SharePoint360.de interview with Trevor Hellebuyck, CEO of Metalogix
Question: Mr. Hellebuyck, you've just taken over the helm at Metalogix as the new CEO. Your company has been with SharePoint right from the start, what are your aims as you tackle your new task?
Trevor Hellebuyck: We are in a very exciting upheaval phase right now, because the market is moving very much towards the cloud. The spotlight is really on SharePoint Server here: on the one hand, Microsoft has marketed it very successfully as a strategic product, but on the other hand they'd like to get as many of these customers as possible to move precisely towards Office 365-Cloud. To us, this means we need to face these challenges and focus entirely on the cloud and hybrid topics.
F: How ready do you see your clients being to switch from SharePoint Server towards Office 365?
T.H.: SharePoint On-Premises continues to be the dominant platform in Central Europe, above all in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and will continue to be so for a while. Great Britain and the USA, on the other hand, are noticeably readier to switch. Everyone knows the cloud has clear advantages, so the hybrid SharePoint issue will become particularly important. Metalogix is committed to continuing to provide innovative solutions for both SharePoint on-premises and Office 365 including hybrid deployment scenarios.
F: What does this mean for you as a tool provider focused on managing SharePoint, migrating content and filing? Will users continue to need such add-ons, and where do you see new challenges?
T.H.: The fact is, and remains, that SharePoint isn't easy to manage: so when it comes to the typical issues in this environment, like migrating from SharePoint 2010 to 2016, for example, which are particularly relevant at this time, our customers still need tried and tested tools. But much the same thing also applies to those who want to migrate their data to Office 365, of course. Because of the particularities of the cloud, what we have here is a bottleneck which Microsoft would like to overcome with new technology. We were development partners here, so migration can now achieve much higher data transfer rates.
F: Businesses are increasingly using a wide range of cloud services. What does this mean if not only SharePoint but a number of other document repositories are also used?
T.H.: Today, users are switching massively to using external services like Box or Dropbox to share their documents with customers or partners. Your average company uses five or six different collaboration platforms. We've seen this coming for quite some time, and developed the Content.ly cloud management platform in response to it, giving business IT a holistic overview of the services they use, they can manage them, even migrate between clouds.
F: Now, one thing the cloud promised was that it would simplify IT management considerably. The way it seems, that isn't so, but it's getting more complex again but in a different way?
T.H.: That's true, and hybrid SharePoint scenarios are much more complex to operate than SharePoint Server alone. These are typical side-effects at a time of technological change like we're going through right now. We for our part can contribute applications which businesses can use to stay in control.
F: Which way is the market going on the upgrades to SharePoint und Office 365, what technology will business be using increasingly in the coming years?
T.H.: We see people are increasingly interested in content management, security & information governance, business intelligence, workflow and business process automation. Generally, we can say that companies are dealing less with pure technology but more directly with problem solving at business level. To us, that means we will be talking to clients more about their business issues in future and will be supporting them directly in this via a growing partner network.