Heaven, Earth and the Bridge in Between- From Sharepoint to Office 365 & One Drive
It’s hard to believe that just 18 months ago some content management vendors were using phrases like, “as much cloud as you need” when they talked about hybrid, as if the only real advantage of storing and sharing files in the heavens was so that they could easily accessed from anywhere, at any time, via any device, without a hassle. The idea was to keep most of your content on premise where it already lives, where it’s presumably safe, and where IT is in full control.
Fast forward a year and a half and vendors, like Microsoft, who more or less own the productivity/collaboration game on premises, are making bold, cloud-first, mobile-first commitments in public, deliberately articulating that customers who use Office 365 and One Drive for Business will get access to new benefits, new features and new experiences first.
Julia White, general manager for Microsoft’s Office Product Management team, put it down in black and white in a blog post earlier this month. This is how she explains the benefits to the business user:
“The cloud enables us to bring the experiences, management and extensibility together across not just SharePoint, but all of the Office technologies. We can finally break down individual product installations into a cohesive productivity solution, enabling holistic capabilities that provide greater value to customers and partners. The cloud also allows us to rapidly innovate and deliver new experiences faster than ever before. At the same time, we’re building collaboration, mobility and machine learning capabilities right into all of the Office experiences, enabling a generational transformation in the way people work.”
This is where Microsoft is headed, whether you are, or not.
The folks in Redmond, won’t leave you stranded; however, Sharepoint Server 2016 is on its way and will offer many of the capabilities and features from Sharepoint Online such as enhanced, flexible deployment options, improved reliability and new IT agility, enabled for massive scale.
“We are committed to making the next version of SharePoint server the most secure, stable and reliable version to date—allowing organizations to take advantage of cloud innovation on their terms,” writes White, in a blog post.
Sexy? Not hardly, but hybrid certainly looks a little sweeter.
With a cloud/ on premises model business users would get to take advantage of some of Office 365’s more interesting features like Delve, NextGen Portals, and Power BI and still keep cloud-weary mangers’ worries at bay. If you stay completely grounded, it’s not all bad; Microsoft says it is focused on robust hybrid enablement in order to bring more of the Office 365 experiences to on-premises customers.
At the end of the day, however, it seems that cloud is best (if you can do it), hybrid is attractive, and on prem will be good enough, especially if the latter is your only option.
And moving to the cloud, or a hybrid model, doesn’t need to be that much of a hassle, by the way. There are tools to help you get from point A to point B. Check out Essentails for Office 365.