My Take on the PerformancePoint News
By now, you have probably heard about Microsoft's decision on the future of PerformancePoint Server (Microsoft Business Intelligence Announcement Q&A). Kudos to friend Chris Webb for breaking the news... at least to me!
As a technologist who has always had a strong passion for Knowledge Management and Business Intelligence, I was excited by the news. I agree with Patrick Husting that this will now offer performance management (which I place in the "hardcore" Business Intelligence category) options for more small to midsize companies. However, as a business facing SharePoint implementer, I am somewhat troubled by the mess this may cause. While KM and BI have similar business objectives (i.e. leveraging existing business data), the skilled resources required to successfully execute on strategy are very different. I liken it to the struggle I face with sharing closet space with my wife. In theory, we share the same goal; in practice, without good communication and coordination, my clothes end up on the floor. With the news on PerformancePoint Services, we will soon all be working in the same box.
My main concern is that a SharePoint community that already faces a shortage of competent talent will now be asked to coordinate effectively with the proper BI resources or fall victim to the "one stop shop" mentally that will ultimately include BI (and possibly lead to failed implementations). Also, as many of you have seen (and experience every day), SharePoint staffing tends to run very lean. Adding BI to the pot will put an even greater strain on these resources.
This is not a "gloom and doom" message. Again, I think the news is great and I can't wait to get my hands on some of this stuff. I just think that we, the SharePoint community, need to take a step back and assess what this latest news will mean to us. We will need to continue to emphasize strong governance, solid information architecture, tight security models, and promote the "do less well" message... and, at the same time, begin to coordinate with our Business Intelligence partners around how to ensure that SharePoint continues to be the best business tool available.