ECM – It’s a whole new ball game

Interesting article you might want to take a look at.

I am surprised by just how loudly Microsoft’s announcements have reverberated within the ECM vendor community (as one might expect as there are a lot of the name brand vendors who are concerned about the future of their classic business models). But perhaps what’s been most striking is the number of customers that are inquiring and taking serious interest in understanding SharePoint and its ECM capabilities. Of course, there are large enterprise organizations with sophisticated and sizable IT resources (both $$$ and people) who are already implementing or looking at SharePoint as an alternative to classic ECM vendors or products. But I’m especially intrigued at how quickly this interest level appears to be initially moving downstream into the mid-market at such an early stage of the introduction. I recently had a mid-size community banker asked me about SharePoint. This was fairly amazing to me as in my past experience, the smaller an organization, the thinner the available IT resources and expertise to try to implement a solution that is not necessarily “out-of-the-box.” Obviously, we can’t discount the Microsoft factor at any level of the market. Now I can’t project if this trend will continue, or at what pace, but if you have personally seen or experienced the integration (and investment) that Microsoft has placed into SharePoint 2007 and the Office 2007 suite, the value proposition and the appeal of SharePoint to any organization using the classic Microsoft Office products is quickly understood. At least on the initial surface.

And certainly don’t look for this hype to subside anytime soon. After all, no single ECM vendor since the invention of Micrographics machines has had the marketing budget or the industry impact that Microsoft holds on this space. Rather, I expect the rumbling to continue as word has it that Microsoft has made SharePoint one of their key sales and product growth initiatives for their 2008 fiscal year (July 2008 to July 2009).



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