Advancements in Information Technology (IT) have allowed businesses to offer a greater variety of products and services to a greater variety of (globalized) customers at a far greater rate than even twenty-years years ago. However, to convey information, IT relies on data and is notorious for leaving abundant silos of archived data in its wake.

The Ephemerality of Information
The usefulness of information is ephemeral but data is permanent (unless you scrub it) and both are encased in their own sheaths of mystery (business functionality, esoteric processes, proprietary connections, etc.) Depending upon the historical dynamics of a business, these characteristics are even prevalent within the domains of individual companies. Some companies spend millions and millions in time and resources trying to manage these silos and extract the information they need to survive.
Collaboration & Sharing is Key
The Microsoft Office suite is one of the market leaders in office technologies. It captures data from nearly all corporate desktops and helps transform this data into useful business information. The Office suite does a remarkable job ensuring that the data from each office product (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is sharable with one another. With the introduction of Office 2007 the user experience is even more enriched with far more better navigation techniques. And now, bring SharePoint 2007 into the picture, and the ease of data sharing takes a phenomenal leap by encompassing not only SQL Server databases but also Web services (which allows access to third-party databases, etc.), content libraries, efficient search techniques, sophisticated permission levels, translations, etc.

A Brief Survey
Since Collaborative Web Solutions is focused on helping with virtual team collaboration and sharing, we shall only highlight some of the collaborative features:
  • From the Beginning
  • Visio 2007
  • Access 2007
This short summary in no way reflects negatively on the remaining Office products, each of which contribute greatly to the sharing experience. In fact, SharePoint itself is so innovative it merits some thoughts all on its own. See these at Data Integration.
From the Beginning
Word, Excel and PowerPoint have been the core products of Office since its inception and, over the years gradually enriched the user interface. This trend continues in 2007, but, in addition, these core products integrate more easily with SharePoint to provide very useful workflow, various levels of protection and privacy and sharing in document workspaces and on document management servers such as SharePoint.