Collaboration has always been important to working within teams and moving us forward. Throughout history, scientists and innovators have been developing better ways to collaborate but how far have we come?
Collaboration software is the first communication service designed with collaboration solely in mind. But why has it only just taken off and what are the collaboration tool's predecessors?
Starting off is our initial form of communication and documentation are Cave Paintings. Dating back to 30,000 BC this has proven to be a tough and long-lasting method of documentation but have you ever seen one of these cave paintings in real life. As the name suggests, these paintings were hidden away in caves like a time capsule, only to become widely popular in the age of technology 32 millennia later.
An alphabetic system is said to have been developed by 1700 BC by the Egyptians, though there were never any records of a postal service until 2400 BC where a limited service had been created for Pharaohs to diffuse their decrees.
Since 1150 AD, carrier pigeons are rumoured to have been used in Baghdad. From 1167 AD a regular service had been established between Baghdad and Syria. This was an adventurous attempt to speed things up which seems to have proven largely successful, although compared to modern methods, this is an extremely slow way of working.
Somewhere between 1235 AD and 1315 AD the Mind Map was developed as a collaboration and brainstorming tool. This is a long-standing process that we still use today, however, it doesn't connect us in any way.
Samuel Morse released his initial Morse Code communication system in 1837 which worked using electromagnetic telegraph. This is a method of communication that was complicated and time consuming as people both sending and receiving messages had to know and understand the code and translate it into a message.
A lot of people have heard of the name Alexander Graham Bell related to the inventor of the telephone. There's also another one - Elisha Gray. They both independently designed speech-transmitting devices, Bell just managed to patent his first. The telephone is a great mode of instant communication, but it's difficult to collaborate without using a visual medium.
The earliest form of instant messaging came about in the 1960's, however, this wasn't over the internet and could only be used within a local network. This meant that this was only good for close communication and useless for businesses who needed to work remotely.
Email completely reinvented the way businesses work. The use of email meant that teams were connected but this didn't mean they were organised. Emails are good for notices and bulletins but if you're working collaboratively, your team can end up working individually on a piece of work before having to merge them later.
Social Networking came about in 1999 after the launch of the lost friends searching website, Friends Reunited. Social networking has come a long way since then and has given us popular websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. These are all great tools, though they are more designed for social purposes rather than working purposes. They have limited functionality for uploading files and it is a resource that is public.
Collaboration software is the point we are at. Combining Enterprise Social Networking, Project management and File management. Collaboration software is a centralised blend of the most important web-based tools that are essential to improving your business' bottom line. Teams can stay connected and organised with content available to download anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This medium is the first to combine communication, planning and file transfers. It's also the fastest way to do so.