Talk of the Demise of Microsoft as the Primary Force in Enterprise IT Computing is Premature

We’ve spent this week attending the annual Microsoft® SharePoint® Convention in Las Vegas, in the U.S. We made our attendance on behalf of a client, Rehmani Consulting, Inc. Rehmani Consulting, Inc. debuted a help system for SharePoint, VisualSP®, in July of this year. This piece of software provides a tab in a SharePoint ribbon called “help”, which can be used to expose all sorts of training content to SharePoint users directly within a SharePoint workspace.

From what we’ve seen at this Conference (we’ve spent our time in the Exhibit Hall at Mandalay Bay Convention Center each day) any talk of the demise of Microsoft as the pre-eminent force in enterprise IT computing, any time soon, is premature and plain wrong. Further, Windows Phone 8 and the Surface RT products have been a very big hit, which leads us to posit that Microsoft’s business will expand, significantly, as they double, or even triple the extent of their present penetration of the smartphone and tablet markets. Just to put some numbers to these percentages, we’re assuming that Microsoft presently has somewhere around 5% of these markets. We think it’s entirely possible that they will capture upwards to 11% or, even, 15% of the market within 3 years of the launch of these products.

On the large scale computing side of things, (which, of course, is where enterprise business usually invests, substantially) the comparative very low cost of developing highly useful business intelligence (BI) information on a Microsoft computing model is inescapable. We had several conversations with firms that appear very strong, including:

  • Agilepoint (for enterprise-wide workflow)
  • Nintex (for workflow within a SharePoint computing realm)
  • and Neudesic (for its pulse enterprise social media product and its BI front end)

according to Neudesic, enterprise IT organizations, pervasively, understand that this Microsoft computing model, which includes SQL Server 2008, or 2012; SharePoint 2010 or 2013; and, even, Microsoft Excel 2010 or 2013 (with power pivot and power view), together with highly advanced workflow methods (which are a perfect tool, in our opinion, for Gartner’s “Citizen Developers”) from Agilepoint for enterprise-wide applications, and from Nintex for SharePoint, can be used to deliver BI systems at, approximately, 1/3 of the cost of comparable systems built on Cognos, etc. These savings are substantial; therefore, we think that Microsoft truly owns this class of requirements for automated solutions.

Further, the predominant theme of the conference, for us, presents Microsoft as the collaborative partner that enterprise business requires. While we noted some clumsiness with regard to how the various levels of conference attendees are managed on the first day of this event, we have to say that the top notch food service and highly professional (not to mention courteous) demeanor of Microsoft’s own staff have left us with a positive impression.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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