Social Networking With MySites
Though Sony was using SharePoint 2007 for document management, it was hardly using My Sites -- personal websites for users that provide a set of social networking features.
With the recent popularity of social media sites and with hiring more younger workers, Sony wanted to use My Sites to bring the company into a more progressive workstyle.
"All our worldwide users are dealing with the conflict of distance," says Whitmoyer. "But SharePoint 2010 provides better social connections and richer profiles through My Sites. So if someone is searching for a subject they can get help from colleagues quickly."
SharePoint 2010 represents an opportunity to remake the Sony landscape, says Whitmoyer, where employees will chat and post on discussion boards instead of e-mailing, and use wikis instead of tracking revisions made to various Microsoft Word docs sent as e-mail attachments.
"In my group we are all posting reports to our wiki instead e-mailing Word docs around," he says. "I have alerts when people who work for me add new pages to the wiki and my boss has alerts when I add new pages."
The merging of SharePoint with OCS (Office Communications Server) has also been a boon for Sony as a way to communicate easier and curb the reliance on e-mail.
"If I see someone in SharePoint, with OCS and Presence, I can just do a quick IM chat instead of sending three or four e-mails back and forth," says Whitmoyer.
To appease Sony's legal department, employees have to sign a user agreement before creating a My Site page that basically states they agree to act professionally and not post inappropriate content.
Document Sharing Inside and Outside Firewall
Sony is also using SharePoint 2010's document management features to resolve the dreaded circle of confusion that comes with e-mailing documents.
"We've been preaching about sending links to each other instead of documents," says Whitmoyer.
One issue Sony is still has not worked out is how to accommodate mobile users who can't access SharePoint because it is only on Sony's intranet.