This year saw the beginnings of a mammoth shift in the landscape of traditional SharePoint ISVs. Software vendors are now charting out their visions for a post SharePoint on-prem world.

Like Microsoft, none are abandoning their customers and scenarios, but they are all looking at the impact of Office 365 and Azure, and other products and services, and moving in directions that reflect diverse and interesting strategies for future growth.

This week I’d like to summarize what I saw and experienced in the industry. 

These are just my observations and opinions, but I’m asked for them regularly so I like to put them out there from time to time.  If nothing else, this gives you insight into the companies that I hear discussed regularly in the meetings I have with customers around the globe.

Changes in the SharePoint Vendor Ecosystem

There was of course a lot of change amongst the biggest players in the space.

Dell completed its acquisition of Quest, integrating it into its enormous portfolio of software, services, and hardware. AvePoint branched out to deliver innovative apps like Meetings and MyView that take the company well beyond its SharePoint infrastructure roots. And Metalogix acquired the SharePoint business of Axceler and Idera, rounding out an impressive set of offerings.

Certainly the “story” and value prop for each of these companies changed a lot.

The discussions I hear customers having about these companies is entirely different than the discussion I’ve heard over the last five years.  It’s going to be an interesting and very new future for all three.

Meanwhile, Nintex and K2 enhanced their offerings around business process automation. I’ve not spent a ton of time with K2, but I’ve had the chance this year to do a lot with Nintex and I make no secret of the fact that I think Nintex Workflows and Forms are the killer apps for SharePoint and Office 365.  Nintex is the company to watch and to work for these days, I think, and I’m really excited to dig in further to their suite over the coming weeks as I prepare NBC to broadcast the Olympics in February.

Nintex was early and strong in their move to the cloud, which positioned them well for the changes in SharePoint and Office 365. The cloud and mobile devices have changed the business landscape for other vendors as well. 

Colligo has been investing in an amazing set of capabilities around managing mobile devices—I’m going to be using their tools manage content distribution and to provide rich UX for iPads over the coming weeks to support our users in Sochi.

PixelMill has been doing a bang-up job of carving out a leadership position in the area of design—particularly responsive design.  KnowledgeLake and Bamboo Solutions continue to expand their product lines, including into Office 365. And Pingar continues to be the most-often-mentioned company when organizations talk about ways of improving the use of metadata and “tagging.”

SharePoint MVPs Release Products

Meanwhile some well-known SharePoint MVPs have released products or enhanced existing product lines. These are smaller companies but run by exceptionally talented teams doing some very innovative and agile stuff.

Good friends and colleagues Andrew Connell and Chris Johnson have announced Kerrb, which will launch its VM state management and cost management offerings early next year.  Eric Shupps’ BinaryWave released SmartTrack for SharePoint monitoring and operational intelligence. Toni Frankola’s Acceleratio updated their Governance Toolkit and Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint and Office 365.

And when I talk about training and adoption, I always mention Rob Bogue’s SharePoint Shepherd for end-user training and Asif Rehmani’s SharePoint Videos, which offers an extensive library -- particularly strong for power user topics and growing in other areas.  For IT Pros and Developers, there’s also Pluralsight, which after its acquisition of TrainSignal offers a huge and growing library across all kinds of dev and IT pro topics.

One last honorable mention.  While not a “company,” Codeplex continues to be a rich gold mine of solutions for SharePoint and Office 365.  The contributors should be lauded for sharing the fruits of their intellectual labor, and I expect Codeplex will continue to rock it in 2014!

And lots of SharePoint MVPs did amazing things within the consulting space, but I’ll save that for another article.

If I didn’t mention your favorite ISV (or your company), it’s either because of space limitations or simple lack of familiarity.

I look forward to continuing working with many of these companies to solve customer problems, and I’ll be working hard at the SPC and shortly thereafter to extend my familiarity and collaboration with ISVs in the SharePoint and Office 365 space.

Set up a meeting with me on MySPC! And if anyone feels left out, it’s not intentional!

Email me or comment below – let us know what you’ve done to adapt to the “new world” in 2013 (please don’t use it as a sales pitch, though!).

Best wishes to all the players who help extend SharePoint to solve the problems of customers worldwide!  Here’s to a happy and prosperous new year!