I attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference this week. This is relevant to the AIIM SharePoint Community because this is one of the best opportunities (in addition to the SharePoint Conference) this year to connect with the SharePoint community on some of the key trends. Here is what I got, mainly from interacting with Microsoft partners at the event:
Cloud is everything
Microsoft is emphasizing that the next version of SharePoint is going to scale to the cloud. This seems to be more important than adding additional functions or features in SharePoint (although I am sure that there will be plenty of these). The data center, the private cloud, and the public cloud are similar from a technology perspective. By this I mean that SharePoint should look the same and act the same in each of these environments and expose similar interfaces. Whatever components don’t do this in 2010 are probably going to do this in Office 15. This is mainly good news for providers of add-on components in SharePoint 2010 because the SharePoint will mainly be a much more powerful platform for similar applications in Office 15.
Repository is everything
Microsoft is tired of solutions that suck the content out of SharePoint or Exchange as their reason to exist. The distinction for SharePoint is that Remote Blob Storage (RBS) as a Filestream provider is a good thing because it eases the burden on SQL Server, but extending RBS to provide records management on the other end of an RBS connection is less of a good thing. The same is true of declaring records through web parts into a foreign repository. Microsoft is more interested in solutions that add functionality to SharePoint than solutions that establish the need for a separate repository to perform functions that SharePoint can perform.
Similarly, solutions that take email messages into third party products for retrieval are less desirable than products that enable Exchange to scale. Microsoft can clearly see that tools like ERoom or Lotus Notes lost their footing when they were de-emphasized as content repositories.
The SharePoint ecosystem is doing much better than the IT market overall
From my discussions, I saw tremendous optimism that the next year will be another really good year for SharePoint partners and ISV’s. AvePoint is expected to be the first IPO of SharePoint ISV partners. Other partners that seemed to be doing well included Neudesic, Nintex, KnowledgeLake, Avanade, Colligo, Axceler, and Nextdocs. Congratulations to Global 360 on their $260MM acquisition by Open Text. #SharePoint #ElectronicRecordsManagement