Box.net Counters Microsoft SharePoint
It’s a classic software industry strategy: Build a solution and then position it as an intuitive alternative to anything from Microsoft. To wit, Box.net says its shared content solution is a simple, cost-effective alternative to Microsoft’s super-hot SharePoint offering. Here’s the scoop.
First, a little background on SharePoint. Sure, Microsoft’s revenues and earnings have fallen quite a bit. But the software giant still has a few hits in its product portfolio.For instance: From 2001 to 2008, Microsoft sold 100 million SharePoint licenses, and SharePoint now represents at least a $1 billion business for Microsoft, according to InformationWeek. As of 2008, Microsoft had 2,250 certifed SharePoint integration partners, InformationWeek added.
With that in mind, many Microsoft partners — such as Azaleos and Intermedia.net — now offer hosted SharePoint services to peer VARs, managed service providers (MSPs) and customers. And Microsoft itself is promoting SharePoint as part of the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) SaaS Strategy.
Still, SharePoint faces competition on multiple fronts. During the CompTIA Breakaway 2009 conference last week in Las Vegas, Box.net positioned itself as a simple alternative to SharePoint.
According to Box.net’s documentation, the company’s”online file storage makes it easy to securely share content as a link or a shared folder with anyone – inside or outside your company.” Plus, Box.net is going viral with this anti-SharePoint video…
Open Source Alternatives
Attacking SharePoint has become a familiar strategy in the software world.
During Red Hat Summit 2009 (Sept. 1-4, Chicag0), Alfresco and Red Hat will describe how their combined solution allegedly is a lower-cost option than SharePoint. Not by coincidence, Alfresco positions itself as the open source alternative to SharePoint.
Still, let’s keep the competitive situation in perspective. More than 6,000 VARs and solutions providers attended the recent Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 (July 13-16, New Orleans). The most crowded vendor booths and education sessions frequently involved reseller and ISV opportunities for SharePoint.
Microsoft still knows how to attract a crowd — and eager competitors.