Email, Collaboration and Web Conferencing: Why They Belong Together

Pankaj Taneja, Marketing Coordinator for HyperOffice writes a compelling case for why email, collaboration and web conferencing belong together and not separate.
Although conceptually different – business email, collaboration and web conferencing tools are closely related and need to keep interacting with each other. Email continues to be the knowledge workers’ hub, often used as a substitute document manager, when documents are sent back and forth as attachments. All collaboration systems keep workers appraised of changes with “notifications”, sent as email. Project management interacts with document management, as documents are often resources attached to tasks, or the task consists of working together on a specifications document, or a contact etc. Participants of a web conference call sometimes need to collaborate on a document while on call. Many other examples can be cited.
Email, collaboration and conferencing are all thriving markets, but ironically, they are separate markets. In spite of the close interrelations, the three are offered as separate systems. Many companies have a separate Exchange server for messaging, a separate SharePoint server for collaboration, and a solution like WebEx for web conferencing. Three solutions to manage, thrice the cost, three consoles to visit.
Part of the reason that they remained separate solutions is that large software vendors like Microsoft with a near monopoly on the market prefered to keep them separate – MS Exchange for messaging, SharePoint for collaboration, Communications Server for presence and IM and so on. This was evidently the more profitable approach for them, and there were’nt many competitive pressures from rival vendors or even from users for whom it was all part of the obscure world of IT and had never really been introduced to easier ways of doing things.
Read his full article here.