SharePoint is an ECM Virus

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CMS Watch research finds SharePoint proliferation drives increased need for true enterprise content management

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On the one hand, this is testimony to its well-deserved popularity for simple document collaboration, but it also leads to serious management problems that Microsoft itself can't adequately address today

CMS Watch, a vendor-neutral analyst firm that evaluates content technologies, has found that although Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 brings improved collaboration facilities over previous editions, it comes at the cost of a dearth of enterprise management services, leading to rampant, viral proliferation and instances of uncontrolled content, as well as major compliancy risks.

This analysis stems from research CMS Watch conducted for its "ECM Suites Report," released today, which evaluates 32 vendors from 5 continents.

CMS Watch principal, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, served as lead analyst. "The latest version of SharePoint, MOSS 2007, is running as rampant in large enterprises as the previous version." said Pelz-Sharpe. "On the one hand, this is testimony to its well-deserved popularity for simple document collaboration, but it also leads to serious management problems that Microsoft itself can't adequately address today," Pelz-Sharpe added.

For example:

  • A North American bank reported more than 5,000 uncontrolled and unaudited instances of SharePoint
  • A major energy company reported finding more than 15,000 previously undetected instances of SharePoint

As the number of MOSS instances grows, enterprises can in fact reach a point of negative returns where an inability to manage proliferating SharePoint silos becomes a hidden but serious enterprise management risk. Customers then require compliance tools are needed along with industrial strength archiving - costs that most enterprises have not budgeted for. "Larger enterprises are beginning to realize that they need to invest in developing genuine ECM strategies to bring some order to this chaos," noted Pelz-Sharpe.

Among many customers CMS Watch finds IT departments enthusiastically promoting SharePoint, since end users and departments can install and run these small repositories themselves. However in time this comes back to haunt IT, as it leaves the firms open to compliance failure and e-discovery exposures, along with servers and networks running hot hosting mountains of redundant data.

The ECM Suites Report closely examines 10 major document and records management vendors:

  • Alfresco
  • EMC|Documentum
  • Hyland
  • IBM
  • Interwoven
  • Microsoft
  • Open Text
  • Oracle
  • Vignette
  • Xerox

The report also includes shorter profiles of 22 other offerings, e.g., Computer Associates, Docubase, NewGen, Nuxeo, Saperion, TOWER, Xythos, and more.

The report is available for purchase at http://www.cmswatch.com.

Reporters wishing to interview a CMS Watch principal should contact Kristie Hughes at khughes(at)cmswatch.com or +1 202 966 6999.

About CMS Watch
CMS Watch(tm) is an analyst firm that provides an independent source of buyer's advice on content management, enterprise search, and portal technologies. Through highly detailed technical evaluations, CMS Watch helps sort out the complex landscape of potential solutions so that project teams can minimize the time and effort to identify and evaluate technologies suited to their particular requirements. To retain its independence as a vendor-neutral analyst firm, CMS Watch works solely for solutions buyers and never for the vendors it covers.

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Kristie Hughes
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