Collaboration is broadly defined as two or more people working together to solve a particular problem or to achieve a common objective. Collaboration software allows people who are geographically separate to work together in a virtual environment, to exchange insights, create joint documents, and complete work together.
Collaboration environments can be either a single application or an integrated set of separate applications. At the heart of most collaboration suites is an email-based messaging system used to notify team members, send alerts, and obtain responses. Other common functionalities include Wikis, instant messaging, shared white boarding, group contact information, text chat, document sharing and management, group calendaring and scheduling, project and task management, threaded news and discussion groups, data and file sharing, audio and video conferencing, and other knowledge management, document management, and decision support functionality. Workflow functionality, which allows messages and documents to be routed to the appropriate users, is also sometimes included in a collaboration suite.
Collaboration environments provide more than just a better way of working together, sharing ideas, and resolving work-related problems. Virtual collaborative environments increase productivity, shorten process cycle times, and reduce travel and meeting costs. Additionally, if the knowledge of a team or group is made available to others, then the organization also benefits from content reuse, sharing of best practices and the lessons learned from previous employees. All parts of a collaboration software system can be enhanced by enterprise search, enterprise content management, and digital asset management.
Iknow has deep expertise in managing all phases of collaboration projects, from initial requirements gathering through system design, customization, and deployment. We have addressed and solved a variety of collaboration issues, including identifying business needs of product teams, project teams, and functional groups; prioritizing desired software functionality; conducting software product assessments; implementing the collaboration software; configuring access control and identity management; and resolving security issues.