Discussing the State of Hybrid in SharePoint

Posted by Christian Buckley on Apr 5, 2017 2:04:13 PM

For those of you unable to attend SPTechCon Austin this week, one thing you missed was the panel discussion on “Analyzing the Size, Scope, and Opportunities within the Hybrid SharePoint Ecosystem.” The evening event was sponsored by AvePoint, and joining me (@buckleyplanet) on stage were Mark Kashman, Microsoft (@mkashman), D’Arce Hess, AvePoint (@darcehess), Eric Overfield, PixelMill (@ericoverfield), and John White, UnlimitedViz (@diverdown1964) where we shared some of the findings of the Hybrid SharePoint research being conducted by my company CollabTalk, in conjunction with the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. The entire panel was streamed live on Facebook, which you can watch here.

If you’re interested in the full research results, they will be made available on April 17, and you can register here to receive your free copy.

The movement to the cloud has been underway for many years. However, there are many organizations who are struggling to understand how to move forward. They may have years of on-premises infrastructure and data, as well as customized solutions and branding that will have to be thrown out or completely redesigned for the cloud. While I have been advising companies on hybrid SharePoint for several years, we have been without any real data within the community telling us how many customers are actually using hybrid solutions – and where they have been successful, as well as where they continue to struggle.

"It was great to hear people's concerns/perception directly re: hybrid security and general sentiment about levels of Office 365 technical support. I, too, am glad to have been able to share more about how the engineering team focuses on the performance of the service and how broad the reach of hybrid capabilities are, bringing not only a path to use the cloud, but true value worth the cost of time and effort to establish." Mark Kashman, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft

During the panel, I shared a couple images from the PowerBI dashboard built by the UnlimitedViz team, creators of the tyGraph tools for Office 365, Yammer, and more.

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Using these tools, with the help of the UnlimitedViz team, was a key to the analysis done by CollabTalk and the graduate team at BYU, and helped us gain better insights into the data behind customer strategies.

Microsoft is not the only company who will benefit from this research, of course. As Mark mentioned during the panel, a large part of his role is to manage these “gaps” in parity between on-prem and online versions of the platform, but also the gaps in customer expectations. Most of the ISV and SI partners in the community will also benefit, as they’ll be able to better understand where there are opportunities to fill in those gaps, and where to focus their limited resources so that they can work with customers to solve the biggest pain points. Having clear data will help explain why some companies are not adopting the cloud version of SharePoint, or why customers may be less engaged than with the on-prem version of the product. We all want to see SharePoint be successful, and help customers get the most out of their existing, and future, SharePoint investments.

The scope of our research was as follows:

  • Estimate the market size of the hybrid SharePoint market
  • Understand why customers choose to remain on-prem
  • Identify fears and concerns of moving SharePoint to the cloud
  • Understand technical challenges for moving SharePoint to the cloud, including moving third-party solutions, and how many customers are impacted by these challenges
  • Outline how customers are addressing these challenges through hybrid SharePoint solutions
  • Understand the security and administrative implications of maintaining a hybrid SharePoint environment

Following the panel, I asked Eric Overview, MVP and CEO of PixelMill (and the first sponsor to sign on to this research project) if he had any takeaways from the panel discussion:

“I was left with little doubt that the hybrid journey remains important for many in the SharePoint world, yet challenges still remain. The research project appeared well received and we are not alone as we eagerly await the results as the findings will likely influence our upcoming projects as we migrate to the cloud.”

Our survey was open for a total of 28 days, but the research team also spent time going through secondary research material, including the results of several community and Microsoft-based surveys. During our research, we spoke with Microsoft personnel, MVPs, partners, and many customers. Our survey received responses from 510 different organizations across 54 countries, which is pretty amazing in and of itself. Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer our survey, or participate in an in-depth interview with the research team.

“The survey results show the importance of hybrid, whether it be a means to an end, or an end in and of itself. The discussion with the panel and the audience showed that the discussion has shifted from “why” to “how” and even “when” when it comes to the cloud for most organizations.” John White, MVP and CT for UnlimitedViz

I am excited to see the content and customer guidance expanding around the Hybrid SharePoint space, as the number of companies pursuing this strategy will only grow within the next 3 to 5 years. In fact, according to our research, within that timeframe hybrid will become the largest segment if the SharePoint ecosystem, with the majority of on-prem customers today planning to make hybrid their path forward.

More on that when the final research goes live on April 17, so be sure to get your copy!

Thank you again to David Rubinstein and the team at SPTechCon for sponsoring this Hybrid SharePoint initiative, and to AvePoint for sponsoring the panel discussion, as well as the research, but most of all to Mark, D’arce, Eric and John for participating in the panel discussion.

Christian Buckley is founder and CEO of CollabTalk.

Topics: SharePoint

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