by Erica Driver.

We’ve had clients ask us recently — in fact we sometimes ask ourselves — “What’s the difference between a collaboration platform and an Information Workplace platform? Here goes:

  • Collaboration platform. A unified, integrated electronic platform that supports synchronous and asynchronous communication through a variety of devices and channels. Collaboration platforms deliver a set of software services that enable individuals to find each other and the information they need, and communicate and work together to achieve common business goals. The primary pieces of a collaboration platform are messaging (email, calendaring, and contacts), team collaboration, real-time collaboration (e.g., instant messaging, conferencing), and Social Computing tools (e.g., wikis,blogs, tagging, social networking, and shared bookmarks). IBM and Microsoft are the leading collaboration platform vendors.
  • Information Workplace platform. An increasingly unified software platform that provides not only collaboration services but also content management (especially document management, records management, and Web content management), portal, office productivity, business intelligence (in particular, management dashboards), and learning (in particular, contextual learning). Over time, an increasingly broad range of functionality is being absorbed into Information Workplace platforms. IBM and Microsoft are the most commonly-considered Information Workplace platform vendors.