Look who won big at the SharePoint Conference

This week I attended the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas. If you were watching the trending topics on Twitter you may have noticed that #SPC09 was a trending topic for a few days. This event was a huge success. From the Steve Ballmer keynote which included Tom Rizzo & Jeff Teper to the partner pavilions and the speaking sessions. Partners are excited, customers are thinking about the possibilities.

The History of SharePoint

From Tahoe to 2010

If you don’t know the history of SharePoint take a look at this post from Jeff Teper and my blog post about when Tahoe was announced.

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What is there to get excited about?

There are a lot of new features making their debut with SharePoint 2010. Below I highlight a few of the features that caught my eye and a few of the partners too. These are just a subset of the features coming in SharePoint 2010. As Steve Ballmer said during his keynote “SharePoint is becoming its own platform” and there are areas for ISV’s, SI’s, Corporate IT departments, training organizations, and others to Connect, Build, and Extend SharePoint 2010.

A few things I liked:

  1. Sandbox (see Composites) – This will allow IT departments some breathing room. IT can empower users to create solutions in a protected environment where solutions can be refined before making them widely available.
  2. Document Sets (see Content) – This is an especially significant feature for front end document capture providers. This might be the hidden gem that helps SharePoint make more inroads to areas where the legacy of the The Big Three ECM vendors looms large.
  3. BDC becomes BCS (see Composites) – A wizard helps users connect to SQL Server and LOB databases without writing a single line of code. Allowing real-time access and editing in commonly used applications (e.g. Office and Outlook).

Connect Extend Build

This was a theme in Owen Allen’s session on Thursday. The idea is that partners can start simply by Connecting their solutions to SharePoint. As their business and expertise grows they can Extend their offerings to include more features and functions. As they continue to create solutions to exactly meet customer needs they will find they are Building these offerings on top of SharePoint as a platform. (You can follow Owen on Twitter too)

What are Partners Saying?

In addition to a lot of excitement about SharePoint 2010 I heard the same thing from numerous partners --- they had their best 3rd quarter ever and Q4 is looking to be even better. This is great to hear and I hope it’s an indication that the market is improving.

What did I see?

I was happy to see Atalasoft and Blue Thread making an impact. Also, talking with partners like Colligo and how they will continue to thrive in parallel with SharePoint Workspace (formerly Groove). It’s great to see a renewed interest in front end document capture by vendors like Kodak, KnowledgeLake, and even industry stalwart Kofax.

It’s impressive to see the partner ecosystem continue to grow. Evidence of this was the fact that there were over 150 vendors talking about their solutions and how they Connect Extend & Build on the SharePoint platform.

Who won big at the SharePoint Conference?

Partners – first and foremost. Customers are also big winners. Of course, Microsoft will win big too --- especially if they keep helping the partner ecosystem to build solutions that exactly meet the needs of the market.

What did you see?

  • What really caught your eye?
  • Was there a product or service that stole the show?
  • How quickly will your company be moving to SharePoint 2010?

Share your thoughts here in the comments or directly via e-mail, twitter, facebook, or linkedin.

Image Credits: Microsoft Corporation

clip_image002About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 16 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I spent time at
Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and most recently Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

** I am available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. My areas of emphasis are business development and alliance management where Social Media and Enterprise Content Management intersect.


chrisg said…
Great write up Jeff. I completely agree with your assesment, and love what Microsoft has done with document sets as well as BCS. I cant wait to see how people take advantage of it all.
Brian Gable said…
Good stuff. Thanks for sharing. I've passed it along to our SP team.