Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007 Featured in Microsoft Case Study

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Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007, an add-on software product that helps SharePoint 2007 users collaborate more effectively with individuals outside their organizations, is featured in a Microsoft Office System Customer Solution Case Study about A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions. Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007 was created by SharePoint Solutions, a national leader in Microsoft SharePoint training, consulting and add-on software. A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions, a unit of the global consulting firm A.T. Kearney, is a leading provider of technology solutions for procurement challenges.

A.T. Kearney's intent for its extranet was to have a 'site collection,' which is a single, centralized collaboration area on the extranet for all information and activities related to each client, with subsites for the specific engagements or projects for that customer

Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007, an add-on software product that helps SharePoint 2007 users collaborate more effectively with individuals outside their organizations, is featured in a Microsoft Office System Customer Solution Case Study about A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions. Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007 was created by SharePoint Solutions, a national leader in Microsoft SharePoint training, consulting and add-on software.

A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions, a unit of the global consulting firm A.T. Kearney, is a leading provider of technology solutions for procurement challenges. While deploying a series of Web-based tools for clients, the unit identified the need for a more effective collaboration mechanism between its consultants and clients. This led to the establishment of a client extranet based on technologies from Microsoft® and SharePoint Solutions, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

To maintain competitiveness, A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions needed to deliver results to clients faster; increase the breadth and usefulness of those results; and make them more accessible. It initially deployed eRoom collaboration software but found that eRoom lacked many of the advanced collaboration features required by sophisticated collaboration users, such as wikis, threaded discussions, blogs and other next-Web technologies.

A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions addressed its collaboration need by adopting an extranet solution based on the 2007 Microsoft® Office system, including Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007. To streamline and enhance manage¬ment of the extranet, the unit turned to Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007, which facilitated the deployment and user management of the extranet client sites.

"A.T. Kearney's intent for its extranet was to have a 'site collection,' which is a single, centralized collaboration area on the extranet for all information and activities related to each client, with subsites for the specific engagements or projects for that customer," said Tony Bierman, senior software engineer for SharePoint Solutions.

"Using our Extranet Collaboration Manager tool, the unit is now able to handle the process of creating sites as needed through automation and the convenience features we provide."

As an example, Bierman cited the unit's use of Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007's site provisioning automation. Each site collection created is automatically placed in its own isolated content database.

"A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions utilizes all the user-management features of Extranet Collaboration Manager to handle creating, inviting and managing their forms-based authentication users," he said.

Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007 is designed to help administrators deploy and manage their Office SharePoint Server-based extranets in a highly secure manner. The A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions IT department uses Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2007 to implement the secure partitions of the extranet that enable the firm to host multiple client sites on a single instance.

Site Provisioning Assistant, one of Extranet Collaboration Manager's features, eliminates bottlenecks by providing centralized management for controlling how new Office SharePoint Server 2007 sites are requested and provisioned. Authorized business participants can create their own project sites by using an automated provisioning tool configured by the A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions IT department.

The IT department also can delegate the management of subsites, allow extranet site access through self-registration or by invitation only, allow site participants to change their own passwords and track all management activity and site changes for auditing purposes.

Security is enhanced by having participants sign on to the extranet using a form-based logon that stores accounts in a database based on Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 data management software, rather than in the firm's Active Directory® service. This reduces public access to the directory.

"We are transforming the way we deliver client service, thanks to the extranet," said Hugo Evans, chief information officer for A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions. "This is making us more competitive."

To view the A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions case study, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000003407

Based in Nashville, Tenn., SharePoint Solutions has been a nationwide leader in expert-led public classes on SharePoint products and technologies. The company's software division professionally develops high-quality commercial add-ons for SharePoint. Workflow Essentials, its most recent product, is a cost-effective, reliable way to augment Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer Workflow capabilities. For more information, visit http://sharepointsolutions.com.

A.T. Kearney, based in Chicago, Ill., is a leading management consultancy that serves clients in all major industries as well as government agencies. It has more than 2,500 employees worldwide. For more information about A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions products and services, visit: http://www.atkearney.com.

For more information about the Microsoft Office system, go to: http://www.microsoft.com/office.

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