• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Get control of your email attachments. Connect all your Gmail accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize your file attachments. You can also connect Dokkio to Drive, Dropbox, and Slack. Sign up for free.


Enterprise Level Collaboration

Page history last edited by JalalMasiti 10 years, 1 month ago


Enterprise Level Collaboration




I. Introduction 


II. What is Enterprise Level Collaboration?

     A.  The Beginning of Enterprise Level Collaboration

     B.  Impact of Incompatible Collaboration Systems

     C.  The Benefits of Enterprise Level Collaboration Systems

     D.  Technology Issues in Enterprise Collaboration  


III. Current State of Enterprise Collaboration

     A.  IBM Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino

     B.  Microsoft Office SharePoint Serve

          i.  Windows Phone Series 7 - SharePoint

     C.  Cisco Hyperoffice and WebEx

     D.  Oracle Beehive

     E.  Adobe Connect

     F.  Jive

     G.  Future Trends

          i.  Mobile Computing

          ii.  Cloud Computing (brief overview)

          iii.  Data Governance


IV. Enterprise Collaboration Strategies

     A.  Developing the Business Case – brief overview

     B.  Collaboration Business Process – brief overview

     C.  Requirements Generation

     D.  Benefits

     E.  Risks

     F.  Finding the Right Solution

     G.  Collaboration Criteria

     H. Collaboration Architecture

     I.  Solution Selection


V. Summary

VI. Glossary Enterprise Collaboration Glossary

VII. Questions

VIII. Appendix References


What is Enterprise Level Collaboration

As defined by Webopedia.com, Enterprise Collaboration Systems (ECS) is “a combination of groupware, tools, Internet, extranets and other networks needed to support enterprise-wide communications such as the sharing of documents and knowledge to specific teams and individuals within the enterprise.” (“Enterprise Collaboration Systems”, 2010) Enterprise Collaboration software enables members of a team to work together on an ongoing basis by allowing them to share and/or coordinate updates to the documents any time regardless of where the members are located. Examples of collaboration software include e-mail, enterprise blogs and wikis, instant messaging, online whiteboards, videoconferencing, collaborative document sharing, and project management tools.


The Beginning of Enterprise Level Collaboration

The first stage of collaboration started prior to 1980.  The technologies at that time were based on email or messaging.   In 1980’s groupware tools were used for small groups who collaborated in very simple ways.  Discussion Forums were the most popular tool at that time used mostly for technical support.  The Collaboration tools at that time were very complex and expensive which created barriers to collaboration by limiting the interaction between people.    The collaboration tools of the 1990s allowed team members to work within the firewall.  At that time, enterprises were leveraging newly built network infrastructures(Gillin, 2009).


The history of enterprise level collaboration cannot be complete without mentioning Tim Berners-Lee. As an independent contractor at CERN he proposed a project based on the concept of hpertext, to facilitate  sharing and updating  information among researchers, with the integration of TCP and DNS ideas the result was very first World Wide Web. The birth of a future collaboration technology.


Today, new web 2.0 technology has emerged to include wikis, blogs and social networking that have been adapted for enterprise use.  As a result of the evolution of Collaborative software, many organizations have collections of different products assembled over the years.  Each of these products addressed a problem in a unique manner, with a unique combination of technologies they bring lots of benefits which are discussed in detail later in the chapter.  Thus, many organizations work with outdated or proprietary collaboration systems in order to avoid costly updates or major disruptions(Gillin, 2009).


Impact of Incompatible Collaboration Systems

As a result of the design of early standalone collaboration packages, collaboration tools had inflexible platforms that prevented software from communicating with each other or with any other standard ERP or CRM application.  IT managers were left supporting a half dozen different collaboration tools based on a variety of databases, file systems and administrative consoles. The incompatibility of collaboration systems has prevented IT organizations in adapting to the changing business requirements.  From the business point of view, incompatible collaboration systems have its greatest impact on user productivity.  These concerns include:


  •        Slowed or flawed decision making
  •        Inability to support new business rules
  •        Lack of integration with structured processes
  •        Poor in-process visibility
  •        User burnout
  •        Loss of Trust


The Benefits of Enterprise Level Collaborative

Collaboration is one of the global trends in business that is driven by disappearing geographical and technological barriers.  As the workforce becomes more global and distributive, it is imperative that organizations find new ways to reduce cost without affecting its effectiveness.  In addition, organizations must keep pace with the rapidly-changing work world. The division between work and personal hours are blurring.  About 80 percent of Americans work 40 hours or more each week according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).    Therefore, organizations are extending collaborative efforts in order to reduce business cycles and management layers, and to increase product and service innovation.  This means, considering new ways of thinking, engaging and working.


Collaboration within the enterprise is important to an organization’s financial performance. CEOs state that the top benefits of collaboration partners are: reduced costs, higher quality customer satisfaction, increased revenue, access to skills and products, and access to new markets and customers.  In light of the threat of “Swine Flu” pandemic, organizations are preparing contingency plans.  Enterprise Collaboration can offer a solution by providing a way to have a as many of their staff work at home during the high-risk period.


Technology Issues in Enterprise Collaboration

Collaboration allows people to work through “shared spaces” that are Internet based, enterprise server based or based on peer-to-peer technology.  Enterprise Collaborative Systems enable users to create, find, organize or share documents that are on different devices, computers or servers.  Even though there are a number of collaborative products, business processes remain ineffective due to email.  Email is the most used collaborative tool today.  However, there are better ways of collaborating.  It is important to select the right collaborative solutions.


Current State of Enterprise Collaboration 

Business leadership who are interested in launching a successful enterprise collaboration initiative in their organization must understand current state of Enterprise Collaboration in terms of adoption, adaptation, and deployment.  A major challenge for business leadership is understanding how to orchestrate greater value and flexibility from their existing large enterprise backbone applications in conjunction with newer, more agile enterprise processes and technologies.  Technology product selection and deployment is one of the most important things to consider.  Vendors are packaging and pushing collaboration platforms, but enterprises face infrastructure decisions and considerations that go beyond just choosing an application platform.  Concerns about costs, licensing and contract negotiations become increasingly important as companies rationalize investments amid tighter budgetary constraints. 


IBM Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino 

IBM Lotus Notes and Domino software have a proven record of helping companies improve collaboration and streamline business processes. With Lotus Notes and Domino, business e-mail and collaboration take a step forward - offering new approaches to enhance efficiency and creativity, while extending the value of current investments. 


Lotus Notes brings together information and tools to accomplish daily jobs/tasks in an efficient and productive manner. Lotus Notes has been designed for the business user. Deploying Lotus Notes can have a phenomenal impact on the organization and help users to extract maximum return on investment. Lotus Notes can help users to transition from basic e-mail to more productive collaborative functions. 


Application developers can use IBM Lotus Designer to build reusable components that could be used by multiple applications.  These reusable components can be combined with other functional components within a service-oriented architecture (SOA) to deliver what is now commonly referred as composite applications. Lotus Notes and Domino applications now can consume Web services hosted on other systems.  The open application infrastructure provided by Lotus Notes and Domino supports business agility while extending IT investments by improving user effectiveness and productivity. 


Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is an integrated suite that provides content management, enterprise search and shared business processes.  Employees have one place to collaborate with other team members, find organizational resources, manage content and workflow and leverage business insights for better informed decisions. 


SharePoint delivers the tools that allow users to create their own workspaces.  Through the shared workspaces users are able to share assets with their team members, with teams in other departments and between organizations.  The product allows its collaboration workspaces to be customized with ease while delivering a secured self-service workspace.  The collaboration workspace can be extended across the firewall to allow collaboration with customers, suppliers and other organizations. The My Sites functionality offers users a single personalized view of the resources needed to do their job. 


The social computing capabilities allow users to capture the collective intelligence of the organization by automating the social networking processes and through the use of enterprise level wikis.  The wikis allow for coauthoring and sharing of organizational information.  Blogs allow persistent conversations with others inside and outside of the enterprise.   


Finally, because SharePoint is a Microsoft product, it can be easily integrate with other Microsoft products which allow organizations to build a single infrastructure.  As a result, organizations can leverage existing investments and maintain a lower cost of ownership. (Microsoft) 


Cisco WebEx  

Cisco’s WebEx product provides combines real-time desktop sharing with telephone conferencing.  The software allows for online meetings, live training, sales presentations and IT help desk support.  Through the collaborative resources of WebEx, users can share presentations and documents, brainstorm on ideas and transfer meeting control to let others present. 


For meetings, the WebEx meeting center can handle up to a few hundred people at one time using a PC, Mac, iPhone, blackberry or other WiFi enabled device.  Meetings can be recorded for new audiences or those -who missed the presentations.  In addition, the product delivers all types of rich multimedia such as streaming video, PowerPoint, Flash, audio and video.  The WebEx training allows for one-to-one and/or one-to-many training sessions.  Applications can be demonstrated by sharing the desktop.  In addition, WebEx includes interactive annotation and a chat tool. 


As an IT help desk tool, WebEx can allow the user to view and control desktops to resolve issues in real-time.  Security patches and updates can be easily transferred to remote desktops to keep computer systems current.  Connection can be made through the firewall so there is no need for the customer to install additional software. (Cisco) 


Oracle Beehive 

Oracle’s Beehive is new to the collaboration market and provides a host of integrated services such as email, calendar, team workspaces, instant messaging and conferencing through a single platform.  The Enterprise software provides support to various platforms such as Linux, Solaris and Windows.  It also supports Enterprise Directories such as LDAP, Microsoft AD, and IBM Lotus Domino.  Mobile access is available to Email, Calendar and instant messaging.  The software also leverages many of Oracle’s flexible, scalable technology and includes Oracle database and Oracle Fusion middleware. 


The Enterprise Messaging includes personal and team email, address book and task management.  In addition, there is contextual search and artifact tagging.  The enterprise messaging integrates with Microsoft outlook and also includes support for mobile devices.  Team web-based workspaces allow the creation of templates for creating workspaces.  The document library includes version tracking, user access and workflow control support.  Also included is the ability to create team wikis, calendars, discussion forums and announcements.   


Lastly, synchronous collaboration allows users to create and host instant and scheduled web and audio conferences which allow for desktop and application sharing, shared control, text chat and meeting recordings. 


Acrobat Connect 

Acrobat Connect is a new program provided by Adobe Systems and made accessible from within Acrobat and Adobe Reader. There are two versions of Acrobat Connect designed to satisfy remote meeting needs for large organizations and individual users. Acrobat Connect Professional is a web conferencing program and Acrobat Connect is a personal meeting room. 


Through the Connect workspace you can host a meeting complete with screen sharing on your computer. Anyone invited to your Connect meeting can view the meeting using a Web browser on their computer. No special software is required for the Acrobat Connect participants. 


Emerging Trends in Enterprise Collaboration


Emerging Trends 

Over the years, we have seen an exciting convergence of tools, ideas and networks under the labels Web 2.0 and social media. Now, we are starting to see this innovation making its way into businesses across the world.  Emerging trends in social media is about connecting, joining and making it more of a personal experience for people to collaborate. The tools are important but since they are changing all the time, it is important to note that the data and services that are emerging around them is really what should be the main focus. The ‘always on’ culture of internet access resulting from faster broadband connections combined with the fact that more and more people are now sharing ideas through other forms of social media such as blogs, wikis, instant messaging as well as other on-line tools, is creating a critical mass of connectivity that is driving today’s innovation.  Emerging trends within networking tools will not only have to be familiar to users as well as have the ability to access contacts and data mining but also help to make collaboration much more feasible to accept in a day to day scenario.  As technology continues to evolve, medium to large businesses need to understand when to embrace a technology and when to ride out the hype produced by popular opinions.  Plenty of research will be needed before considering to introduce any new technology into your enterprise environment.  Disruptive trends arising from emerging information technology can cause more harm than good.  A few key themes in today’s market are Mobile Computing, Cloud Computing, and Data Governance which all look to bring enterprise collaboration in a highly convenient and productive way.  


Mobile Computing 

Another of today’s emerging trends is the use of the Smartphones throughout the world. Most people today are glued to their Smartphones as they need to get rapid updates and quick answers from colleagues or clients. Smartphones allow employees to check email often, view documents, track schedules, and much more. Within this mobile collaboration, users can access vital data or communicate with colleagues in a highly convenient and productively rapid way without the need of a clunky laptop.  Also, smartphones have evolved so much that the browsers on many phones is equivalent to desktop capabilites.  Also, cellular networks have increased their download speeds and reliability regarding dropped calls.  [DeBeasi 2010]


Mobile Computing - Smartphone Security

One large problem with Smartphones which many companies often overlook is security.  SearchMobileComputing.com came up with a list of best practices for enterprise mobile device security [DeBeasi 2010]:

  • Define use-case requirements
    • Understand the different uses for Smartphones in the organization.  Sales people may not have the same needs as an IT employee or Engineer.  The use-case should determine the security requirements based on the specific user.
  • Create an enforceable mobile device security policy
    • Have a written policy on Smartphone usage and make sure it is communicated to the organization at least once at year. 
  • Adhere to security best practices
    • This practice entails using strong passwords, being able to wipe data if the device is lost or stolen, wireless security restriction, and encrypting data.
  • Adhere to vendor best practices
    • Make sure the device is being used properly within the manufacturer and cellular network’s guidelines.
  • Evaluate third-party products
    • Review the software offered by third-party companies.  They can help organizations manage their mobile computing devices.
  • Perform user education
    • Keep up-to-date on threats and trends in using Smartphones.  Also, continually educate employees to ensure they are aware of and following best practices.
  • [DeBeasi 2010] 

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing as defined in an earlier chapter, is ability to combine an abundance of inexpensive hardware to dynamically scale services as needed.  Cloud Computing on an enterprise level has been gaining interest due to cost savings, easier implementation, and scalability.  In an article on Gartner, it determined that there were 5 top risks (and one emerging risk) to considered before enterprises should adopt cloud computing.  Companies should work to mitigate the risks and determine if cloud computing is the right solution. [Robertson 2009]

  • Risk-Testing Risk
    • The organization should make sure the vendor is working to mitigate risks on their side.  This can be difficult to test, unless the company can do a site visit.  Serious vendors will welcome a visit and will want to illustrate their security protocols.  If a vendor does not allow a site visit, it may be an indicator that they are not a trustworthy cloud computing provider.
  • Data Location Risk
    • Companies need to be aware of where their data is being stored.  In cloud computing, it could be anywhere including outside the country.  The may be corporate or regulatory requirements on where data is allowed to be stored.  
  • Data and Code Portability Risk
    • Once a company loads the data to a cloud service, it can be difficult to get that data back.  Also, there is typically code that is used the transfer that data and the cloud service provider may be reluctant to provide that information.
  • Data Loss Risk
    • Since cloud computing services are still in the infancy stages, it is important to consider the possibility of losing data.  Often times back-up services are not included.  Organizations should make sure they have a back-up plan, whether is it in-house, another cloud computing service, or as an addition to their current cloud computing service package. 
  • Data Security (Privacy) Risk
    • Since it is easier to access data that is stored outside of an enterprise, companies need to ensure they research the security processes with the cloud computing services vendor.  It should make sure that the vendor's security practices are in line with their own policies.
  • Vendor Viability Risk
    • This risk is especially important in tough economic times.  There is always a risk for a vendor to go out of business. Organizations should do their due diligence when selecting a vendor.  A younger firm may have cheaper rates, but it may be a wasted effort if they go under in a couple years.  
  • [Robertson 2009] 


Data Governance 

Data Governance is defined as an approach that addresses data stewardship and maintenance responsibility, provides appropriate inter- and intra-enterprise data security, accounts for data quality, and enables compliance with data standards and other requirements.  [Phelan 2009]  Organizations need to establish processes and procedures for managing its data across all applications.  In the digital age, everything must be stored and organized in a manner that is easily accessible.  Ensuring that duplicate data and that information can be shared with an organization's systems, it is important the companies should strive for a single data repository.  The content and quality of the data is owned by the users of the information.  The data standards and compliance responsibilities needs to be managed by a group in IT.  In the article, The 10 Components of Effective ERP Support Governance, Phelan [2009] provided some key roles for managing a company's data.

  • Data standards must be developed and implemented across the enterprise. Consider external data standards, such as XML, when developing the rationale for internal standards.
  • Data stewardship must be established. For data that is shared across stakeholder groups, go beyond ownership and address stewardship, as the party that owns the data may not be the same as the party that maintains it and ensures its quality. This distinction influences data maintenance processes.
  • Data maintenance processes must be developed to control the ports of entry system applications.  For data that resides in multiple systems, provide specific maintenance processes to minimize duplicate data entry and to avoid inconsistent data.
  • Security levels must accommodate the ownership variation and should accommodate cross-stakeholder group inquiry needs. 
  • Data quality processes must be developed to ensure consistency across systems.
  • [Phelan 2009] 


Enterprise Collaboration Strategies

Enterprise collaboration technology has, and continues to evolve quickly. Traditional solutions have included video teleconferencing, audit teleconferencing, shared computer displays, and shared whiteboards. These solutions have been augmented by Voice-Over-IP offerings such as Skype and social media offerings such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs and wikis.


Traditional collaboration solutions enabled enterprises to effectively and efficiently hold virtual meetings and collaborate in relatively small groups ranging from two to hundreds of participants. Social media solutions have introduced mass collaboration that have taken full advantage of the reach of the Internet and expanded the enterprise reach to millions of participants. While not all enterprises will choose to venture into the social media realm with their enterprise collaboration strategy, over time it will highly likely become the norm, not the exception, to do so.


Selecting a collaboration solution for an enterprise, be it corporate, government, military or private cannot be taken lightly. Risks include data security, infrastructure loading, mission efficiency and effectiveness, and even public reputation. In addition to these tangible risks are challenges of culture and politics internal to the organization pushing back against this technology path.


Enterprise collaboration strategy is a plan which focuses on the use of collaboration tools and technology to help people interact effectively in solving business problems. Developing a strategy based on thorough study and assessment is critical toward meeting the organizational objectives. The strategy will reduce the risk of false starts and ineffective use of funds. It will also potentially lead to a more effective workplace and position the organization to better take advantage of future collaboration technology. Three steps to developing a successful enterprise collaboration strategy are: developing the business case; finding the right solution; and effective implementation.


Developing the Business Case

The primary focus of any enterprise collaboration strategy is to support the mission and or goals and be aligned with high-level business strategy of the organization. These might be a business plan, a military operation, or a mission statement. An enterprise collaboration strategy must start with a clear understanding of the organizational mission being supported. With this understanding, collaboration requirements and goals can be derived and documented.


Collaboration Business Process

The first step in this process is to capture the collaboration business process. This will identify where in the overall workflow collaboration will be used, by whom, and for what. The workflow may involve external entities such as customers, suppliers, and business partners. The processes can be documented in business process models (BPM) that help visualize the information. The models can then be used to justify the need for collaboration technology and show precisely where in the business process they will add value. Additionally, these models will enable the derivation of the enterprise collaboration requirements.


Collecting this information is best done by interviewing the various users, but can also be accomplished with a well developed questionnaire. There are a number of BPM tools available to support this effort.


Requirements Generation

It is critical that a clear definition of collaboration be agreed to and collaboration scope identified at this stage. The desired enterprise collaboration functionality must be identified. This functionality might include:


  • Messaging: Email and instant messaging (IM)
  • Team Collaboration: Portals, document repository, library services, workflow, discussion threads, project management
  • Web Conferencing: Virtual meetings, video and audio teleconferencing, shared desktop and presentation
  • Social Media: Wikis, blogs, social networking


The scope of the enterprise collaboration solution should include whether it will be used only for internal organizational purposes, for engagement with external users (customers, vendors, stakeholders, etc.), or both. Extended Enterprise Collaboration is a term being used in the vendor community to refer to the extension of collaboration processes beyond an organizations intranet so as to include external users.


With requirements in hand, a market analysis of the enterprise collaboration technology space can be performed to compare solution capabilities with the organizations collaboration requirements, and capture functional, technical and cost data on the relevant solutions. With this data, a business case can be developed which includes understanding, documenting and assessing the benefits, risks and costs of the various solutions, and an estimation of the return on investment (ROI).



For an enterprise, embracing collaboration technology is at the heart of knowledge management (KM).  Benefits include unlocking and sharing knowledge hidden within the organization and discovering expertise amongst the staff. The focus is to extend the reach of the employees with internal as well as external resources effectively with the collaboration tools so as to drive the business processes forward from literally anywhere around the globe. Linking collaboration to business processes and high-level business objectives gives staff valuable insight into the bigger picture of an enterprise business. This evolves data repositories to the realm of business intelligence and supports qualitative decision making.



The risks, both perceived and actual, must be considered along with the benefits when developing the business case. These risks range from infrastructure concerns to loss of corporate reputation.

  • Infrastructure – Network stability and bandwidth utilization must be assessed to determine if the current architecture can support the enterprise collaboration solution, or whether enhancements will be required.
  • Security – The implementation of Extended Enterprise Collaboration can require opening the organizations firewall to additional ports and protocols. Doing so adds vulnerabilities to the security posture of the organization and must be carefully assessed and managed.
  • Data Sharing – Increased information sharing is inherent in collaboration. This results in an increase in risk of data misuse and loss. Even with internal organizational information, there are often multiple levels of sensitivity that must be define and implemented in an information sharing policy. Doing so will help identify information that can be publicly released to the external users.
  • Costs – As Enterprise Collaboration technology evolves, costs associated with functional expansion and deeper integration into the enterprise systems architecture could be difficult to predict and plan for. Vendor lock-in must also be managed.
  • Culture – Not all organizational cultures foster collaboration. If such a problem is not identified and addressed early on, the benefits may be lower than projected.
  • Reputation – At the extreme end of the risk scale is the threat to an organizations reputation by venturing into the social media realm. Staff and employees are representatives of an organization and thus put the reputation of that organization at risk when participating in a blog, wiki, or other social networking forum. Organizational policies and procedures must be extended to cover social media, and staff and employees sufficiently notified and trained on them.


Given the rapid rise of commercial enterprise collaboration solution offerings, it is increasing likely that an organization will be able to find a solution that satisfies requirements, provides a positive ROI, and balances benefits with risks. If this doesn’t turns out to be the case, a reassessment of the requirements may be in order. Additionally, the market analysis and business case development could be outsourced to collaboration subject matter experts to remove potential organizational biases.


Finding the Right Solution

With the business case complete, requirements documented and vetted, approvals obtained and resources allocated, the next step in the strategy will be to find the right solution for the enterprise. This will include establishing the criteria for solution selection, capturing the current collaboration architecture, determining the hosting approach, selecting the solution, and developing the objective collaboration architecture.


Collaboration Criteria

Analyzing the collaboration requirements will produce a list of criteria for the collaboration solution and their priority. Examples of potential criteria include:

  • Ease of Use – Will range from completely intuitive (requiring no training) to complex and needing user training (could be computer based and/or classroom).

  • Robustness – Amount of imbedded or loosely coupled functionality included in the collaboration solution. The list of possible functionality is vast and ever-growing. Examples are:

    • Video and audio teleconferencing

    • Shared whiteboards

    • Application sharing

    • Tasks management

    • Contact management

    • File sharing and storage

    • Private messaging

    • Chat

    • To do lists

    • Message boards

    • Email integration

    • Calendars

    • Blogging

    • Polls

    • RSS feeds

    • Wikis

    • Social media tools


  • Security – Level and range of security features integrated or added on to the solution. The level of security will range from none, to username/password based authentication, to support for Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) with digital signature and content encryption. The range of security could include data, user identity, access, and down to the protocol level.
  • Cost – Criteria for cost will always be a driving factor in the selection of a collaboration solution. Good market research up front will enable the potential solutions to be placed in cost plateaus. This will save time in the selection process by eliminating solutions that are beyond cost limits.


Collaboration Architecture

In many cases, the enterprise will already be using one or more collaboration tools. This existing collaboration architecture needs to be captured and documented for use as a transition baseline. The architecture documentation should include a list and description of the current tools in use, but should be limited to those tools that fall within the scope of the collaboration requirements. This effort should also include a thorough understanding of interdependencies between the current collaboration tool set and the other systems and applications in the enterprise, both internal and external (if applicable). Failing to do so will significantly raise the risk of introducing interoperability problems when the new solution is implemented.

It is also important to investigate and understand the enterprise collaboration industry standards as where they currently exist and where they are heading. In some cases, these standards will be de-facto and being driven by one or more vendors. In other cases, the standards will be community sanctioned. Understanding the standards landscape will support a more informed solution selection and position the organization for collaboration architecture evolution.


With a firm understanding of the enterprise collaboration requirements, the current collaboration architecture and its interdependencies, and the current state of collaboration technology playing field, an enterprise collaboration objective architecture can be developed. This objective architecture will reflect how the new collaboration capability will integrate into the enterprise systems architecture and satisfy the targeted collaboration requirements.

A key decision in the development of this architecture is whether the solution will be via Application Service Provider (ASP), hosted in-house, or internally developed.

  • Internally Developed – Developing a collaboration solution would seem hard to justify with the current plethora of solution offerings, however the robust open source community for collaboration software makes this a viable option. Some enterprises might have specialty requirements making this path more attractive. Such a solution could be developed with in-house IT staff or outsourced.
  • Hosted In-house – This option may be selected when an enterprise-level collaboration solution from a vendor is desired, but the collaboration infrastructure is required to be on the organizations internal intranet. This minimizes risk and offers a higher quality of service.
  • ASP –ASP’s Software as a Service (SaaS) collaboration solutions are growing in market offerings and market share. These solutions are often web-based and require little to no infrastructure or software investment by the organization. The risks associated with using a third party cloud-based solution are discussed in detail in another chapter.


Solution Selection

A market assessment targeting solutions that meet the criteria, hosting decision and objective architecture will complete the selection process and culminate in a selection recommendation for the decision makers. A matrix of candidate solutions and assessment against the selection criteria will be important input for the decision makers. The recommendation should include the top three candidates and clear reasoning for their selection.



Application Service Provider (ASP) 

Companies that provide organizations access to applications and other services over the Internet.


Business Process Modeling (BPM)

The capturing and documenting of the stakeholders and workflow of the way business is done.


Cloud Computing

The ability to combine an abundance of inexpensive hardware to dynamically scale services as needed.


Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM entails all aspects of interaction a company has with its customer, whether it is sales or service related.


Data Governance

An approach that addresses data stewardship and maintenance responsibility, provides appropriate inter- and intra-enterprise data security, accounts for data quality, and enables compliance with data standards and other requirements.


Enterprise Collaboration Software

A combination of groupware, tools, Internet, extranets and other networks needed to support enterprise-wide communications such as the sharing of documents and knowledge to specific teams and individuals within the enterprise. 


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

An integration of business management practices and modern technology. ERP can also be considered a massive software architecture that supports the streaming and distribution of geographically scattered enterprise wide information across all the functional units of a business house.


Extended Enterprise Collaboration

The extension of collaboration processes beyond an organizations intranet so as to include external users



Is an information technology research and advisory firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.



Software that enables a group whose members are based in different locations to work together and share information. Groupware enables collective working by providing communal diaries, address books, work planners, bulletin boards, newsletters, and so on, in electronic format on a closed network.


Knowledge Management (KM)

The discipline, processes and technology involved in creating and capturing knowledge from organizational/corporate data and information.


Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI)

The hardware, software, architecture, policies and management of digital certificates.


Return on Investment (ROI)

The amount of profit made on an investment.


Social Media

Web 2.0-based technologies on the Internet promoting user driven collaborative content generation, dissemination and publishing.


Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software delivered as a service over the Internet eliminating the need of an organization to install and maintain in-house software.


Social Tagging

Social tagging (a.k.a. social bookmarking) is a term to describe the marking, saving and archiving of certain websites. Internet users can use social tagging tools to track and organize their favorite websites, and access them from any computer with an Internet connection.



Microsoft's content management system. It allows groups to set up a centralized, password protected space for document sharing. Documents can be stored, downloaded and edited, then uploaded for continued sharing.


Social Networking

Interactive communication in which participants share thoughts, photos, etc. with members of their own personal networks via online communities such as Facebook  in a controlled way. 


Social Software

Software that enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication. Examples include instant messaging, chatting, blogs, wikis, etc. 


Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software delivered as a service over the Internet eliminating the need of an organization to install and maintain in-house software.


Total Cost Of Ownership (TOC)

The life cycle cost view of an asset, which includes acquisition, setup, support, ongoing maintenance, service and all operating expenses. It focuses attention on the sum of all costs of owning an asset, as opposed to the initial or vendor cost, and is useful in outsourcing decisions. 



Is a general term for a family of transmission technologies for delivery of voice communications over IP networks such as the Internet or other packet-switched networks.


Web 2.0 Technologies 

Commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web.



A wiki (sometimes spelled "Wiki") is a server program that allows users to collaborate in forming the content of a Web site. With a wiki, any user can edit the site content, including other users' contributions, using a regular Web browser. Basically, a wiki Web site operates on a principle of collaborative trust. The term comes from the word "wikiwiki," which means "fast" in the Hawaiian language.



A term used by software vendors for applications that allow users to exchange and organize files over the Internet.




Gillin, Paul (2009) Enterprise Collaboration for the Twenty-first Century, Oracle Corporation and IT Business Edge, Retrieved from Web site:  http://www.oracle.com/products/middleware/beehive/docs/enterprise-collaboration-whitepaper.pdf


May 2010,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee


DeBeasi, Paul. "Best Practices for Enterprise Mobile Device and Smartphone Security." Mobile Computing Information, News and Tips - SearchMobileComputing.com. 30 Apr. 2010. Web. 17 May 2010. http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/tip/Best-practices-for-enterprise-mobile-device-and-smartphone-security.


Phelan, Pat. "The 10 Components of Effective ERP Support Governance." Gartner. 10 Nov. 2009. Web. 17 May 2010.


Roberton, Bruce. "Top Five Cloud-Computing Adoption Inhibitors." Gartner. 13 May 2009. Web. 18 May 2010.


Monson, Philip. "IBM Lotus Notes and Dominio 8 Deployment Guide." IBM Redbooks. 2007.


Padova, Ted. "Adobe Acrobat 8 PDF Bible." John Wiley & Sons. 2007.


Bradley, Anthony. "How to Assess the Suitability of Social Media for Enterprise Collaboration Scenarios." Gartner. Web. 9 October 2009.



Comments (11)

jeneesaunders@... said

at 6:35 pm on Jul 13, 2010

"Also, smartphones have evolved so much that the browsers on many phones is equivalent to desktop capabilites. Also, cellular networks have increased their download speeds and reliability regarding dropped calls. [DeBeasi 2010]"

Overall a great chapter! I see you speak in the above section about the evolution of the Smartphone. You might be able to bring the reader in more, if you added what it has evolved from. One could compare the amount of drop calls in the past to now, or what the average download speed use to be and what it is now..ect.

Santhosh said

at 1:50 pm on May 31, 2010

The chapter is well organized and it looks like you have done some good research on the topic. I think, instead of explaining each of the tools like Lotus Notes and sharepoint, it would have been better to explain more on the general characteritics expected from an enterprise collaboration tool and just mention some of the tools that you have specified here. Overall this is one of the best chapters that I read so far.

(account deleted) said

at 11:12 am on May 25, 2010

I do like how the topic was clearly defined in the first paragraph and provides history of the concept. Spacing and formatting need a detailed review as well as punctuation. I think the glossary is very well presented and helpful.

I agree that this chapter could benefit from additional and precise citations, but I did like the straightforward presention of the material. My only concern is pertaining to the business case section, I wonder if there is any overlap with the Business Case chapter? This should be something that we should doublecheck (I am part of that chapter) before we move to the final draft...


at 7:20 pm on May 24, 2010

This chapter flows really well, and the text is simple enough to understand regardless of skill level of the reader. There are some grammatical issues that I have noticed, however, nothing that can't be fixed quickly and easily.

- Some dictionary definitions are bolded, some aren't. Good idea to keep this consistent.

- Graphs and charts allow for easier understanding sometimes. Some of the chapter is broken down in bullet form. This is great, however, people sometimes get a better understanding of concepts through graphical or more visualization.

ealexand01@aol.com said

at 4:11 pm on May 24, 2010

I think the chapter is well organized and reads very well from a langauge and flow standpoint. Aside from spacing/spelling clean-ups,etc as noted inthe commetn above, a few other minor considerations:

Under "Curent State of Enterprise Collaboration", I would start the first sentence as "Business leadership that is interested..." rather than "who are interested..."

Another small item: In the heading "Cloud Computing or SaaS" it would be nice if the acromyn for Software as a Service was spelled out or inlcuded in parentheses when the acronym first appears.

Other than that, and the clean-ups, it looks very good to me.

Achyuta said

at 4:10 pm on May 24, 2010

As one of the authors of Cloud computing chapter, I think the risks that are listed under Cloud computing can be done with. I dont see a point dedicating a chapter for it otherwise.

Good job with the write up.

c.j._petlick@whirlpool.com said

at 1:33 pm on May 24, 2010

This chapter has a lot of good content, and it's well-written, though I agree with other reviewers that it seems to need more citations. (Including more references will give readers a sense of how current the product descriptions are.) The Glossary is very nicely done, and helpful, too.

Following are a few suggestions that might enhance what's already there:

Under "The Beginning of Enterprise Level Collaboration," it might be nice to add that the World Wide Web really started as an enterprise-level collaboration tool --- HTTP was created by Tim Berners-Lee to enable collaboration among physics researchers at CERN in Switzerland, if I'm not mistaken.

The reference to "Swine flu" as a future event under "The Benefits of Enterprise Level Collaborat[ion]" is dated. I'd suggest rewriting this as a historical example of how corporations prepared to deal with the feared "H1N1 pandemic" of 2009.

The "Enterprise Collaboration Strategies" section seems more like "a strategy" or a model than a collection of strategies. In addition to renaming it, it might to be good to add "Change Management," "Deployment," and "User Training" as additional steps to really complete this model. Finally, since there's a lot of material in this very important section, it would be nice to see a table or figure that summarizes the 9+ steps -- I found myself repeatedly referring back to the outline on the chapter wiki page to see how the pieces fit together.

brad.marr@... said

at 10:30 am on May 24, 2010

Current State of Enterprise Collaboration
For all the technologies, are there pros and cons that can be listed for each? I’ve used all of these listed and all of their own specific strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps it’s the specific requirements or business model within an organization that will dictate which technology is best for them? Also, is the technology descriptors listed from an external source or from personal experience? There aren’t any citations in this section.

Emerging Trends in Enterprise Collaboration
Good technical information in here, although I see no citations. Is all of this based on personal experience with these technologies or was this information gathered from external sources?

Enterprise Collaboration Strategies
“…cannot be taken lightly” – is there a better way to say this? This is a well written section containing all the core components to selecting a enterprise collaboration technology. I did not see any discuss on financial gates in this section, unless I missed it. Not sure if it would be worthwhile mentioning financial ramifications into a enterprise solution. These ramifications include cost to purchase, cost to implement, and cost to manage or TCO.

This chapter is well written with all the pertinent information needed for this specific topic. The sections should be proof read to ensure grammar is correct. Also, there seems to be a large amount of citations missing from this chapter and the areas that have citations are not formatted correctly. I recommend viewing the Purdue Online Writing lab for reference. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

brad.marr@... said

at 10:29 am on May 24, 2010

What is Enterprise Level Collaboration?
The citations in here may not be correct. You will want to re-confirm the formatting.

The Beginning of Enterprise Level Collaboration
“With the millennium, it was obvious that the true value of collaboration would be achieved both from within the enterprise and outside the enterprise i.e. between organizations.” – it was obvious? How so? “Collaboration solutions evolved into pieces of enterprise infrastructure that -were leveraged like electricity and water.” – While I understand the spirit of this analogy, is this the best analogy to compare to enterprise technology solutions as it applies to collaboration? Was enterprise collaboration really leveraged like “electricity and water” in the new millennium? “Thus, many organizations -work with outdated or proprietary collaboration systems in order to avoid costly updates or major disruptions. (Gillin, 2009)” – what is the dash in “-work” for? Also, the citation should go on the inside of the period.

Impact of Incompatible Collaboration Systems
Don’t understand the dash in “-were”.

Impact of Incompatible Collaboration Systems
Is there a better way to say “user burnout”?

The Benefits of Enterprise Level Collaborative
“Collaboration is one of the global trends in business that is driven by disappearing geographical and technological barriers.” Is collaboration a trend or enterprise level collaboration a trend? In the true sense, collaboration is an activity has been around since mankind has been on earth so collaboration is certainly not a new trend. Enterprise level collaboration, in the context that includes technology based collaboration, is definitely a trend. You may want to state this explicitly.

ann said

at 3:37 am on May 24, 2010

I agree with the above comment that you may consider providing a table with a list of others tools including its benefit that you didn't cover in detail as there are many tools out there in the market.

Under the Solution Selection, "A matrix of candidate solutions... what the matrix refers to? The example of the matrix may needs.

Daniella K said

at 9:40 pm on May 23, 2010

Add more benefits to enterprise level collaboration

In the Data Governance section Data “Governanceis” there should be a space.

Overall, I think that this is good. I'm not sure if there should be a listing of the different tools since they are constantly changing, but I do like that the tools are included.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.