Although people can collaborate with all kinds of tools, the following three types of collaboration technologies are particularly important in anywhere, anytime environments.
This technology automatically detects whether a specific individual is using a device on an organization’s network. It may also detect other information about that person’s availability status and let the individual post information about status manually.
By making such information available to other users on the network, presence technology can facilitate effective interactions.
Chat and IM let users exchange text messages in real time. Some people prefer to use the term “instant messaging” to refer to chat that is specifically enabled between known sets of users (also known as “buddy lists”). This differentiates IM from the kind of web-based chat found on Internet sites that supports open participation.
IM is extremely useful for rapidly exchanging small amounts of information and getting immediate acknowledgement from other parties. It can eliminate communication problems such as phone tag or the sending of a follow-up e-mail to confirm that a recipient received, read and is acting on an earlier message.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have dramatically demonstrated how communities of people can interact online to share ideas and manage actions collectively. Millions of users are now familiar with social media functions such as “liking” and “retweeting.”
Organizations can take advantage of these mainstream services in a variety of ways. This includes building relationships between internal groups and external constituencies, staying up to date or sharing information.
But these services are only one way to take advantage of social media for enhanced collaboration. Others include: