Low IT Cost Drives Adoption Of Collaborative Tech

by Amit Tripathi    Jul 12, 2005

CIOs of enterprises across verticals not only look for systems that are less expensive, but also lookout for reducing total cost incurred in the IT infrastructure as a whole.

According to experts, adopting collaborative approach in the processes involved in a corporate’s internal as well as external information exchange can greatly help in reducing the total cost of ownership of the infrastructure. While client - server based method is defunct, browser based (portal) approach seems to increase the cost of ownership. Thus, the middle path lies in adopting a combination of both the approaches.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Frank Luksic, director - Lotus Software, APAC, said, “The driving factor towards adopting more and more collaborative technologies is the growing insistence on reduction of cost on the IT infrastructure of the enterprise.”

In the collaborative approach capabilities like e-mail, calendaring and scheduling, presence and awareness, instant messaging, e-learning, Web conferencing, document and Web content management, access to central database and core application, are made possible through a single browser.

At the recent Technology Symposium conducted by IBM in Mumbai, IT heads of enterprises got a glimpse of IBM’s offerings towards enterprise level collaborative technology for information exchange and management, in addition to those for storage and security.

Giving a parity between browser based and client - server based approach, Luksic said, “The client - server based system tends to be slow where as the browser based approach lacks the richness in terms of an application. Moreover, it tends to increase the TCO.”

In this regard, Luksic mentioned about the collaborative application offering from IBM, the IBM Workplace Collaboration Services that is aimed at large enterprises whereas IBM Domino Express is directed towards the SMEs (small and medium enterprises), which can be extended to enterprise level as well. Giving details he said, “IBM’s collaborative offering combines the richness of client - server model to the efficiency of application in a browser based model.”

Spotting the trend in collaborative scheme, Luksic stated, “Enterprises have moved from a network delivered workplace to a portal based collaborative workplace that uses network as the facilitator in the conversation between applications.” He points out that the upcoming trend is role-based workplace, where single application will facilitate the information needs as dictated by different roles in an enterprise. As a demonstration for the same, he showed the application that will allow the collaboration between a teller, the customer service, and the branch manager, taking the example of a bank.

“There are two broad advantages with the Workplace Services. First, it makes IT control much easier. Secondly, it helps answer security issues internally. Users can derive more benefits of IBM Workplace Collaboration Services by hosting it on the IBM eServer iSeries server,” he added.

Speaking about the recent customer win, Luksic maintained, “In February 2005 we had recorded our first sale in Australia (for the APAC region) where we scored over MS Sharepoint.” The application is based on open standards (client was developed on Eclipse) and the Domino Designer feature allows developers build-desired application for customer relationship management and human resource process.