Menu
Study: SharePoint, Lotus in for long collaboration fight

Study: SharePoint, Lotus in for long collaboration fight

Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus are poised for a long-term collaboration battle.

Microsoft and IBM have been duking it out over e-mail and messaging software for years with their respective Outlook/Exchange and Lotus Notes/Domino products. As their product lines have evolved, however, a new fight is brewing between Lotus and Microsoft's SharePoint Server as the platform of choice for enterprise collaboration strategy.

According to a new report by Forrester Research, both companies will be in this battle for the long haul, as there are benefits for enterprise customers to using one, the other or both platforms in their IT networks for the foreseeable future.

The report, by analyst Rob Koplowitz, notes that collaboration software, which allows workers across geographically dispersed offices to work more efficiently together through Web-based programs, is increasingly becoming a priority for enterprises. Nearly 50 percent of the 1,017 IT professionals in Europe and North America that Forrester surveyed for the report called implementing a collaboration strategy a priority or critical priority in 2008, according to the report.

While Lotus has more history in this market and has evolved over the years, SharePoint only in the past 18 months or so has rapidly come into its own as a collaboration platform, according to the report. "SharePoint has finally found its place in the world and is growing up fast," Koplowitz wrote.

Understandably, some of the benefits to using either Lotus or SharePoint for collaboration depends on what software companies already have in place in the back-end, and for which platform developers already are comfortable building applications, Koplowitz noted.

If a company already uses IBM software, such as WebSphere Portal and IBM Content Manager, then using Lotus is a natural choice for an organization. Developers who build applications primarily in Java also may prefer Lotus, according to the report.

Microsoft-centric enterprises already using Outlook/Exchange and other Office applications will see more benefit from using SharePoint because of the tight links between those products, according to the report. And naturally, if an enterprise employs mainly .NET developers, SharePoint is a better choice for them.

Because of its tight integration with other Microsoft software, SharePoint also has an edge if companies want to take a single-vendor approach to their collaboration strategy, Koplowitz wrote.

"SharePoint benefits because it runs on Windows Server, uses Active Directory for authentication, is built on the .NET framework and SQL Server, and can be controlled with the Microsoft Operations Manager," Koplowitz wrote. "This highly integrated approach takes advantage of companies' Microsoft skills and infrastructure and lowers integration costs."

However, IBM still has an edge in providing third-party applications that run on Notes and Domino if companies want to use software from more than one vendor, according to the report. Also, Notes, Sametime, IBM's corporate instant-messaging client, and Quickr, IBM's content-sharing application, are built on the open-source Eclipse developer platform, which allows them to run Eclipse plug-ins natively and provides a more open development architecture for third-party applications.

Microsoft is still working on establishing third-party product support for SharePoint, Koplowitz noted. He said that ISVs (independent software vendors) likely will continue to build software to extend SharePoint's capabilities, which will make it a more valuable platform in the future.

Lotus also provides a valuable piece of functionality that SharePoint does not -- the ability to replicate data and application logic from server to server, as well as from server to client, Koplowitz said. This comes in handy in instances where information and application logic spans multiple locations across low-bandwidth links to the Internet, giving users the ability to replicate data with the back-end server once and then work in an offline capacity, he said.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments