Red Hat, Alfresco Attack Microsoft SharePoint
The VAR Guy hears it all the time: VARs and managed service providers generate hefty profits with on-premise and hosted Microsoft SharePoint. In fact, SharePoint has grown to become a $1 billion business for Microsoft. But now, Red Hat and Alfresco are trying to direct some of those SharePoint channel dollars toward open source alternatives. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.
According to Red Hat and Alfresco: Customers can achieve a TCO (total cost of ownership) savings of up to 89 percent by using Red Hat, JBoss middleware and Alfresco rather than SharePoint. Not by coincidence, Alfresco positions itself as the open source alternative to SharePoint.
Microsoft’s Killer Application
Of course, it’s important to give Microsoft equal time on this topic.
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.
Pretty darn impressive.
Next up, Microsoft is bolstering SharePoint as a hosted service — available within the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite.
Quite frankly, The VAR Guy has not heard complaints from customers or VARs about SharePoint pricing or TCO. Rather, the biggest concern seems to be about SharePoint sprawl — the continued growth of SharePoint in large enterprises without proper centralized management. But in many cases, that’s more of a personnel and management issue, rather than a Microsoft product issue.
We’ll see if Red Hat and Alfresco force the issue during Red Hat Summit in September. In the meantime, Red Hat continues to build out its JBoss middleware partner channel. Watch for some announcements in that area during July 2009, The VAR Guy hears.
Both Red Hat and Alfresco landed on The VAR Guy’s Open Source 50, which tracks the most promising open source partner programs.