I had some fascinating insights from conversations at working social that i feel should not go unmentioned. Some of you may just need these insights.
1. I had a conversation with a Microsoft employee in New York office. I asked him point blank. How are you dealing with the focus on Office 365 and Yammer focus with less and less focus on SharePoint? Don’t your customers feel neglected? His witty response… “Yammer is SharePoint.” I think there was more to his statement which is why I just had to share it. The big bet on Yammer really is as big as that statement.
2. One theme that needs to be start taken literally is Cloud First. SharePoint on-premises is NOT dead. Here’s the future and current world picture for you… Features are first released to Office365, and then rolled out to the on premises version of SharePoint. I think we’ve heard annual on-premises releases at least referenced a couple of times. I don’t know if we call those versions, patches, or updates.
3. Features are released via an iterative approach. The more you understand how the yammer team has been working for years, the more you’ll understand what the future SharePoint/Office 365 team looks like.
4. SharePoint Future Roadmap will look more like the pattern of the yammer roadmap. When yammer was acquired one of the attractive things was the iterative cloud development model. In the past SharePoint was a 3+ year roadmap. We knew what would happen years out. Now we can assume more of a yammer style roadmap with 6 months of features that may change based on how a feature is used. You could easily say that even the product team does NOT know what SharePoint will look like in 3 years much much less than they did previously. It may never make it into the on-premises version based on how it is used and how it is received. Product planning is turned upside down and on its head.
5. To understand the SharePoint 2014 roadmap, simply look at what is happening in Office 365 and yammer and you’ll get some great insights. For example look at sharing in SkyDrive Pro optimizations, yammer newsfeed integration optimizations, and emphasis on the app marketplace. Getting to the cloud and hybrid are critical, so those will be major emphasis. Those are critical for online will eventually make their way into the product.
6. Office is the big brand and yammer is a product glue across all of the suite from SharePoint Online to Lync, Skype and all of the Office Web Apps and in the various clients on a variety of devices. You’ll continue to see more and more integration. Yammer is the big bet. Social is the big bet. Office 365 is the biggest bet and it’s going to be more and more pervasive and those bets will feel like a wave that first crests online and then brings fruit to the on-premises versions in subsequent waves. I think you’ll hear less and less about “SharePoint” as a brand as Office 365 brand gets stronger. Microsoft is all about Devices and Services. The more quickly we understand that, the faster we’ll understand the positioning.
Want a detailed roadmap? It’s going to be shared at the SharePoint Conference #SPC 2014! I’ll be there… see you there! Check out the existing tracks and sessions and you can see… it really is about roadmap with more detail about on-premises SharePoint.
Note: I’m not breaking any NDA in sharing these insights…