Most Read FAQs

For IT People: How to Deploy BusinessGuest on a SharePoint Farm?
Run the setup program on one of the farm’s SharePoint servers

When signing up for a BusinessGuest plan, you downloaded the setup.exe for the SharePoint solution. To deploy the solution package, run the setup.exeon one of your SharePoint farm’s application servers (preferably the server that hosts the Farm’s Central Administration Service).

Global vs Local License: when you deploy BusinessGuest on the farm, either you purchased a global license for the whole farm, or you deploy a free but limited version of the package. The global license is included in the setup program file and will be read automatically by the setup program. In both cases, business users have the ability to purchase local licenses for their Site Collections.

BusinessGuest On-Premise Deployment: The BusinessGuest solution you get from this site can be deployed on SharePoint On-premise, but relies on our Cloud service to manage the communication with the BusinessGuest external users (e.g. to replace large attachment by secure download links). Your SharePoint farm stays on your Intranet and behind the firewall but communicates the elements internal users shared with BusinessGuest users to our secure Cloud service. In case you want to deploy a 100% on-premise instance of BusinessGuest, it is possible, but please contact us as different conditions and pricing apply.

Is SocialFactor an Enterprise Social Network like Yammer?

Not exactly.

We believe collaboration is here to do business, and that no business is about collaboration and social networking alone. As a result, SocialFactor is not only designed to serve as an Enterprise Social Network by itself, like products such as Yammer in the cloud.

Instead, SocialFactor works both on-premise and in the cloud, and it provides the major functionality required to build a social-enabled and secure high performance business collaboration platform that will support a given business need or scenario. We provide:

  • Community management and directory features
  • Community and multi-community conversation features
  • Profile conversations features (including expert suggestions and sharing)
  • Conversation portal features

By combining and customizing these features and webparts, customers and partners can very quickly build the platform they need to support a specific business purpose, such as:

  • A SharePoint social intranet
  • An innovation management platform on SharePoint, connected with the ideation tools
  • An expert community platform, connected with the e-mails and business tools of experts
  • A project management and collaboration platform on SharePoint, connected with the project management tools
  • A collaborative product lifecycle management (PLM) connecting all the PLM, CAD, project management and ERP tools and letting people collaborate with each other from their respective professional environments (collaboration hub)
  • And as we did for Orange group’s 180,000 employees, a SharePoint Enterprise Social Network of course!

Building a business solution with SocialFactor building blocks can be a very quick task (2 hours to build a simple expert community platform for example) and an ambitious project, depending on the requirements and specifics of the project.

For Business Users: How to Activate BusinessGuest on a SharePoint Site?
Add the BusinessGuest webpart to your site and follow the guide

To activate BusinessGuest on one of your SharePoint sites:

  1. Connect to the site as a site owner
  2. Then either deploy the BusinessGuest webpart or click on the Activate BusinessGuest button on the ribbon. If you cannot find it, this means that:
    • the BusinessGuest Solution Package is not installed on your SharePoint environment
    • Or, it is not deployed on your Web Application
    • Or, the BusinessGuest feature is not activated in your Site Collection

    In this case, ask your IT department to deploy it and activate it, by sending the setup program you downloaded when signing up to BusinessGuest to them, and then try again.

  3. Follow the activation steps:
    1. Activate BusinessGuest on your site. If needed, specify the license your are using (a global license or a site collection local license).
    2. Predefine the BusinessGuest external users that you want to make available for interacting from this site. Also define whether other users can add new BusinessGuests on-the-fly.
    3. Select the internal users that are allowed to use BusinessGuest to interact in this site.
    4. Define the way you want to use SharePoint document libraries to track documents people attach to their messages during the interactions (Do not track them in document libraries, Track only updated documents, or Track all documents, either as an update in their source document library or as a new document in a default document library)
  4. You’re done! Now you can use BusinessGuest to share documents or send messages, internally or with external partners:
    • from the BusinessGuest page (accessible from the quick launch menu), or
    • from the BusinessGuest Extranet Web Part, or
    • by choosing the “Share with BusinessGuest…” option on any document in the site’s document libraries.
How to Use BusinessGuest on SharePoint?
From the webpart or from the contextual menu of any document

If BusinessGuest has been activated on your SharePoint site and if you were granted the permissions to use it, you may use it.

  1. To share any file from the site’s document libraries, or
  2. To start conversations with internal and external participants from the BusinessGuest Web Part

To share any document with internal & external participants and track their feedback and updates:

  • From the site’s document libraries select the “Share with BusinessGuest…” option in the file’s contextual menu. This will open a popup dialog to let you select the recipients, type a message and share the file and message. The new conversation will be associated to the document. You may retrieve all conversations linked to a document in a new column Conversations of the document library.
  • From the BusinessGuest page or Web Part, in the first tab, select the document(s) you want to share from a library or on your local computer, select the recipients and type a message. If you select SharePoint documents, the conversation will be linked to them in the Conversations column.

To send a message and track replies and attachment, use the second tab of the BusinessGuest Web Part, “Send a Message”. Just type the message and select recipients.

To retrieve all conversations, including feedback from the internal or external participants, go to the BusinessGuest page of the site, or add the BusinessGuest Web Part to any of the pages.

How to Use BusinessGuest as a BusinessGuest External User?
It’s in your e-mail. To reply, just reply to the e-mail…

Were you invited to a BusinessGuest conversation by one of your customers or partners?

If so, using it is as simple as reading and replying to the email you received. If your partner shared a file with you, the file is attached to the email. If it is a large file, it was replaced by a download link. Just click on the click to retrieve the file.

By replying to the message, you reply to your partner and ensure their collaboration process runs smoothly because your reply will be elegantly added to her own collaboration platform.

If you attach files to your reply, these files will also be received by your partner. Depending on her configuration, the files will also be added to her collaboration platform, in order to make sure everybody in the project has the same level of information.

Can I Use BusinessGuest from My Mobile?

Do you need to follow SharePoint interactions on your mobile? Or do you want to set up a mobile exchange area with notifications and a dedicated app to communicate with your external partners? BusinessGuest users can now benefit from the award-winning InsideOut Solution for Mobile SharePoint Collaboration! And even the BusinessGuest external users will be able to keep in touch with you from their mobile devices!

How Does It Work? BusinessGuest Architecture
E-mail exchanges and a sharing area to transfer large files

BusinessGuest consists in 3 major pieces:

  1. A SharePoint Solution Package that can be enabled on any SharePoint site, and that sends the files or messages to the BusinessGuest Cloud service when internal users share them using BusinessGuest.
  2. A Sharing Area Service, deployed in the DMZ or used from the Cloud, that can receive, store and send documents or messages received from SharePoint, and track the replies and feedback back to SharePoint through the BusinessGuest SharePoint package. There is never any network connection initiated from the sharing area to SharePoint, only outbound connections from SharePoint to the sharing area.
  3. A powerful e-mail and mobile gateway technology that the sharing area uses to send files and messages to the BusinessGuest (and internal for that matter) users and track when they open, download or reply. This technology works with most e-mail applications and does not require any installation of software on the client side.

All communications are encrypted and files and data can be deleted from the sharing area at any time.

What is the BusinessGuest Security and Quality of Service?
The most secure and reliable way to collaborate with external people without exposing SharePoint to the Internet

BusinessGuest is the most secure way to collaborate with external people from SharePoint without exposing your data to the Internet.

With BusinessGuest, only the data you share from SharePoint gets shared with the outside, and their use and the feedback your receive is tracked automatically. Did they read it? Did they download the documents? Did they reply? BusinessGuest tells you in real time!

  • Everything is tracked and made visible in SharePoint, so you know what happens with your data
  • All communications between SharePoint and the Cloud service are encrypted with 256 bits SSL v3
  • Large file downloads from the BusinessGuest users are encrypted the same way
  • You can remove data from the service just by deleting the BusinessGuest conversation from SharePoint
  • You can configure BusinessGuest to automatically delete the shared documents after a while, so that they stay only inside of your organization
  • Our Cloud services are hosted on Amazon Web Services and secured by our highly experienced team of professionals
  • We provide 24×7 support and recovery services
What are the Technical Prerequisites for Installing BusinessGuest?
SharePoint 2010 or 2013 Foundation or higher on premise, SSL Connectivity to the sharing area (in your DMZ or in the cloud)
  • SharePoint Version: BusinessGuest works with SharePoint 2010 On premise (Foundation, Server and Enterprise versions) and SharePoint 2013 On premise (through a WSP package). A SharePoint 2013 Online App will be available soon for online deployment!
  • SharePoint Authentication: Internal SharePoint users can authenticate using Windows or Claims authentication but only one authentication mechanism must be used at a time on the SharePoint farm. No SharePoint authentication required for external users (BusinessGuest users).
  • Network Connectivity: Although BusinessGuest allows to work with external people and to let them publish contents in your SharePoint site (the way you let them do it), there is no need for any inbound connectivity from the outside to your SharePoint servers! The only connectivity requirement is to let your SharePoint servers initiate outbound encrypted TCP/IP connections to your DMZ if you deploy you own on-premise sharing area, or to our cloud web services: host on port 443.
  • Email Server: BusinessGuest uses email exchanges to send SharePoint information and documents to external partners and to receive their feedback and track it on SharePoint. However, it is our own Email systems that are used to manage these exchanges. Therefore the only requirement on your email systems is to be able to send and receive emails to and from addresses.
Is BusinessGuest Compatible with Proxy Network Configuration?

BusinessGuest will automatically detect your network proxy configuration and use your proxy to connect from SharePoint to the sharing area.

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