Balanced article from Computerworld exploring the truth or the stretching of it as it pertains to SharePoint sales and deployment:

"So there's no question that in the early days, SharePoint's 'momentum' was illusory. Many people were getting the Core CAL, and almost accidentally getting SharePoint CALs," he said.

Those buyers of SharePoint never deploy the software, turning it into shelfware. "There are no doubt a lot of SharePoint licenses that are, at minimum, underused," DeGroot said. ...

It could be even lower. An IDC poll of 262 enterprise IT managers published this month found that an average of 22% of corporate employees were actively using SharePoint.  Microsoft's Teper said while discussions of SharePoint-as-shelfware "might have been a valid source of discussion" five years ago, that is not so today.

"Eighty percent to 90% of the companies that have licensed SharePoint are actively using it, and the majority are using it broadly," Teper said.  ...

Teper also strongly denied a more serious charge that had been floating around the analyst community: that Microsoft allocates discounts given to buyers of the Enterprise CAL Suite mostly to products such as Windows Server, Exchange or System Center Configuration Manager, rather than to SharePoint, aiming to pump up SharePoint's revenue to demonstrate the software's momentum.
The truth is probably somewhere in the middle ground.  Microsoft has clearly established SharePoint as a presence in some, if not many, of their accounts.  They've established it as strategic and enterprise-wide in some of them, too.  But the denials around inflation of numbers sound hollow when stacked up against all the other numbers and claims in the market.  It's especially confusing when the product is claimed to be in so many different markets... Gartner, for example, puts it in "Horizontal Portals", at least I think they do, while other analysts describe it as social software, a search engine, or other taxonomy-fitting boxes.  I think MS runs the risk of stretching the metaphor too thin...the criticism they leveled at Lotus Notes more than once over the years.

Link: Computerworld: Is Microsoft's SharePoint unstoppable, or mostly smoke and mirrors? >

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