Collaboration Party Getting Crowded

Ann All

IBM, which just announced some Web 2.0ish additions to its Lotus line of collaboration software, certainly won't be the only belle at the collaboration ball.

Driven perhaps by one analyst firm's estimate that the market for collaboration software will grow from $469 million in 2005 to $939 by 2009, IBM is being joined at the party by all of the usual suspects: Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, all of which plan to make it easy to add tools like blogs and wikis to their applications.

Such software is proving highly useful at companies already using it. Procter & Gamble's director of computers and communications says that collaboration tools will become the "focal point" of the desktop for the company's employees. The tools allow them to connect with coworkers directly within applications rather than ending a task to initiate communications.

It's one area where it seemingly makes sense for Web 2.0 to intersect with the enterprise. It also may give companies like Microsoft and Oracle a chance to prove they are not the "dinosaurs" that folks like's Marc Benioff make them out to be.

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