Enterprise collaboration enables employees in an organization to share information with one another and work together on projects from different geographic locations through a combination of software technologies, networking capabilities and collaborative processes. Technologies may include group communication, workflow and document-sharing capabilities. Many enterprise collaboration software tools have features similar to those offered on popular social media sites.
Well-designed enterprise collaboration systems simplify the communication process, which has grown more complex for employees at many companies due to the expansion of remote and global work environments, the accelerated pace of business operations and the rapidly increasing amounts of data that workers have to contend with. In a collaboration system, business users can trade knowledge, store and exchange files, create and jointly modify documents, and interact with each other in real time in collaborative workspaces. In order to enable effective collaboration, however, the selected tools must be easy to use and accessible so users will engage with the system and use it on a regular basis.
A collaboration platform is a category of business software that adds broad social networking capabilities to work processes. The goal of a collaboration software application is to foster innovation by incorporating knowledge management into business processes so employees can share information and solve business problems more efficiently.
Vendors are taking different approaches to building collaboration platforms. Some are adding a “social layer” to legacy business applications while others are embedding collaboration tools into new products. All enterprise successful collaboration platforms share certain attributes -- they need to be easily accessible and easy to use, they need to be built for integration and they need to come with a common set of functions that support team collaboration, issue tracking and messaging. Many collaboration platforms are designed to look like Facebook or other sites that employees are already accustomed to using in their personal lives.