There were more than a few hints at #SPC14 that SharePoint as a brand is being asked to make room for the 1st string soloists Office 365 and Yammer. You’ll notice that I made the call back in October to change my blog from SharePoint to Collab, so as to embrace this new change as much as it hurts. Let me pull back the Microsoft curtain a little to help you see what I see. I’m not the only one who’s yelling “Paradigm Shift” and “Time to Circle the Wagons” (Is interest in SharePoint dropping) but most of this conversation thus far has been on more obscure blogs and tweets. Now I think it’s time to start talking about this in the open. I invite other readers to share their perspective. I think it’s great to have this in the open. As Ben put it… Is the SharePoint Brand Disappearing?
1. The SharePoint Conference keynote was all about Office 365 and Yammer with lots of cool announcements around Office Graph, Oslo (Code name), SP1 integration to SharePoint online, and a bunch more. You can read my post about the various announcements: Next version of SharePoint in 2015 and other things I learned at SharePoint Conference #SPC14 and SharePoint Conference Enterprise Social Announcement Wrap-Up
2. There were a couple of other reinforcements in the keynote which reinforced “Cloud First!” and Not all features (you see here) are going into Office 365 will make it to SharePoint on Premise. (Like Groups?) You really need to understand the new world of incremental releases to understand there’s really no such thing as “Non Launch Year.” The things that were announced were innovative and life changing and you should sit up and pay attention to what *really* happened at #SPC14. This post is a hint.
3. The previous plan to have annual cadence and quicker releases for on premises SharePoint has been updated. The next release of SharePoint will be in 2015. No other significant announcements related to that product were mentioned at the conference… Well, there was one… The SharePoint Social features will not be enhanced. Personally I interpret that as specifically related to the SharePoint newsfeed. They don’t plan to invest in putting yammer like features in SharePoint. They’re done. Seems that mention of Social SharePoint often relates directly to the newsfeed despite the fact that blogs, wikis, and so forth use to be part of the “social” features of SharePoint, but the Office team (SharePoint?) is gathering feedback for improving the CMS features of SharePoint 2015 and in Office 365.
4. Any and all barriers to the cloud are attempting to be removed. You’ll notice the Self service provisioning features, and the unlimited size per tenant were both excuses that the cloud wasn’t ready for scale. Now those excuses are gone.
5, Microsoft field has little to no incentive to sell SharePoint on premises. Most if not 100% of the SharePoint sales specialists have been moved to other technologies with emphasis on CRM, Office 365, and Yammer.
6. The Ask the Experts at #SPC14 had T-shirts for SharePoint, Yammer, and Office 365. Equal footing at a SharePoint conference, but when you dig into the sessions you’d realize all the new cool stuff was all about Office 365 and Yammer. That’s not just because we are in a non launch year. It’s because it’s going to be cloud first, and all the cool stuff will go to Office 365 first, and SharePoint on premises can take a back seat.
7. The new yammer itpronetwork for SharePoint is all about Office 365… Have you noticed that yet? I think it’s high time to talk about the consulting and IT roles in Office 365. So far there’s a lot less need for IT with all of this efficiency. Just sayin’! I think this paradigm shift will result in new and different jobs… definitely some retooling for developers, but they will continue to be needed for business solutions and integration work, and tons more, but the server customizations have got to go… or at least they need to be minimized and kept in a small box at home (in the smallish on premises datacenter) that shouldn’t get touched as often as it has. I could and should do a post about what this means career wise for folks, because it is a new economy and all this emphasis on Social, Mobile, Cloud, and Big Data many consulting firms will need to find a new niche.
8. SharePoint Vendors are scared they see the emphasis on Cloud and they are trying to retool as well – in this new world of Office 365, so far we haven’t seen any killer apps and big money projects. Tell me if I’m wrong. I’d love to hear about the coolest app that’s making bank. The Office and SharePoint Store or Marketplace have been around for a couple of years now. There’s definitely significant deployment in Office 365 and even enough upgrades on SharePoint 2013 that there should be some buzz around killer apps. Not yet. I agree the mobile space is the exception. There are some interesting things happening there.
9. Why haven’t we rebranded the community yet? There have been some attempts at trying to do Office 365 camps and SharePoint Saturdays. There’s some big muscle behind the Office 365 event in Europe, but it’s taking a lot more effort to get out the same crowd. Office 365 is too big of an umbrella, and thus far the Lync person, Exchange/Mail person, and SharePoint peep have been different people. They have very little in common. Even in the *real* Office 365 deployment, there should be very little need for help on the Lync and Exchange side after the migration and (client) deployments are complete. I bet we could learn a few things from the Exchange experts out there. That sure has been a shrinking community. I feel for them. Very interested to hear the details from their Exchange Conference. They haven’t seen any real love for quite a while. Cloud cloud cloud. Don’t agree? Take me to task! What is the paradigm shift creating for the Mail folks? I spoke at a Office 365 Saturday in Redmond. Weirdest crowd in my session on SharePoint online. I had very little in common with the people in the room, and their questions were all about migration and customizations. Lots of complaining.
10. Right after the event, I saw a few tweets that resonated with my own thoughts… Did I just attend the last Microsoft SharePoint Conference???
Don’t stop believing. As a community we will figure things out and react to what we’ve got. What we’ve been given isn’t bad. I’m super excited… just trying to help turn the train or boat or whatever you want to call this thing we’re on. I don’t want to leave anyone behind and I can already see people who are betting on Cobalt in 1999!
Personally, I’m a yammer fan and I’m ready to do the MC Yammer Dance! Stop! It’s Yammer time. Time to drink some yammer Kool Aid. Watch Adam Pisoni’s presentation(s) and you’ll get the vision of post agile and You’ll feel so much better after you have. Then you can join the club! Microsoft has been drinking it, but doesn’t know how to better explain to you why it’s time to go to the cloud and get on board the Office 365 and Yammer train. All of this being said, SharePoint is “sites” and it’s not going away… it’s just taking a back seat as Office 365 brand grows and yammer transforms the business with enterprise social and beyond. Still not convinced? Ask someone from Redmond what the coolest team is to be on between Office 365, Yammer and SharePoint… SharePoint? There’s still someone working on SharePoint?
Love to hear your thoughts!