A provocative post over on the bamboo solutions company blog suggests that SharePoint is going away. As someone who’s called the end of Microsoft Office and even the end of the Document as we know it I’m obviously an authority on these matters. Let me explain.
I love a good fight and I constantly root for the underdog. I love it when a scrappy up and comer takes out the champ. Many of us do. It’s in our blood. We loved it when Clinton defeated Bush. We loved it when the Red Sox beat the Yankees. We loved it when America sent the Brits packing. We loved it when Lutherism unseated Catholicism. We loved it when Christianity destroyed Rome. You get the point.
In order for SharePoint to die it needs a killer. Someone to take him out and take over and there’s plenty of competition. There’s document management wannabes like box.net. There’s the Google apps platform play. There’s BI guys. There’s CMS guys. There’s social guys. Look at SharePoint’s wheel of features and you’ll find tens of vendors in that space including 1 or 2 leaders. There’s plenty of competition. Do you see the problem?
While SharePoint may have competition it lacks any serious challenger to its dominance. While I’ll stop short of saying that SharePoint’s eventual replacement isn’t already out there somewhere what I do know is that no technology can stand toe to toe with SharePoint in the ring. SharePoint is just too broad and too powerful as a platform. Few vendors are capable or willing to make the investment necessary to seriously challenge SharePoint and even if they did that would be a 5 to 10 year uphill climb.
Now that I’ve addressed the obvious I do want to say that I agree that SharePoint will die. Eventually, all things do. And in the spirit of the posts that provoked this response I do think (and have heard from other speculators) that SharePoint (the message) may become buried in re-brands such as Office365. That’s fine. Even expected, but SharePoint isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The install base is too large, the feature set too needed, and the price too right.
Update 2 [ Marc Anderson has compiled a list of blogs discussing this issue at http://sympmarc.com/2011/08/07/sharepoint-is-going-away-a-compendium-of-content/]
P.S. I plan to write a follow up on Office 365 vs SharePoint and another follow up on who I think will eventually kill SharePoint. Stay tuned.