Search tools to exploit growth of groupware

Software to help companies communicate and share information more efficiently will feature strongly at this year's CeBit technology conference.

Software to help companies communicate and share information more efficiently will feature strongly at this year's CeBit technology conference.

Groupware and collaboration technology encompasses e-mail, instant messaging, voice over IP (VoIP), telephone and videoconferencing, and document sharing is set to be a hot issue for many corporate users.

Richard Edwards, research analyst at Butler Group, said software to search and mine information generated from such technologies would attract attention.

"E-mail is still the primary collaboration tool. The e-mail inbox has become the new C-drive, and an increasing number of search and retrieval tools will target this area. On the server side, I think we will see an increase in e-mail appliances and hosted solutions, as organisations - especially in the SME space - struggle to keep e-mail under control."

CeBit will showcase more instant messaging, VoIP and videoconferencing technology, such as Skype phones and video cameras.

"Skype is introducing teleconferencing and videoconferencing to a new audience," said Edwards. "In the past these technologies were reserved for senior managers and required expensive infrastructure. Now they can be delivered straight to the desktop in a collection of easy-to-use tools."

Edwards added that specialised IMgateways and firewalls might also make an appearance at CeBit this year, as organisations sought interoperability between competing technologies. 

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