It is usual for all Microsoft launches to be associated with a lot of hoopla and fanfare. A similar scene precedes the soon to come Microsoft launch of its 2010 series – SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010 and Office 2010. A recent report on SharePoint 2010 by Forrester cut through the talk and came out with a rather strong conclusion – SharePoint 2010 may be overkill for some.
The exact phrasing of that conclusion evoked a kind of sense of deja vu here at HyperOffice. Isn’t it what we have been saying for SharePoint for years?
First, the report.
The new version of SharePoint has greatly bolstered its cloud capabilities and web 2.0 features, areas in which SharePoint was traditionally lagging.
According to Rob Koplowitz, a principal analyst at Forrester and author of the report, SharePoint 2010 is “evolving SharePoint beyond its server application role to become a full-fledged platform reaching from the intranet to the cloud and out onto developers’ palettes.”
Well, not if you are not looking for an application development platform, but looking for a set of tools, which will allow distributed teams to collaborate and work better.
Rob advices that new users should evaluate the software’s feature set and make sure it is not overkill. He says that SharePoint 2010 “can be a hammer, but not everything is nail.” He concludes that SharePoint 2010 is likely not a fit for those with basic needs.
This applies especially to growing businesses, which don’t have a complex technological landscape, have a small or no IT department, and need to enable their teams without going to through long and winding learning curves. They need a plug and play toolkit which helps them work together better (file storage and collaboration, wikis, intranet workspaces, task management, online meetings etc), as well as tools to help improve productivity (shared calendars, address books, email, to-do lists, email, mobile access to corporate data etc). At the same time, these companies need a certain degree of customization, which they can easily accomplish without much expertise.
HyperOffice’s web based total collaboration software approach suits this segment perfectly, which is why we have been positioning ourselves for this segment for years as a “Sharepoint Alternative” for growing businesses.
Although SharePoint 2010 is a lot more web savvy than its predecessor, its target audience seems to remain the same – large enterprises with a complex technological context and highly customized needs. Some other basics of the solution remain the same that make it unsuitable for growing businesses – it’s server based, complex, and more an IT department tool than an end user tool.