Triple Point Technologies is an Inc.-100, 150-person private commodity trading solutions firm on the East Coast, and a NewsGator customer. Triple Point cooperated on a case study with us a few months ago. Their adoption of RSS as a standard for collaboration and communication highlights some interesting facts:
1. Corporate knowledge tied up in Outlook and Exchange is difficult to find, difficult to search, and generally not available to all users who need access to the information in a convenient way.
2. "The idea is to free some of our content, expose it via easily searchable XML and HTML via HTTP, and reduce the amount of information "hunt and peck" that currently goes on, thus increasing productivity and improving the quality of our work," says CIO Allie.
3. They wanted to leverage the fact that employees already spend significant time using Outlook, and also build upon intranet work they had already done with SharePoint.
The solution was multi-fold: weblogs were created for employees to publish to, business systems were modified to leverage RSS, intranet sites now notify via RSS, and NewsGator delivers the content to the desktops.
4. ...automated business systems are being retrofitted to generate data in RSS format. For example, Triple Point uses StarTeam for source control and release management. Using the StarTeam API and some XML savvy, they have built dynamic RSS feeds based on changes to the projects managed by StarTeam. In the past, developers were required to produce email announcements of each source code change; now that process has been automated via RSS.
5.... intranet content is being enhanced with RSS. For example, content in SharePoint is being enhanced to generate RSS change notifications, and other systems have been so modified as well. Whenever existing notification systems were inadequate, clumsy, or manual, Triple Point has built RSS generation systems around them to enhance and automate the process.
6. "We started enhancing our systems to work with RSS in September 2002, and used stand-alone news aggregators on the desktops," says Allie. "By February 2003 less than 5% of potential users were reading these feeds regularly." Triple Point switched to NewsGator in March 2003, and within two months saw adoption increase to about 35%. "The key for us is the tight integration with Outlook and the stand-alone tools never became popular with our users."