The online collaboration market has subsequently exploded into one of the fastest moving in the software-as-a-service space, so anyone trying to predict how things will evolve is either extremely brave or foolhardy. But there are some things that you can be sure will happen.
When we founded Sazneo at the end of 2009, it was becoming increasingly apparent that Enterprises were about to be bombarded with a new wave of Web 2.0 applications that promised to change the way they work. Email was dead and our real-time team communication service was going to hit the market at just the right time. I almost had the company Jet on order before our Beta began.
But it's not that easy to strike it big in the enterprise collaboration market.
Organizations Get Serious About Collaboration
There are a few things we know are going to happen with organizations and collaboration technologies.
Companies won’t just adopt Collaboration 2.0 technologies because they are sexy
Companies spend time and money on things that either solve a problem or create value for the business. New and trendy technologies that promise to change the way we work grab headlines but any that are perceived as yet-another-place-to-type will suffer low adoption rates and usage will decline over time.
Vendors that initially focus on solving a niche problem will gain traction
The Enterprise Collaboration 2.0 vendors that understand the business problem they are best at solving and focus on that in their search for new clients will prove most successful. Vendors who try and boil the ocean by offering a generic new way of working will struggle.
Account Management is not dead
Larger enterprises that are serious about rolling out a collaboration solution will want more than just an online relationship with their potential supplier. The companies will be looking for their Account Manager to understand their business, know why they are considering rolling out their solution and will want help selling it internally. Vendors could expect that strategic deals done in this fashion will generate more revenue per customer than relationships that are solely on-line.
Different industries will adopt collaboration technologies at different rates
Adoption trends will begin to emerge, with some industries taking off faster than others. The adoption rate will be affected by things like company cultures or certain dynamics such as geographically spread out teams that strengthen the business case for introducing something new.
The consultancy and implementation market for these technologies will grow
The market for companies that offer change management services to help companies adopt these technologies will grow significantly. Vendors will look to partner with these companies to encourage a more successful rollout of their products. Conversely, the consultancies will look to build a portfolio of technologies they work with and choose to be seen as independent, doing what is in the best interest of their client.
So there you have it, then. Enterprise Collaboration tools will continue to be a rapidly evolving market with 2011 being the year of proving adoption. Those vendors that get their focus and secret sauce mix right could be on the road to winning big. Those that don’t, will slowly disappear into the sands of time.
As for the company Jet idea, that is going to remain grounded for the moment.
Editor's Note: Additional articles on enterprise collaboration to read: