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By  Dan Berthiaume

Enterprise communication and collaboration technology vendor HyperOffice is releasing a new version of its cloud-based SaaS communication suite that combines social and collaboration technologies and capabilities.

Social Collaboration as Disruptive Force

According to HyperOffice, new social capabilities are “deeply integrated” with its suite of communication and collaboration tools, and the whole package is accessible to any Web-connected PC or mobile device via a single, unified interface.

What HyperOffice refers to as “social collaboration” features include user profiles that provide personal data as well as professional information such as skills, groups and managers, collaboration activity streams, social conversations with live attachments — meaning an attached document will be automatically updated if it is edited, the ability to “follow” users, groups and projects and instant messaging capabilities.

In a recent guest column on the website of Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis, Tracky Chief Evangelist Sarah Evans predicted that open social collaboration platforms would “disrupt the enterprise market” this year and in the future. Citing a McKinsey Group estimate that 75% of enterprises will adopt a social collaboration platform in 2013, Evans wrote that social software generally only connects employees already involved in managing social media, requiring companies to employ multiple collaboration tools that are clunky and don’t integrate with each other well.

Although social collaboration applications such as the new HyperOffice suite have disruptive potential, Evans cautioned that “long term use (of social collaboration platforms) could be hindered if these tools and platforms are implemented ineffectively.”

IT Does Not Live On Social Collaboration Alone

HyperOffice is delivering on a promise President Farzin Arsanjani made in a CMSWire interview published in July 2012. “I don’t see social collaboration by itself as a silver bullet,” said Arsanjani at the time. “It only works if it supports a well-defined workflow. In the absence of that, social collaboration becomes ineffective.”

Arsanjani also mentioned allowing customers to aggregate objects, users, events and information into one activity stream, engage in conversations regardless of platform and get information from any device (particularly mobile) and customize activity stream navigation allows users to follow specific users, groups and objects.

“The market has moved from email-centric to social-centric collaboration,” added Arsanjani in a prescient comment. “You can’t eliminate email 100%, but social media has become the preferred method of collaboration and communication.”

Although Arsanjani’s comments only came about seven months ago, in the rapidly-changing world of IT, that is a significant period of time. Social collaboration based on structured workflow has only become even more important, while email has become more marginalized, particularly as a tool for communicating internally or with established outside collaboration partners.

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