Open Text Corporation, the provider of enterprise content management (ECM) software, announced the availability of a complete set of products and services intended to help enterprise information technology (IT) groups centrally manage large numbers of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 sites from creation through archiving. The consulting services will be led by Burntsand which joins Open Text after a recent acquisition. Using the SharePoint 2010 version of Open Text Content Lifecycle Management (CLM) and Open Text Case Management Framework for SharePoint 2010, Open Text services can help IT departments deploy the infrastructure needed to take control over unmanaged SharePoint 2010 deployments. Moreover, it can give users simple tools to create and deploy SharePoint 2010 sites and applications in accordance with corporate governance policies and manage the lifecycle of SharePoint 2010 sites. Open Text enhances SharePoint 2010 by adding a case-centric business application and process layer. Open Text business applications typically comprise a business database and records and archive repository, as well as a number of integrated SharePoint 2010 features, workflows, forms, reports and an administration user interface. Open Text’s solutions for Microsoft are offered as part of the Open Text ECM Suite.http://www.opentext.com/
I spent a couple of days at the SharePoint conference two weeks ago with about 8000 others. Many attendees were customers, but the majority seemed to be Microsoft partners. It would be difficult to overstate the enthusiasm of the attendees. The partners especially, since they make their living off SharePoint. There has been a lot of useful reporting and commentary on the conference and what was announced as part of SharePoint 2010, which you can find on the web, #spc09 is also still active on Twitter, and videos of the keynotes are still available at: http://www.mssharepointconference.com.
As the conference program and commentary illustrate, SharePoint 2010 is a major release in terms of functionality. But the messaging surrounding the release provides some important insights into Microsoft’s strategy. Those of you who were at Gilbane San Francisco last June got an early taste of Microsoft’s plans to push beyond the firewall with SharePoint – and that is the big story. It is big because it is a way for Microsoft to accelerate an already rapidly growing SharePoint business. It is big for a large number of enterprises (as well as the SharePoint developer/partner ecosystem) because it is a way for them to leverage some of their existing investment in SharePoint for building competitively critical internet applications – leverage in expertise, financial investment, and data.
The numbers are telling. According to an IDC report Microsoft Office and SharePoint Traction: An Updated Look at Customer Adoption and Future Plans, IDC # 220237, October 2009, of “262 American corporate IT users, just 8% of respondents said they were using SharePoint for their Web sites, compared to 36% using it for internal portals and 51% using it for collaborative team sites.” (the report isn’t free, but ComputerWorld published some of the numbers).
Can Microsoft increase the use of SharePoint for Web sites from 8% to 36% or 51% or more? Whether they can or not, it is too big an opportunity for them to ignore, and you can expect the market for web applications like content management to look a little different as a result. Of course SharePoint won’t be the right solution for every web application, but Microsoft needs scale, not feature or market niche dominance.
There are more pieces to this, especially integration with Office 2010, which will have a major impact on the scale of penetration. We’ll look at that issue in another post.
You can see why SharePoint is a major topic at Gilbane Boston this year. Join us next month to continue the discussion and learn more.
DocPoint Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of Quality Associates, Inc., focused on providing Microsoft SharePoint to organizations that are looking to expand employee collaboration and increase the exchange of information, announced a new reseller relationship with Easthampton, Mass.-based Atalasoft, Inc. This new partnership authorizes DocPoint to distribute, customize, and install Atalasoft’s Vizit SP software. Vizit SP is a solution for viewing, cleaning up, indexing, and annotating documents within the Microsoft SharePoint Server (MOSS). The product is a zero-footprint document viewing system, which means end users can access documents without installing any software or downloading the files to their desktops. To all clients evaluating the Vizit SP software, DocPoint is also authorized to grant unlimited and free use of the Vizit Previewer. This program provides the user with fast on-screen preview images of any document stored within the SharePoint system. http://www.docpointsolutions.com
Microsoft announced the availability of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for the 2007 Microsoft Office system. The service pack includes major performance enhancements for Office applications, most notably Microsoft Office Outlook, as well as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. With SP2, Office 2007 now has built-in support for Open XML, ODF and PDF, along with the dozen or so other formats that were already supported in Office 2007. In addition to the support for additional file formats, SP2 also includes the Open XML Format External File Converter. This allows developers to make any third-party document format a first-class citizen in Office. This means Office will support most government-preferred formats, and can easily be made to support any others that come along. This release offers enhanced stability for Outlook, calendaring reliability, and more improvements to applications that run on both PCs and servers. Users should notice the improved performance and stability of Outlook, better charting functionality in Excel, and more control over the appearance of SmartArt graphics. On the server side, IT professionals will notice several enhancements to the security and performance of SharePoint Server 2007, including support for read-only content databases, improvements to forms-based authentication, and an STSADM command-line utility that enables administrators to scan sites that use the variations feature for errors. SharePoint Server will also feature better support for newer versions of the Firefox browser. Customers can download SP2 right away. In addition, Microsoft will release SP2 via Microsoft Update’s automatic update mechanism no sooner than three months from now, and with at least 30 days notice. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968170
MicroLink announced the release of MicroLink Autonomy Integration Suite (AIS) for SharePoint 2003/2007, which consists of six web parts that integrate Autonomy’s Data Operating Layer (IDOL) server with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). This integration allows SharePoint users to leverage Autonomy’s information discovery capability and automated features in a unified platform. MicroLink’s Autonomy Integration Suite for SharePoint consists of custom web parts that create more efficient access to the search capabilities of Autonomy’s IDOL server from within SharePoint. With interfaces familiar to SharePoint users, AIS helps organizations to process digital content automatically, share data and synchronize with other data webparts. AIS comprises Search and Retrieval, Agents, Profiling, Web Channels, Clustering, and Community Collaboration. AIS also improves expertise search and incorporates full document level security. Key Features of AIS: Federated search capabilities for SharePoint, enabling customers to index and search all content across the entire enterprise and repositories inside and outside the SharePoint environment; Custom Web Parts that enable access to the capabilities of Autonomy’s IDOL platform from within Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal Server; Data connections for each web part that allows data sharing and synchronization between parts; For the end user, a singular interface that is consistent with the SharePoint user experience. http://www.MicroLinkllc.com
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) announced that it will make an offer to acquire Fast Search & Transfer ASA (OSE: “FAST”) through a cash tender offer for 19.00 Norwegian kroner (NOK) per share. This offer represents a 42 percent premium to the closing share price on Jan. 4, 2008 (the last trading day prior to this announcement), and values the fully diluted equity of FAST at 6.6 billion NOK (or approximately $1.2 billion U.S.). FAST’s board of directors has unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept the offer. In addition, shareholders representing in aggregate 37 percent of the outstanding shares, including FAST’s two largest institutional shareholders, Orkla ASA and Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe, have irrevocably undertaken to accept the offer. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of calendar year 2008. In addition to bolstering Microsoft’s enterprise search efforts, this acquisition increases Microsoft’s research and development presence in Europe, complementing existing research teams in Cambridge, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark, with new capabilities in Norway. http://microsoft.com, http://www.fast.no/
MuseGlobal announced the adoption of its content integration platform by Microsoft’s SharePoint Server 2007 enterprise suite. With Muse technology, SharePoint customers are now able to present local and licensed content to their enterprise users in a controlled and protected environment. The Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is an enterprise portal platform that makes it easy to build and maintain portal sites. Through consolidated access to existing business applications and content, companies can drive consistent performance of common business tasks, and SharePoint’s integrated Web content management capabilities enable people to publish Web content with a content authoring tool and a built-in approval process. MuseGlobal search integration and management systems enable institutions to build search products and services, unifying a wide range of content sources into custom search solutions. http://www.museglobal.com
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) announced the availability of new technologies in the FAST Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP) that integrate with and extend the enterprise search capabilities of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. In addition to supporting 80 languages, FAST ESP will enable Office SharePoint Server’s users to employ advanced navigation capabilities to refine results and find facts, using FAST’s Contextual Insight technology. It also uses Office SharePoint Server as a platform, extending Web Parts capabilities to expose customers and industry partners to more relevant information. http://www.microsoft.com/, http://www.fastsearch.com/