March 31, 2015

Market Update From A SharePoint of View - Q2 Edition

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By Mike Alsup
Mar 31 2015
Today is the last day of the first quarter of 2015. Here is what I saw in the ECM market this quarter:

Email and Records Management seems so much more important after the Hillary Clinton email fiasco. Our friend, Jason Baron, was everywhere in the last two months talking about his work at NARA and the Capstone Approach to practical email records management. He is a rock star!

I saw the new Microsoft Matter Center demonstrated at Legal Tech in New York City. This is a solution that is working inside Outlook and Word exposing all governance and content management solutions through the UX of native productivity tools. What user wouldn’t prefer that? This approach makes content governance a transparent function inside of the productivity applications. Using “Save” puts the document where you want it. Laurence Hart had an interesting article in CMS Wire about how this approach is so 1990’s, which he saw as a good thing. Matter Center is exposing SharePoint and Office 365 and OneDrive through these applications and Microsoft is proposing to drive the implementation of Matter Center through its partners.

Box went public and didn’t go down, which I thought was a triumph. Then, they announced their first quarterly results and went down. It still costs Box $.88 to sell a dollar of software and their growth is slowing. Box’s advertising is odd. In the message headline they advertise that they work great with SharePoint and Office 365, but in the text, they continue to pound away, saying these products should only be considered as a system of record, not as a system of engagement. What I get from this messaging is that Box’s market research still indicates that Microsoft is their competition.

I attended the Kofax Transform Conference in Las Vegas. They are all in with Total Agility, their foundation for Smart Process App’s. I continue to believe that the first mile model, which Kofax sees as repository neutral, is only halfway across the river, and that they need a credible SharePoint and Office 365 story. There was no hint of the Lexmark acquisition which was announced last week.

In the AIIM Conference, SharePoint and Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) products were almost invisible in the exhibits, but they were the heart of many of the presentations. I detected somewhat of a mismatch between the interests of the attendees (Social, Local, Mobile, Collaboration) and the vendors (imaging, BPO, capture). It was great to see so many old friends as John Newton, Carol Keuch and Pete Ransome were inducted into the AIIM Company of Fellows

The AIIM Vendor Show was better attended than I expected. I thought the hall was very busy although not all vendors agreed. It was a much larger facility than the 2014 Orlando facility and felt equally packed. There were most of the usual ECM vendors, including EMC, Open Text, IBM, Iron Mountain, Alfresco, Opex, Kodak, Fujitsu, RSD, Abbyy, Oracle, ASG/Mobius, Epson, Nuix, and others. From the SharePoint Ecosystem, Repstor, Adlib, FileTrail, and Macroview were represented.

Office 365 is still winning over Google Apps in business markets if not in the consumer markets. People are switching to Outlook on their iPhones, and now their Samsung devices, which has to be the measure of this success. I believe that it is Identity Management, Active Directory Integration, Mobile Device Management and Email that are the keys to Microsoft winning of market share inside companies. Significant progress with Cortana and the acquisition of products like Sunrise and Accompli make it easy to like the new Microsoft.

Security is a huge deal for Microsoft after the Sony and Anthem Health debacles (among others). This helps Microsoft in a variety of ways. Project Knox will provide robust encryption and shredding which has been the foundation of several device partnerships that have been announced. Microsoft announced significant improvements to its Office 365 Mobile Device Management this week. There have been several recent articles on the death of the Intranet because a browser isn’t as useful for viewing content from Intranets on mobile devices. The death of the IE Browser at the hands of the new Spartan browser has been widely covered also. What we are seeing is that app’s are the new Intranet interface.

Traditional Business Solutions in Office 365 have been slow to take off. I wonder whether the announcement of the new Office 365 API as the successor to the SharePoint API may be a part of this. Eventually, Office 365 and SharePoint, OneDrive and Exchange in a hybrid fabric could become the one place for organizations to manage their unstructured content, but there is much work to be done. I am expecting many updates in these areas at the Ignite Conference (which replaces the SharePoint Conference among others) in May in Chicago.

New York was freezing, San Diego was a treat, Las Vegas was a beating. I want an iWatch with one of those colorful plastic bands.

Read more of Mike’s posts at his blog On the Record.

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