Archive for April, 2015
Last week we got the shipping date for SharePoint Server 2016. Many of us (including Microsoft watchers) were surprised, since we were expecting SharePoint to hit RTM later this year. Most of us were expecting the RTM in the same timeframe as Office and Exchange 2016, but Microsoft is breaking with this tradition. Customers can try the public beta in October or November, but have to wait at least another year (Q2 2016) until the final bits are shipped.
Although it’s a good thing Microsoft has decoupled SharePoint from the Office client and Exchange Server, I do feel the need to make a negative comment about this new fact.
SharePoint Server is slacking compared to SharePoint Online!
The (OOTB) functionality Gap between SharePoint Online and SharePoint OnPrem is becoming a lot bigger this year with the introduction of more NextGen Portals and new features. Can you imagine how big the gap might be 12/14 months from now? SharePoint Online and Office 365 are updated on a weekly basis, and new features are added quicker than most Sharepoint farms can manage to do a successful reboot…
One of the big Sharepoint Online differentiators can be read in this new blogpost. The ability to quickly setup ‘enterprise grade’ collaboration solutions which connect to full featured Office clients on any device is great from a productivity standpoint. Due to the standardisation of the cloud it will bring more abilities to do ‘one click’ integrations with a large amount of software products, and without any hassle it will work anywere, anytime..
SharePoint Server differentiation
Sure, there are still good reasons to implement SharePoint Server 2016. Some companies will keep building new ‘private castles in the cloud’, because it brings peace of mind to the extreme conservative compliancy and risk management departments. But also for good reasons like existing farms that need to be upgraded, limited bandwidth locations or specific demands for customisation. Whatever the reason is, having SharePoint as an OnPrem product brings a very important competitive advantage for Microsoft: Hybrid solutions. Important competitors like Google, SalesForce.com, Dropbox, Box and other ‘pure SaaS players’ don’t have this ability, which keeps SharePoint attractive for many big corporations. It absolutly makes sense that Microsoft is clearly making the statement that it will keep shipping SharePoint OnPrem for as long there are customer willing to pay for it.
So… SharePoint Server 2016 will continue the success story of bringing flexible ECM (Document management, Collaboration. Workflow, …) to customer datacentres worldwide, with the benefits of connecting specific workloads to the cloud using secure Extensions (like Office Graph signals). Large organisations will continue to like the ability to keep specific workloads (user experiences) inside the Perimeter / datacenter, but I expect the amount of new SharePoint 2016 implemenations to be lower compared to SharePoint 2013.
Desisionmakers need to be aware that SharePoint Online (and Apps build by third parties) are becoming much more feature rich every day and that deploying those solutions will often be much quicker and cheaper . Each new business request will need to be validated to see if the SharePoint Online alternative (and Third party hosted Apps) won’t bring more user satisfaction, productivity and economic bennefits to the organization…