Collaboration Software, also known as group collaboration software or groupware, is software which allows cooperation on a business document between multiple parties on multiple computers. Collaboration software also allows the integration and merging of document changes and versions on a business document.
There are two types of collaboration software: IT centered and low IT involvement. IT-centered collaboration software, like many document and content management platforms, requires new IT infrastructure, training, maintenance and support. Low IT involved collaboration software communicates collaborative information to all parties involved using the existing IT infrastructure and with little or no training and maintenance, making open collaborative software more diverse and less expensive. This type of collaboration software also manages the ad hoc processes of business collaboration, assisting businesses even when the workload and deadlines create a hectic and disorganized schedule.
This article presents an index of collaboration software technologies to assist businesses in finding collaboration software that works for them. Any given internet search on “groupware” or “collaboration software” will yield millions of results. Knowing what technologies to look for will help whittle down the results to a groupware that works the way businesses work.
literally threads together multiple drafts of a document by placing a tag in the metadata of the document. Each time the document is edited or changed, the changes are tracked. When it comes time to merge versions of the document into the final draft, each version will be accounted for. In addition, those who work on the document will know what changes were made, when they were made, and where and by whom the drafts were saved.
Digital Signature is a signature appended to e-mails sent back and forth with draft attachments during the collaboration process that informs the user which draft it is and by whom it was saved. Finding the latest version of a document is very simple to track.
Version History ties everything together by presenting a visual flowchart outlining the “genealogy” of the document. Each draft is accounted for, and the who, what, when, where, and why of the document and its drafts are always answered.
Merge is usually the final and most difficult step of document collaboration. However, adopting the right collaboration software simplifies this process by allowing you to compare the changes in a document, even when those changes are saved in different locations or in your email account. Merging documents is often synonymous with sifting through document chaos, but collaboration software suites which can manage ad hoc business collaboration simplify the tracking and merging of document drafts.
Businesses move quickly, and collaboration software needs to be able to keep up. Business collaboration can be a messy ad hoc process, and collaboration software needs to be able to manage it. Merging business documents can be confusing and chaotic, and collaboration software needs to be able to simplify it. Digital Thread Technology, Digital Signature, and Version History are technologies that have combined to find a way to work the way businesses do.