IDC's view of SharePoint's marketshare numbers

Last week, we ran a post called SharePoint by the numbers, which outlined some of the numbers bandied about at the recent SharePoint conference and put them in the context of some Gartner research.

Specifically we quoted a previous post saying:

"As we reported last year, SharePoint could be on its way to being Microsoft's first $2 billion business. At the time, I wrote: 'If true, that's astonishing, especially when Gartner predicted as recently as 2007 that the entire enterprise content management space would reach $4.2 billion by the end of this year. In fact, in 2009, Gartner reportedly placed the value at just $3.3 billion, probably making that earlier prediction a bit optimistic unless it was combining ECM and WCM.'"

This prompted IDC's Melissa Webster who leads content management research at IDC to contact us. Webster put the numbers in a different perspective, based on how IDC measures SharePoint's market reach.

Webster stated that IDC had a similar content management market share size to Gartner's, $4.3 billion for 2010, but she also stressed this was not a direct dollar-for-dollar revenue comparison to SharePoint's marketshare because as she sees it, SharePoint does not map neatly to ECM alone.

"Only part of SharePoint's revenue comes from the 'ECM' use case--a much bigger piece of SharePoint's revenue comes from its use as a team collaborative application (that is, for user-deployed team sites) and as an enterprise portal."

Webster continued, "Conversely, the content management market (in IDC's definition) includes several segments where SharePoint doesn't play, or doesn't play strongly or competitively. For example: SharePoint doesn't offer much for web content management, digital asset management, capture and image management, or records management (Yes, it has records management, but not DoD 5015.2 compliant records management)."

Webster felt it was misleading to suggest that SharePoint revenue (as measured by anyone's size of the content management market) was an accurate measure of the product's market share in a pure sense.

"A more apt comparison," Webster said, "would be SharePoint versus the sum of the several markets where SharePoint plays--content management, team collaborative applications and social, enterprise portals, electronic forms and search. If you add up all of those, the total market (including all those sub-segments of content management where SharePoint doesn't play), you're closer to $10 billion," she said. 

Given that SharePoint's revenue probably sits somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion, if you count the market as Webster has suggested, it would be a much smaller percentage of overall marketshare than our original articles suggested (although this is all clearly subject to interpretation and debate about how you choose to define the content management market).

Related Articles:
SharePoint by the numbers 
Microsoft SharePoint could be a $2 billion business 
SharePoint's mobile picture remains murky for now