Posted by: Christine Herbert
Collaboration software, SharePoint
With only about 40 exhibitors and sponsors at this year’s Microsoft SharePoint Conference, the vendor presence at this show is definitely smaller than what I’m used to seeing at flagship Microsoft conferences like TechEd. But this young third-party market is ripe with opportunity for vendors with the vision to see what the SharePoint space will be a few years from now. Smart third-party vendors should start building reputation and momentum within the SharePoint community now to get ahead of the curve, in my opinion.
One large company that is placing early bets on SharePoint is Quest Software. It is the largest sponsor of this week’s SharePoint conference in Seattle, and also offers the most third-party products that help SharePoint administrators and developers with design, implementation, migration and management challenges. The company has been actively pursuing SharePoint product acquisitions for a couple of years now, with two new acquisitions just last year. With nine SharePoint-specific products, it is obviously betting on a big pot of gold being at the end of the SharePoint rainbow — and I think it may be right.
There are a lot of smaller vendors in the SharePoint market right now. But if this space acts at all similar to the email-archiving market a few years ago – which I believe it will — we should expect to see smaller companies with innovative tools being bought by larger SharePoint players until we eventually see a handful of best-of-breed options in the market. This will likely play out over the next two to three years.
I am surprised that I haven’t seen a player like Symantec get into the game yet, but the market is still young. Cisco and HP have a presence at this year’s Microsoft SharePoint Conference though, so maybe the big honchos are starting to recognize the opportunity. We’ll have to watch and see what happens.