Lookout interface provides innovative way to tame, consume and interact with information deluge prevalent in enterprise social business networks.
Just a few weeks after Microsoft announced its SharePoint 2013 public beta version, NewsGator today unveiled a major new release of its Social Sites software that is compatible with both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 and offers an innovative way to find, consume and contribute content to make users smarter and more productive.
One of the new flagship capabilities of Social Sites is a completely redesigned user interface called Lookout that provides intelligent information streams and more user control over how enterprise information is consumed. With drag-and-drop simplicity, users can configure a personalized way to view all and only the content that’s relevant to them — creating a very different social experience. Users simply select the types of content they need – including activity streams, people, communities, topics, subjects, notifications, etc. – and Lookout intelligently filters out the “noise” from the useful information, serving it up in a multi-columnar dashboard view.
Lookout solves the biggest problem with the rapid adoption of today’s social business tools: overwhelming users with information in activity streams and often missing important information in the process. Lookout serves up information with a different kind of interaction model that, in a single glance, shows users what’s new and what they need to pay attention to. The new model is based on feedback from NewsGator’s 4 million+ customers and 6+ years of social business innovation.
“With this latest release, NewsGator is helping people manage the flow of information that is displayed via activity streams,” said Alan Lepofsky, vice president and principal analyst of Collaboration Software at Constellation Research. “With custom streams that filter posts based on author or topic, people can focus on the content they are most interested in. Additionally, the multi-column display (similar to tools like Tweet Deck or Hoot Suite) enables people to look at several streams at the same time, each showing a different set of content.”
Social Sites also offers customers the fastest path to Microsoft’s new SharePoint 2013 platform, on the heels of Microsoft’s announcement of the public beta. What’s even more significant is that Social Sites now supports both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013, with no licensing fees for upgrading. SharePoint 2010 users can contact NewsGator now about a free beta program to test the software, assuring an easy move to SharePoint 2013 when ready.
“The good news is that social computing is expanding exponentially in our company as more users discover the benefits. The challenge is that with more people engaged there’s more traffic, making it hard to keep up with all of the activity in the stream,” said Peter Teresi, Chief Technology Officer of ACORD, a global, nonprofit standards development organization serving the insurance industry and related financial services industries. “With Lookout, users will no longer have to worry about missing information or sifting through information not relevant to them. It will give us a flexible, easy vantage point in our social sphere that users can personalize to match their needs.”
- The built-in intelligence and capabilities of Social Sites 3.0 far surpasses those of traditional social business software, including:
- A personalized multi-columnar view including easy drag-and drop tiles allow users to personalize their stream to show notifications, recommendations, people, communities, and subjects – information they need, when they need it.
- Robust filtering to intelligently refine what information the user receives.
- Social intelligence through recommendation engines, indicating why colleagues and communities are being recommended to the user.
- The ability for users to integrate high definition video, badging, ideation, Q&A and private messaging into their streams.
- Email integration. Not only can users receive email notifications, they can respond to notifications and conversations in their activity streams via email.
- Visual cues to clearly show users what information is new or unread since they last viewed the stream.
- A new Windows 8-based user interface to provide greater personalization and support for touch-enabled devices.
“Our customers told us they needed a better way to filter, refine, interact and consume large amounts of information in the social streams,” said Brian Kellner, EVP of development and product management with NewsGator. “Social Sites 3.0 is the result of that feedback. We designed it to intelligently offer customers a variety of customizable features that allow them to better consume the streams’ information flowing inside their organization and help customers. Whether they are on SharePoint 2010 or plan to move to 2013, they will still have the most advanced social experience available.”