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Collaboration and Microsoft's Business Productivity Offerings

Microsoft provides Business Productivity framework and tools related to it for enterprises. Let's see in this blog what does it provides and what offering are available from Microsoft in this field.

Business Productivity
Productivity is efficiency of a person or system or application to convert inputs into useful outputs which can be commercially viable. Business Productivity is the efficiency of a business to utilize its people and resources to provide maximum output in terms of goods and services. Improved business productivity leads to increase in revenue and profits.
There were many industries which were using IT infrastructure and software products to improve and optimally utilize their resources, but most of the them were heterogenius in nature. Workflows were different for each product, timelines were different and they were not in synch with each other. So, business productivity was not at its best.
As the IT infrastructure and productivity from software products and applications improved in the later years, there was more computing powere available to enterprises at low cost. Thus more homogenius applications and process began to be used. Seeing the increased deployment of IT infrastructure and having a stack of tools / products from low level to high level (Infrastructure to Application), Microsoft came with BPIO Model (Business Prodcutivity Infrastructure Optimization model) and other models.
BPIO Model (Business Prodcutivity Infrastructure Optimization model)
The BPIO model is related to Business Productivity. For getting on to BPIO model, we need to have base infrastructure in place. Microsoft has also models and product / tools around this base infrastructure called Core IO Model (Infrastructure Optimization model). I will not go into the details of Core IO model, but below image tells more about this stack.
(Courtesy: Microsoft Corporation)
Figure 1: Core IO Model
The Core IO model focuses around:
  1. IT Process and Compliance.
  2. Identity and Security Services.
  3. Client Services (Desktop client, Thin client etc.).
  4. Datacenter Services.

The BPIO model sits on top of this Core IO model and leverages optimal utilization of basic IT infrastructure.


(Courtesy: Microsoft Corporation)

Figure 2: BPIO 

The BPIO model shows enterprises how to plan and strategise for the future IT implementation in the organization. This also provides a strategic role to IT units in an organization. The BPIO model has four optimization levels:
  1. Basic
  2. Standardized
  3. Rationalized
  4. Dynamic.

A organization as it progresses and grows in IT infrastructure, moves from Basic towards Dynamic organization. Important part of BPIO at the application level is Collaboration. Effective collaboration between employees within an organization and within teams is important. For that, Microsoft has offering for functionalities like, Workspaces, Portals, Social Computing and Project Management.

One important product that provides it all is: SharePoint Server. Specifically with the coming of SharePoint Server 2010, Social Computing incollaboration stack has increased.

BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services suite)

After the success of BPIO model and Microsoft came with BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services suite). This is a set of collaboration and messaging suite provided by Microsoft as subscription and SaaS. It includes Microsoft SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Office Comunication Online and Live Meeting online. This offering has got discontinued now.

Office 365

As more and more organizations are adopting Cloud based services, Microsoft along with its cloud offering Azure, introduced, cloud productivity service microsoft Office 365. In Office 365, Microsoft provides, Office Professional Plus, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Office Web Apps.


MSCollaborationTools.pngFigure 3: Microsoft Collaboration Business Productivity Tools / Applications

Microsoft has consolidated all these offering in the form of "Microsoft Business Productivity Platform" and has a pie for every type of professional to Enterprise. The Business Productivity Platform by Microsoft solves the collaboration challenges faced by enterprises, teams and individuals by providing solutions for:
  1. Infrastructure Optimization.
  2. Multi-generational workforce.
  3. Distribute workforce.
  4. Mobile Information workers.

By including IT and Collaboration in their Enterprise model and growing from one level to another level of Collaboration optimization, today's organizations can reduce overhead costs and improve their Business Productivity.

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