SharePoint: Has it Reached a ‘Marmite’ Moment?

Paul Mervin, MD of Cognite

Paul Mervin, MD, Cognite

SharePoint has got to a stage in its maturation where we can use the Marmite analogy –  as in, you either love it or hate it. But look beyond that and compare the popular Microsoft collaboration standard with other “Marmite products,” you get some interesting views.

Take Microsoft and Google.  Remember the days when Sergey Brin at Google attacked Microsoft for being the big, bad beast, anti-everything – stopping the growth of the internet because of their anti-competitive behaviour? Fast forward a few years and we now see the headlines about “Evil Google”, the tax dodgers, or worse see it accused of “coercive sales tactics” in alleged attempts to pressure Smart TV manufacturers to adopt its own product, Google TV.

Google now seems to have acquired the mantle previously held by Microsoft, and before that IBM. At some point you become sufficiently well established that for many you are the face of the establishment – ready to be attacked by all the new kids on the block, in their trendy tight fitting jeans, while the old die-hards (still wearing socks, possibly even a suit?) who continue to support it are condemned as being “old school”.

All this reflects an interesting phenomenon – that in the tech world at least, you go from being young and trendy where everyone likes you, to a point where the mere mention of your name is enough to get everybody hot under the collar.

I started this blog using the term “SharePoint maturity.” Maybe this is not the correct term; I should have said because of its successful penetration, the technology has reached the stage where it’s recognised as being part of the establishment. As such, for every person looking at explaining SharePoint’s imminent demise there are even more organisations looking at adopting or extending it.

I’m not saying that SharePoint is the answer to everything, but in reality most of its attackers are people who are really part of the ecosystem which sees products and organisations move from being ‘in’ to being a ‘boring’ part of the establishment. But – just like Marmite – whether you love or hate it, SharePoint is definitely here to stay.

6 thoughts on “SharePoint: Has it Reached a ‘Marmite’ Moment?

  1. Great blog post here Paul and you are so right about the pendulum swaying from ‘in vogue’ and ‘on trend’ to loathed and ridiculed. SharePoint has a huge community of users and so gives an even bigger market something to knock, sell against etc. Equally it creates a whole ecosystem of suppliers who can add value to it. Once a product reaches this level of maturity and market saturation it is there for one and all to take a ‘pop at’

    1. Hi Carina, couldn’t agree with you more. Which is not to say that there are not issues with SharePoint, but sometimes we are inclined to throw the baby out with the bath water!

    1. Um interesting point on Vegemite, isn’t it really a variation on a theme?, and by that I mean its trying to “niche the niche”, e.g. SharePoint for accounts payable process comes to mind. What’s your thoughts

      1. Paul, wondering about alternative products – or alternative approaches to building a collaborative workplace.

        SharePoint is the collaboration product du jour. It integrates with all our familiar Office tools, it’s ‘sticky’ like Marmite even, but hey, is there a Vegemite in the wings promising high-impact employee, customer, and partner communications… or does SharePoint have a long unchallenged shelf life?

  2. While everything in life goes in cycles, SharePoint is like the 600lb gorilla, it’s too big not to be the dominant force in the market. For me I firmly believe that SharePoint is a platform rather than a line of business application. Which means that when it comes to it, there are by its very nature more appropriate tools to satisfy niche requirements. It depends where you sit, do you like marmite the the product which can be adopted to support a wide array of activities, or go for the veggie mite which might be the the best in class for the vegetarian ! Excuse my mixing of metaphors.

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