Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Getting the Point!

By Mark Brousseau

More organizations are leveraging Microsoft SharePoint as a common presentation layer for delivering information from disparate enterprise content systems in a highly contextual way.

“Your content and collaboration strategy needs to take into consideration the role of multiple systems serving different needs, but with a strategic vision,” Rob Koplowitz, principal analyst, Forrester Research, Inc. (rkoplowitz@forrester.com), said today during an Information Week WebCast sponsored by ASG Software Solutions.

“Companies see SharePoint as a layer for shared access across systems,” Koplowitz said. “Not only for pulling information from systems, but for presenting the information in a common way. Lots of people are doing lots of interesting things with SharePoint.”

That’s for sure. SharePoint has now surpassed 100 million licenses worldwide, representing more than 17,000 customers with over $1 billion in revenues. What’s more, Microsoft now counts over 3,300 companies as SharePoint partners. “SharePoint is a game-changing platform for Microsoft,” said Adam Morgan, portal, collaboration and search specialist with Microsoft (adam.morgan@microsoft.com).

And SharePoint should continue to move very fast. According to the results of a Forrester survey presented by Koplowitz, 24 percent of organizations said they are ‘immediately’ implementing or upgrading to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. An additional 41 percent of respondents said they will be implementing or upgrading to the platform within six months, and 22 percent said they would be doing so within the next 12 months. Only 7 percent of organizations responding said they have no plans to use the SharePoint platform.

Underlying this demand for Microsoft SharePoint is a renewed interest in enterprise collaboration and document management, Koplowitz said. “Collaboration and content management are becoming increasingly intertwined,” Koplowitz explained. “A new layer of infrastructure is being developed to access and manage content across multiple systems and processes. Users want simplified access or they won’t participate.”

This is the role Microsoft SharePoint is filling, Koplowitz said.

As evidence of the move toward collaboration and content management, Koplowitz shared the results of a Forrester survey showing that 50 percent of organizations said that implementing enterprise collaboration strategies would be among their major technology initiatives for the next 12 months. Thirty-four percent of respondents said it was a priority and 15 percent of respondents said it was a ‘critical priority.’

What’s more, Koplowitz provided the results of another survey revealing that nearly 75 percent organizations will invest in document management solutions in 2008 – topping content and e-mail archiving (66 percent), document imaging (64 percent), Web content management (62 percent), and enterprise content management (60 percent).

What is your organization’s view of Microsoft SharePoint? Post your comment below.

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