As collaboration moved from being a technology buzzword for manufacturers to a core facet of global production operations, the focus has shifted from questions about the need for manufacturers to collaborate and into how to do it most effectively.
>> Team collaborative applications, which provide structured team environments (such as workspaces with documents and task lists) to share data and content. In these applications, communication is typically asynchronous and closed to all but specific team members.
>> Enterprise social software is focused on social network applications that allow everyone — employees, customers, partners, and suppliers — to use blogs, RSS tags, wikis, and other Web 2.0 tools to have an open dialogue.
>> Email applications provide a framework for electronic messaging based on shared directory messaging platforms and access protocols for use by enterprises. Not surprisingly, IDC Manufacturing Insights notes that this is typically one of the largest of the collaborative application markets.
>> Instant communication applications for collaborative manufacturing marks the evolution of stand-alone enterprise instant messaging (IM) and presence capabilities into a more sophisticated environment for messaging and collaboration, according to IDC Manufacturing Insights.
>> Conferencing applications provide a real-time connection for the viewing, exchange, or creation of content and information by two or more users in a scheduled or ad hoc online meeting or event.
- The capability to view and share information as well as act on data in real time;
- Handle communication across an increasingly complex supply chain; and
- Provide the ability to store, share, and reuse data for a continually changing workforce.