Collaboration Technologies: Part Two

Abstract

(This Three Part series is now combined into a Full Report available HERE.)

In Part One we discussed the specific technologies that make up the Collaboration Suite. In this Part Two, we will look at the end-user role and see how the suite supports collaboration activities according to the roles and activities people perform.

In Part Three we will return to the Solution Providers. Who are they? How are they positioned in the market? How can you create a true solution out of the components?

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Essential Success

The dynamics of our world are brought to us in real-time—all the time. A small ripple in one part of the world today truly affects us all. Whether between governments, in research and development, education, or by businesses launching new products into new markets, collaboration is essential. Collaboration is constantly evolving (often faster or slower than the players involved wish). But without a foundation (a system and culture), collaboration often goes in unanticipated directions.

The last two decades have brought us a series of technological innovations available even in remote locations. This has changed the world both socially and economically. Technology and its continuing price/performance curve have also made it available to all walks of society. The result is technology that has the power to transcend organizations and political boundaries.

In Part One we discussed the specific technologies that make up the Collaboration Suite. In this section, we will look at the end user and see how the suite supports collaboration activities according to the roles and activities the end users perform.

Global Eco-Systems and Supply Chains

Historically, much has been made of the so-called vertically integrated business. US Standard Oil and Ford Motor Company are examples. The fact is that Ford, as a pioneer, had to invent its supply chain in order to be successful. Today, we rarely work this way. In fact, great global enterprises are fed by innovation and supply chains from many diverse organizations, large and small, from around the globe. Many companies are not even aware of who the end-to-end players are in their markets or supply
chains.

Today, our one-world economy has the potential to restructure chains and relationships, often destroying the methods of the past. These cycles of creation and acquisition or divesting are perpetual in dynamic ecosystems. Examples are biotech research companies whose products are manufactured and distributed by large global pharmaceutical manufacturers. Or so-called fabless semiconductor and software firms that develop high-performance functional technology which is then embedded and sold by the big computer companies.

In federated chains, the process is stretched across the globe (Figure 1). Hence, key processes and information linkages need to be supported


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