Just back from a discussion with Microsoft in Redmond on Azure, BPOS (SaaSy Microsoft solutions) and SharePoint 14 and one thing that popped up in my mind during the day was “djeez, SharePoint 14 will become Microsoft’s Netweaver or WebSphere”. In the evening in the bar, I mean behind my desk catching up with work of course, I was thinking “djeez, SharePoint 14 might even become a big threat to SAP’s Netweaver”.
So first of all, why the comparison with Netweaver and WebSphere? SharePoint is turning more and more into an all-purpose integration platform rather than “just” a document storage product. With SharePoint 14, it is becoming a serious social computing, BI and ECM platform, thus becoming much more than “just” that “not so impressive” document storage system from its early past.
So if you take this “I want to become a serious platform” fight together with the big plans around DUET 3.0 (its SAP integration solution), it suddenly becomes a big threat for SAP’s Netweaver integration platform. Microsoft positions itself more and more as the user interface for the SAP system with integrating SAP processes and workflows into Microsoft products like SharePoint and Office. So with SharePoint 14 suddenly getting seriously enterprisey, what is left for SAP then on the front end space? Portal? BI? ECM? Anyone?
Will we get to the point where companies just have their SAP system as some kind of backend database and have SharePoint 14 as the integration platform? Thoughts?
I’d like to say: Netweaver watch your back, there might be a new kid on the block…

Lee Provoost is a Cloud Computing Strategist and ERP+ lead at Capgemini. You can follow his ongoing stream of thoughts on Twitter http://twitter.com/leeprovoost.