The Value of Simple Collaboration

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Six Tips to Improve Collaboration

Six steps you can take to improve collaboration in your company.

Just about everybody intuitively understands the potential value of collaboration. But the challenge with collaboration from an IT perspective is setting it up. Today the most widely used collaboration tools in IT are Microsoft SharePoint or Lotus Notes. Both can be deployed on premise or delivered as a service, but they still leave a lot to be desired in terms of ease of use and manageability. As a result, you see a lot of companies embracing Web technologies such as wikis because they are both free and easy. But wikis leave a lot to be desired in functionality.

Stepping into the gap between these two extremes is a provider of a software-as-a-service application called SharedDoc. According to CEO Caroline Vanderlip, the fundamental premise of SharedDoc is simple. Companies want a place to collaborate online that is secure, but doesn't require a lot of expertise to use or set up.

In the case of SharedDoc, customers post a document online and then send an e-mail inviting people to access it. Only people that have been invited can see the document. The service supports almost any document type, including Microsoft PowerPoint, and provides a pretty clean interface to navigate the comments surrounding any document.

In contrast, offerings such as Lotus Notes betray a big enterprise mentality that comes with more complexity than the average company needs or wants. And despite anything Microsoft says, SharePoint is basically an unmanaged repository for documents that take up too much space on Microsoft Exchange. Wikis, meanwhile, are easy to use but fraught with security and compliance issues and Google Wave doesn't scale all that well beyond a handful of users. And even then, it's a little tricky to follow conversations.

So while SharedDoc might not be the most technically elegant application ever built, it is simple to use and, at least for the moment, free to use until the application formally comes out of beta in 2011. When all things are considered, maybe SharedDoc is going to wind up being "the Goldilocks of collaboration software" in that despite all the other choices, SharedDoc may prove to be just right as far as the average end user is concerned.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Sep 5, 2010 2:58 PM IT Support Tampa IT Support Tampa  says:

We have been using both products Lotus Notes and Share Point.

Both have its pluses and minuses. However, Lotus Notes is more secure and easier to manage system.

Lotus Notes Development

Sep 7, 2010 4:40 PM Ethan Stuart Ethan Stuart  says:

EndUserSharePoint.com has an interesting graph on Lotus Notes vs. SharePoint -- at least in terms of the amount of work available on each: http://www.endusersharepoint.com/2010/08/18/sharepoint%e2%80%99s-explosive-job-growth/

Oct 7, 2010 12:56 PM steven steven  says:

Check out this website for a Business collaboration software

tool we implemented to help us drive revenue http://www.dresoftware.com/ DRE Software. It's a business collaboration and web conferencing all in one tool. This company really seems to get what it takes to Engage prospects, customers and business partners and build a relationship with our company using private workspaces.

We needed a supplement to our CRM solution, and DRE Software is one of the few technologies we have found that adds direct value to the client/prospect. Which in turns has driven revenue. It's affordable and has saved us money on our

web conferencing budget. In the current economy how many business tools can you say that about. If anyone is questioning the value of this tools try using it and imagine doing business without it.

With all the information available for sales, internal resources and the contacts along with email integration the decision to use this service was an easy one. A benefit to me as VP of Sales is I can watch the sales activity and correspondence with our customers/prospects as the sales Executives take them through the sales process and customers have access to contact me or anyone on the team. Since all the customer facing documents with version control are available in the workspace library nothing is falling through the cracks and the customers are really feeling connected.


We did not have to download any software and it is very easy to use and customize your workspaces. We invite everyone to the workspace and the teamwork begins from there.

The web conferencing and business collaboration Network (BCN) all in one

tool is offered by DRE Software http://www.dresoftware.com/ with to many features to list.



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