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What is Groupware?

Vince Lombardi once said that, "The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual." If this is the case, then what do we need to do in order to insure success in our companies? How can we combine the efforts of each individual as Mr. Lombardi said was so key to the success of a particular organization? While there are many possible solutions to these questions, I have found something that will help your company become more organized, and your employees more unified in their work. I am talking about groupware.

What is Groupware?

Groupware is software that facilitates the communication between the members of a network workgroup. It allows people within a company, whether they are physically in the same location or in several locations all over the world, to share documents, information, and data. It allows them to collaborate on ideas and projects, by allowing them to essentially work on the same page at the same time. With groupware there is no limit to the number of people that can work on the same project without creating duplicate ideas and work. Since groupware can track all document information, you will never wonder if you are using the latest version of a document.

What about CSCW?

If you have ever heard anything about groupware, you have probably also heard of CSCW. CSCW stands for Computer Supported Cooperative Work and is the study of groupware, i.e. how it is designed, developed, adopted, and used. People that are involved with the study of CSCW not only include software designers and computer scientists, but also researchers and people that study organizational behavior.

How does Groupware differ from the Traditional User Interface?

Where a traditional user interface generally focuses on the use of only one person, groupware relates to groups and understanding how people work and function in a group. Groupware is also more focused on the ease of use for the user because the system must be more responsive as the pace of a particular application is generally driven by the pace of the conversation. Other factors, such as the size of the group, and the roles that people play are taken into consideration when designing groupware.

What can Groupware do for you?

Groupware has many functions and can be a very useful tool to keep your company organized and your employees working in unity. While there are many advantages to using groupware I have listed a few key ideas below. By having some sort of groupware in your company you can allow your employees to:

  • Share information
  • Keep common schedules
  • Manage e-mail
  • Maintain bulletin boards
  • Have several people work on one document
  • Write Collectively
  • Hold real-time network meetings
  • Share files
  • Share calendars
  • Share database access
  • Share spreadsheets
  • Have electronic conferencing
  • Have cooperative project management

As you can see, there are several advantages to using groupware to keep your company more organized and unified. Groupware will allow your employees to collaborate on information, ideas, and many other facets of their work and allow them to be more effective, productive, and organized. We already know that when we combine the efforts of each individual in an organization, we will see greater achievements and more success. If your company could benefit from groupware, then I encourage you to find out more about it and explore different possibilities to see which one will fit your needs the best. It will be one of the best decisions you will make with regard to the organization of your company documents, ideas, and information.

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Mike Nielsen is a client account specialist with 10xMarketing - More Visitors. More Buyers. More Revenue. For more information about groupware, visit

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