New Report: Purposeful Collaboration

August 19 2013 04:00:00 PM Add/Read Comments [2]

Earlier this month I published my latest Constellation Research report, Enterprise Collaboration Software: From Simple Sharing to Purposeful Collaboration.

This report covers the evolution of collaboration platforms, showing how they have grown from stand-alone tools used primarily for sharing news and status updates, to platforms supporting the integration of external data for business use, to enterprise business applications that now have social features built right in and are designed to support specific use-cases.

Evolution of Collaboration Software

Some report highlights include:

  • An in-depth look at the definition of Enterprise Collaboration Software: "Enterprise Collaboration Software enables people to create, discover and interact with the content, colleagues and communities that can help them get their jobs done."
Enterprise Collaboration Software Defined

The three generations of collaboration platforms:

  1. Enterprise 2.0: The rise of social networks for business 
  2. Getting Work Done: Social adds integrated enterprise applications 
  3. Purposeful Collaboration: Native social functionality within core business applications 

How Software Vendors Can Deliver Purposeful Collaboration

  1. Enhancing Their Own Portfolio of Business Applications
  2. Delivering Templates for Specific Business Use Cases
  3. Providing a Platform for Developers and Business Partners to Build Applications

Actionable recommendations organizations can take when planning the business transformation required to be a social business

Key Elements Organizations Need To Consider When Evaluating Vendors

Purposeful Collaboration Will Drive the Greatest Business Value: Constellation expects these purposeful collaboration platforms to make impact in: Sales, Marketing, Human Capital Management, Customer Engagement, Development/Engineering, Resource or Supply Chain Management and Business Operations.

The report also includes, The Road Ahead: Reducing Information Overload, which discusses one of the major hurdles people face when using social software.

Please contact me for more information on Purposeful Collaboration, including questions about Constellation's services and workshops on the topic.


  1. Pankaj
    1 | 8/22/2013 2:05:38 PM

    As always, a very insightful conceptualization of the market. I am still undecided about the third generation though. I think there is still some push and pull here. Communication, collaboration and socialization are important business activities in their own right to warrant separate applications. I don't think they can completely be subsumed in other workflows/applications. Every application having its own social aspect might lead to "social silos".

  2. Alan Lepofsky
    2 | 8/22/2013 2:25:25 PM

    Pankaj, thank you for the comments. I agree, applications having their own social features can lead to social silos... and I think that is a GOOD thing. Not everything needs to be shared with everyone. Information overload is a HUGE issue. The key is creating these tools in a way where the information can be kept separate, or shared when needed. For example, look at how SAP is doing JAM. You can have a conversation right on an ERP record, but that same conversation can then be accessed within CRM, or just in the generic JAM stream. Salesforce is going similar with Chatter.