Judging by the investments that developers -- both well-established and start-ups -- are making in the collaboration market, software vendors are paying more than lip service to the adage that no man is an island. Certainly, businesses are investigating -- and investing in -- tools that help employees brainstorm, locate each other, schedule meetings, and communicate via social networks. Collaboration technology itself covers a broad spectrum of devices, from instant messaging and email, to cell
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AtTask, which develops a social work management platform and on-demand project and portfolio software, extended its incorporation of social media elements with the February unveiling of Stream. The new feature is an ongoing flow of conversational data that employees enter into the software, a capability that boosted productivity at many beta sites, AtTask said. "Our team members really like using TeamHome," a dashboard-like workspace designed to help team members understand, organize, and get their tasks done, said John Gilmartin, head of programs at Sage, a software developer and customer of AtTask. "They like how they can add their own tasks, prioritize them on their homepage, and spend less time fumbling through the software wondering what their tasks are -- everything is in once place and is easy for them to access."
Worldwide, collaborative decision-making (CDM) software, which represents only a portion of the collaborative software world, is expected to reach $769.2 million in 2011, up 15.7% from 2010, according to Gartner. Last year, the researcher predicted revenue would reach $664.4 million. This year, CDM is expected to integrate deeper with business intelligence tools, Gartner said.
"Social software improves the connectedness of workers, promotes collaboration, and helps capture informal knowledge. Social software excels in business contexts that leave room for individuals to interact informally, brainstorm, explore ideas, and encourage or challenge peers. Specific business value can be derived through customer intimacy, product/service excellence, operational effectiveness and creating innovation," said Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.