Technology Coordination: Collaboration Tools

Office 365 brings with it a broad suite of collaboration tools beyond just email and calendaring, many of which are similar to existing standalone solutions used on campus with varying degrees of consistency.  Discuss how and when tools such as OneDrive, Box, Sharepoint, Skype for Business, Bluejeans, and Slack could be used on campus.



  • Lamont Abrams, School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • JoDe Beitler, Information Systems and Computing
  • Joe Cruz, The Wharton School
  • Angela Dion, School of Veterinary Medicine
  • John Fafalios, Information Systems and Computing
  • Bryan Hopkins, Information Systems and Computing
  • Victoria Iannotta, Facilities and Real Estate Services
  • David Iapalucci, Undergraduate Admissions
  • Tammer Ibrahim, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Marko Jarymovych, Athletics
  • Linda Lewis, School of Veterinary Medicine
  • John MacDermott, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Melissa Miller, School of Dental Medicine
  • Allyson Mitchell, Museum of Archeology and Anthropology
  • John Mulhern III, Information Systems and Computing
  • Julie Orts, Office of the Provost
  • Harold Robinson, Division of Finance
  • Steve Rosato, Division of the Vice Provost for University Life
  • Dave Siedell, The Wharton School
  • Eric Snyder, Information Systems and Computing
  • Mary Spada, Division of the Vice Provost for University Life
  • Anu Vedantham, Libraries
  • John A. Wolfe, Perelman School of Medicine



  1. Document and categorize the landscape of collaboration tools in use at Penn, capturing use cases and requirements beyond IT
  2. Develop a recommendation framework to guide schools and centers when choosing a collaboration tool in a particular category
  3. Provide best practice recommendations for collaboration tools within that framework
  4. Provide recommendations to the Office 365 implementation team for prerequisites and the prioritization of enabling additional O365 offerings beyond calendaring and email.

These recommendations can be viewed here by members of the Penn community.


Integrated Timeline

Process Transparency

In keeping with our portfolio management methodology, this initiative is classified as follows:





How well understood is the technology?

Moderate [2] to Well [3]

Moderate [2]

The collaboration tool space covers a very wide range of tools, each with rapidly evolving roadmaps and fierce vendor competition.  Additionally, there are a number of similarly named offerings with divergent, though sometimes complementary capabilities, with further variation when deployed in the cloud versus on premises.

How strategic/
impactful is the decision?

High [3]

High [3]

The large number of tools in use on campus makes collaboration difficult and is a resource drain on school and center IT departments each having to support and fund a local solution.  Additionally, the Microsoft Office 365 and Box contracts are significant investments, and a campus consensus on how to leverage those investments is critical.

How urgent is the need?

Low [1] to Moderate [2]

Moderate [2]

Current file sharing tools do not adequately support research needs, and as the initial BlueJeans contract winds down there is an urgent need for a common campus direction.

How broad is the interest/

High [3]

High [3]

IT leaders across the university rated this as the most urgent topic requiring attention in the Fall 2015 strategic technology coordination survey. 

How ready is the community

Moderate [2] to High [3]


The Microsoft Office 365 rollout has generated significant interest from the community in the collaboration tools it contains.  The platform consolidation by that rollout in the email and calendaring space makes additional consolidation both possible and more appealing.  There is also much confusion about consolidation with or without Box and BlueJeans.

Is ISC positioned in this space?

Unknown [2] to Yes [3]

Yes [3]

ISC offers solutions in the unified communication space and secure file sharing space.