Monday, January 15, 2007

SharePoint is misunderstood - it's the corporate world that is still old.

I today's article in the 360techblog, a guy called Ray Velez from Avenue A | Razorfish is quoted to say:

...that price isn’t the only reason SharePoint isn’t getting love from the web 2.0 crowd. It may be very powerful, but it’s also complicated. “Trying to move a portal server is like moving a battleship,” he says.

Moreover, he says, Microsoft’s products are built on the old intranet model that doesn’t necessarily encourage lot of collaboration. They’re designed for the old corporate world of command-and-control, enabling layers of permissions that can stifle spontaneity. With wikis and blogs, it’s all much more accessible.”

Although the entire artical deals with the microsoft vs google, and the microsoft office 2007 release, and sharepoint 2007 bdc as a killer, this guy seems to be talking about sharepoint 2003!

It's either that or he doesnt know what he is saying. SharePoint 2007 encourages collaboration so much out of the box, that most of my clients ask me to restrict the collaboration features, because they are afraid the users will spend time "collaborating" instead of "working".
Mr. Velez needs to understand that while sharepoint is designed to allow top notch collaboration, most of the corporate world is not prepared to use it. They install sharepoint, and then spend a lot of money to customize it so that collaboration is trimmed to a minimum.
It's not SharePoint that is "designed for the old corporate world" - its the corporate world that is still old.

It's a pity sharepoint keeps getting bad reputation because people who havent really been using it, or who are not sharepoint professionals have been covering it in the media. I saw a gartner document about half a year ago that totaly discarded what sharepoint 2007 could do, and reviewed the brand name sharepoint as if 2003 was all there was. I admit that 2007 needs a lot of work, and 2003 wasn't perfect, and I would be the first to shout that the 2001 version was a disaster, but saying that sharepoint is built on the old intranet model? what is that???


Alpesh said...

You bet! This guy seems to know nothing!!!


Andy B said...

Hmm. Yes. Doesn't SharePoint 2007 have blogs, wikis, etc.?

That said, I do wonder if he's right about about its size and complexity. Sometimes, that will be a bad thing.

See my blog for my thoughts (linked to in my name above)

Susan Kuchinskas said...

I think Velez is complaining more about the price and complexity than about lack of collaboration or features like wikis. The other issue with SharePoint is, like all Microsoft products, it depends on running other Microsoft/Office products as well.

I do think you're right about the enterprise fear of collaboration and too much, um, sharing. Whether you're talking about web 2.0 or SharePoint, it doesn't fit with the desire by many managers/CIOs etc to keep control of docs and files for security and other reasons.

Anonymous said...

It's right that Sharepoint is now at its version 3.0: it's at the level of Windows 3.0! I suppose that Sharepoint 2013 will have a lot of features and will be as easy to use as Office 2003 nowadays. When I started working with Sharepoint, I had to recall all my experience of the Windows 3 times ... a pity