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

ImageWriting 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 Traction® 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

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