Industry Insights

SharePoint 2016, March Madness and the Underdog

There are lots of big events happening in March and April this spring, and whether you are a college basketball fan or a technology geek, there is something for everyone.  Microsoft just pushed the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version and announced the final version will be generally available May 4.  By that date, we will have a new national NCAA basketball champ, and although the majority of folks in the NCAA tournament pools I surveyed have chosen Kansas, who does not like an underdog.  The team that beats the odds and goes on to make other teams sweat and wreak havoc.

I looked at the new release of SharePoint and it is very similar to the very disruptor that makes us all fall in love with the underdog.  Microsoft is hardly the underdog!  I get many snarky looks when I mention I am a SharePoint consultant at a networking event.  It usually comes with the remarks “We have SharePoint and no one uses it and we can never find anything…” to “Why does SharePoint Out-of-the-Box look so much like SharePoint?” Both comments are justified. In a successful roll-out of an intranet, there must be a change management plan in place and equally important is focusing on the user experience(UX).


Microsoft has also made cloud hybrid search for SharePoint Server 2013 and later editions available. This will allow on-premises and Office 365 content to be surfaced in one search result.  Seth Patton, General Manager for SharePoint and OneDrive said: "Microsoft is on a mission to make SharePoint simpler, mobile and intelligent and secure to help customers unlock the value of having it as an integrated part of Office 365."


Not only will Microsoft optimize SharePoint’s mobile capabilities, it also intends to make it easier to use. 

“This year, we will release significant new innovations spanning user experiences, document collaboration, mobile enhancements, and platform improvements that will redefine modern content collaboration,” he added.

As more and more organizations recognize the business value of having a consistent and enterprise-wide collaboration strategy, adoption and engagement issues are repeatedly coming to the forefront. SharePoint 2016 promises to have much more out of the box functionality that should make some of these issues go away.  The question still arises:  How do you create – and maintain – a sustainable environment for your end users?  Many of these organizations are turning toward Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs) to solve these issues, however it’s not just about the technology. The goal of moving to SharePoint 2016 is making sure you take the steps required to properly plan for, deploy, and maintain a successful ESN strategy.


Jeff Willinger

Jeff Willinger

Jeff is an internationally recognized online influencer, analyst, and expert on all things web collaboration, enterprise social networking, and enterprise IT strategy and has been named one of the top SharePoint and Office 365 personalities for past five years. He is called a character with character and an early adopter of enterprise 2.0 technologies, social media content and marketing, e-commerce; community building, change management, and engagement.

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