Microsoft’s big push with Office 2007 doesn’t seem to be the suite itself but rather, SharePoint, which first showed up with Office 2003. SharePoint is a sever technology that allows organizations to share vital data more easily.
In a nutshell, you publish a document to the SharePoint server and authorized users interact with the document. From a user standpoint, I suppose it’s a little like having a virtual secretary. Although, installing the system is a huge undertaking. In truth, it’s an entire application development platform. Most users will never need it.
With 2003, licensing was expensive. I’ve heard this is no longer the case, but I haven’t verified it. If, however, your organization has been thinking about SharePoint, you might want to look at Microsoft’s 30-day evaluation offer available as a free download at:
Since I don’t have the experience to help anyone on this subject, I’m going to invite a colleague and friend of mine, Martin Reid to join the discussion. Martin’s in the process of overseeing the installation of SharePoint for the Queens University in Belfast, Ireland. Perhaps he’ll have something of value to add to the discussion. If I can coax him into the discussion, I’m sure he’d be glad to answer a few questions on the subject.