- Forrester Councils
- Councils Overview
- log in
Posted by Ted Schadler on December 2, 2008
In our conversations with many information and knowledge management professionals, it's clear that their distributed and multicompany teams need better extranet collaboration tools.
And they feel the problem is only getting worse as companies go virtual, global, distributed, outsourced, green, travel-less, and partnered, thus driving the need for ever-better collaboration tools that work outside the firewall.
Trouble is, the messaging and collaboration services that companies have implemented are designed primarily for internal teams.
For example, it's bloody difficult to set up a secure instant messaging connection with every partner you might want to work with. Such interoperability between IM platforms is technically possible, but operationally nightmarish.
So clever employees do what they must: Use public IM and calendaring services, cobble together conferences from piece parts, and fall back on endless scheduling and sharing emails and voice conferencing. Ugh. Ugly. And scary.
Well, the solution's just around the corner say vendors new and old. After all, many are on the cusp of major product releases that promise much better extranet connections and capabilities:
That may be true. I surely hope so. But I fear that we have a few more hurdles to clear before extranet collaboration becomes as straightforward as internal collaboration. The basic problem is the many-to-many combinatorial problem. (The mathematicians I know call this a combinatorial problem, and its solution scales exponentially with the number of companies, nee people, involved.)
In addition to all the important stuff to support multicompany teams -- conferencing, video, shared calendars, team sites, persistent chat, search, shared documents, unified communications, structured processes, etc. -- these structural problems must be solved:
Agree? Disagree? Please comment.
Lead BT Transformation
Develop customer-obsessed strategies to drive growth »
Forrester's CX Index
Predict how actions to improve CX will affect revenue performance.
Measure the customer experiences that matter most »