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2015 in Review: The Disruption of the Industry by Microsoft

Discussion in 'SharePoint Blogs' started by Sharegate's Blog, Dec 21, 2015.

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  1. Sharegate's Blog

    Sharegate's Blog Guest

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    It’s been a very big year, there's no denying that. We aren’t just looking at upgrading to a new version of SharePoint - 2015 has totally disrupted our industry. With Office 365’s new experiences, and things like Groups for Office 365, we had to rethink a lot of what we did, as well as how we did it. Let’s not forget that this was the first year Microsoft brought different conferences under one with Ignite. Let’s have a look back.

    Let’s take a look at 10 things that were announced or had a big impact on 2015.

    1. SharePoint 2016, and Future On-Premises Release

    • 2015 showed us that SharePoint isn't going away any time soon. There had been a lot of rumors of SharePoint fading away, so it was great to see it back at the front.
    2. Groups for Office 365

    • Came out of nowhere really, at Ignite, and created a lot of confusion for Yammer and Team Sites in SharePoint. Was it going to replace SharePoint Team Sites, or Yammer conversations? We didn’t know, and many are still confused. But, now we know it’s the future and won't replace, but rather leverage, what exists already.
    3. OneDrive for Business Sync Issues

    • Let’s not kid ourselves, 2015 has been tough for the OneDrive for Business team. The sync issues and overall sentiment around the product hasn't been positive. Microsoft definitely lost a lot of business, to players like Dropbox, just because of something as small as Sync. Thankfully the new Sync Client is now available, and we can move past it for 2016.
    4. Planner

    • Though only recently announced at the end of 2015, we’ve known about it for a long time, and have been waiting impatiently to get it. A big new addition for Office in 2015, no doubt about it.
    5. Video Portal

    • I like to think of this as the most successful portal of Office 365. The video portal has made its appearance on Office 365 tenants, and has continued to grow its features by constantly listening to feedback.
    6. Delve for Profiles, Blogs, Activity & Analytics

    • Trying to bring in Machine Learning and getting the Office Graph showcased, Delve has been a big part of this past 12 months. With the new Blog, Activities, and people profiles, not to mention the new analytics announced… Delve was definitely present.
    7. Power Apps

    • We’ve been waiting for a long time for this even if we didn’t know it. I put Power Apps in the list just because it addresses topics that have been big this year, and those are Workflows, Forms, and Apps. Looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
    8. Cloud vs On-Premises

    • Finally, this has started to disappear as a conversation. People have accepted that they can use either one, or both, depending on their needs, and Hybrid is generally more accepted now. I always say, choose where your SharePoint is going to be, but Office 365 Experiences will add more to it wherever it is, On-Premises or in Office 365.
    9. "Renewed Focus on SharePoint"

    • Jeff Teper is back, and there's a renewed sense that the team is back on a common track for all products. At a recent conference, not only did they commit to the future of SharePoint, but they put it at the center of a slide with OneDrive next to it. They're back and focused on it. It’ll be exciting to see how this develops. Possibly the biggest news of this year.
    10. A Switch on Microsoft Strategy

    • With Ignite and WPC showing a focus on "Transformation" and "Reinventing productivity", Microsoft seems to have realized that the workplace is changing. Though they're making the necessary adjustments to stay relevant, they need IT to adapt, as well, and this was a big part of the messaging this year.
    So what do I think we’ll see in SharePoint & Office 365 in 2016?

    It's Going to Be a Big Year with a Focus on SharePoint

    • I'm convinced we’ll see and hear more on SharePoint 2016 as it evolves but, more importantly, I expect to see an overhaul of the Team Site. Breath new air into it and bring it back to today’s standards.
    SharePoint Becomes Similar to Windows 10 for Updates

    • Hard to say, but if we look at what Windows is doing – I could see the same for SharePoint. I mentioned it right after Ignite, and I continue to believe it because it makes sense. SharePoint 2016, so far, has a lot of infrastructure and back end optimizations, which leads me to believe that they want to build on a strong foundation for the future. I expect to see some sort of Content Packages delivered later on, to update our SharePoint 2016 as time passes.
    IT Starts Looking at Hybrid Solutions

    • No longer an after thought, IT needs to fight their Rogue IT problem. Users are getting things themselves online, like they go to the grocery store, and IT is losing control. To be able to fight this, they'll need to look at hybrid solutions that help them stay in a familiar and controllable environment. I expect many to use their On-Premises SharePoint, and other products, then connect what they need from Office 365, such as the Video Portal and OneDrive for Business, or Delve blogs, for the things they can’t, and won’t, be able to build themselves.
    Groups for Office 365 Becomes the New Standard

    • No doubt about it, it’s going to be the year of Office 365 Groups aka Outlook Groups.

    • It remains an independent product, and stays mostly unchanged, but gets "cut into pieces" and some of its features get integrated to other bigger pieces, where it makes sense. Ex: Threaded Conversations in the Team Site.

    Did I forget something? Ah, of course, how could we forget? There won't be a SharePoint Designer 2016, and Workflows & Forms has definitely been a big topic this year. That story is still unfolding, as we all look to Power Apps to solve some of those problems we had. Time will tell.

    One thing is sure, 2016 is going to be a SharePoint year – I hope you’re ready.

    Continue reading...
    Thomas Willner likes this.
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