Enterprise-Level Groupware Choices: Evaluating Lotus Notes and Intranet-Based Solutions
This paper considers collaborative software atthe enterprise level, specifically Lotus Notesand alternatives which use Intranet-based (WorldWide Web) technologies. We examine thestrategic reasons, both short-term and long-term, motivating firms' choices in the decisionphase and organizational issues in theimplementation phase in three exploratory casestudies. We review prior coordinationtechnology literature to show that our focus onthe decision faced by senior management of whichgroupware system to implement is a useful andnovel perspective to pursue. We argue thatthis choice, and its consequences, is of crucialimportance to the firm. To understand morefully the nature of the decision, we consider athematic pair of related issues: Internetstandards and interoperability. Why are so-called ‘Open Systems’ a major factor to some firms and notimportant to others? Why is theproprietary nature of Lotus Notes a stumblingblock to some firms and a strategic advantage toothers? We explore enterprise-level groupwareexpectations and requirements in our casestudies to address these interesting questions. The final section focuses on predicting changeto understand when an organization might reverseits initial enterprise-wide collaborative strategy.