3 reasons to tune in to the ‘Future of SharePoint’ event

  • Posted on April 21, 2016


SharePoint is a versatile product that over the years has grown in terms of functionality, but since the dawn of Office 365 and the introduction of SharePoint Online, Microsoft has been steering the product once built for on-premises deployment to a mobile-first, cloud-first approach. According to Gartner, Microsoft has taken the lead in the market for Enterprise Content Management, delivered as a service (SaaS). Approximately, two thirds of enterprises are now using SharePoint. Many of our Avanade clients have invested in Microsoft SharePoint for their collaborative solutions, search, as a part of their Digital Workplace journey, as an application platform and more.

Last month, Microsoft announced that the latest version of SharePoint was released to manufacturing. Since Microsoft now has a cloud-first strategy, their newest release of SharePoint Server 2016 contains the latest innovations and features built for the cloud in the Office 365 service, but then ported back to an on-premises version. These investments in the on-premises version ensures that the long history of an on-premises version will continue for a foreseeable future, especially in a cloud and on-premises hybrid scenario.

In the same announcement, it was revealed that Microsoft will host a live virtual online event on May 4, followed by a number of on-demand sessions, focused on the future of SharePoint and OneDrive for Business – in the cloud as well as on-premises. The event will cover the vision and roadmap, as well as sneak peaks and demos on what is coming. Hosting this kind of event has not happened in the world of Office and SharePoint and it will be an historic meeting. Jeff Teper, MS Corporate Vice President, will be presenting, and hopefully we’ll see a few other Microsoft executives as well.

From what I have seen, this event will be something extraordinary that will entice all SharePoint audiences; whether you’re an executive, business decision maker, IT-professional or developer – this event will offer a surprise or two.

SharePoint has been in a transition phase over the last few years, adapting to a mobile-first, cloud-first strategy. This event will be the first time we will see how the Office team has taken on this challenge and how they are adapting to a Digital Workplace and modern collaborative world. The SharePoint team has claimed that this year Microsoft will release significant new innovations spanning user experiences, document collaboration, mobile enhancements and platform improvements that will redefine modern content collaboration.

If you are in or are considering any of the following scenarios you should tune in to this event:

  1. Planning to upgrade to SharePoint 2016 – the event promises to talk not only about the futures of the SharePoint cloud version but also SharePoint 2016 on-premises. To me, this is an important statement from Microsoft that SharePoint on-premises is here for the long run, and not obsolete as the rumors say.
  2. Moving to Office 365 and SharePoint Online – we’ve already seen over the last year how much the Office team are innovating in the cloud service, and I would think it is safe to assume that the majority of the innovation will be cloud-first, and then later added to the on-premises version. I also know that this part will be particularly interesting for anyone planning on using SharePoint Online as your primary collaboration tool.
  3. Interested in or using OneDrive for Business – OneDrive for Business has been struggling, specifically on the “sync” side. We should expect to see how the team will take the next step with their “Next Gen Sync Engine.”

If you already have an investment in SharePoint, or if you’re considering SharePoint or Office 365, make sure to attend the event. And if you’re interested in a post-briefing after the event, contact me at w.wilen@avanade.com.

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