Workshare Point for Document Management in Outlook and SharePoint

Earlier this year, Workshare introduced Workshare Point, a connector for linking email messages and documents in Outlook with Microsoft SharePoint, and for providing easier ways for people to access and work with SharePoint from Microsoft Office applications.

Key features are:
– Outlook email messages and attachments can be saved on send to a document library in SharePoint.
– If you upload a document to SharePoint as you send an email, you can request an alert if anyone updates the document.
– A Workshare pane in Microsoft Word can be used for saving documents directly to SharePoint, as well as giving access to other traditional Workshare tools (redacting, comparison, etc.)
– Email messages and attachments in Outlook can be dragged-and-dropped into a SharePoint document library.
– Incoming email messages receive suggestive filing – that is, ideas on where the email would be best filed. As an example, it would allow a lawyer to file client/matter related emails into the right client/matter folder – see update below for the full story on this.
– Integration with Workshare Professional for document comparison tooling, directly from Outlook.
– It supports Office 2007 and 2010, and SharePoint 2010 (not 2007).
– It appears to be a completely client-side play, with no code required on SharePoint servers.

Update on June 3, 2011
I asked Workshare for clarification on the suggestive filing. By email, they said:
– the suggestive filing in v1 of Workshare Point isn’t as complete as the name suggests.
– the product does NOT examine the content or properties of the email, and then suggest which library or folder to store it in
– all it does now, in the v1 version in Outlook, is remember the SharePoint locations where you have previously saved an email. This quick list is provided to you to enable quick access to those same locations. No suggesting is being done.
– more complete “suggestive filing” is being worked on for a future release, or a different product.

My Comments
1. Workshare has a long history in the legal sector. This is a natural extension for them.

2. There are other vendors in this space too – including MacroView, Sword, and Handshake Software. It will be interesting to watch market penetration rates of the Point-style solutions between these four vendors, as each has differing strengths.

3. Are you using it at your firm? How’s it going?

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