What will be the new role of SharePoint Development in the digital workplace?

SharePoint Development

The SharePoint Consulting around SharePoint seemed to have come to a standstill for a while. There were even doubts about the future of SharePoint. Until Microsoft presented the new SharePoint Development functionalities in Office 365 on May 4, and since then there has been a new SharePoint button brotherly next to the Office 365 button.

But how can you, as a SharePoint user, interpret these new developments at Microsoft? And will Office 365 be the successor to SharePoint? We look at the new role of SharePoint for organizations in a broad perspective.

When I talk about SharePoint, I’m really talking about personal productivity. I also see that as my field of work. Tools such as SharePoint and Office 365 make knowledge accessible and support collaboration in the company and beyond.

Based on Microsoft’s behavior, SharePoint was prematurely declared dead by some. But they forgot the vital role that SharePoint On-Premises plays for data that is absolutely not allowed to leave the premises. And if you look at the size of SharePoint Development as an ecosystem, it seems very illogical to me that Microsoft should just flush it down the toilet.

And indeed, on May 4, 2016, Microsoft showed that SharePoint is more important than ever. My colleague Dave Lancée already wrote about the central role SharePoint now plays in Office 365 , so I’d like to talk about how SharePoint fits into the digital workplace.

Intranet, portal and digital collaboration space

It all started with the intranet: an internally focused website for pushing information to the organization. One way without interaction.The intranet became a portal where internal and external information is accessible and presented in a structured way. SharePoint has always been a perfect tool for that.

It is now about the digital work environment. As an employee, you cannot do all your work via the portal. E-mail and appointments go through Outlook, customer data can be looked up in the CRM system and the exact stock can be retrieved from the ERP system. You need other applications besides the portal.

The digital co-working space is the environment in which you spend the whole day and carry out work, behind your desk, on the road or at home, on a PC or tablet at the customer’s location. All content and applications immediately available.

Microsoft undresses SharePoint

SharePoint Development is a broad platform in which you can support many business processes. Still, Microsoft is slowly undressing the platform. For example, the e-forms application InfoPath is still supported but no longer updated and there is still no real integration with Yammer .

One large search application for Outlook, exchange servers and SQL servers, brought from the Azure platform.

The future of SharePoint

Content is the domain of SharePoint. Documents, images, videos, wikis are easy to find through SharePoint. But working with that content happens in Office 365. Underwater, SharePoint Development as middleware ensures stable and efficient access to the content.

SharePoint becomes less dominant for the user interface, but in the meantime retains its own face, with a new prominent button in Office 365. SharePoint Development offers a practical starting point for important content through frequently visited sites, recent activities and favorites.

Office 365 will be the digital workplace

That is exactly what Microsoft has in mind with the evolution of Dynamics CRM and ERP to Dynamics 365. Of course, not everyone works exclusively with Microsoft.

To this end, tying together and connecting cloud environments will become a major focus – interconnectivity – an immature market that is still developing and that vendors must take into account. Something that Salesforce, for example, responds to with its connection to Microsoft’s sub active directory.

The need for a fully integrated digital collaboration space is great and is growing every day. With the arrival of millennials in the workplace comes a new way of working and collaborating in companies. Of course, this also requires new tools.

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Microsoft is working hard and wants to support this new way of working with their productivity platform: Office 365. At the end of September 2016 I will be at the Microsoft Ignite event in Atlanta and I expect to tell you more about these interesting developments afterwards.