Microsoft Ignite 2015 from a SharePoint Perspective
By pretty much any measure, the May 2015 Microsoft Ignite conference was a big deal. Held at McCormick Place in Chicago, Microsoft combined several of its previously separate IT Pro-focused conferences into one huge event. More than 23,000 people attended, with more than 1,100 breakout sessions and countless hours of great information about Windows 10, Exchange, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Office 365 and more. Over 15,000 people packed into a huge room for the Ignite Keynote, where Satya Nadella and other Microsoft execs laid out their vision for the future.
Microsoft Ignite Keynote 2015
There were three main points at the core of the keynote, which together define how Microsoft intends to deliver more value in today’s rapidly evolving business world:
- Create more personal computing
- Deliver an intelligent cloud back-end
- Reinvent productivity and business processes
The drill-down on these points highlighted Microsoft’s renewed focus on the user experience across all devices, in an almost always connected world, where businesses (and their employees) have different needs and expectations than they did even a couple of years ago. Microsoft continues to accelerate their cloud-first strategy, wherein new solutions, capabilities and functionality are rolled out to their subscription-based hosted services more quickly than the traditional on-premises product offerings.
The SharePoint Perspective
So, what does all that mean to all the people who deploy, administer, manage and use SharePoint? For starters, what I didn’t hear a lot about were details on SharePoint 2016, which is the name for the next major version of SharePoint for on-premises deployments. Microsoft did talk about the “SharePoint Roadmap” in fairly high-level terms, but didn’t get very specific. This is understandable, since SharePoint 2016 is more than a year away. But it also means that you can get a lot more insight into the future of SharePoint on-premises by looking at the Office 365 Roadmap. ”Cloud-first” now truly means that it is unlikely we’ll see any new capabilities in SharePoint 2016 that aren’t first deployed in SharePoint Online (within Office 365).
The other major takeaway for me was that it isn’t just about SharePoint anymore. “reinvent productivity and business processes” really means leveraging more of the whole suite of end-user tools that Microsoft provides via Office 365. All of the demonstrations I saw of “next generation portals” focused on OneDrive, Yammer and Office Delve as much as SharePoint.
In particular, Delve and the Office Graph technology behind it, is very exciting. It combines search technology with analytics integration and machine learning to deliver a personal portal that is smart enough to present high-value content targeted to individual users. Here’s what it looks like:
Perhaps the best part is, through the magic of Office 365, you don’t have to do any work to start leveraging Office Delve. It automatically shows up on your Apps menu and it knows how to scour your SharePoint sites, OneDrive folders and other content repositories to find highly relevant content for each individual.
What to Expect from Microsoft in 2015 and Beyond
Microsoft’s promises to create more personal computing, deliver an intelligent cloud backend and reinvent productivity and business processes will directly impact the future of SharePoint and Microsoft’s investments in the product. We can expect to see SharePoint Online and the rest of the Office 365 suite evolve more quickly, with new capabilities being subsequently delivered for on-premises deployment scenarios via cumulative updates, service packs and major releases like SharePoint 2016. More than ever, business users will look to IT to provide guidance regarding how to best leverage all the new tools at their disposal. The challenge of balancing between enabling business users to do more on their own while ensuring that they don’t end up causing chaos, remains. As always, SWC is here help—feel free to reach out to me directly to discuss how.
Long live SharePoint!
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If you enjoyed this post from Jeff, please check out a few of his past posts on Microsoft SharePoint.
SharePoint On-Premises vs. SharePoint Online (Office 365 Cloud)
Microsoft SharePoint Helps Empower and Enable Users at M. Holland
The Microsoft SharePoint Jungle
Microsoft SharePoint Demo To Go
Ask SWC: What Is The SharePoint Envisioning Process?
Check Out SWC’s New SharePoint Design Portfolio!
Implementing Workflows in Microsoft SharePoint
The Importance Of Solution Design In A SharePoint Deployment
Two Fundamental Approaches to Microsoft SharePoint
SWC’s Approach to Microsoft SharePoint
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