Tibco has extended the integration between its Tibbr enterprise social networking suite and Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration server, and has linked it for the first time with the Outlook email and calendar client.
Tibco is aiming the deeper SharePoint integration primarily at customers who are using the Microsoft collaboration server on their own premises, according to product marketing director Leandro Perez.
The reason is that the on-premises versions of SharePoint, like SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2010, don't have as many ESN features as SharePoint Online, the cloud-hosted version of the server that is available as a stand-alone product and as part of Office 365.
Indeed, Microsoft is delivering ESN and other improvements first to SharePoint Online, including ongoing integration with Yammer, the cloud-hosted ESN suite the company acquired about two years ago for $1.2 billion.
"We see an opportunity with SharePoint customers who are also Tibbr customers and are running SharePoint on premises," Perez said.
Of course, Tibco is far from the first provider of ESN software to target customers running SharePoint on premises. Most ESN suites are integrated with SharePoint to different degrees, and some like the one from Sitrion - a company formerly called NewsGator - were designed as SharePoint add-ons.
Srini Vinnakota, director of product management at Tibco, said the Tibbr-SharePoint integration is very deep now, providing what he describes as a "fully integrated and self-contained user experience" for people whose primary work tool is SharePoint.
This means that when they click on most Tibbr elements, like users, subjects and hashtags, they're opened inside of SharePoint, and not in a different Tibbr interface. In addition, user profiles combine SharePoint and Tibbr profile elements, and the SharePoint newsfeed is replaced by what he described as a "composite" Tibbr wall that includes a variety of action notifications and alerts.
Tibbr also provides enhanced templates to add site-based collaboration that dynamically creates the appropriate information hierarchy in Tibbr. "This saves administrators the headache of maintaining two different hierarchies for sites and the activity feeds embedded within them," Vinnakota said.
The integration also provides bi-directional document sharing and commenting from within SharePoint document libraries and Tibbr post and files interfaces.
The Outlook integration, meanwhile, lets users perform certain Tibbr actions from the Microsoft client, like participating in Tibbr discussions, searching Tibbr content, viewing previews of Tibbr user profiles and dragging and dropping email messages directly into Tibbr.