Teamware Market Is Poised for Growth

The Meta Group Tuesday released a report showing that the market for collaboration and document management tools that allow colleagues to centralize and share many aspects of projects and processes is poised to explode. The Teamware market, which includes tools for task management, calendars, threaded discussions, and document creation, is estimated at $150 million. The market has been developing slowly over the past five years, but is expected to experience rapid growth over the next few years, according to Matt Cain, senior vice president with META Group's Technology Research Services, and lead author of the report. That's good news for CRM users, because teamware tools help create business efficiencies by replacing ad hoc methods of project execution like email, attachments, faxes, voicemail, and shared network drives, according to the report. In addition, teamware tools enable the enforcement of corporate guidelines and best practice execution by allowing the customization of templates, workflow, and data import/export facilities. "Many organizations are now realizing that workgroups, both internal and external, can be made far more efficient by enabling participants to work together in a common repository that allows them to manage documents, schedule and track tasks and meetings, and communicate in real time via chat, and asynchronously via threaded discussion databases," Cain says in the report. To date the teamware market has been served by small players, but recently larger players like IBM, Microsoft, and Documentum have made headway. The report states that there were virtually no significant functional differences among the vendors. Though usage of teamware applications will grow exponentially, the report posits that the teamware market will contract as an independent market. Ultimately, the teamware market will be contextually embedded into enterprise applications like PeopleSoft and SAP, operating systems like Windows 2003, and document/content management applications and portals like IBM WebSphere, the report states.
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