What Is Microsoft's SharePoint Market Size Worldwide?

Mobile Man / Friday, October 23, 2015

SharePoint is undoubtedly one of the world’s most important and widespread enterprise productivity tools. However, Microsoft are, quite naturally, secretive about the actual value of the product. In today’s post, we'll be trying to discover that answer by taking a high-level overview of SharePoint’s growth and adoption worldwide. Furthermore, we'll be looking at how it is doing in terms of usage, market growth, revenue and so on.

Since its introduction in 2001, the product has seen accelerated rates of deployment across many realms. Some famous examples of engaging SharePoint environments were created by the Ministry of Sound and Ferrari. Alongside this, SharePoint as a communications tool saw companies like Vodafone and Heineken construct impressive and award winning intranet platforms for communicating with staff.

The road to success

To best gauge SharePoint's gradual journey to success, let's have a look at the SharePoint timeline over the last few years.

There are a number of key dates in the fabled history of SharePoint. These help us to set the scene when assessing its market share over the last few years: 

  • SharePoint 2007: Released in November 2006, this edition laid the foundation of many features that have been heavily used since. SPD, content types, permission groups and more were introduced.
  • SharePoint 2010: This product was released in May 2010 and saw the product evolve further with such features as the inclusion of PowerShell support, Office Ribbon (that had previously been introduced in the Office Suite 2007) and sandboxed solutions.
  • Skype Acquisition: Microsoft confirmed that they had struck a deal to buy out Skype.
  • Acquisition of Yammer: Yammer was purchased by Microsoft in June 2012, with a goal to integrate into Office 365.
  • SharePoint 2013: This was released to the market on November 2012 and saw more changes made, such as a revamped search and the replacement of MySites with OneDrive.

We can flesh this timeline out further by including two more relevant events.  These are:

  • Office 365 Launch: Office 365 & SharePoint Online were launched in June 2011 and were based on the SharePoint 2010 interface.
  • Office 365 Upgrade:  The SharePoint Kernel of Office 365 was upgraded to SharePoint 2013 in February of that year.

So, with these dates in mind, how could we assess SharePoint’s global market size?

SharePoint in 2010

In 2009, SharePoint was a $1.3 billion business with more than 100 million users. As a result, there was a lot of pressure on Microsoft to deliver a solid upgrade on SharePoint 2007. As such, 2010 was a big year for SharePoint as May 2010 saw the delivery of the first truly mature version of the product. As alluded to in the timeline above, a lot of new and "foundation-making" enhancements were all building on a very solid SharePoint 2007. This was the first instance we saw high levels of synergy between Office Clients and SharePoint, and it was also the year that Microsoft revealed their ambition to conquer the cloud. Steve Ballmer coined the term "Software as a Service" for the first time.

SharePoint in 2011

Fresh on the heels of launching SharePoint 2010, Microsoft launched their assault on the heavens with the June 2011 release of Office 365. This was the replacement for the earlier ill-fated BPOS and had been designed from the ground up with both cloud architecture and security in mind. In 2011, Microsoft earned an estimated $1.3 billion in licensing revenue alone. This was also the year that SharePoint celebrated its 10th anniversary. Microsoft took the opportunity to emphasize their commitment to Office 365.

SharePoint in 2012

2012 saw both some interesting figures and important movements on the technology front. Statistically, SharePoint passed the $2 billion mark for earned revenues. Microsoft also claimed that two in every three knowledge workers had worked with SharePoint. On the technology front, Microsoft also purchased a potential rival in the collaborative market when they acquired the Enterprise Social Network known as Yammer. The market also saw the release of the long awaited SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint in 2013

Early in the year, Microsoft upgraded the Office 365 experience to match that of SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint in 2015

Microsoft are expected to continue their market dominance of enterprise collaboration sectors in the coming years. The company is projected to grow at an annual average growth rate of 20% over the next four years, so we can expect many more good things to come.

Major player

SharePoint holds a major place in what is undoubtedly a competitive and multi-billion-dollar industry. A product earning $2bn in 2012 which was mostly On-Premises based and yet to see the benefits of Skype, Yammer or the next-generation features of Delve or Sway will be worth a great deal more today. 

For some time, there was talk of Microsoft only pushing Office 365, but recently published news regarding the future of On-Premises and hybrid builds is reassuring. This means that not only is a greater technological scope catered for, but there is more opportunity for Microsoft to increase their market share moving forwards and converting these into very rewarding revenue streams.

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