What are some elements of effective groupware?

What kinds of groups can use it?

What ways is it used?

What are some examples of groupware?

  1. Teleconferencing
    IBM P2P (Person to Person) Desktop Conferencing
  2. Workflow Management Systems
    eg. IBM Flowmark
  3. Group Decision Support Systems
    eg.GroupSystems for Windows

TeleConferencing (Same time Different Location)

Features of Teleconferencing:

Allowing users to connect their computers and work together as if they are in the same place. Business documents, drawings and photo images can be shared among users. What it needs is microphone, speakers, high-speed 28.8 modem and the conferencing software. User can talk and transmit data over the same phone line. While talking on the phone, users can work together on a shared document, transferring file or sending images over the same ordinary telephone line. Together with a tiny camera mounted at the cover corner of a laptop, users can see each other on the screen with a tiny little picture at the corner.

There are basically three different kinds of Teleconferencing applications.
To get further information, please visit other relevant sites on particular application.

  1. Desktop Conferencing
    IBM Desktop Conferencing P2P
  2. Personal Conferencing
    eg. IBM Personal Conferencing P2P Screencall
  3. Video Conferencing
    eg. VideoConferecing Home Page

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Workflow Management System (Different Time Different Locations)

IBM FlowMark

Imagine you are a bank employee who has to process a loan request. You need to know which steps to follow, which organizational guidelines to consider, and who to ask for approval.

As a bank clerk, you start the loan request application on the workstation and the first activity in the process appears on the worklist telling you what to do. The first activity could be gathering the customer's information, the system automatically executes the next work item by checking customer data or by performing a credit scoring. Then the system passes the relevant information on this case to another bank employee who can assess the credit risk.

This second employee automatically gets this work item on a personal to-do-list and processes the evaluation. Assuming that the risk for this banking transaction is high but affordable and a signature is needed from one of the bank managers, this employee requests the necessary signature.

The select bank manager gets this work item on a to-do-list and signs electronically after evaluating the case. All necessary work items for the loan request have now been processed and the bank can grant the loan to the customer. The process can be done in good order without leaving the customer unattended while asking for evaluation and permission, but instead, the clerk can concentrate on doing the tasks that need human interaction such as explaining details to the customer and leaving the repetitive and administrative works to the system.

To get further information on IBM Flowmark, please click here.

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Group Decision Support System (Same Time Same Location)

GDSS -- GroupSystems for Windows

GroupSystems is in experimental setting. It offers a collection of software tools to support group activities such as brainstorming, information gathering, idea organization, voting, preference aggregation, and consensus building.

During the meeting -- The facilitator choose a topic for discussion. Participants at each microcomputers simultaneously type in their ideas on the subject. The ideas are sorted by the system and sent to participants for vote and comment. In the course of the meeting session, the system store and categories all the inputs and each participant are given a copy of summary of the discussion results.

To get further information on GroupSystems for Windows, please click here.

Here are some Pros and Cons to Group Decision Supporting System.

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