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SharePoint MVPs: 'On-Prem is Very Much Alive and Well'

A number of prominent SharePoint MVP experts say they are confident that the on-premises server edition of SharePoint has a long future despite Microsoft's plans to extend the capabilities of its online counterpart -- Office 365 -- as well as options to host it in a public cloud service such as Azure. At the same time, many realize that customers are increasingly moving (or considering doing so) some or all of their deployments to an online alternative, either by hosting it in the cloud or moving to Office 365 and SharePoint Online.  

In one of many Tweetjams -- online discussions via Twitter -- hosted by prominent SharePoint MVP Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), the experts weighted in on the forthcoming SharePoint 2016 release, due out later this year, and what it will mean to the future of the premises-based edition.

"On-prem is very much alive and well. Don't think it's going away anytime soon," said MVP Asif Rehmani (@asifrehmani), founder and CEO of Chicago-based VisualSP. "Alive and well. Oh, and heavily customized," added Daniel Glenn (@DanielGlenn), Technical Consultant at InfoWorks and president of the Nashville SharePoint User Group.

Not everyone sees it that way. Some participants say the move toward hybrid deployments is gaining traction and is a sign that SharePoint in the datacenter has peaked. "SharePoint OnPrem is trending down, but still steady and above 70 percent --  there is room to grow still," tweeted Jeff Shuey (@jshuey), chief evangelist at K2, an ISV that provides workflow apps for SharePoint.

Barry Jinks (@bjinks), CEO of collaboration app provider Colligo, argued that the economies of Office 365 are compelling to many customers. "Eventually enterprises will move there," Jinks tweeted. "Just going to take way longer than hoped."

Buckley, the moderator and principal consultant with GTConsult, noted that while Microsoft may want everyone to move to the cloud, enterprises have too much invested in their on-premises SharePoint deployments. "SP on-prem CAN'T be killed by MSFT or anyone, only supplanted as cloud gets ever better," he tweeted. "Our Enterprise customers are looking at Hybrid. Still loving the on-prem #SharePoint as they have hefty investments there," said Gina Montgomery (@GinaMMontgomery), strategic director for Softmart, where she manages its Microsoft practice.

"IT [and collaboration tools] are evolving much faster than a 3 year DVD release cycle," said SharePoint and Office 365 Architect Maarten Visser (@mvisser), managing director of meetroo. " SharePoint OnPrem gets old quickly."

Asked if hybrid SharePoint deployments are becoming the new norm, the experts argued the hype doesn't match what they're seeing from their customers. "I don't think it will be a norm as much as what will be the best fit to meet requirements," said Stacy Deere-Strole (@sldeere), owner of SharePoint consultancy Focal Point Solutions.

"MSFT want it to be [the new norm]," observed SharePoint MVP Jason Himmelstein (@sharepointlhorn), Sr. Tech Director at Atrion. "Like with much of what we see coming out of Redmond it will be a bit before the desire matches the reality."

Yet many acknowledged that many are moving to hybrid deployments, or are in the process of planning to do so. "The story for OnPremises #SharePoint only gets better when you can work seamlessly with the cloud #SPO -- Hybid is a must," said SharePoint MVP Fabian Williams (@FabianWilliams). "Is hybrid the right idea? DAMN RIGHT. Move the right workloads for the right reasons," Himmelstein added.

"Yes, hybrid is becoming the norm for enterprises as well now. It just makes sense," Rehmani added. "Hybrid brings conservative customers the stability they need and allows them to experiment in the cloud," said Visser. "That's why SharePoint 2016 will be all about hybrid to force the transition," said MVP Michael Greth (@mysharepoint), based in Berlin. "Soon -- complex enterprise landscape will require a balance that hybrid can provide," tweeted Michelle Caldwell (@shellecaldwell), a director at integrator Avanade and a founder of the Buckley, Ohio SharePoint User Group. "Many are still planning and dabbling."

Williams added: "Hybrid can be considered normal because you need a 'bridge' to work between SPO & ONPrem since not all features are on both," he tweeted.

Many are also looking forward to hearing about new management features coming in SharePoint 2016. "This will be the super exciting stuff at @MS_Ignite," said Dan Holme, co-founder & CEO of IT Unity, based in Maui. "I believe it will be the differentiator over O365," Glenn said. "But O365 will absorb some (if not all) of it via Azure services over time." Buckley is looking forward to hearing more from Microsoft on this. "There has always been a gap for management across SP farms, much less hybrid," he said. "Will be interesting to see what is coming next."

What is it about SharePoint 2016 you are looking forward to hearing about?


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/19/2015 at 7:31 AM


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