New Microsoft Initiative: Enterprise Innovation Management

May 31, 2008

I received a news release from Webwire on May 31, 2008. The headline–Microsoft Announces Enterprise Innovation Management Initiative–caught my attention. I had zero idea what this phrase meant.

The release explained that Microsoft announced its “Innovation Process Management (IPM) initiative to help enterprises build a flexible IT platform to speed the process of innovation for competitive advantage and a higher return on investment.

You can read the full release here. Please, click quick. I have a hunch that Webwire doesn’t maintain a deep archive.

The links in the news release pointed me to, a SharePoint-based Web site built and hosted by Avitiva. Avitivia was founded by some former Microsoft engineers. One–Simeon Cathey–was an engineer on the original SharePoint project.

I explored the Web EPM Connect Web site, but I could find no reference to the new initiative. Since I receive news releases with the word “search” in them, I assumed that the new initiative was another facet of Microsoft’s sprawling search-and-retrieval empire.

I navigated to the search box for the site, entered the term search, and I received a list of hits. A segment of them appears in the screen shot below:

The Microsoft EPM Connect site is not well-behaved in today’s browsers. Based on my experience with SharePoint, I concluded that the pages were generated using SharePoint’s default settings. The original pages had the display characteristic from earlier versions of the products.

I can work around display peculiarities. What puzzled me was that the search results contained pointers to a company that ceased to exist a couple of years ago, Entopia. You can find my case analysis of the defunct company here. Yet there it was. In fact, clicking on the main link dsplayed an entry from a Microsoft partner catalog. The links within that display returned the telltale “file not found” display. The site is not maintained.

Here are my questions:

  • Why is this site featured in a new initiative with an older design and partner data that are not up to date.
  • What’s the relatioship of this initiative to search? I could find no link.
  • Why does the search function for the word “search” return what appears to me the complete list of certified partners in the underlying database?

My brief investigative effort probably has this slip betwixt cup and lip all wrong. What I think is that new initiatives take precedence over maintaining Web sites. I’m still puzzled by the routing of the Webwire to me based on the key word search. I see a number of news releases that don’t mention search directly. In order to get a higher search engine score, metatags are stuffed with key words.

The EPM Connect site could be useful if you were looking for information about Microsoft Project. The vendor’s Web site shows how auto generated pages look in the default SharePoint search results template. Another benefit of the site is that it shows how easy it is to design a site, activate SharePoint’s “intellgent” features, and create a page that looks okay but contains invalid urls. The search function doesn’t work too well, which is not good news for a person looking for relevant results for a query whose key word was “search”.

If you have another point of view, let me know. I had to remind another perky PR fellow today of this fact: this is a free site and I created it so I could share my views, information that doesn’t make it into my for-fee studies, and odd pieces of information that I find interesting. Use the comments function on this Web site to add info, set me straight, or correct an error in my understanding.

Stephen Arnold, June 1, 2008


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