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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Microsoft SharePoint Online, which can be deployed either on-site or in the cloud, is available bundled with Microsoft's business productivity suite, online standard suite, or as a standalone offering for about $5.25 per user, with a 30-day free trial. The software, which is part of Microsoft's Office 365, includes a portal, collaboration and social computing, content management, and search. "Departments are getting information out to stores faster, because SharePoint Online is so easy to use," said Rhonda Cobb, IT manager at REEDS Jewelers.
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.
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