Collaboration tools have failed to address the fundamental requirements of the organisation. Part of the problem is that the term itself has been misused, and this Report describes what companies need to do to achieve efficient Workgroup and Enterprise Collaboration.
Within the collaboration stack, Workgroup and Enterprise Collaboration is sandwiched between individual collaboration and inter-enterprise collaboration, and is, we feel, the area of greatest potential value. It refers explicitly to the use of collaboration-facilitating tools and processes within the organisation. The remit for such solutions has clearly changed - organisations no longer want or need a series of disparate and standalone products for, messaging, file and document exchange, virtual workspaces, conferencing, and presence detection and awareness. Solutions have to be delivered that directly address the problems facing the organisation. This requires flexibility, customisation, and adaptability, both from a technical point of view, and from that of the business culture.
Butler Group's view is that collaboration solutions therefore need to be focused on delivering a rapid Return On Investment (ROI), yet be deployed with an awareness of the future strategy, and be open to new and unexpected benefits that come from increased productivity and efficiency of information handling. In other words, a framework is needed for Workgroup and Enterprise Collaboration.
The most important issue to address with Workgroup and Enterprise Collaboration is why an organisation should bother investing in it. Our view is that, if approached properly, with the backing of a supporting culture and appropriately deployed technology, collaboration can help the organisation unlock the vast reserves of knowledge capital held by the collective experience, knowledge, and wisdom of its employees.
In addition, Workgroup and Enterprise Collaboration can assist with: