SPC14 Results: 3 Reasons the SharePoint On-Premise roadmap has changed to a severe O365 warning

By Adam Levithan posted 03-17-2014 09:44


Like the 'Severe Weather Warnings' that have been so frequent this winter, announcements made at SPC14 point us in a general direction, set some conditions, but remain vague about the details we've been waiting for. Last year's conference announced the integration of Yammer into the O365 family, and the promise that Microsoft would learn from the start-ups' iterative development cycle. In that time O365 has launched has taken the market by storm, and new features have been released on a more frequent basis. On the ground, we've seen a huge adoption of O365 as a replacement for on-premise exchange, while Lync and SharePoint are treated as great add-ons. With all these changes I'm going to try to summarize how SPC14 will change SharePoint On-Premise's future.


O365 Iterative Process & Last major version of SharePoint On-Premise

There were many great technological announcements at SPC14. All were announced with the phrase "cloud first", while some were announced as "cloud only". One announcement forecasts the future – "We're committed to another on-premises release of SharePoint Server.." written by Jared Spataro in a Microsoft blog . Using other information as a guide, this means that just like O365 will not be renamed as features are added, a proposed SharePoint 2015 major release will be the last new 'name' and full development cycle that we have been used to since the release of 2007. Instead it seems that Microsoft will bundle features that go to the cloud first, and work on-premise, in future yearly service pack releases.


The Promise of forms integration

If you haven't heard already, SPC14 hosted the funeral procession, and of course wake held at a SharePint, for InfoPath (here's the Microsoft announcement). This wasn't a complete surprise because, SharePoint insiders had seen no changes from 2010 to 2013 versions, and the team itself was disbanded many months prior to the official announcement. Microsoft clearly announced that the future will not be one-size-fits all for forms. Implementing first in the cloud (do you see a trend here), SharePoint forms will be able to be manipulated directly through the browser. The follow-up to the clarity was the promise of forms technology that hasn't fully been built yet. A little more detail can be found in Jennifer Mason's blog on CMSwire .


 "Work Like a Network" / Office Graph

Part of the keynote was the reinforcement of the phrase "Work Like a Network" and the introduction of a new technology, brought to us by the same great team that created FAST search, called Oslo. This new tool that can literally display your network of information and people throughout the Office ecosystem is built on Office Graph. What do these developments mean? It seems that Yammer and SharePoint functionalities will be further integrated within the office stack, and some of the most powerful document management, tracking and workflow capabilities will become features enterprise users expect, instead of ones that are created and customized by internal team. Oh, did I mention that this is O365 only to start?


Overall it seems that the SharePoint On-Premise infrastructure, with it's multiple groupings of features, is now being treated like an aging Microsoft operating system (RIP XP) – it will be supported and fixes will be created without many new features. It seems that we're taking a step back and returning to the "Microsoft Office SharePoint Server" of 2007, without the server. I see a breaking up of the infrastructure into pieces over the next 5 years. The good news is "One Microsoft" might actually be able to create the integration points that have been hard to achieve in the past. I hope that there will be new SharePoint APIs that allow for utilization of the amazing content categorization, task management and workflow features that we've grown to rely on over the last seven years.



Portal Solutions O365 Webinar Series

Microsoft Fast Track to O365 Offer – Ends June 30th 2014

COMING SOON - ViewDo Blog Series on SharePoint Social Roadmap


#Collaboration #SharePoint #planning #roadmap #OfficeGraph #SharePointConference2014 #social #Yammer


03-26-2014 11:52

I'll add another observation from SPC2014... An overwhelming majority of the sessions offered at the conference were O365-centric. I counted only one on-premises development session. This is a clear indication of how Microsoft wants you to be thinking.
Will organizations embrace the path to cloud-based collaboration or be dragged kicking and screaming? How much more does the cloud ecosystem need to adapt and augment their services to mitigate the objections that continue to fuel on-premises installations of SharePoint? O365/SharePoint Online/BPOS have been around for many years now as an option, and continually become more of a viable one. We hear loud and clear from Microsoft that their innovations will be made available more rapidly and frequently through their cloud channels rather than in on-premises updates and service packs. It is only a matter of time before those new features become cloud-only.
We're right in the middle of SharePoint 2013's reign, yet so many organizations are still on SharePoint 2010. If SharePoint 2015 is truly Microsoft's final on-premises release, how many organizations that typically lag behind the adoption curve will even end up going through the effort to upgrade when they probably should seriously consider a migration to the cloud instead?
At this point, I think it can be reasonably argued that all roads lead to O365. We've got phased approach options that can help us get there like Amazon/Azure/FPweb/Rackspace. We've got OneDrive for Business. We've got a commitment for one last release for the data center stalwarts. It's our choice how and when, but we need a plan and now is the time to chart our routes. The question for all of us: is the road you're driving on going to run off a cliff or do you know which on-ramp to take before you run out of runway?

03-26-2014 06:53

Mike, great additional points. I'll do my best to respond.
Document Deletion Policies/One Drive for Business - So the exciting part about One Drive for Business, and the really confusing thing, is that one of the main functionalities is that the your main library is your Personal Site Document library. There's a real push now to using O365 Personal Sites for good, and you can apply the same content-types within the document library. (Not quite as easily as on-premises, but it can be done)
In-Place & Information Lifecycle - As with a lot of O365 the future is not clear, but Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment not only to the cloud but to build an App community similar to "Dreamforce". I bring this up as the answer to your question because I strongly believe that there will be great interactions with the current third party ECM providers in the cloud. If nothing else, with an E license you can have a hybrid scenario where your records are moved to on-premise storage(or other cloud storage) by the SharePoint Search.
Oslo is interesting - it will not reach outside of O365, but with the open APIs there may be potential to build a "Retention App" that presents items that you're associated with that are coming close to the end of their retention cycle... with the amount of data that is being accessed by Oslo the possibilities are staggering.

03-25-2014 10:40

Very Interesting Post. Here are my open questions from SPC2014:
Document Deletion Policies. Several sessions indicated that the new document deletion policies were the new and recommended approach to records management in most teamsites, OneDrive for Business and O365 email. Any idea how this relates to content-type driven retention and records management in O365?
In-Place. All of the records discussions I saw talked about In-Place Records Mgmt and preventing the deletion of sites with records. Does this mean that the O365 vision is for all sites to persist as long as there are records in the site?
Information Lifecycle. How does the drive to O365 and CSOM affect the legacy providers of information governance who link (stub) SharePoint documents to repositories of record, such as Open Text, HP, Hyland, RSD, etc? Will this approach even be architecturally possible in O365?
Oslo Integration. I thought the Oslo demonstration was fascinating. I wonder how information policy can wrap all of that information for retention?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts...