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What is a collaboration tool?

What is a collaboration tool? – Find out the definition, pros and cons

According to Market and Market, a US market research firm, the global collaboration tool market, which was worth 37 trillion won in 2020, is expected to grow to 57 trillion won in 2024. The collaborative tool market, which is growing at such a rapid pace , is no exception in Korea.

In the case of the domestic collaboration tool market, which is expected to be worth about 500 billion won, IT giants such as Naver, Kakao, and NHN have started to push ahead with the business.

Meanwhile, in the global collaboration tool market, it is a trend that many companies are growing in size through mergers and acquisitions.

Salesforce, a global CRM company, acquired Slack, a representative collaboration tool, for about 32 trillion won in December 2020, and Zoom, a global video conferencing company, also bought AI contact center Five9 in July 2021. It was acquired for 16 trillion won and announced that it aims to expand the platform. As such, the collaboration tool market is gradually growing the pie of the SaaS service market. 

What is the difference from SaaS service's emerging collaboration tool and groupware?

What is a collaboration tool?

A collaboration tool refers to a business tool that allows team members to collaborate together, and is also called a collaboration platform or work platform.

Most of the collaboration tools are developed as SaaS-type cloud, and are provided as a subscription service with a one-month or one-year billing cycle. Representative collaboration tool companies include Slack, Teams, Notion, and Zoom.

Difference between groupware and collaboration tools

Groupware is a SaaS service developed so that various functions that help systematic business operation such as corporate mail and electronic payment can be used on one platform.

On the other hand, collaboration tools are SaaS services that are specialized for specific functions, such as messenger or video conferencing.

Therefore, you can choose between groupware and collaboration tools according to the organizational status of the operating company or the necessary purpose and function. Alternatively, there is a way to use the two services together by linking them with an API.

History of Collaboration Tools

It can be said that 'Slack', which is a synonym for messenger-type collaboration tools, has led the history of collaboration tools.

Slack is a collaboration tool developed while adding functions for business management such as a search function to the messenger used by existing game companies. Since 2013, when Slack was released, various collaboration tools have been released one after another, such as 'Notion', which focuses on document tools, and 'Zoom', which focuses on video conferencing.

In Korea, JANDI and Flow are representative companies of the first generation of collaboration tools, providing collaboration functions based on messengers for work.

Advantages and disadvantages of collaboration tools

The strength of the collaboration tool is that it is a corporate messenger, and unlike personal messengers, it is possible to separate work and private life. Furthermore, according to the settings of the administrator, you can control the work environment through download restrictions and login IP settings.

However, in the case of collaboration tools, there is a disadvantage in that it is difficult to keep the history because business communication is done only through messengers, not e-mails. In addition, the characteristic of a collaboration tool specialized in one function can lead to the disadvantage that it lacks various functions.

For this reason, many collaboration tool companies are supporting various solutions to be linked through APIs. However, it is difficult to say that the convenience of using the service is high because this process may feel difficult depending on the person in charge.

Therefore, it is also the reason why 'groupware' that can use various business functions at once on one platform is leading the SaaS market.