Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

Summary: SharePoint 2010 adds a bevy of new social features such as real wikis and improved social computing and content management. The big question revolves around whether SharePoint 2010 is social enough.

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Yammer this week said that it will integrate its enterprise social networking suite with Microsoft's SharePoint 2010 collaboration software. And SharePoint 2010 adds a bevy of new social features such as real wikis and improved social computing and content management. The big question revolves around whether SharePoint 2010 is social enough.

At the Gartner Symposium conference SharePoint 2010 was a key topic. Why? Enterprises have adopted SharePoint even though some acknowledge they don't quite know what to do with it. Half of Gartner's clientele has SharePoint installed.

Depending on who you talk to, SharePoint is either a great collaboration tool or a headache. There's not a lot of in between.

In a presentation Thursday, Gartner analyst Mark Gilbert framed the SharePoint issue around a question: Is it enterprise class? Since I haven't played around with SharePoint and haven't really found any tech exec that can explain the software to me in two minutes I can't really address that question. Luckily Mary Jo Foley can:

However, is worth noting one section of Gilbert's talk on social computing. Gilbert's point caught my eye because it raised a few questions:

  • Can social features really be feature that's on a long upgrade cycle?
  • Should social additions just be pushed to you as a service?
  • Can Microsoft, or any large enterprise vendor, keep up with the latest social advancements?
  • Do these vendors really have to keep up?
  • And will SharePoint APIs garner enough pure play social players like Yammer to join the ecosystem that those aforementioned questions don't matter?

That's a lot to digest. Note that SharePoint is for internal collaboration---it's not designed to do what Salesforce.com's Chatter does. However, there are social components that matter to SharePoint. Here's Gilbert's slide on SharePoint 2010's social improvements.

But here are the weaknesses according to Gilbert.

  • SharePoint doesn't eliminate the needs for additional social tools and applications because you may not be able to wait three years for a new feature.
  • SharePoint 2010 could be overkill. Sure, there's integration with Microsoft's software, but that requires a commitment.
  • If social analytics does become a big deal, SharePoint 2010 lacks the heft to get the job done.
  • SaaS does social better although Microsoft is pushing parity.

Clearly, enterprises are landing on the SharePoint side of the equation, but the question is worth asking: Can SharePoint be social enough if things like Twitter feeds become business intelligence? And can an upgrade cycle accommodate the features that all of your employees come to expect on the social front?

Topics: Enterprise Software, Collaboration, Microsoft, Software

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28 comments
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  • Sharepoint is GARBAGE

    I don't know why any company would deploy it.

    Oh yea, you get it "free" with your enterprise license. Yet you have to pay per server, per user, etc.

    And it is really a CRUMMY CMS.
    itguy08
    • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

      @itguy08
      Better than other document management tools.
      FADS_z
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        If you're not familiar with SharePoint, I'm curious what ZDNet does use for internal collaboration? Surely you have some internal use website where you can upload and edit documents and publish information to your team.
        raimu koyo asu
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        License Mobility through Software Assurance? is one of these volume-licensing program changes.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        the program name indicates, this allows customers with Software Assurance contracts
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        deploy certain server application licenses on-premises or in the cloud in a shared hardware environment
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        with the ability to assign your existing licenses to a authorized Service Provider.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        License Mobility kicks in as of July 1. Server applications that can be licensed under the program
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        and Dynamics CRM. Windows Server isn?t eligible for inclusion, and Windows Server operating system
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        licenses ?remain assigned to customers? on-premises hardware with their applicable license terms
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        according to Microsoft?s overview of the program.
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        Microsoft is pitching License Mobility as making it easier for customers to move their application
        Linux Love
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        server workloads from on-premises to the cloud at any time without additional licensing.
        Linux Love
    • Why? Just the cost?

      @itguy08
      Apart from the cost, clarify why you think it's garbage.

      What are the alternatives you recommend?
      Stark_Industries
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        @Stark_Industries
        It is bloated, slow. The out-of-the-box experience (templates, default apps etc) is a nightmare of 1990s style user interface hell. It needs top to bottom customization to provide an acceptable user experience. Apart from the hooks into Office (which are overrated anyway) you may as well start from scratch with a more modern, lightweight CMS.
        rbradbury@...
      • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

        @rbradbury@...
        I agree with you if you were talking about Sharepoint 2003 or maybe Sharepoint 2007. But Sharepoint 2010/Sharepoint Foundation is far better in performance and UI. And those hooks to Office you say are overrated are the reason many business and enterprises have SharePoint. For example, how overrated is to have Pivot Tables, Visio diagrams connected to a SQL database backend or offline sync via SharePoint Workspace? IMO, those are nice capabilities business and enterprises use, not overrated functionality.
        dvm
    • Not true

      @itguy08 <br>Sharepoint can be downloaded free of charge. The server version does cost money, but they have free versions.<br>Older version is called Windows Sharepoint Server v3.0 and the newer version is called Sharepoint Foundation 2010.<br>It can be a very useful document management tool, but does have a learning curve just like any of the other tools on the market.
      Aaron McV
    • Please, sir

      This is a site for knowledgable, informed persons in the IT community to discuss products as they are released.

      You are clearly lacking in the skills, and software knowledge, in which you continue to post about.

      Would you not be better prepared for a more level discussion on some other site on the Internet, like The Cartoon Network?
      :|
      Tim Cook
    • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

      @itguy08
      Yeah, people love to repeat that "competition is good for users" mantra but it's not true when half of the players in a given market are phoning it in (so to speak.) The half-baked crap being dumped into the market by most of these companies will actually hurt users when they get suckered into buying them. At this point, there are only one or two phones I'd want to own. If there were indeed true competition, with a batch of companies truly trying to compete, not just dumping beta products into the bargain bins in the hopes of snagging the profits of 2-year contracts, then the consumer would benefit. As it stands, not so much.
      Arabalar
    • RE: Microsoft's SharePoint 2010: Is it social enough?

      @itguy08 Yeah, people love to repeat that "competition is good for users" mantra but it's not true when half of the players in a given market are phoning it in (so to speak.) The half-baked crap being dumped into the market by most of these companies will actually hurt users when they get suckered into buying them. At this point, there are only one or two phones I'd want to own. If there were indeed true competition, with a batch of companies truly trying to compete, not just dumping beta products into the bargain bins in the hopes of snagging the profits of 2-year contracts, then the consumer would benefit. As it stands, not so much.
      Arabalar