With over 100 million user licences sold to date, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, is undoubtedly the most prolific web-based workgroup collaboration suite out there.
SharePoint’s success however, can be perceived by some to be its limitation as well. Since many organisations licence SharePoint as a cost effective corporate intranet or workgroup portal solution.
But that was before Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 was launched; and with the new 2010 edition recently announced by Microsoft, SharePoint and Office will be viewed in a much more integrated and collaborative way than ever imagined.
While many organisations deploy SharePoint as a corporate intranet solution today, a growing number of seasoned SharePoint customers are beginning to deploy the other core functions of the SharePoint suite (like Document Management, workflow, electronic forms and business reporting services) in place of incumbent solutions.
Independent software vendors like Dolphin Software have gone one step further and are using Microsoft SharePoint as an application development platform. Dolphin Software will be launching a new Contract Lifecycle Management application based on the SharePoint platform on the 5th of May 2009.
Ronan Lavelle, Dolphin Software CEO says: “We wanted to spend our development time building strong contract automation and contract management functionality, not developing core components like a document repository, workflow engine or reporting tool. For us, the decision to base our Contract Management application on the Microsoft SharePoint platform was an easy one. Our customers will benefit from the ease of use of the system, integration to Microsoft Office and the ability to extend their investments in Microsoft technology in a compelling business context”.
Dolphin Software is amongst a growing number of new software companies, like NextDocs who are using their specialist knowledge to transform Microsoft SharePoint from being a generic enterprise collaborative suite into a highly valuable platform for the delivery and management of business critical content.
To answer the question above: Yes, with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and with the recently announced enhancements expected in the 2010 edition, SharePoint is ready for high value business applications.