Integrating Collaborative Services

We have seen organizations begin to look at collaboration as a series of services instead of a stand-alone capability.  What do these organizations need to do to deliver collaboration to the users? It is actually as simple as figuring out which web-based applications you want to add collaboration to and what collaboration services to add. The trick is to choose the applications and arrange the services to allow for the critical mass necessary to have the collaborative environment go viral. Here are some basic steps that work well:

  • Eliminate the barrier to entry for the user community by tightly integrating with your corporate identity management solution.
  • Take an inventory of the web applications most widely used by your organization.
  • Decide which collaborative capabilities should be integrated into the most used applications.  Choosing the most used applications will get you the critical mass necessary to have the collaborative environment go viral quickly.
  • Work with your super-users to incorporate collaboration at a deeper level to improve the user experience.
  • Work with individual users to determine how the collaborative capabilities they need can best fit into their specific web applications.
  • Achieve advanced integration using available APIs.

It might sound like this step-by-step approach will take more time than standing up a single vertical solution, but in actuality, collaborative services should be able to be stood up and running in a relatively short period of time. You already know that your existing web applications function well for you and meet users’ needs. With collaborative services, you’re merely enhancing the functionality and since you can pace yourself and prioritize applications, you can more or less get started overnight. Because you’re starting with what you already have and with what already works, the process is actually far simpler than starting from scratch.

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