In my observation about the SharePoint Conference 2014 (SPC14) last week, I discussed two new audiences that SPC14 is welcoming with sessions for Executives and Business Users. I also highlighted that the event continues Microsoft's recent efforts to increase support for hybrid and on-prem environments. Today, I'd like to "put out there" some of the things I’m hoping to see from Microsoft at SPC14.
My SharePoint Conference 2014 Wish List
These are a “wish list,” and I’m specifically publishing them now when I have absolutely zero inside knowledge of what will actually be announced there…
This is purely for fun, and maybe to goad Microsoft to do some of these. So my SPC14 wish list, in no particular order, is as follows:
- New Yammer features are announced to address some of the gaps with Jive and with enterprise compliance requirements around findability, auditing, and information management; and for some kind of within-my-firewall solution. [I’m dreaming big here!]
- Skype and Lync are integrated and only one brand survives, in both consumer and “pro” versions. [I might actually put this on a separate wish list for the Lync event next spring.]
- Yammer and Skype/Lync are integrated fully into business user tool #1: Outlook.
- The touch-friendly versions of Office clients are released for Windows, iOS, and Android.
- SkyDrive’s new brand is revealed, and it’s simply branded “Microsoft Drive” or “M Drive” for short. Consumer SkyDrive becomes M Drive – Personal, and enterprise My Site becomes M Drive - <company>. Alternately, I would wish for the "Xdrive" to reflect the "Xbox" brand for consumer SkyDrive. My colleague over at ZDNet, Ed Bott, has been a proponent of this as well.
- Offline sync is separated—from a branding and messaging perspective—from the "location" of the M-Drive. It’s just, simply, “sync” or “available offline,” and this would be merged with the Work Folders feature into a single “give me my content offline” solution.
- SharePoint’s major services—search, social, and BCS—become almost separate “products” rather than tightly coupled with collaboration sites. See my article from April, It’s Time to Break Up the SharePoint Brand.
- A roadmap and possibly even features are revealed to create a more unified user experience across farms, and across on-prem to cloud, including navigation, social, and search.
- Just to emphasize one of those: Microsoft FINALLY solves the navigation problem. Really. Finally. It's insane, but it is a guaranteed "question" for me from every enterprise: How do we provide a "global" navigation for our environment?
- Microsoft launches some kind of feature to provide customizable web forms, to replace InfoPath and GoogleDocs.
- Steve Ballmer’s years-old promise of SharePoint Online for Web Sites is finally launched, for hosting fully-functional SharePoint public-facing websites.
- Some kind of branding and messaging is put forth to “separate” SharePoint on-prem (and IaaS) from SharePoint in Office 365. Too many organizations think “either/or” because “it’s SharePoint.” But it’s not… Office 365 is fundamentally different in many ways, so it should be evaluated from SharePoint on-premises to determine which will best support a particular business goal. It’s great that there are a lot of similarities between the two, but customers need to start thinking “and” not “or.”
What Do You Think?
How’s THAT for a wish list? I’ll be thrilled if even one or two of those come true!