And so it is official folks. The next version of SharePoint will be known as SharePoint Server 2016. On February 2, 2015, Microsoft’s Office Division Chief Julia White shared some detailed insights on the evolution and future of SharePoint and Office 365. Among a myriad content, White announced the not-surprising nomenclature with little flash or excitement, referring the later to Microsoft Ignite at the beginning of May. As a follow-up to my post last week which spoke to the likelihood that the next version of SharePoint would simply be called Office 365, I would still argue that the moniker is slowly dwindling. I can certainly see a day when the functionality known as SharePoint is further entangled into, and swallowed up by Office 365, and Julia’s comments pertaining to experiences, evolution and extensibility back that up. I look for a day in the future where SharePoint is to Office 365 what Word is to the Office suite; it’s there, but encapsulated by something larger.
I love how Julia addresses the journey directly in her post, speaking to the evolution of SharePoint from collaboration suite to portals and search, before graduating into BI, ECM and then Office 365. This is huge! If you have been following my articles or heard me speak, you know that I am a massive proponent of the journey, about drawing that strategic line in the sand, planning out your steps carefully while aligning to a corporate roadmap and achieving adoption across your organization with an understood product. The next generation of this statement is underscored as Microsoft being “focused on delivering highly personalized, frictionless collaboration experiences that work across devices, underscored by the management and compliance controls that organizations require.”
From a journey perspective, it is clear that today’s announcement sets a new divide in SharePoint as a product. Do you work within the experiences, extensibility or management components of SharePoint? If you don’t know what I’m referring to, you soon will. This categorization will soon be the new norm and I expect to see ribbons on badges reflecting such at Ignite.