If you think that Groupware sounds like a fancy technology buzzword to throw around, you're partially right, since that is what the function of the word today. However, Groupware had a much different meaning 27 years ago, and the concept is critically important to Computer Mediated Communcation Systems. Coined by Peter & Trudy Johnson-Lenz while using the EIES system in 1978, Groupware is a term used to describe software support for group processes.
Why is such a combination necessary? Without software support, a group is not as effective as they possibly could be. Without a group to use it, software is just a wasted resource. The Groupware Equation, published in an Addendum to Chapter 2 of Elaine Kerr and Starr Roxanne Hiltz's Computer Mediated Communication Systems, helps to illustrate this purpose.
Intentional GROUP processes and procedures to achieve a specific purpose + SoftWARE tools designed to support and facilitate the group's work
A critical element of Groupware processes that is often neglected is that the functions of the system must be invisible to the user. Elaine Kerr elaborating on the concept with a discussion on the need for "Virtual Realities" in Groupware services. Elaine runs an online backgammon league, in which she can tailor each environment, the "room", to her group's needs. She says that sometimes, the room seems real to her: in which the interface is so transparent to the user that the difference between the virtual room and real life is negligable. This is what is meant by "Virtual Realities".