enterprise collaboration (EC) definition

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: What makes enterprise unified communications work
Contributor(s): Melanie Luna and Craig Stedman

Enterprise collaboration is a system of communication among corporate employees that may encompass the use of a collaboration platform, enterprise social networking tools, a corporate intranet and the public Internet. 

Enterprise collaboration enables employees in an organization to share information with one another and work together on projects from different geographic locations through a combination of software technologies, networking capabilities and collaborative processes. Technologies may include groupware, videoconferencing and document-sharing capabilities. Many enterprise collaboration software tools have features similar to those offered on popular social media sites.

Well-designed enterprise collaboration systems simplify the communication process, which has grown more complex for employees at many companies due to the expansion of remote and global work environments, the accelerated pace of business operations and the rapidly increasing amounts of data that workers have to contend with. In a collaboration system, business users can trade knowledge, store and exchange files, create and jointly modify documents, and interact with each other in real time in collaborative workspaces. In order to enable effective collaboration, however, the selected tools must be easy to use and accessible so users will engage with the system and use it on a regular basis.


This was first published in June 2013

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