ThreeWill Predictions for 2011

What A Year…

It’s been an incredible year for ThreeWill. In addition to setting a new company revenue record, we have developed new and deeper relationships with some of the most innovative companies in the world: Jive Software, Accordent, Informative Graphics, Rover Apps and JackBe (to name a few).

When Gartner released the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011 in October, we were excited to see that our clients were leaders in several highlighted trends. We thought that it would be helpful to share some insights as they relate to some of the strategic technologies mentioned in Gartner’s list.

What’s a “Strategic Technology”? From http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1454221

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

It just so happens that the first 5 of 10 of the technologies on the list are the ones we will highlight. For each of these technologies, we’ll list the companies to watch along with some predictions for the year.

Top 10 Gartner Strategic Technologies for 2011

#1 – Cloud Computing

Prediction – Just like the magical third version of any Microsoft product, the stars are aligned for Office365 to be a huge success next year.
Microsoft’s Office 365 – http://office365.microsoft.com/

Microsoft has been doing a top-notch job getting their partner community ready for the option of Office in the cloud for their clients. They have been preparing for the transition to the cloud as an option for a couple of years now and from what we are seeing this is the version that will be the tipping point. We believe that support for ISV applications is critical for companies to make the move, and are very hopeful that Microsoft is serious about supporting the ISV community based on what was said by Eric Swift.

As usual, Microsoft will heavily depend on their ecosystem to make Office 365 successful.

To learn more about Office 365 ecosystem and other predictions for SharePoint in 2011, read what Joel Oleson has to say about Office 365 at the top of his 2011 Joel Oleson’s Predictions for SharePoint 2011.

By the way, we just updated our SharePoint Product Development white paper to include a section on Office 365 – read more and download the white paper.

#2 – Mobile Applications and Media Tablets

Prediction – Enterprise users will demand both native mobile apps and mobile access to information normally “locked up” behind firewalls.
Rover Apps – http://www.roverapps.com

We recently spent a couple of weeks meeting up with our enterprise clients to discuss mobility. Talk about a hot topic! We have been working with Rover Apps for a SharePoint Connector and are very excited about where this product is going. Imagine getting access to SharePoint content using native apps from a whole host of mobile devices. Mobile users are looking for a simple, but rich user experience. We believe the technology is in place to put low footprint – but highly functional – native mobile application on the devices that people are using today. Many enterprise users have wanted mobile applications, but have given up due to the cost of mobile enablement of applications. We are seeing that technology has caught up to make it affordable to provide mobile to the masses.

#3 – Social Communications and Collaboration

We’ll list two companies for this category, one for Social Communications (Jive Software) and one for Collaboration (Informative Graphics).

Predictions – The enterprise app store with social features will become the new normal for how companies deploy applications and users will demand social features in any new enterprise applications.
Jive Software – http://www.jivesoftware.com

Jive is nailing social business software and the next BIG thing at Jive is the Jive Apps Market. They are definitely betting big here and will enter a new arena of supporting an app market ecosystem of developers along with partners and customers. It is a good thing they have such a great platform for building communities (of course their Developer Support Forum for this initiative is in Jive SBS). We know from first-hand experience that this company has the DNA to take on such a great challenge. We look forward to the innovation they will bring to challenge traditional conventions for making social applications readily available to the enterprise end user.

Predictions – Users will expect to stay in the browser as they collaborate on documents and redaction will be a hot topic as more and more information goes online and is easily searchable.
Informative Graphics – http://www.infograph.com

It is amazing how well Microsoft implemented the first version of Office Web Apps (viewing and editing an Office document like Word in the browser). They have set a high bar for viewing binary documents in the browser. We have found that people expect this for other document types and need to look to third parties for viewing other document types like Autocad files. We have recently worked with Informative Graphics to extend the ability to see binary content through the browser – either through search results or within a document library. We are excited about this extension to SharePoint and see that document viewing and redaction in the browser will enable a new class of applications that yield high business value. And with all the news about WikiLeaks, if you haven’t heard about redaction, you will soon.

#4 – Video

Prediction – Video asset management will be high on the shopping list for most enterprises.
Accordent – http://www.accordent.com

Accordent’s new offering could span a number of these emerging technology areas, but we’ll give them Video all by themselves. Video capture, distribution, and lifecycle management are core Accordent competencies and they have a strong play in the enterprise with their recent release that includes SharePoint and Lync Integration. With the introduction of their SharePoint integration, we think Accordent has filled a large void that SharePoint has had since its inception with Video Asset Management. We think that video asset search and playback has been long overlooked and is defining a new niche within the SharePoint ISV ecosystem.

By the way, Accordent’s support of video user generated content is right in line with where the applications of the future are headed. If you follow Gartner, you will see that they recently stated that “Citizen Developers” will build at least 25 percent of new business applications by 2014.

#5 – Next Generation Analytics

Prediction – Enterprises are tired of big BI projects. Welcome to the age of agile Business Intelligence.
JackBe – http://www.jackbe.com

JackBe recently won Development Tool of the Year for 2011. We put them in the Next Generation Analytics bucket because, from recent conversations with enterprises, they have created an unique way to empower organizations to solve their complex Business Intelligence initiatives. Imagine building rich dashboards on the fly that connect to pretty much anything on the back-end. If you haven’t seen what JackBe has to offer, you should.

Innovation in 2011

Most interestingly, we are excited to see what is going to happen when you bring a number of these technologies together. Looks like 2011 is going to be a fun year!

We’d love to hear from you – leave comments about your predictions. Of course, our list is biased toward companies we are working with now so take it as ThreeWill’s view of the world.

All the best in 2011!

Tommy RyanThreeWill Predictions for 2011
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