Reading the SharePoint Tea Leaves: Does Vendor Consolidation Reveal Future?

Reading the SharePoint Tea Leaves: Does Vendor Consolidation Reveal Future?

Some big news for those who watch the SharePoint third-party solution provider space was the Metalogix acquisition of Axceler.

While many, many people will simply care only that their Axceler product continues to function and that support continues to exist, others feel compelled to look at the larger SharePoint picture and read the tea leaves about SharePoint’s future.

Why? I think mainly because of Office 365 and Microsoft’s new cloud strategy. Paul Thurrott has written about this a lot in the Windows space. As a colleague (and since I occasionally am responsible for throwing our style guide at his monthly column to see what happens), I think about it in the SharePoint space. It's only natural, maybe.

But let's see what others are saying about the acquisition. Here are some links I found the day of the announcement.

Metalogix Gobbles up Pieces of Axceler

SharePoint consultant Owen Allen sees the acquisition as only a short-term benefit to Metalogix, strengthening its position in the SharePoint space with the addition of the governance piece from Axceler. Temporarily.

“While I think there remains lots of potential in the governance space, I think it’s fair to say that with the shift to Office 365, the room for growth in the SharePoint Management and Administration space feels like there is a cap on it.  We don’t know exactly where that cap is, but there is no doubt that the open range for Administration and Management of SharePoint On-Premise is now a fenced in corral, and the ability to run free is limited.”

I’m not sure I agree with Owen’s time frame in the following quote (I think the market will exist for longer than he says), but I do agree with his overall view of the future:

“I hope that the price that Metalogix paid takes into account that the market for SharePoint On-Premise in 3 more years will only be the largest SharePoint customers, and that their Long Tail market of small and medium SharePoint customers will be dried up.” Read more in Owen's blog post.

Metalogix’s Acquisition of Axceler Increases SharePoint Footprint

Forrester analyst Alan Weintraub focuses on the Axceler governance piece that Metalogix acquires and says it will force competitors to beef up their governance solutions.

Governance, he says, is key: “Our recent ECM survey showed that 46% of the respondents indicated that the lack of governance was the single biggest challenge to their ECM implementation.   My interactions with Forrester clients indicate that SharePoint implementations may actually suffer a higher percentage of failures due to the lack of governance.” Read more at his blog.

Consolidation Within the SharePoint Community

SharePoint evangelist Christian Buckley, with Axceler, blogged about the announcement, with info about what it means to customers and to him personally. He’ll be going over to Metalogix.

Interestingly, Axceler is keeping its Yammer business. I’m thinking that’s not a bad idea, to keep their hand in things, especially around collaboration/social. Given Microsoft’s fuzziness around having Yammer and SharePoint social, who knows—it could pay off. Read more at Christian’s website.

What do you think of SharePoint vendor consolidation? Are you a customer, concerned or not? An interested observer? Is there more to be read into this vendor consolidation in the SharePoint ecosystem? In any product ecosystem? Or should we all just stand back, take a deep breath, and wait until the next shiny thing appears?

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