The teamware market is poised for growth as organizations increasingly realize the benefit of creating virtual workspaces for project teams, communities, and processes. Competition in this market has been fierce and will continue unabated. This Delta discloses the findings from an in-depth comparison of the six leading teamware tools.
META Trend: Collaboration is emerging as a key enabler for lowering process coordination costs and gaining competitive differential. Through 2004, collaboration vendors will supply components (e.g., instant messaging, teamware, Web conferencing) that can be contextually embedded within business applications and enterprise portals. By 2007, XML and Web service standards will enable "contextual collaboration" strategies that span customers, employees, and partners.
The Teamware METAspectrumSM, an in-depth comparison of teamware tools, reflects a market in transition to maturity and possible extinction (see Figure 1). From a functional perspective, with the exception of Groove, there were no overwhelmingly significant differences between the vendors. The results show IBM and Microsoft, which had been laggards in this market at one time, becoming far more competitive. The study also revealed the boost that eRoom received from a viability standpoint when it was acquired by Documentum. The survey results indicate that Open Text was wise to breakout its teamware product as a separate collaboration offering (the Livelink components were reviewed in this study). Moreover, given the poor showing that SiteScape made in the presence category and the strong showing it made in the performance category, the study underscores just how attractive SiteScape is as an acquisition target. Consequently, this market will consolidate down to a handful of large suppliers that can bring to bear ready access to capital, broad distribution channels, and deep international support as well as attract a healthy cottage industry of developers and system integrators. Ultimately, the teamware market will explode by being contextually embedded in enterprise applications (e.g., PeopleSoft, SAP), operating systems (e.g., Windows 2003), document/content management (e.g., Documentum, Vignette, Interwoven, Stellent), and portals (e.g., IBM WebSphere, Plumtree). Due to this inclusiveness, we expect the standalone teamware market to wither, leading to the paradoxical situation of the market exploding from a usage standpoint but contracting as an independent market. It should be noted that our comparative results are based on hardwired evaluation criteria, which would change if modified to meet a specific organization’s requirements.
It was no great surprise to see Documentum - having recently acquired eRoom - in the leader category. eRoom was started in 1996 by Lotus refugee Jeffery Bier and has been focused like a laser on this market. It has pioneered many of the common innovations in the teamware category, and it has been broadly adopted by many Global 2000 companies. Because eRoom was early to market and gained broad enterprise deployment, it encountered, and ultimately resolved, many operational issues related to multiserver implementations ahead of other vendors. Yet eRoom on its own would not have fared nearly as well in the METAspectrum as Documentum has, having acquired eRoom in 2002. The acquisition put eRoom on solid financial footing and tied it to an enterprise-class document management system, highlighting the increasing dependency of content and collaboration services. The core challenge for eRoom moving forward will be to ensure that customers and prospects see its value independent of Documentum document management, and not view an eRoom investment as a stepping-stone to other Documentum products, which would certainly have a dampening effect on eRoom sales. In addition, the core differential that eRoom must emphasize is its verticalization of workspaces around processes that are document-rich. eRoom will prosper by moving up from technology prowess to process competencies over those of Microsoft, IBM, etc. We expect the pending acquisition of Documentum by EMC to have little impact on eRoom business, as long as Documentum is run as an independent business unit as EMC has indicated it will be.
There were three challengers in the Teamware METAspectrum:
Bottom Line: The teamware market is maturing, moving from small vendors to large vendors. Ultimately, we expect the standalone teamware market to be minimal compared with embedded teamware services.
META Group originally published this article on 18 November 2003.