopter for Office 2010 (read review here) and SharePoint 2010, taking part in the rapid deployment programs starting over six months ago. The company's IT managers say that the new and improved e-mail and social networking features are enhancing communication among the company's 5,000 worldwide employees.
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Steven Schafer, Director of Network Services at Global Crossing and Robert Wicklund, Senior Systems Engineer, sat down with CIO.com's Shane O'Neill at the launch event to discuss the features within Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 that are reducing headaches and improving Global Crossing's bottom line.
Conversation View in Outlook
Global Crossing is moving to increase the size of user's mailboxes, and by doing so the IT department wants to give employees the ability to manage their own inbox.
Schafer says users will benefit from a feature in Outlook 2010 called Conversation View, which although is not a new technology (it has been in Gmail for years) it is being fully utilized as an enterprise feature in Outlook 2010.
Conversation View takes e-mail threads and groups them into conversations based on the subject. This feature can greatly reduce the number of items in an inbox by grouping and hiding redundant e-mails that were part of the conversation. A thread of 30 e-mails can be reduced to one e-mail that includes the entire set of messages.