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Pfizer adopts MS OneNote for web collaboration

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has built its Enterprise 2.0 strategy to roll out web collaboration tools internally on the Microsoft OneNote tool that ships with Office 2007.

OneNote is a note-taking tool that fits within the Microsoft Office productivity suite.

Speaking at the Enterprise Social Media Europe conference at Olympia, Simon Revell, associate director for online collaboration and web technology at Pfizer, said, "OneNote allows users to share information very easily. Within the first year [of deploying OneNote] over 600 people at Pfizer are using it, with very little push from IT."

The company has built an Enterprise 2.0 strategy, which allows staff to use web 2.0 tools for collaboration internally, using Microsoft SharePoint 2007, along with its internal wiki, called Pfizerpedia, and OneNote over the past two years.

"We had a lot of success using SharePoint forums, where users were able to e-mail content to the forum and receive e-mail messages back," he said

SharePoint forums had the added benefit of keeping a persistent view of information. SharePoint was also good at document management, but fell short in terms of content creation support, he said.

"This is where OneNote slotted into the strategy, allowing users to create documents, simply by dragging and dropping information into the OneNote window, and sharing it via SharePoint. OneNote helps people move from personal working to team collaboration," he said.

Security is normally a major concern with any form of online community, even if it is internal. Revell introduced a policy to make everything open by default, unless there was a very good reason to make it private. This has helped the company limit the amount of SharePoint sprawl that occurs when teams set up their own private groups.

Revell has seen two main benefits of Pfizer's SharePoint and OneNote Enterprise 2.0 strategy: "OneNote provides a nice stepping stone into our Pfizerpedia enterprise wiki, and gives more people the chance to see the benefit of open collaboration."

Scientists at Pfizer can now draw on a wealth of information very quickly, he said.


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