Well not really. Much in the same way as Henry Ford revolutionized the production of the automobile, enabling a larger population to acquire motorized transportation, Microsoft has recently announced it is giving all Enterprise SharePoint CAL owners the right to deploy Microsoft's business intelligence product PerformancePoint.
This announcement is significant for two reasons:
- PerformancePoint was previously a separately licensable product, and
- The announcement (and the increased functionality) drives even more perceived value through the already popular SharePoint platform
Historically SharePoint customers relied on a combination of inherent (albeit limited) BI features in SharePoint and, for a more sophisticated BI experience, PerformancePoint and/or BI-oriented tools from the SQL Server group. Much of this could get delivered through a SharePoint interface. SharePoint's basic BI features required customers to purchase the more expensive Enterprise CAL, although adding PerformancePoint only required the Standard CAL. Now, Enterprise CAL customers will get all of the PerformancePoint functionality as a part of their SharePoint license.
With the addition of the PerformancePoint functionality, Microsoft is again reinforcing the "jack of all trades" reputation of SharePoint. As we point out in the SharePoint Report 2009, SharePoint can at least attempt to support a variety of different business scenarios. But as our subscribers know, BI has not been a strength. With PerformancePoint, Microsoft is clearly trying to push SharePoint as a more competent BI player. You just need to understand that Microsoft is not upgrading SharePoint per se. Rather, Redmond is adding yet another tool to the SharePoint shed.
In other words, the longer SharePoint 2007 endures the marketplace, the more portal-like it becomes. The same could be said for SharePoint in your enterprise. Our customer research can help you prepare accordingly.