Nov 13, 2012
A Slowly Shifting Market Landscape
Collaboration is an activity tailor-made for the cloud, as employees roam from device to device, one minute on a smartphone, the next on a PC, wrapping up the workday on the couch with an iPad. Sure, lots of large enterprises have deployed internal collaboration systems, usually SharePoint. But they tend to live within walled corporate gardens under tight IT control. They're difficult to access when mobile. There's no federation or interaction with the external collaboration forums, whether Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube, that employees use for both business and pleasure.
Given that, we asked more than 25 companies with cloud/SaaS collaboration services targeting enterprises to respond to a detailed questionnaire. We received 11 responses, with participants ranging from big software companies such as Google and Citrix to scrappy up-and-comers like Huddle and ThoughtFarmer. You can download our questionnaire as well as full responses here.
There's something for everyone among our respondents. Google wants to be your all-in-one, cloud-based source for email and Office documents, while layering on an increasingly rich set of collaboration features that work across its entire ecosystem. In contrast, services like those from Atlassan and Podio target closely knit project teams and workgroups looking to augment core apps from IT central planning with a rich set of social-network-inspired collaboration features.
We break the market down in this report to see where each model excels and falls short, while highlighting common features that have become table stakes in this space. The good news: It's never been easier to get a rich set of collaboration capabilities for short money. (R6111112)