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Editor’s Note: Come Together

The right technology deployed at the right place and the right time is the driving force that brings knowledge workers together.

Lafe Low

“Come together, right now, over me.” —Paul McCartney and John Lennon, 1969

Contemporary culture is rife with expressions that support the power of working together, such as “two heads are better than one” and “strength in numbers.” Whether it’s shared solutions or shared services, the right technology and process is the key to helping workers come together for greater collaboration and productivity.

Microsoft System Center Orchestrator helps bring together the different components of the System Center suite. Orchestrator helps you automate a variety of repetitive tasks, and communicates with the other System Center tools to get them working together and marching in step. As Paul Schnackenburg points out in his feature on Orchestrator this month, “While the larger products in the suite such as System Center Operations Manager and System Center Configuration Manager handle the day-to-day IT management tasks, Orchestrator is the glue that transforms the separate applications of the suite to a unified toolset.” As the leader of the band of System Center solutions, Orchestrator is well-named indeed.

“Come together” has other interpretations as well, as related to the world of technology and business. A widely used, broadly deployed and eminently customizable collaboration platform like SharePoint brings people together and helps them work as one unit across geographic and functional boundaries. According to recent Microsoft market research, 78 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are currently using SharePoint. SharePoint was a $1.3 billion business in 2009. And according to Jared Spataro, director of SharePoint product management, 20,000 workers have joined the ranks of SharePoint users every day for the past five years. One in every five knowledge workers now has access to SharePoint. That’s a lot of coming together.

And of course, we’ve all just come together for TechEd 2012, the annual gathering of the IT brethren for a week of intense learning, sharing and networking. We’ll do it again next year in New Orleans. So with apologies to The Beatles (especially you, Sir Paul, just after your 70th birthday), much of what Microsoft has focused on lately seems driven to help people come together.

Long Time Coming

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Lafe Low

Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine.