Microsoft today hosted a Webinar entitled Make Collaboration the Engine of Business Productivity, presented by Peter O’Kelly from The Burton Group.
Peter spent the first 20 minutes explaining the difference between “communication” and “collaboration” activities, and the technology tools that are available for using each.
- “Communication” refers to the exchange of information between individuals, and uses asynchronous channels such as email, RSS, news groups and fax, and synchronous channels such as IM, video, and voice.
- “Collaboration” is a joint purposeful activity, usually around documents, processes and projects. The shared workspace is the key tool, which offers membership and roles, presence, synchronization services.
- The infrastructure and tools required for collaboration and communication are exceptionally deep and integrated. Designed an enterprise architecture is a non-trivial task.
- The tools for communication and collaboration have been artificially bounded. Better integration is needed.
- Communication and collaboration tools, appropriately deployed, make for a more productive and responsive organization and individuals, due to minimizing the process coordination tasks and enabling the right people to engage in the joint purposeful activity ASAP. Removing travel and entertainment expenses is key.
- Rapidly expanding regulatory compliance requirements may be the next key driver for the adoption of an enterprise collaboration and communication infrastructure. Everything has to be recorded.
- Internet-based free or low-cost services are often “good enough” for communication and collaboration. They are simplistic in comparison with traditional enterprise offerings, but useful in many contexts.
- The consumer-oriented offerings, eg, MSN Spaces and Messenger 7.0, are leading indicators of what’s coming next in enterprise-oriented tools.
- Offline access will be a critical capability of the architecture, but it must be built in from the beginning.
- The development of this new enterprise architecture requires input from the various domain and subject matter experts, eg, IM, conferencing, portals, workflow, telephony, digital rights management, etc.
- There's a big opportunity for cross-architectural integration. CASAHL is well-positioned.