Grow Your Wiki

SharePoint Connector for Confluence - so what does it all mean?

By now, you’ve probably seen the announcement that Microsoft and Atlassian made yesterday morning about the SharePoint Connector for Confluence. So why is this important from a wiki adoption and use perspective? It frees organizations from the “One size fits all” mentality and enables them to let people choose the best tool for their work - with the knowledge that no matter what they choose the tools will work together.

One of the recurring issues in discussions about enterprise 2.0 has to do with the relationship between new tools like wikis, and more traditional enterprise software. Should the new tools fully replace the existing ones? Can they? And even if they can, will organizations shed their investments in those existing tools and make a wholesale move to the new ones? I don’t think it’s a “one or the other” choice, and organizations that have invested in tools like SharePoint aren’t likely to just write off that investment.

So there has to be a “third way” that involves making the tools work together, and the SharePoint Connector is a good example of that. When tools like SharePoint and Confluence can work together, it helps organizations that already have SharePoint feel more confident responding to demand for a wiki like Confluence, knowing the two can work side-by-side. As Zoli said: “just removing the “we’re a SharePoint-shop” political obstacle in some major enterprise clients is worth it alone.” People can use the tool that’s best for their work, (Colin Toal left a good comment on Mike’s blog about this: “You deliver a tonne of value that is beyond simply locking out other products and the integration is slick.”) and not end up with problems like redundant, separately evolving sets of information housed in disconnected places.

Connections like this represent the best of what social media and enterprise 2.0 is really about: collaboration at all levels (including software makers), transparency and easy discovery of information regardless of the “place” where it resides, and a further evolution away from the material constraints that have hindered the effective use of information in organizations.

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