SharePoint Has Become the New Lotus Notes

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Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is repeating history as it mimics the allure and pitfalls of Lotus Notes, according to research released today by CMS Watch, an independent analyst firm that evaluates content technologies. CMS Watch cites collaboration pros, proliferation cons.

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Customers readily shared their frustrations: Redmond's rather belated embrace of Web 2.0, SharePoint's poor support for individuals working on multiple different teams, as well as its cumbersome and incomplete integration with Outlook.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is repeating history as it mimics the allure and pitfalls of Lotus Notes, according to research released today by CMS Watch, an independent analyst firm that evaluates content technologies.

SharePoint exploits traditionally underserved collaboration needs for information workers laboring within Office tools, and fulfills a common desire to easily create disposable workspaces, CMS Watch found.

Like Notes in a previous decade, IT often embraces SharePoint as a simple answer to myriad business information problems. But the platform can easily morph into a technical and operational morass, as repositories proliferate, and IT comes to recognize that various custom applications require highly specialized expertise to keep running properly.

CMS Watch also found:

Prior to the advent of SharePoint, simple collaboration services were remarkably clumsy or absent in many content management and knowledge management systems. "By focusing on basic file sharing," argues contributing analyst Shawn Shell, "SharePoint addresses an immediate need for many small and mid-sized businesses, as well as autonomous enterprise departments."

As a collaboration platform, SharePoint does have its drawbacks. Explains CMS Watch founder, Tony Byrne, "Customers readily shared their frustrations: Redmond's rather belated embrace of Web 2.0, SharePoint's poor support for individuals working on multiple different teams, as well as its cumbersome and incomplete integration with Outlook."

Unfortunately, as you grow very large SharePoint environments, the controls that enterprises would want to see simply don't exist natively within the platform. "Whether it's the lack of a workflow-based provisioning process, or enterprise-level administration, or the ability to effectively categorize large numbers of documents or PowerPoint slides, SharePoint remains ill-suited to enterprise-wide collaboration and knowledge management," notes CMS Watch analyst, Alan Pelz-Sharpe.

These findings stem from "The SharePoint Report 2008," a 190-page evaluation of SharePoint from an enterprise perspective, which assesses the platform's suitability for different business scenarios across various customer tiers. CMS Watch evaluates technologies from a buyer's perspective, testing tools and debriefing licensees about actual implementation experiences.

The SharePoint Report 2008 concludes by advising customers to establish clear boundaries on SharePoint services, to keep it from becoming their new Notes – the platform that everyone loved, but then loved to avoid.

The Report is available for purchase online from CMS Watch (http://www.cmswatch.com).

About CMS Watch

CMS Watch(tm) evaluates content-oriented technologies, offering head-to-head comparative reviews of leading solutions. Through highly detailed technical evaluations, CMS Watch helps sort out the complex landscape of potential solutions so that buyers can minimize the time and effort to identify technologies suited to their particular requirements. To retain its independence as a totally impartial analyst firm, CMS Watch works solely for solutions buyers and never for vendors.

CONTACT:

Kristie Hughes, Marketing Director, CMS Watch

Tel: +1 202 966 6999

E-Mail: khughes @ cmswatch.com

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