29 Oct 2011 | KMWorld - Rich options expand the collaborative horizon

Writing in KMWorld Magazine Judith Lamont quotes Forrester Analyst Rob Koplowitz: "Many companies are placing a big bet on collaboration to support their business activities.​ In particular, the workplace is moving toward one in which many business applications are integrated through collaboration and exposed through the social layer.​" Lamont chooses Teampage customer the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) as her first example.​ BGRI is an international research project funded by the Gates Foundation and others to organize and conduct research aimed at stopping the spread of crop disease that threatens a third of the world's wheat supply.​ "The organization selected TeamPage from Traction Software as the collaboration solution and the Attivio Active Intelligence Engine (AIE) to aggregate the many types of content on the website.​ TeamPage includes wiki, blog and social networking capabilities.​ "We chose TeamPage because it could be deployed very quickly and was simple to use," says John Bakum, webmaster for the site, which is hosted by Cornell.​ The site was up and running in just a few weeks, and has grown rapidly over the past several years.​"

One of the first steps taken was to provide the community with information that had been scarce or expensive.​ "We arranged with the publisher of the Wheat Rust Atlas to put a PDF version of the book on our site," Bakum says.​ "The book was out of print but was a valuable resource, and now it's available to all the researchers.​"

The website helps expedite the administrative aspects of conducting research.​ Forms to request screening for wheat rust or dispatching seeds that may be resistant to the disease are available on the website, for example.​ "If a lab in Canada has a variety of wheat that may be resistant, researchers can send it to nurseries in Ethiopia and Kenya, where it can be grown and tested.​ Our website acts as a central place for that data, benefiting researchers around the world," Bakum explains.​"

Because members upload files into collaboration workspaces via e-mail, some content arrives in the form of attachments.​ "Attivio searches Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other types of files, even if they are attachments," Bakum says.​ Much of the site is public, but TeamPage allows for the creation of internal spaces that are password protected, to enable private virtual meetings.​

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See also Borlaug Global Rust Initiative
19 Nov 2010 | Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Wins 2010 Forrester Groundswell Social Impact Award