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Watching digital collaboration evolve: Key events over the last year

While the digital collaboration space has been vibrant and interesting for at least a decade now, the last year has seen a variety of shifts, new players, and fresh directions that both technology and business leaders should track.

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1 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

The decline of SMS and rise of enterprise messaging

Services like WhatsApp, even though they are proprietary, are replacing SMS, and the enterprise messaging market is responding in kind with offerings for business.

Related: Digital collaboration gets lightweight

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2 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

DevOps becomes the collaboration model across IT, and soon beyond

The hottest process since agile development, DevOps is bringing a new collaborative sensibility to technical teams. It got onto the agenda of nearly two-thirds of organizations in the last year.

Related: Closing the gap between executives and digital transformation

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3 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

Collaboration is becoming increasingly proprietary, but there is still hope with the W3C

The OpenSocial Foundation moved into the W3C Social Web Working Group at the end of 2014, hopefully the start of the the end of social collaboration silos which are impeding business progress with collaboration.

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4 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

Digital collaboration skills like Working Out Loud get industry emphasis

Technique likes working out loud are a key part of an important new set of collaborative skills that workers must acquire to be effective in the modern digital workplace. Working Out Loud week last November was an attempt to get past the technology  of collaboration and into the actual human skills required to create more effective and engaged workplaces.

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5 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

The colalboration software story of the year was Slack, which reached record valuations

The talk of the collaboration industry over the last year has been Slack, which has made team collaboration exciting again and created a round of imitators seeking to replicate its rapidly attained $2.8B valuation.

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6 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

Microsoft starts to push the envelope with collabration based on 'swarm intelligence'

Microsoft has long had middle-of-the-road intellectual thinking behind its tools, but took things to the next level when Bryan Goode walked the industry through their thinking for dynamic teams with Office Graph and Office Groups.

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7 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

The Enterprise Social Network finally mainstreamed in 2014

Jane McConnell's respected work last year in her Digital Workplace Trends report showed the there was a major jump in enterprise social network adoption last year, making social collaboration a reality at most large companies.

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8 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

The tension between team-based and 'big' social collaboration reached a peak

The pressure by the rise of Slack, real-time messaging services, and mobile collaboration apps challenged the social business industry in a significant way, but there's no real comparison, or even, competition. It's more likely they will co-exist.

Related: How social business grew up

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9 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

So many new collaboration app arrived over the last year. Too many.

There has been a lot of excitement and new entries in the collaboration space recently, but not always a lot of real innovation. Time will tell who is offering notable breakthroughs.

Collaboration Tools Listed

- Beam Messenger

- Confide

Cotap

- Eko

- Facebook at Work

- Flow

- Glip

- Incentive

- Jive Chime

- Redeapp

- Slack

- Slingshot

- TigerText

Related: 20 contemporary collaboration tools

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10 of 10 Dion Hinchcliffe/ZDNet

Collaborative value is as collaborative value does

The value of digital collaboration is significant, if one can get through the cultural, process, and behavioral changes. Some organizations reported real progress this year as well.

Related: How much can technology actually improve collaboration?

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