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Can Group Collaboration Software Meet Business Needs?

According to a survey conducted by InfoTrends/CAP Ventures entitled "Content-Centric Collaboration," 51 percent of businesspeople utilizing technology such as Microsoft Office and e-mail collaborate almost daily as a part of their business operations and need group collaboration software to support electronic collaboration.

The report indicated that the need would continue to grow over the next year. This stat is not surprising because technology can be very valuable in improving business operations. However, two challenges seem to stand in the way of supporting electronic collaboration: "convincing users to consistently take advantage of capabilities" and "encouraging users to contribute information into the system." One of the questions that has arisen from these challenges is "Is there a group collaboration software that is simple for users to adopt?"

Since two-thirds of businesses collaborate using e-mail, one of the biggest tests for group collaboration software is whether it can integrate with e-mail. When considering the type of collaboration that takes place with e-mail, businesses see that e-mail collaboration includes attachments created mostly in Microsoft Office applications. This means there is another test for group collaboration software, "Can it integrate with Office applications.

User Friendly Group Collaboration Software

The first two challenges of adopting group collaboration software are not uncommon to adopting any new technology. Often times a new technology can be very intimidating. Is there group collaboration software out there that is user friendly?

First, it is important to recognize that group collaboration software packages available today include different components which vary according to the package you select. Most businesses may begin looking by typing "group collaboration software" in an online search engine. This will yield 19,500,000 indexed pages.

In order to narrow down your choices for a non-intimidating group collaboration software package, begin by searching for a package that does not require IT (information technology) infrastructure. This means that you do not have to add any new technology to your computer in order to use the software. No IT also means that the software works automatically with your applications, without having to install and maintain separate servers or applications. There is group collaboration that you can download and then sit back, relax, and let it work for you. Use the free demo option to see how the group collaboration software works for you.

Integrating Group Collaboration Software

More than half of technology users already collaborate almost daily using email and attachments. When searching for the right group collaboration software for your business, there are helpful technologies included in group collaboration software packages which make integration with email and MS Office possible.

Digital Thread technology allows group collaboration software to track documents as they are sent back and forth and altered. The Digital Signature displays the tracking information (the who's, what's, when's, where's, and how's) every time you open any draft of the document from e-mail, your desktop, or any other drive on your computer. A Version History puts all of the tracking information together in a family tree of the document and its versions, making collaboration even easier because you always know what you are working on, where it has been, what changes have been made, who made them, and where it is saved.

A group collaboration software package which includes these technologies easily integrates with email and MS Office applications, even if there are others with whom you collaborate who do not yet have group collaboration software.

It is true that the need for group collaboration software is increasing rapidly, and so is the number of group collaboration software packages. These tips are meant to help you sift through the millions of options available to you and to help you to find group collaboration software that is user-friendly and that can integrate with the most commonly used office applications available.

Joe Miller is specialist in online advertising. For more information on group collaboration software, please visit

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