Groupware: The Triple Threat of Document Collaboration Technology

 


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Document Collaboration has made leaps and bounds since the explosion of the technology revolution. In any business era, the need to collaborate remains a constant. What varies is the ability of technology to keep up with demands of the collaborators. Groupware has risen to the challenge, delivering solutions that streamline the editorial process - tracking documents, sorting, and even merging documents, essentially answering the who, what, when, where, and how of collaboration.

Even within the family of groupware solutions, new technologies are available to take document collaboration to a higher level. Since all groupware technology is not created equal, it is important to search carefully. Millions of indexed pages on your favorite search engine become the one groupware every business is looking for when searching through the newest technologies available in groupware.

Digital Thread technology, Version History, and Document Signature services form a new “triple threat” in document collaboration technology. It is a time-saver, an energy-saver, and a money-saver.

In business efforts to preserve the bottom line, effective management and thorough record keeping are paramount.

Consider the following example:

Negotiations for a contract between company A and company B have been going on for months, with law firm C as the author and mediator of the contract. Three representatives from A and B have been part of a drafting committee with a partner from C, making a committee of seven, each with various electronic records of by laws, budgets, minutes, and memos. The deadline for the final draft of the contract falls due in a few weeks.

This could be a create-your-own-ending story, and you will see two alternative endings.

First ending: The committee has a semi-organized pile of various drafts of files distributed over seven separate hard-drives, with numerous copies of the drafts sent via email to the other members of the committee. The report is almost ready to be merged; however, as the committee members survey the documents on their drives and emails accounts they realize they do not know who made certain changes, which drafts they are to merge, when each of the changes were made, where the drafts are stored, and how they are going to merge the changes all within the month remaining until the deadline.

Second ending: The committee has a semi-organized pile of various drafts of files distributed over seven separate hard-drives, with copies of the drafts sent via email to the other members of the committee. The report is almost ready to be merged. Throughout the negotiating and drafting process, law firm C has had Digital Thread technology inserting tracking data into the each document which the committee has worked on. Because all of the documents have been tracked, even though others on the committee may not have Digital Thread, the representative from law firm C can see the genealogy of every document and its who, what, when, and where with Version History. Representative C has spotless documentation because every time she sees a Document Signature at the bottom of the first page of the document telling her which draft she opened, when the latest changes were made, where it is stored, and who has taken action on it.

Representative C merges the documents without disrupting the order of the suggested changes, finalizes the document, rechecks the final draft with both parties, and still has time before the contract is due.

This is of course a make-believe story, or is it?

Joe Miller is specialist in online advertising . For more information on groupware , please visit NextPage.com .

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