The Future of SharePoint is Coming!

It is safe to assume that just about anyone reading this post is likely interested in SharePoint — in my case in particular I’ve been working with SharePoint since the early days of SharePoint 2007. At the time, SharePoint’s popularity exploded and the momentum continued for through the release of SharePoint 2010 and then into SharePoint 2013. It was shortly after the release of SharePoint 2013 that Office 365 began to gain traction and the community started to wonder about the future of SharePoint.

Was SharePoint dying? Was it already dead? There were more than few that wrote articles about it like this one or this one. I’ve heard more than a few people in the community wonder what it all means for their careers. In my case, as a Product Manager at Rackspace responsible for our SharePoint offering my leadership had even asked about the future of SharePoint. But amid all the uncertainty, the strength of the SharePoint community stood out  — I’d always felt that there was no way Microsoft would make a decision that would make risk jeopardizing one of the biggest and best technical communities anywhere.

In the summer of 2015, things started to become more clear. It was announced that Jeff Teper (who some refer to as “the Father of SharePoint”) returned to lead the SharePoint business. It was at that time that he made very clear that SharePoint was back. The next release would be SharePoint 2016 and be the first version of the product that was born completely in the cloud using lessons learned from running SharePoint Online as part of O365.

The Future is Almost Upon Us

Microsoft will be unveiling SharePoint 2016 on May 4th in a live event from San Francisco. You can check it out here. If you haven’t had the chance to play with the recently released RTM (Release to Manufacturer) bits, you’ll get to see and hear about many of the great new features that will be part of SharePoint 2016. But even if you have had the chance to try RTM you should still make sure to tune in for the webinar. SharePoint is NOT dead! Far from it! The release event will help to lay out the vision for where SharePoint 2016 is going but also where is SharePoint going into the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some new information Microsoft has been holding back for this event. They wouldn’t have a launch event out in San Francisco only to talk about features in a product that anyone could download.

My Rackspace colleagues and I will be live blogging the SharePoint release event! I’ll update this post closer to May 4th with the link, as well sharing the link on Twitter. It’ll be on a page off our home page located here:

The Future Promises to be Bright!

I’m more excited about SharePoint than I’ve been in a long time. At Rackspace we’re chomping at the bit to start putting customers on SharePoint 2016. Not only do we have a strong SharePoint practice but we also support Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. SharePoint 2016 is going create new ways for users to collaborate and hybrid environments are going to enable customers to leverage SharePoint and Office 365 that matches their company’s needs. Whether a company is ready to put 100% of their content in Office 365, or whether they need to keep 100% on-prem, or somewhere in between Rackspace is here to help you along the way at every step of your journey. And Microsoft makes it possible!

What Now?

Make sure you go register for the Future of SharePoint launch event! Keep an eye out for the link to our Rackspace live blog which will be feature fellow Rackers and MVPs Todd Klindt, Jason Himmelstein, Randy Drisgill, and myself. And if you still can’t wait you should check out the Unveiling SharePoint 2016 with Microsoft webinar that Sharegate put on with Microsoft Senior Technical Product Manager, Bill Baer. It will be a good primer!

Stay tuned because 2016 and beyond is shaping up to be an exciting time to be part of the SharePoint and Office 365 community!