On SharePoint and collaboration

* SharePoint is becoming the de facto collaboration platform in Exchange-enabled organizations, not in all organizations

A recent article on Microsoft SharePoint discussing a study that we did on its penetration might have led some to believe that our conclusion was that SharePoint would become the de facto collaboration platform for almost all messaging users. However, despite the fact that SharePoint is growing in popularity, the real conclusion from that study was that SharePoint is becoming the de facto collaboration platform in Exchange-enabled organizations, not in all organizations.

Clearly, SharePoint is widely used among organizations that use Exchange and for a variety of good reasons. It integrates well with the de facto desktop productivity application, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft’s aggressive licensing policies are inducing many organizations to purchase and deploy SharePoint. Further, Microsoft touches just about every part of many organizations’ IT infrastructure, and so SharePoint is a logical consideration. SharePoint’s use for mission-critical applications is growing and it will be the dominant collaboration platform in Exchange shops.

However, there are lots of other collaboration platforms out there. Lotus Notes/Domino, Sametime, QuickPlace, Quickr and Unyte, among other Lotus offerings, provide a variety of rich collaboration features. Novell GroupWise and Teaming + Conferencing provides social networking, team collaboration and other capabilities. Cisco WebEx, Socialtext, Jive Software, Citrix, Illumio, Central Desktop, Siemens and many, many other vendors all offer a variety of collaboration tools that provide very good functionality and growing set of useful features.

The bottom line is that SharePoint will be widely used along with other Microsoft offerings like Office Communications Server, primarily by Exchange-enabled organizations. However, Lotus collaboration tools will also be widely used, primarily by Notes/Domino-enabled organizations. The same goes for Novell and other vendors with significant numbers of messaging users that will be migrated to their respective vendors’ collaboration platforms.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.