Since the release of MOSS 2007, SharePoint has occupied a shifting middle ground between software categories. Part document management system, part enterprise collaboration platform, part social business software, and part corporate intranet—SharePoint (sort of) does a little bit of everything for unstructured data at the organization. It’s a “pretty good” option that has turned out to be “good enough” for many organizations in all of these categories over the last five years.
But despite its success as a utility player, SharePoint also causes problems for organizations vis a vis advanced software products that address these four unstructured data domains with more substantial functionality. Web content management (WCM), portal, and enterprise content management (ECM) systems were the first to have their turf encroached on by SharePoint, but with the release of 2010, enterprise collaboration tools and social business software also found that SharePoint was moving into the neighborhood, as it were.
This summer has been an exciting time for SharePoint practitioners and end-users for two reasons. First, the release of the next version of SharePoint, dubbed SharePoint 15, is almost upon us. There’s been incessant speculation since January about what might or might not be included in the release, and with the public beta and the kickoff of substantial Microsoft communication about SharePoint 15, it’s reached a fever pitch.
Second, Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer. Whether you think that this is the dumbest thing they ever did or the smartest (or somewhere in between), it certainly holds all sorts of possibilities for where they could take their collaboration products.
All of this means that current SharePoint customers—depending on what Microsoft does with Yammer and what is and isn’t in SharePoint 15 (and depending on how they use SharePoint and in combination with what other products)—will either have an easy row to hoe or a really difficult one over the next 18 – 24 months.
The Final Word
With that in mind, I wanted to kick off a series of posts that explore the Yammer acquisition and what it means for organizations from a number of angles:
- SharePoint’s product development trajectory
- The larger context of enterprise collaboration software
- The existing SharePoint partner ecosystem
Next post, we’ll start with a history lesson to review how SharePoint got to where it is today. From there, we’ll turn to analyze the enterprise collaboration domain in detail and the vendors that play in the space. Finally, we’ll wrap up with some practical, real world advice on what you can expect based on where you’re at today with enterprise collaboration.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you all out there: what’s on your mind about the acquisition, SharePoint 15, or anything else in the enterprise collaboration space—jump in and get the conversation started.
Want more on this topic? Join author Joe Shepley for the free web seminar SharePoint and Yammer: What the Microsoft Acquisition Means for Your Organization on Wednesday, August 29th at 12pm EST. Register now!
Joe Shepley, PMP is the Vice President and Practice Leader at Doculabs in the Greater Chicago Area. He specializes in several areas including SDLC (software development life cycle) methodolorgies, ITIL (V3 Foundation), Project Management, and most importantly Microsoft SharePoint. You can connect with Joe via Twitter by following @joeshepley or on LinkedIn.
More from this author:
- What’s Next for SharePoint Cloud?
- What’s Next for SharePoint Social?
- What’s Next for SharePoint Workflow?
- What’s Next for SharePoint Capture?
- What’s Next for SharePoint?
- SharePoint Needs Information Architecture
- What the Heck is Information Architecture and Why Should I Care?
- Building a Successful Information Architecture
- You Already Have a SharePoint Information Architecture
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment: Part 1 – Site Structure
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment: Part 2 – Folder Structure
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment Part 3 – Metadata
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment Part 4 - File Naming
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment: Part 5 – Document Types
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environtment: Part 6- Resource Requirements
- Using Information Architecture Elements to Improve Your SharePoint Environment: Part 7 – Process Requirements