Microsoft SharePoint is a force in the content management market. For the year ending June 2007, Microsoft reported $800 million in revenue for SharePoint, a figure that dwarfs most stand-alone ECM vendors and is nearly twice as large as Filenet’s annual revenue before it was acquired by IBM. Consider also that the other ECM vendor revenue includes substantial support dollars, and the SharePoint revenue is for licensing only. Even more impressive is the number of licenses–more than 17,000 companies have purchased 85 million licenses. That is one impressive foothold. Are all 17,000 companies using SharePoint for ECM? Of course not. Many are likely using SharePoint for basic document management and many for Web content management, and a significant number of the licenses are likely dormant or very lightly used.

Indeed, at different times in SharePoint’s product life, Microsoft has had to work hard to establish the value proposition for SharePoint to ensure enough reason for customers to renew their volume licenses. But each version of SharePoint has become more functional and has enjoyed deeper penetration into large organizations. SharePoint 2007 is now a significant ECM platform with a great deal of functionality and well established partnerships with key complementary vendors.

But the exact ways that people are using SharePoint today are not as important as the foothold it already has, and the determination organizations seem to have for making SharePoint work as a platform for myriad applications. Our discussions with users point to exactly this kind of thinking on the part of many organizations–they may have licensed SharePoint for a specific application, such as document sharing, or for a general need, but they are now looking at how the platform can support any number of other applications. This includes ECM applications, including ones with demanding scan and capture requirements.

View our recent webinar on how SharePoint is impacting the ECM market. The webinar is sponsored by KnowledgeLake.

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