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Citrix and WebEx Wrestle Microsoft Might in the Collaboration Tools Category at Developer Summit Awards 2010

 

Bangalore, March 11, 2010: Darwin's reference to biological symbiosis involves two or more species that commit to a relationship and through their combined efforts and mutual collaborative interactions, both stand to gain success. In a similar vein, there can be no doubt that one of the hottest spaces in enterprise software today is collaboration. It's no surprise collaboration is getting a lot of interest. The old processes for capturing, authoring and sharing information are stale and inefficient. As such, there is lot of room for achieving productivity improvements through improved user experience. This has been true for all software, but especially so in the enterprise software space where collaboration is essential for daily operation, where every ounce of productivity translates into big dollars.

 

When we refer to collaboration on a business activity, there are generally two buckets for these processes. The first are activities that would fit within the process of innovation. This might include creating new products, models or business processes. In other words, we are talking about the process of creation and innovation by teams. The second bucket includes activities around executing the business processes. Execution includes the hundreds of processes that run each day to operate the business. These are tactical in nature, and traditionally have key performance indicators (KPIs) measuring the success of a given process.

 

In this day and age, fast is synonymous with instantaneous. Increasingly, there is less time to dial up a fax machine or wait for a file to slowly attach to e-mail (then wait yet again during sending). This is especially true for entrepreneurs, whose small businesses are built on every advantageous edge that makes them competitive with larger corporations as well as one another. For small business, everything must be real-time – not just information anymore, but also changes. Small business needs collaborative tools that can keep up.

 

Enter web-based collaborative tools, center stage. These business implementations are the only means fast enough to match the high-speed demands of the Internet-age industry. They achieve instantaneous cooperation despite distance, cost, and other past inhibitive considerations. In support of a powerful storage hub, they allow you to securely store your information, make real-time changes to it, share it openly or discretely, and, most importantly, collaborate on it with family, friends, groups, departments, business teams, clients, vendors, or anyone.

 

Fast isn't the only measure, though. These tools must be easy, with user-friendly interfaces and intuitive commands. Complicated FTP programs are a thing of the past, and e-mail is too limited (and sometimes too flaky) to fully meet a company's diverse needs. Tools must be cheap. The idea is productivity, and expensive software or services prohibit that goal. Web-based tools fill the demands traditionally met by established application suites, but without their hefty price tags attached. Most of all, though, tools must be reliable. Web-based collaboration does not depend on one machine (PC or Mac) or one server, but reliably and securely functions outside of these constraints in the cloud, so to speak. The information your enterprise team works on in the office all day should still be accessible at your home computer (so you can continue work with them at night). And with the extensive controls built in to web-based tools, even the most sensitive materials remain completely confidential despite their availability within user-defined limitations. Simply put, all-in-all web-based tools make collaboration simple.

 

In the pre-computer age (before 1970), collaboration was a manual process. This was done mainly in face-to-face meetings and phone calls. The technologies used included calculators, blackboards, telephones, postal mail and pencil on paper. While computers might be part of the process, it was mainframe host oriented that offered no interaction by the participants. This was labor intensive with long cycle times for even simple tasks. In this era, teams needed to be in the same location, or endure significant travel.

 

When the Internet entered the picture (1980s), it provided a basis for the team to communicate, mainly via email. This allowed teams to collaborate while geographically separated, which further improved the efficiency of the process. Since collaboration allowed teams to extend beyond a single location, they could now include more talented people in other geographies. Other technology advances such as overnight mail, video conferencing, faxing and conference calling further improved the process.

 

Another emerging area of how web collaboration is impacting execution is through business intelligence networks. These are like Facebook or Twitter on steroids. An example of this would be collecting sales and market intelligence through an internal network – very similar to a social network. The key difference is that in these applications the participants are internal communities, and the network has intelligence. Information is assembled and analytics push back conclusions based on all the inputs. This allows the community to respond quickly to new conditions. In other words, the decision latency is reduced closer to the dream of "real time business."

 

Clearly, web collaboration has enabled business execution to be better, cheaper and faster than in the past.

 

Saltmarch Media's annual Great Indian Developer Awards honors software products across 12 categories,based on their productivity, innovation excellence, universal usefulness, simplicity, functionality and most importantly on the ground feedback from India's software developer ecosystem. In the Collaboration Tools Category, the final shortlist consists of Citrix's popular GoToMeeting, Microsoft's Office, WebEx WebOffice, Microsoft's Office SharePoint server and Microsoft's Exchange Server. Oracle's Collaboration Suite was the first collaboration tool to win this award in 2008 followed by Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional in the 2009 chapter of the same awards. Voting is open from http://www.developersummit.com/gida3_llist.

 

If there is a particular development environment that you personally endorse to your colleagues or you evangelize about them at the first opportunity you get, here is your chance to vote for it (voting closes April 10 2010) and see it win this prestigious award. Visit the 2010 Great Indian Developer Awards website and cast your vote. It counts!

 

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