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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With tools such as Cisco WebEx, businesses have been able to eliminate many of the costly, time-consuming in-person meetings once such a necessary component of their operations. WebEx Connect IM, part of the total Cisco WebEx system, uses presence and instant messaging to enable users to communicate with colleagues, both inside and outside an organization. Because of the presence technology, WebEx Connect IM knows whether users are available, reducing communication delays and boosting employee productivity. For its part, Cisco rolled-out the service internally to 90,000 employees, partners, and contractors in 45 days, said Bailey Szeto, director of strategy and architecture for communication and collaborative IT at Cisco.
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.