How some of the biggest names in Corporate America are using the new software

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ ) uses collaborative tools to manage the research and development of drugs. This enables its far-flung researchers to share documents in virtual work spaces. Other tools let researchers simultaneously work on applications such as disease mapping software.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Ford (F ) is using 900 virtual work spaces to design cars and hold meetings. In one project, Ford used digital conference rooms from eRoom to manage the formation of the auto industry e-marketplace Covisint. Lawyers from law firms and three auto makers shared virtual rooms to haggle over contracts.

SUPPLY CHAIN

Contract manufacturer SCI Systems (SCI ) is using software from Agile Software (AGIL ) at four factories to connect its employees, customers, and suppliers together. When a customer such as Dell Computer (DELL ) places an order, SCI can communicate in real time with its suppliers and Dell to manage the computer's configuration.

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