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Groupware and Online Collaboration: Collaboration Series #4

This article is the fourth of a series of articles exploring specific aspects of groupware. The brief informational articles in this series discuss some of the technologies associated with groupware, as well as some of the characteristics of groupware. Some of these characteristics may go hand in hand with business collaborative needs. Other characteristics go beyond what some groupware providers have to offer. The purpose of these articles is to equip the groupware user or investigator with helpful knowledge about the product in order to enable more effective use or to lead the investigator to the groupware service he or she is looking for. This fourth article explores the ability of groupware to facilitate online collaboration.

Online Collaboration

Online collaboration consists of sending emails back and forth to edit and review attached documents, like market reports, budgets, contracts, and press releases. Most businesses go through this process very regularly with departments, clients, investors, and strategic partners.

In today's fast-paced business world, businesses are constantly under deadlines, working tirelessly for their business and client needs. The challenge is in keeping up with all of the online collaboration going on. After all, online collaboration has become an ad hoc process, and document versions get saved in multiple email boxes and on multiple hard drives. When it comes time to merge document changes and create a final draft, many questions are left unanswered.

The market has recognized the need for groupware, or online collaboration software, to manage and track document changes. Using the right groupware will even enable businesses to manage ad hoc online collaboration, tracking all of the documents versions across multiple emails, hard drives, and servers. The who, what, when, where, and how are all answered, and businesses will have an organizational edge in the high-speed information age of business.

Online Collaboration Tools with Groupware

5,200,000 indexed pages are found under "groupware" in Google; 4,840,000 in Yahoo; and 955,263 in MSN Search. In order to find groupware for your business online collaboration needs, you need to be equipped with the knowledge of the tools your business needs in its groupware.

Digital Thread technology takes groupware to a whole new level and is the means of tracking document versions across emails, hard drives, and servers. Digital Thread literally threads the document versions together by tagging the metadata of an electronic document, so that no matter to whom it is sent or what changes are made, the data comes back to you. It creates digital signatures in your email, informing you whether you are opening the latest version of the document, and who saved it. As the process becomes more involved, and drafts have been sent back and forth between multiple reviewers multiple times, you'll be able to access a version history. Version history is compiled by Digital Thread technology and provides a visual display of the genealogy of the document, from first draft to last. This also makes it possible to merge the changes as the final draft is compiled.

Groupware that can manage online collaboration and go beyond a simple electronic draft filing system to work the way 21st century businesses work.

Joe Miller is an online advertiser and author of informational articles on business software. More information on Groupware or Online Collaboration is available at NextPage.com.

In The News:

'Little change' in Zimbabwe since historic election
Sun, 23 Sep 2018 01:18:00 +0100
When Emmerson Mnangagwa pushed long-time friend and fellow revolutionary Robert Mugabe out of the Zimbabwean presidency last year, he promised to deliver far-reaching political and economic reforms to a tired, run-down nation.

My house was burned down because of my views
Thu, 20 Sep 2018 17:13:00 +0100
Zimbabwe's electoral commission denied there was any interference in the country's first elections since Robert Mugabe stood down last year, despite accusations to the contrary.

Demolition of village 'ethnic cleansing', say Palestinians
Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:38:00 +0100
The Palestinian chief negotiator says the planned demolition of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank amounts to "ethnic cleansing".

Sharks killed after Great Barrier Reef attacks
Sun, 23 Sep 2018 04:46:00 +0100
Two sharks have been killed after a woman and a girl were attacked within 24 hours of each other at the same tourist spot in the Great Barrier Reef.

Pirates kidnap 12 crew from Swiss ship off Nigeria
Sat, 22 Sep 2018 21:01:00 +0100
Pirates have kidnapped 12 people from a Swiss merchant vessel off the coast of Nigeria.



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