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Online Collaboration & Brainstorming Tools

Online Collaboration & Brainstorming Tools is a wide ranging category, including thought-organizing tools such as mindmap and bubbl, and our typical collaborative tools with web based interactive whiteboards or the general ones such as Google Documents ("10 Internet Technologies..Be Informed about.").

The goal of collaborative software, which may also be known as groupware, is to transform the way documents and rich media are shared to enable more effective team collaboration. Collaboration, especially in regards to information technology, has being coined several definitions. Collaboration may be referred to in terms of social networking and engagement but in this case, I refer to collaboration as a form as the ease to communicate, and work both effectively and efficiently in the work-place. Over summer I worked as an intern within a very large corporation with more than 50 percent of its employees outside the United States. Collaboration is what makes the company successful. In fact, during this internship I worked with a Worldwide team, especially with an Intern in China, and another in Oregon of which we all developed modules to be integrated into a single application. This was possible because of the effective collaboration techniques my team entailed, and it, in fact, made the internship a much more exciting experience for everyone. Collaboration helped my team in accomplishing our goal, and it helps the entire company to be successful, this also applies to all other companies with international operations. Collaboration requires all individual working together in a simplified and extremely coordinated fashion, all towards a common goal. The primary purpose for bringing the team together is to accomplish this goal. Collaboration and collaborative software is common in helping facilitate action-oriented teams working together over various geographical regions by providing the tools needed which helps aid communication, collaboration and the process of problem solving. Furthermore, collaborative software can support project management functions, such as task assignments, time-managing deadlines, and shared calendars ("Collaborative software").

Collaborative software aims to support the individuals that make up the team and the interactions between them during group decision making or problem solving process. "Many of today's teams are composed of members from around the globe, with some members using their second or third language in communicating with the group. This situation provides cultural as well as linguistic challenges for any software that supports the collaborative effort. The software may also support team membership, roles and responsibilities. Additionally, collaborative support systems may offer the ability to support ancillary systems, such as budgets and physical resources" ("Collaborative software").

A typical and well known example of collaborative software is the licensed technology from Microsoft, known as SharePoint. SharePoint is a platform used for hosting and developing secure intranet or extranet sites that supports easy communication, collaboration and document management. It is closely integrated with the Microsoft Office suite, therefore, if an individual or a team is interested in collaboratively developing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office documents, SharePoint may be an ideal solution. "SharePoint also enables an individual or likewise, the team to quickly create announcement lists, discussion boards, surveys, calendars and other site features, and to customize how these features are displayed in the user interface" ("Collaboration Tools").


"Collaborative Software." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 July 2012. Web.
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