In a blog post today, Julia White, general manager for the Office Product Management team, laid out some details about the future of SharePoint within the Office ecosystem—in the cloud and on premises. In the process, White may have put some IT and business leaders' minds at ease, saying (in so many words) that there will be a new version of on-premises SharePoint.
Microsoft has been putting a great deal of emphasis on SharePoint in the cloud, to the point that some wondered whether the cloud would be the only SharePoint option moving forward. It sounds like that won't be the case, but White also notes that Microsoft is investing “deeply” in hybrid, to enable customers to “take advantage of cloud capabilities at their own pace.”
Microsoft will continue to offer on-premises SharePoint to the companies that still want to maintain their collaboration servers in the data center—many for compliance, governance or security reasons—but it seems that the company may be hoping that the ability to taste-test different features in cloud-based SharePoint will push customers to eventually eat everything off the online menu.
White stated that, both with the server and across Office 365, SharePoint is focused on experiences, management and extensibility. Features that are implemented in SharePoint within Office 365 will make their way into the on-premises product. White highlighted some of the new and updated features Microsoft is working on, including:
Office Delve, a search application that lets users search across Office 365 and offers predictive capabilities
NextGen portals, pre-built portals built from the get-go with mobile in mind
Expanded OneDrive, providing SharePoint users with a place to store, sync and share personal files across devices (including iOS- and Mac-based devices)
Expanded Team sites, which bring together team content (such as emails, IMs, tasks and contacts) across Office 365
Power BI, an integrated analytical platform
Social, expanding from a stand-alone news feed to integration across Office 365 via Yammer
Expanded management layer, creating a unified experience across Office 365
Office 365 APIs, providing deeper levels of integration and extensibility of SharePoint
Are you using SharePoint on-premises or via the cloud? If you are using it on-premise, what would it take your organization to shift? Please let us know in the comments section below.