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SharePoint Symposium 2010
A dose of reality

We created the SharePoint Symposium to praise SharePoint, not to bury it. After all, the total number of seats worldwide likely tops 130 million! It’s easy to view it as a veritable panacea, especially for an organization committed to a .Net environment. It is not, however, without its shortcomings.

Nevertheless, you can use the platform for virtually anything—records management, corporate portal, Web content management, collaboration, business process management, digital asset management ... “as long as you have enough money and ibuprofen,” adds Tony Byrne, Symposium co-chair and president of the Real Story Group.

For all its remarkable characteristics, SharePoint is not a collection of best-of-class capabilities. Search is a perfect case in point. Even though it has improved in 2007 and 2010, it might certainly make better sense to license a mid-range search product, many of which are easier to install and administer and might likely be cheaper than the high-performance FAST search. Arguably, the same can be said about each component of the platform.

Byrne says SharePoint is Microsoft’s most profitable product, and the platform’s partner network is thriving. Microsoft’s own numbers state that each dollar of SharePoint licensing results in $6 to $9 of services. And, because of the three-year development cycle, as shortcomings in the platform emerge, Microsoft will shift its SharePoint strategy to push the ISV partner channel strongly because it can’t fix those issues until SharePoint 2013.

One thing that holds true for all SharePoint deployments is the imperative of creating a good governance strategy. The ease with which sites can be created, populated and then abandoned has resulted in a near-viral situation. For many organizations, it’s getting out of control, as witnessed by the overflowing audience at the Symposium’s governance session in Washington, D.C., in November.

So, with that in mind, beginning with next month’s issue, KMWorld is launching a yearlong series of articles dealing specifically with SharePoint governance issues from a variety of the best SharePoint minds.

Our conference division is looking into holding another Symposium this spring and will again hold the event as part of the overall KMWorld Conference in November 2011.

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