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October 20, 2008

Broad Agreement on Most Compelling Collaboration Applications

Recent Unified Communications (UC) announcements by industry heavyweights Cisco (News - Alert), Microsoft and Oracle have emphasized the business importance of applications that enable collaboration between employees, as well as with customers and external business partners.

As part of our continuing look at decision maker attitudes and plans for UC, our most recent global survey conducted in partnership with research firm IntelliCom Analytics asked participants to choose and then rank order in 1-2-3 importance the collaboration capabilities that they find most compelling for their businesses.
Choosing between capabilities that ran the gamut from video conferencing, Web whiteboarding, document sharing and interactive Web 2.0/social networking apps, to productivity tools such as presence, instant messaging and personal call control, the findings from the 1,190 participants generally showed strong across-the-board agreement — whether viewed by size of business or by participant job function.
Web conferencing and whiteboarding clearly emerged as the most compelling collaboration capability — a finding that tracks with the generally perceived flexibility and lack of capital investment associated with popular Software as a Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) offers such as WebEx.
There was also strong agreement on the value of collaboration applications that enable natural work teams to dynamically manage document generation and updating — whether in terms of easy-to-access storage or intuitive search and change control capabilities.
Video conferencing also emerged as a priority for both large and small businesses, both in the form of affordable desktop applications on the low end, or more elaborate video and telepresence systems on the high end.
Somewhat surprising was the relatively low priority given by businesses to personal productivity applications such as presence/availability management, enterprise IM and remote worker call control capabilities. This warrants further investigation, although one likely explanation is that decision makers may be viewing these types of applications as general “foundation” UC capabilities more so than team-oriented collaboration applications.

Edited by Greg Galitzine


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