SharePoint got infected with PLM disease

I was long time I didn’t write anything about SharePoint. I’ve been tracking SharePoint for the last 5-7 years very closely. These days I can hear lots of talks about coming SharePoint 2013. Many of the customers I know are using SharePoint. Back in 2006-2007, the success of SharePoint comes from the ability to provide an easy starting solution to collaborate on files in folders. The technology was easy, came together with Windows server and was free as soon as you have paid Windows server license. It was easy to start and put you hands-on something that gives you value immediately.

Fast-forward to 2012. The situation is different in my view. SharePoint has an established ecosystem of developers, system integrators and support. At the same time, I’m learning that SharePoint became much more complicated. It is not easy to start using SharePoint and it certainly requires time and effort to install and configure SharePoint-based solution.

The following article came to my attention few days ago – Why SharePoint 2013 Isn’t for You. Have a read and make an opinion. I found the following passage important:

SharePoint is not an app that gets upgraded every month as part of an update cycle. It is a development platform for providing business solutions. Large clients who rolled out SharePoint 2010 in the past two years are going to find it hard to justify moving on to 2013 in the near future, unless they can find a business justification for spending the time and money it will take to make the transition.

With this state of mind, SharePoint finally can be qualified with PLM disease you’re familiar. It is hard to install, it requires business strategy and money to configure and support. Bottom line – it is a perfect vehicle to get service organization to earn money. However, the question is how many users will continue to use it and what will happen with SharePoint ecosystem as we move forward.

What is my conclusion? The demand of customers today is how to simplify things. It is certainly true for consumer-oriented software, it comes fast to enterprise as well. I can see many examples here of companies in ERP, CRM and other fields. So, I can see how enterprise software companies are moving towards making things easy. I’d be concerned if the software I use gets complicated and requires more effort to install and configure. PLM was and still there. Most of traditional PLM products are struggling of PLM disease of complicated installation, long implementation cycle and need for support and maintenance on site. Just my thoughts.. Are you using SharePoint and PLM today? What is your take?

Best, Oleg

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2 Responses to SharePoint got infected with PLM disease

  1. Oleg, while SharePoint has certainly grown complex, the article you reference in incorrect on two points: first, it is still relatively easy to install and configure SharePoint on premises (locally installed) and get very powerful features right out of the box. But to scale the environment, and ensure it maps closely to your business requirements will most definitely take effort and time, and can be very complex to unlock all of the rich features within. Its like using Word — some people are content with the basic features, but if you need rich, complex features, they are in there too. Second point — the article does not recognize SharePoint Online, or Office365, which offers exactly what is described: a simple deployment (nothing to deploy, just login), regular updates (monthly or better), and the featureset will very quickly (next version, most likely) reach parity with on prem, and then quickly outpace the featureset in on prem as Microsoft moves forward with their “online first” strategy.

  2. Christian, thanks for your comment! It reminded me PLM effort to deliver OOTB (out of the box) products. It worked very well for marketing and simple installations. However, to make a comprehensive implementation required money, time and effort. To keep the balance and to deliver a simple and efficient platform is a significant and complex effort. To make a complicated software is much easier. Unfortunately… Just my thoughts.Oleg

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