Bob Daniels, Industry Technology Strategist of Microsoft
He started off with the pains of current portals. There are lots of silos of applications. Firms may have hundreds of applications running on their network and desktops. Firms want to be able to pull these systems together through a common platform to find information.
He admits that with this current version of SharePoint, as version 3, Microsoft may have finally gotten it right.
SharePoint is the first platform that uses Windows Workflow Foundation. They expect this to grow and continue with their other software platforms.
He rambled on for a while on the capabilities of SharePoint. Since it was totally out of context, I lost interest. Then he pulled up a demo and the audience woke up.
He highlighted the "colleague tracker" feature that allows you follow what identified people are doing: key dates, blog posts, etc.
He moved on to the Key Performance Indicators. Me mocked up a few items: billed hours, client satisfaction survey score, income per lawyer, and non-billable hours. (I have been curious what a law firm would use for key performance indicators. Much of the financial information for a law firm is kept to partners, and usually a small group of lawyers. Maybe exposing billable hours for the user would be useful. But law firms always like to say that it is not just about the hours.)
Tasks in SharePoint can be linked to tasks in Outlook 2007. (Great, but what law firms are using Outlook 2007). When a task is assigned to you in Outlook, it shows up in SharePoint. (Great, but what law firms assigns tasks through Outlook.)
Next up was the wiki capabilities in SharePoint. He thought the wiki was an easy way to edit and publish content.
The PowerPoint library he mentioned gives some ability to retain PowerPoint slides and create new slides from them. This sounded interesting, but he did not show it or explain any further.
You can create a thesaurus and affect the ranking algorithms. Also, the best bet capabilities carries over to this version of SharePoint.