SharePoint 2010 has many advantages over online computing services such as Box.net. Increase of user productivity is a clear outcome thanks to the ease with which they can access the information and documentation across multiple devices. Box.net may be able to offer similar access to data stored on their servers, but Microsoft can offer more by virtue of the fact that they produce the most widely proliferated set of business and office storage and productivity solutions. Businesses using Microsoft products beginning with SharePoint enjoy superior integration between its file storage and sharing systems and Microsoft Office Suite.
This integration includes unprecedented access to editing and publishing on SharePoint sites, either from inside the firewall of the company where the data originates or outside the firewall. This, in turn, allows cooperation, teamwork, and sharing between businesses looking to maximize the effectiveness of their partnerships. This is not something with which Box.net and similar services can effectively compete.
SharePoint 2010 has another advantage in that it is already familiar to many IT professionals. The updated version has adopted the new Office Ribbon UI, making it easier for users to work with the powerful capabilities SharePoint has to offer. The fact that most companies are already accustomed to working with Microsoft products leads to an ease of use that Box.net is unable to offer. In the business world, a short learning curve means lower overhead and heightened productivity. That translates directly to cost savings over adopting a third-party application like Box.net.
Prior to the release of SharePoint 2010, Box.net had carved out a small piece of the enormous business solutions pie by beating Microsoft to the punch in mobile offerings. Now that Microsoft has begun offering the same level of mobile connectivity as Box.net and other newcomers, SharePoint should be in a position to retain its dominance of the office solutions market.
In truth, the comparisons between a start-up like Box.net and industry Goliath are hardly fair. It is another case of the age-old comparison of apples versus oranges. SharePoint and the Microsoft Office Suite offer the kind of resources only an industry leader can. A service like Box.net is years away from even being close to duplicating the level of integration and cost savings companies demand from their solution providers. Due in large part to the deep integration capabilities, SharePoint 2010 can promote cost efficiency by allowing the IT department of a given company to do much more without increasing IT budgets. By optimizing existing resources, Microsoft SharePoint 2010 can drastically lower the real costs of development and management of innovative business productivity solutions.
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