Here are my predictions for 2015, but we need to review 2014 before we get into 2015 so you can see if you still want to follow me.
2014 SharePoint Office 365 and Yammer predictions were written in full here. I’ll summarize them and add my thoughts on if it was a hit or miss. I count 9 hits and one miss. I expected to see bigger consoldiation. Let me know in the comments or in a tweet to @joeloleson if you’d like to see this 2015 prediction list as an infographic… FYI: The product is NDA so you won’t hear too much specifically about SharePoint 2015 in this post.
1. SharePoint Brand takes on changes – That’s for sure. SharePoint Online is hardly mentioned as Office 365 brand becomes stronger and SharePoint takes a back seat. In today’s Predictions call. This was explicitly mentioned by @mkashman from Microsoft. Kudos for Christian Buckley @buckleyplanet for putting together the #collabtalk predictions tweetup.
2. Top Influencers will Diversity their skills. I see friends share Amazon cloud, Salesforce integration, and open source platforms… It is another world. I don’t think I have to name names here, but purist SharePoint folks are becoming fewer.
3. Partner Infrastructure in Azure – Yes, I think some of the most successful in Office 365 now have a decent platform in both Azure and Amazon clouds. SIs are doing a lot more in BI and Dynamics as well. Azure had some hiccups lately, but MS continues to invest in a big way in Azure.
4. Consolidation continues – 14 months ago Metalogix bought Axceler. About a year ago Metalogix bought up Idera’s SharePoint business. Back in October Metalogix bought by Permira a private equity firm. I was expecting more, sad to say I think there was more attrition. Companies that stepped out of the app space. Hit or miss?
5. Mobile a major theme of 2014 – With the release of Office on the iPad tablet support, major Android releases of Office, combined OneDrive app for Biz and Consumer, and many updates to new Word, Excel, PowerPoint that are really good apps. Responsive Web was an is still an important theme for SharePoint design.
6. Cloud services to get more flexible – APIs have gotten better, but there’s more needed.
7. Yammer starts popping up in new places – With the release of Delve, Groups, and yammer in the Office web apps, we’ve just started to see the beginning of yammer integration into SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and in the new products.
8. Office 365 and SharePoint Identity shift in people – We see a lot more Office 365 MVPs now. People aren’t shying away from being identified with Office 365 where a year ago it was Exchange or SharePoint expert only.
9. SharePoint Expert too narrow – I see more diversification in people and this will continue.
10. Enterprise Social Consultant – There are definitely more jobs in enterprise social, more community managers, and people aligning IT and Business. Cloud has blurred the technical lines. Cloud consulting has been a big theme of 2014.
SharePoint and Office 365 Predictions for 2015!!
1. 2015-2016 is the year of Hybrid – The word hybrid will become ubiquitous with things that customers need to make Office 365 work. More and more solutions will be built to integrate, manage, report, and bring governance, search, and unity across these environments. Even things like OneDrive as the OneDrive for consumers and business will become known as a hybrid solution even though they are both cloud solutions.
2. Fewer Paid but More Important SharePoint Conferences – Microsoft Build and Ignite are going to be a huge success. The biggest party of the year! I know this isn’t a stretch, but I think it’s important we all do our part to make this prediction come true. I want this to be a big reunion for all my SharePoint friends, so we can celebrate the new SharePoint vNext. SharePoint Saturday will get rebranded or at least include Office 365 and Azure tracks in many markets. Microsoft will continue with Office 365 conferences to try to unite communities.
3. Wearables buzz combined with Cortana and Siri starts to buzz about coming to the enterprise – Microsoft Band, Apple Watch, pebble and more will be big in consumer and people will start to think about enterprise applicability. We’ll see this pop up at Ignite keynotes for example.
4. Office 365 brand continues to Over Shadow SharePoint brand – SharePoint is Dead will be said more and more as the Office 365 brand gets stronger. Of course it’s not dead, but is the backseat driver with Cloud First.
5. Search Driven Enterprise Apps – Successful consumer tools will be replicated in many enterprises with new products coming to market. I’m still waiting for cool apps like Yelp, Amazon, and Cortana for the enterprise. I want to see enterprise catalogs with serious integration… unlock the power!
6. Confusion will continue – Despite the fact that consulting companies know where they make their money, customers will be confused about investments they should make and when to make bets. Clearer strategies are needed and Ignite should help, but know there are at least 2 or 3 paths for customers this year. More confusion in the short term, with less in the longer term.
7. They took our Jobs! – Many will find their skillsets are becoming out of date, and will scramble to learn Office 365 identity management, Office 365 provisioning, and API development and scripting (powershell). Azure will be expected knowledge for IT Pros. I worry about a wave of IT Pros that won’t retool fast enough and will wonder what they should be doing and what certifications they should get. Take a look at the new SharePoint Certifications and look at what is required… Surprise it requires Office 365 Identity and that’s step 1! Even step 2 doesn’t feel like SharePoint. Prerequiste to SharePoint Solutions Expert is MCSA Office 365 certification. Don’t wait around… you need to retool! IT Pros I worry about the most, but Devs totally got to learn a lot to stay relevant in this mobile first cloud first world.
8. ISVs that were SharePoint exclusive will branch out. Our little ecosystem of SharePoint only ISVs will branch outside of just Office 365 and SharePoint…
9. Mobile and SharePoint Online and On Premises will get much better – I’m not just talking about apps here. I think we’ll see some announcements related to the vNext release that will also pay off in Office 365 that are waiting to be announced.
10. Community Cross Polinization – We’ll see more of the Exchange folks popping up at the Office 365 events, and even on twitter the SharePoint, Exchange, and SQL experts will get a lot closer. The Microsoft family will come closer as a result. Walls will come down, and the cool kids at events will be a stronger mix of people.
Bonus: A lot of companies that said they’d NEVER go to the cloud will start lining up, barriers will fall!