30 digital collaboration terms that you should know about

eXo Platform Blog

Enterprise software has come a long way in the last couple of years, to revolutionize the way we work. Gone are the days of single-page, static intranet portals, e-mails as the only way to communicate internally, and old pieces of machinery like faxes and pagers to get things done. From digital workplace solutions and enterprise social networks to document and knowledge management, the possibilities are endless for businesses to streamline their processes and improve productivity.

With a multitude of new technologies making their way into the workplace, we thought it would be a good idea to explain some of the new (and not so very new) solutions, and the terms associated with them. First, we will start with the most popular and sought-after enterprise software.


1. Digital workplace
2. Document management system (DMS)
3. Knowledge management system (KMS)
4. Project management system
5. Web content management system
6. Corporate Intranet
7. Extranet
8. Enterprise social network (ESN)
9. Calendar management
10. Enterprise wiki
11. Employee engagement software
12. Employee recognition software
13. Gamification software
14. Third-party applications
15. Interoperability
16. Activity streams
17. Collaborative spaces or groups
18. Social dimensions
19. Notifications
20. Real-time chat

21. Forums
22. Polls
23. People directory
24. Enterprise search
25. Version control
26. Co-editing
27. Widgets and portlets
28. Microblogs and news
29. Single Sign-On
30. Security and access control

1.       Digital workplace

A digital workplace is a holistic user-centered solution used to connect, engage, and empower employees. Through an employee-centered hub, it encompasses a set of tools, applications, and platforms for a complete work experience.

2.       Document management system (DMS)

A DMS is a system designed to store, organize, and keep track of electronic documents and images within one centralized location. Whether the DMS is standalone or built-in within a digital workplace solution, it can bring a number of benefits to businesses, including secure and easy access to company documents, improved collaboration and productivity, integration with third party applications, and more.

3.       Knowledge management system (KMS)

KM is the process of acquiring, storing and sharing information from several sources, and making it readily available to exploit and evolve in a simple way. Digital workplace solutions often come equipped with a built-in knowledge management function, to centralize company knowledge, boost productivity, facilitate onboarding and continuous learning, and reduce duplication.

4.       Project management system

A project management system allows users to create, access, schedule, assign and track projects, sub-projects, and tasks. Typical project management software has an extensive set of features, including integration with third party applications, real-time notifications, calendars, analytics and reports, direct messaging, etc.

5.       Web content management system

A WCMS enables users to create, modify, and publish web page content without specific knowledge of web development and programming languages. A WCMS often includes must-have features such as the creation of personalized content, automated scheduling of content, pre-defined templates, plugins, access permissions, and more.

6.       Corporate Intranet

A corporate intranet usually designates a portal used to inform and align the workforce through content and top-down communications displays. In some cases, the intranet also provides each employee with access to its tools, external information sources, and HR processes.

A typical intranet portal acts as a centralized place where employees can learn about the latest company activities and access key business applications. Its features typically include some form of web content management allowing the display of content and portal capabilities, providing users with access to external links and applications.

7.       Extranet

An extranet is a portal that can be accessed by authorized users such as clients, vendors and suppliers, to access and share information. Similar to a corporate intranet, an extranet is built on a portal and includes web content management capabilities to personalize the site and improve the user experience.

8.       Enterprise social network (ESN)

An enterprise social network (ESN) is an internal social network that applies social media principles and features to connect employees and enhance their interaction at work. A typical ESN includes a combination of social and collaborative features, such as an activity stream, the ability to like, comment on, and share pieces of content, profiles, collaborative spaces, and more.

9.       Calendar management

Calendar management software gives users the possibility to access, schedule, and share events and dates. Calendar solutions can either be standalone, part of an office suite (like Google Calendar and Google Suite), or natively built-in within an intranet or a digital workplace. Common features include the creation of personal or team calendars, auto scheduling, integration with third party applications such as messaging apps, and the adding of attachments, notifications, etc.

10.   Enterprise wiki

Enterprise wikis are an essential component of any intranet and digital workplace solution. This functionality is popular within organizations looking to build a rich knowledge base, convey organizational culture and policies, encourage open participation and exchange of expertise, onboard employees and manage teams.

For a wiki to be effective, it must include a rich text editor, the ability to add graphs and visuals, templates adapted to each business function, and social features allowing users to like, comment on, and share content.

11.   Employee engagement software

Employee engagement software is any type of software that seeks to measure employee engagement and satisfaction through surveys and quizzes. It also combines employee recognition, rewards, social feeds, and content management to help businesses tackle issues of disengagement and high turnover rates.

12.   Employee recognition software

Employee recognition software is a type of enterprise solution designed to acknowledge and reward employees for their work, effort, and performance. Major recognition solutions have more or less the same features and functionalities, such as the ability to recognize and praise peers’ work by sending kudos and thank-you messages, setting contests and competitions, rewarding employees with badges and tangible rewards like tokens and gift cards, analytics to monitor trends, etc.

13.   Gamification software

Gamification is the deployment of elements of game design within the use of applications, to boost usage and engagement. Gamification software consists of badges, leaderboards, clear progress paths, rewards, etc. Its introduction to the workplace can guarantee high engagement and retention rates, boost productivity, and improve the work experience.

Now let’s focus on some of the features and terminologies associated with digital workplace solutions and digital collaboration.

14.   Third-party applications

A third-party app is an application provided by a software vendor that is not the original creator of the application or platform that it was designed for. For example, eXo platform users can use Outlook or any other tool directly from their eXo Platform instance. In this case, Outlook is considered to be a third-party application.

15.   Interoperability

Interoperability is the ability of a solution to connect, integrate, and share access with other solutions and systems.

16.   Activity streams

An activity stream, commonly referred to as a news feed, is a list of activities, posts and content, displayed in accordance with any user’s specific preferences, connections and settings.

17.   Collaborative spaces or groups

Collaborative spaces or groups are dedicated and personalized areas for communities, teams, departments, projects, information centers, etc. They may be used in various scenarios to sustain communities of interest, communities of practices, and various specific group activities, such as team or department collaboration and project management.

18.   Social dimensions

Modern enterprise software comes equipped with social features that enable users to like, comment on, and share pieces of content.

19.   Notifications

A notification system keeps users up to date with the latest activities within a platform. There are various types of notifications, including on-site, mobile push, and e-mail.

20.   Real-time chat

Direct messaging makes it easy for users to communicate and collaborate in real-time. Chat applications such as Teams and Slack and other built-in messaging apps have seamless integrations with third-party apps like calendar, task and document management, which makes them an important pillar to streamline communication and drive business performance.

21.   Forums

Forums are web applications designed for group discussions and user-generated content, in which participants with common interests can exchange opinions on specific subjects.

22.   Polls

Polls are great tools for businesses to enhance bottom-up communication and understand their employees’ needs and opinions on certain matters. Polls can be the basis of any initiative in the workplace: what software to buy, whether employees are engaged, etc.

23.   People directory

A people directory is a complete list of employees within the organization. It contains a number of items of information about employees, including their names, e-mail addresses, experience, skills, etc.

An enterprise search is the process of making content from various data points available and accessible to users across a whole organization.

25.   Version control

Version control is the management and tracking of changes to documents and other sources of knowledge within an organization.

26.   Co-editing

Co-editing is the process of a group of users collaborating and making changes to a document in real-time. Office suites such as OnlyOffice, Google Drive and Office Online help users to work on documents, track changes, and compare versions and reduce duplication.

27.   Widgets and portlets

Widgets are small business applications and UI components that grant users access to applications and services. Portlets, on the other hand, are more complex components that treat user requests and generate more dynamic content.

28.   Microblogs and news

Microblogs and news are must-have features for communication and HR specialists who want to convey the latest corporate news, announcements and policies. Features such as a rich text editor, and the ability to include attachments like documents, images and videos, all help to craft an effective message. Microblogs and news can be pinned on the homepage of a digital workplace for greater visibility.

29.   Single Sign-On

SSO is a property of access control that gives users secure access to multiple independent software systems.

30.   Security and access control

Access control is the process of restricting access to authorized users, in order to guarantee secure access to a platform and to protect sensitive data and critical information.

This is a comprehensive list of useful digital collaboration terms. If you would like to know more, make sure to take the blog tour and subscribe to our newsletter.

 

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Product Marketing Specialist

I am a product marketing specialist at eXo. My role is to assist marketing and sales teams in their operations and present our digital workplace solution to the world. I mainly blog about the latest tech trends, digital transformation, internal communication and how to navigate through eXo Platform.

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