In response to Alan Pelz-Sharpe’s blog post asking Is the SharePoint bubble going to burst? I think the answer is both complicated and easy. The article points out that SharePoint has been with us for ten years now. As with all products that have had this kind of a run in the market place they have a tendency to over expand and stagnate in some areas. One advantage SharePoint has is an incredibly rapid growth rate - SharePoint is the fastest growing product in the history of Microsoft. That’s pretty impressive and it leaves an opening for the question posed in Alan’s blog.
The Cards are on the Table
Customers made the initial investment in SharePoint and now it’s up to partners to complete the circle. T here are three aspects I see for SharePoint in 2010. One is from a blog post I wrote last May called SharePoint and ecm – Is 2010 the year to go BIG? another is to go after some of the business that has not been traditionally deployed in a SharePoint environment. Which is why I blogged about SharePoint’s Next Billion Dollars a few weeks back. The third point is that there is still a cadre of partners out there that need more information in order to understand the value proposition for both the business and technical of SharePoint.
The cards I see that have been dealt are hands for ISV’s, SI’s, and Training partners. Each can play their hand in several ways and I fully expect to see a rapid adoption of SharePoint practices within the System Integrator (SI) community and also a broad swath of Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) to add their expertise in vertical and horizontal solutions to SharePoint based offerings.
2010 Will be the Year of Capture
There are still a lot of players in this market. Some have been dominant in the ECM space for years. Some are relative new comers. 2010 will be a year of market shifts and consolidation. 2010 will highlight that June about Document Capture in SharePoint is up for grabs. Companies will need to replace aging legacy system – specifically in the traditional document capture space. This will leave a significant gap for existing vendors and for new entrants. Microsoft has built SharePoint 2010 to be a platform that allows partners to Connect Extend and Build their next generation of offerings.
Partners Partners Partners
As Steve Ballmer was so famously quoted (and parodied**) about Developers --- it’s also true for Partners. Microsoft has built a tremendous following of partners that span the spectrum of ISV’s, SI’s and Training Partners. Some focus on specific areas and issues related to IT challenges (Security, Management, Deployment, etc.) and others focus on Business Challenges (LOB Applications for Vertical and Horizontal Solutions and of course there are companies that cover both. The point is --- these are partners. They have a choice in who they partner with and for which products. Microsoft has done a good job keeping partners engaged. One way is to keep the 1:3:5 Ratio in mind.
I agree with Alan that there is increased competition and that SharePoint has raised the bar. In order to succeed with SharePoint the partnering efforts need to continue to be expanded and refined. There are efforts underway now to insure that happens. The kickoff for this was the SharePoint Conference in October – a summary of the event is here.
|**Note: I was in the front row when this video was shot. While this video was taken and run up the flagpole as a parody it was awesome being in the audience. I was pumped … and I still am … for Partners|
This is a Good Thing
There are so many SharePoint licenses out in the world – by some estimates over 20,000 SharePoint Servers and over 100 million SharePoint client access licenses (CAL’s). True, some are not being fully utilized to their full capacity. This is the the good news. The great news is that the smart partners will see this as an opportunity to extend and enhance their offerings to include SharePoint.
Is is Game Over for SharePoint?
I think it’s GAME ON!
What do you think?
- What cards are you going to play?
- Will you go vertical or horizontal?
- How will your company be changed by installing SharePoint?
What say you?
Add you comments here or use the contact information below.
About 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.