Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Enterprise Collaboration

Michael Sampson has just delivered a great roundup in his Enterprise Collaboration and Virtual Teams Report. I was hooked after just the first entry, which is an article examining common workflows and when teams are and are not necessary. The report links to many other articles on the "people" side of collaboration, the technological trends, and other collaboration insights.

Now that enterprise-scale businesses have turned their attention more fully to collaboration, I'm sure that similar articles about the dangers of over-collaboration will surface. Effective collaboration can certainly boost productivity, but collaboration just for the sake of using the new software will probably have the opposite effect.

Enterprise-scale deployment of collaboration tools requires robust conferencing services that can handle the demands of larger, more complex, and more secure meetings. Personally, I've used web conferencing on an enterprise scale for training, sales demonstrations, and inter-office meetings (much better than standalone audio conferencing when software and design questions are being handled). My other enterprise-scale collaboration has been limited to instant messaging, intranet resources, and project management systems, both of which suffered much more from a lack of adoption than a lack of features. (Functionality definitely shared the blame with human issues for the lack of adoption.)

How does your large business use collaboration tools? Are they helping or hurting your productivity? What's your workflow like? If you care to, leave me a comment and let me know. A related survey may be coming soon.

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