Enterprise Collaboration Platform Configurations: an Empirical Study
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
Collaboration and communication technologies are essential for the support of cooperative work in organisations. Unlike the situation with ERP Systems, there is no single integrated Enterprise Collaboration System that provides systematic and compre- hensive support for all the different forms of collaborative activities. As a consequence, organisations must combine multiple tools, applications and systems to build their Enter- prise Collaboration Platform. In this paper, we present the findings of a focused empirical study that examines the complex collaborative technology landscape in user organisa- tions in order to characterise and understand the evolving portfolios of collaboration soft- ware that have been implemented. Based on a literature review combined with an analy- sis of existing commercial software products, we developed a classification scheme for Areas of Collaborative Work (ArCoW), which is then used to structure an online ques- tionnaire. The analysis of data from 23 responding user companies revealed three typical “configurations” of Enterprise Collaboration Platforms: concentration, where the platform is highly focused on a core ECS/suite with only a few additional collaboration software tools, diversity that also builds around a core ECS/suite but extends this with a wide range of additional tools and dual core characterised by two ECS/Suites with few addi- tions.