One of the most important elements of any knowledge management system is collaboration, an area growing in prominence with technologies such as instant messaging, videoconferencing and discussion forums.
Collaboration tools allow geographically dispersed users to work together on projects in real time. For collaboration tools to function well within a KM environment, vendors need to make it easy for users to contact the person who has the desired information.
Some KM solutions integrate with their collaboration peers. Lotus K-Station, for example, integrates with Lotus Sametime Server. This allows users to contact document authors via e-mail or IM with the click of a mouse.