Mircosoft Sharepoint might hit 1 Billion $ sales this year.
The growth is tremendous and there are quite some reasons for it: the lack of competition from other large vendors, the Microsoft direct and indirect sales force, the Microsoft Office integration and of course the organic growth strategy used for that product which makes it a perfect out of the box solution.
Coupled with Active Directory, Exchange and on the client side Vista as well as the Office suite, you have the entire Microsoft stack that rules your entire business.
BUT, being a 100% Microsoft shop is an extremely risky move that will tie your company to the Redmond firm for the next 10 years if not more. Many IT directors do not want to take the risk to see licenses price increase suddenly or being forced to upgrade to new products that would not fit their needs – like Vista or Silverlight.
“The most interesting thing about SharePoint is the way Microsoft is using it to get inside corporations, and once inside, to further their grip,” said Gartner Inc. analyst Mark Gilbert a bit like IBM used to do with its mainframes (well, it is still the case in fact).
There also exist several new comers but none of them, in different ways really get the importance of leveraging existing IT infrastructure, to build on top of standards or open protocols:
The Open Source world is big and spread over a multitude of small applications written in many different programmatic languages.
Up to now no solution was able to offer the same functional scope as Microsoft Sharepoint and users or IT integrators had to glue pure players application such as Liferay / Jboss Portal, Alfresco / Nuxeo and Zimbra to compete. But even if licenses costs were low, the maintenance cost of the overall solution for the entire lifetime of the solution would over pass the sharepoint Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Moreover, each applications having its independent road map, each upgrades of the solution tended to become a nightmare for the user and/or the IT integrator. To overcome those issues, Open Source vendors have tried, like Alfresco, to position itself as a Sharepoint competitor even if the functional scope was really far from the Sharepoint one (at the end, Alfresco is “just” a shared drive).
With the launch of eXo WebOS flagship product as the new type of Enterprise Portals and all its incoming optional modules such as eXo Enterprise Content Managment (eXo ECM) and eXo Collaboration Suite (eXo CS), we have been able to build the only true alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint.
But eXo Platform is not only a Sharepoint altrenative it goes much further:
eXo Platform and its new modules is truly the only alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint.
We have done a HUGE amount of work to build this platform from the ground and to bootstrap the company. Thanks to our early adopter customers who are really large organizations and companies, we were able to validate the solution. There is quite some work left but we did the most difficult part of it. It has not been easy all the time but we can all be proud of the work we have achieved so far.
All together, we will avoid a new monopoly!
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