Microsoft has historically done well when its products spread like invasive species. Today: SharePoint is growing like Kudzu in the US South-East so it makes perfect sense that Microsoft would partner with wiki companies, whose technologies have followed similar adoption vectors.
I agree with Andy Lark: “Sharepoint is going to be a major force in Corporate blogging and participatory platforms.”
“In its partnering strategy, Microsoft seems far less obsessed in killing its platform competitors. Not everyone else has to fail. Sharepoint is growing like a weed in a lot of organizations. It has interesting implications for others in the wiki space – SocialText being an example.”
Ross, the reason I mentioned Socialtext is not that I forgot you, but because I remembered your partnership around Socialpoint. I thought it important to mention you in the context of a story about Microsoft partnering with Atlassian. We would be happy to hear from you any time, Ross. RedMonk is one of the select analyst companies to really get social software.
Why do we know Atlassian so well? Perhaps its our developer focus which has meant we have been in ongoing dialogue with the company for some time around its other products such as Bamboo for continuous integration and JIRA for issue tracking. Or perhaps its just because I once bought Jeffrey Walker, the company’s chairman a pint of Guinness at a Scoble and Hugh pubcrawl. Anyway – full disclosure time. Atlassian is a recently signed client.
We were pre-briefed on its integration with SharePoint, which I think is goodness. So when Dennis asked me about it I felt able to comment. Would I say that Socialtext is now an “also ran”? No – but the fact Microsoft is now also partnering with Confluence does have implications for you.
My take on the Atlassian Microsoft deal is something like Stewart Mader’s.
“When tools like SharePoint and Confluence can work together, it helps organizations that already have SharePoint feel more confident responding to demand for a wiki like Confluence, knowing the two can work side-by-side.
The fact Atlassian’s culture and platform is so different from Microsoft’s – its on the Java and open source and agile engineering continent – and yet the two found common ground is interesting. The integration is fairly substantive – you will be able to for example provision Confluence users from Active Directory. Search will cover content in both platforms, and Confluence will be able to access SharePoint document functionality.
Because Atlassian decision-makers have historically tended to be somewhat technically oriented, folks in organisations with strong development cultures, which is not so much the case with SharePoint or Socialtext, the Microsoft deal offers some nice white space for Atlassian. It will be interesting to see what implications the deal has for its sales model.
Martin also calls out Zoli who says:
“Just removing the “we’re a SharePoint-shop” political obstacle in some major enterprise clients is worth it alone.”
Until I see some user adoption of the joint solutions it will be hard to say whether Socialtext or Atlassian is winning more customers through their partnerships with Microsoft. The fact is I haven’t come across either in “in the wild” yet. Also – need to hear which if either Microsoft is actually reselling.
Ross- might I recommend a Socialpoint case study area on your web site? If you’d like to brief RedMonk on it we’d be more than happy to hear from you.
Update: I edited this piece to reflect the fact the Stewart’s comment had been stripped by a third party without clear attribution. Stewart actually works at Atlassian, but I left the comment in, with correct linkage.