A new study released yesterday by Forrester Research, titled “SharePoint Server 2010: An Evolutionary Step Toward Content-Centric Middleware,” indicates that more than one-third of the organizations surveyed are using MOSS 2007 for one or more of the pillars: collaboration, content management, portal, search, and business intelligence, as well as Web content management and application development. Further, the study found that a majority of the companies are using a collaboration platform (SharePoint, Lotus Notes) for collaboration on office documents, moreso than for any other purpose.

The study doesn’t break much new ground, mainly discussing the new features and improvements, but it does offer a key piece of advice: Look to Microsoft’s partners to create a SharePoint solution that’s best for your organization.

For instance, it acknowledges that SharePoint has a breadth of capabilities, and it says if you’re only looking to fulfill a basic need, such as deploying public-facing blogs, SharePoint will “look like a sledgehammer” compared to Jive and other lighter-weight solutions.

Similarly, if you’re looking to create hybrid internal/external social networks, SharePoint’s named-user licensing will “make the product a non-starter” if these networks are to include employees, customers and business partners.

Forrester also offers advice as to which SharePoint platform you should be on, if at all. If you’re an existing MOSS 2007 shop, for example, Forrester recommends a rapid upgrade path to SharePoint 2010 only if your SharePoint strategy has been constrained by functional shortcomings in MOSS 2007. If you’re only just considering SharePoint, make sure you need its broad functionality, because it will have a broad impact on your IT infrastructure; otherwise, it urges you to consider a targeted point solution for portal or collaboration.

Forrester also believes Microsoft will follow a three-year release cycle for SharePoint, meaning any major new functionality is unlikely until 2013 at the earliest. Meanwhile, pure SaaS offerings will be able to unfurl new capabilities far more aggressively, the report says.

A summary of the report is available from Forrester.

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We present to you today A RARE OPPORTUNITY to have your questions answered by none other than Jeff Teper, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for SharePoint. Jeff has graciously agreed to open himself up to questions from the SharePoint-using public, and his responses will appear in the Feb. 10 issue of SPTechReport—the first of our planned “Show Daily” reports live from SPTechCon. So, if you want to ask ANYTHING about MOSS 2007 or SharePoint 2010, forward your questions to me at drubinstein@bzmedia.com, and I’ll be putting them together for Jeff to take on. The ONLY restriction is that you get your questions to me by this Friday, Jan. 29.

— David