SharePoint 2013 Public Beta Released – What Are The Implications For Users And DAM Vendors?
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the public beta of SharePoint 2013 (along with announcements about Office). This developer’s overview has some more useful info about what to expect and covers a few different areas:
- Cloud App Model
- Familiar programming model using web standards
- Development tools
- Core platform enhancements
- Social and collaboration
- Business Connectivity Services
- Enterprise Content Management
There isn’t much that is DAM-specific, however, in common with the other larger platform players, Microsoft appear to be abstracting services to enable them to be re-assembled to deal with various custom requirements (like Digital Asset Management). It seems that while DAM might be increasingly important for end users, it’s still not a big enough market segment to warrant a dedicated product for the elephants in the tech sector. There are, however, a number of potentially useful features for DAM vendors who want to integrate with SharePoint to exploit, but taking up Microsoft’s shilling will in turn tie them more closely into their platform and might have commercial implications for them later if SharePoint 2013 turns out to be less popular than MS hope.
One would expect that vendors such as Equilibrium’s (and their MediaRich server) will enhance their products to offer support for SharePoint 2013. The interesting point here is how far other more MS-oriented vendors such as ADAM, FocusOPEN or MediaValet will move closer to SharePoint as many of their end users might be more inclined to favour MS solutions and have greater interest in direct integration with it. Additionally, the costs/benefit of sticking with your own platform vs re-using SharePoint may get harder to justify. MediaValet are already strongly Cloud focussed and make significant use of ‘Azure’ (Microsoft’s version of Amazon Web Services). They appear to have a simultaneous threat and opportunity resulting from SharePoint 2013: they have access to much wider range of facilities through Azure, but also competitors who might well be eagerly services by companies like Equilibrium (and their own industry peers) will be able to offer that also.
One possible mitigating factor in all this is that most organisations I deal with where SharePoint is under discussion still haven’t really even got 2010 solutions properly rolled out yet and the prospect of moving to 2013 might be unpalatable for many managers tasked with implementation of them.
I don’t know too many who are still tied into 2003, but there are probably a lot of installations out there where the IT department doesn’t care to grasp the upgrade nettle. Of course, a good number may decide to go from 2007 direct to 2013, but that increases the risk of migration issues. This level of inertia, itself, potentially offers a competitive opportunity for other Cloud commodity services like Box.net, who position themselves as the ‘Anti-SharePoint’ option. Much depends here to what extent IT departments themselves remain the gatekeepers of corporate technology strategy – including ECM, or if the centralised (some would argue, monolithic) approach is deemed to no longer be productive.
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