It’s my pleasure to share with ya’ll a special carpool edition of Dux Quax featuring Sue Hanley and CollabTalk’s Christian Buckley! We piled into my car to sing some sweet tunes, cruise around Washington D.C., talk about trends we’re seeing in the market, and discuss the upcoming hybrid SharePoint study.
CollabTalk and the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University did some great research on why organizations are remaining partially on premises and adopting hybrid SharePoint deployments. The hybrid SharePoint study includes information on:
- Why organizations choose to remain on premises
- Fears and challenges around moving to the cloud
- How companies are addressing challenges through hybrid SharePoint solutions
If you’re as curious as I am to find out the study’s key findings, sign up to receive the full hybrid SharePoint study straight to your inbox when it’s available on April 17! Register now >
Check out the full video below to hear from Sue and Christian about hybrid SharePoint planning, adoption, and management.
Last but not least, tell us what your thoughts are on hybrid SharePoint! Tweet at Sue (@SusanHanley), Christian (@buckleyplanet), and me (@meetdux) to keep the conversation going. And remember, when in doubt, #JustAddZebras to make any video more interesting!
Can’t wait for April 17 to get your free hybrid SharePoint study?
Here’s the Buckley Breakdown to hold you over until then!
Transcript from Dux Quax with Sue Hanley and Christian Buckley: Hybrid SharePoint Study
Dux: Hey, wait, Sue. I feel bad. Should we help him?
Sue: Oh God, yeah. It’s been really cold here. So, let’s pick him up.
Christian: You guys got room?
Dux: Of course, we always have room for SharePoint people.
Christian: So glad to get out of the inclement weather. So, thanks. Thanks for the ride.
Dux: What are you doing in DC, Christian?
Christian: Oh, you know I’m out here for a couple of days. I’m talking to folks about the hybrid SharePoint study, The research that’s being done by CollabTalk and the Marriott School of BYU.
Dux: So, wait, before we jump into that I want to make sure everybody knows everybody. So, for those watching my name is Dux. I serve as the CTO for AvePoint Public Sector, and in this car is my wonderful friends and family pretty much. Sue, why don’t you introduce yourself?
Sue: Hey, I’m Sue Hanley. I’m an Office Servers and Services MVP and I live here in the DC area and do a lot of SharePoint consulting.
Christian: And I’m Christian Buckley. I’m the founder of CollabTalk. Like Dux and Sue, I’m an Office Servers and Services MVP and based out of Salt Lake City. I’m out here for a couple of days enjoying the beautiful weather.
Dux: Yeah, this winter has been crazy, and because of that we get to stay in and focus. And I’m sure Christian as you were saying you were focused on your hybrid SharePoint papers. So why don’t you tell everybody more about what you’re working on and why it’s important?
Christian: Yeah, well it’s interesting that with how long that we’ve all been doing SharePoint, how little data we actually have around what’s happening with the hybrid space. So, there’s a lot of cloud adoption data but there’s very little data that definitively goes in and defines the size and scope of hybrid SharePoint. And so, this is an effort that’s an independent research project being sponsored by Microsoft and PixelMill, B&R Business Solutions and AvePoint, Rencore, a bunch of other partners in the space and to put some numbers around hybrid. To understand what are people experiencing in the real world.
Dux: So, SharePoint has been around forever. I mean, thanks to SharePoint I get to hang out with you guys. I’ve met a lot of great people in the community, but Sue, based on your work and the customers you’re working with, what are you hearing about hybrid?
Sue: Well honestly, I have customers that are mostly all in in the cloud or all on prem, and only a few are sort of starting to think about, if they are on prem, thinking about hybrid as kind of their gateway to the cloud. And maybe, depending on what the business needs are, sort of keeping that as a long-term strategy.
Christian: What’s interesting though is that even your customers that are fully in the cloud, if they’ve been using SharePoint for a few years, which I’m sure some of them made the jump, the transition over there, part of what’s interesting is like well why did they not do that transitional hybrid. Did they have concerns about it, or did they get everything that they wanted out of the pure cloud solution? And so that’s part of what we’re studying as well.
Dux: Well what’s interesting, what’s fascinating too is we all know hybrid is not going to go away anytime soon. In fact, Microsoft recently released a hybrid self-service site creation for 2013. Did you guys see that?
Dux: And you know certainly a lot of our customers, we’re pushing the cloud, we’re telling them to go to 2016, yet I know Microsoft realized that a lot of customers are still investing in 2013. They’re still there. They’re still not going to move, so what are your guys’ thoughts on that regarding hybrid and prior versions of SharePoint? I mean, 2016 is a great story around hybrid but what about 2013?
Christian: Yeah, I think, you know, there’s a lot of options. And there are technically also a couple of things you can do with 2010 in hybrid. Although it’s not as well known, and it’s very limited but I think I really like about Microsoft they switched their messaging around where hybrid is more about an opportunity to go and leverage what you have today, so all of your infrastructure, but then start leveraging the new capabilities in the cloud. So, bringing these cloud capabilities down to your existing infrastructure. And while that may sound like kind of marketing spin, I mean it’s a different way for Microsoft certainly thinking about how to position hybrid, and for a lot of customers that felt pressured into moving towards the cloud before they were ready, it really helps them understand, “Hey I could go and I’m not being forced to move. I can move when I want and still leverage and get value out of the dollars already spent.”
Sue: It’s also a great way to think about adoption in terms of not changing everything all at once.
Dux: A hundred percent.
Sue: Leveraging your existing investment. Letting people stay where they’re comfortable, but then get the benefit of features that just don’t translate on premises and getting to use them in the cloud. So, I do think it’s a really great strategy for organizations that are fully invested in their on-premises solution. It gives them a way to kind of experiment with the cloud to see where the benefits are, and again, it can be a potential sort of gateway strategy but also it may be a long-term plan in some organizations.
Dux: Now, for customers watching right now, maybe they’re in that juncture, they’re in that crossroads, right? Do I go hybrid? Do I go cloud? What are some of the practical steps especially with your research that you found, how should people think about this? What’s the first thing they have to consider? I’m sure you have a lot of thoughts around this Sue especially being in this industry for a while now.
Sue: Sure, I’m not sure what you’re seeing in the hybrid SharePoint study so far Christian, but I do think it means thinking about planning especially from an information architecture perspective because one of the great things that you can do in a hybrid scenario is share a taxonomy. That taxonomy lives in the cloud, and that’s sort of the primary source of that taxonomy. So now you have to think about: Is that okay? How does that mesh with what I’m currently doing? And then how am I going to manage that from an overall architectural perspective? So, some planning up front is going to make this transition much, much easier for people to kind of take advantage of what they can get.
Dux: Now, speaking about that, and we know the realities of the new workloads being introduced in Office 365 how do you think other workloads affect this planning? Things like Groups, or OneDrive, or it doesn’t? Because in my mind there’s some level of involvement or consideration, right?
Sue: So, what do you mean?
Dux: So, for example, let’s say I have a hybrid SharePoint environment certain content would live in libraries but then, what if I’m in a Group?
Sue: Yeah, good question and how am I going to manage all that?
Dux: Exactly. And then there’s my hybrid environment and then there may be content in another group, right? So, there may not be a perfect answer today, but I’m sure a lot of people are thinking about that. Yeah, I got hybrid but I got all these new cool workloads, you know, how should I prepare myself at the very least to be ready even if I’m not going to…
Sue: Yeah, I mean I sure hope that your research shows that people are thinking about that.
Christian: Well that’s a big piece of that. What are people concerned about? What are they thinking about and not thinking about? But I think you’re exactly right that you need to go and understand fundamentally like what are the use cases that each of our teams are following, that they’re trying to accomplish using the platform? And then I mean this isn’t even a hybrid discussion but constantly be aware of what the new capabilities are coming out, and then go back and look at here’s how we are working today, here’s how we’re accomplishing these use cases. How does that use case change with the new features, and then whether that is hybrid or purely in the cloud with like Teams their latest release. That is a purely cloud activity feature. So, in a hybrid environment, are you now going to change workloads that you have purely on premises or in hybrid over to this new model? So that’s something that your change management, your governance group needs to look at on a regular basis as new features come out.
Sue: I think it’s what are the business problems I’m trying to solve? Who am I trying to solve them for? And how do I educate my users in the best way to A: Where should I put myself stuff because I think that’s really the biggest problem. What goes where? What kind of content needs to stay on premises? What kind of content can go in the cloud? That is not a technology problem. That is a training and business process problem. They really, really need to figure that out and communicate that effectively to our users.
Dux: And if I may add, you know, certainly information architecture is key but I want to zero in on what you talked about: What’s a business need? One thing I would say Microsoft has done a great job of late is if you guys have checked out the recent FastTrack site they have a productivity library, and boy I love that because you can filter based on departments, use cases. Let’s say you pick HR. You’re in manufacturing, and you have a processor on expense reimbursement it says there “expense reimbursement” and then you expand it, it will tell you which workload will support it and how. So, it’s turning it around, flipping it around where now the lens is not about which technology should I use but what business need I have and which technology can support it.
Christian: And you should always be looking through that lens with any technology deployment anyway because it’s not about, I mean I love to ask this question, asking audiences like what’s your goal with SharePoint or with Office 365? Or what’s your role as an IT pro? It’s like, well to make sure SharePoint is running. I’m like, no. You’re deploying technology to accomplish those business activities.
Dux: But guys, I hate to say it. I need to call this out, call everybody out. This is the big elephant in the room. This is the same conversation we’ve had 10 years ago.
Christian: Beyond that.
Sue: Right. This is why I do not use the R word when I’m having conversations with my…
Dux: The R word or this S word.
Sue: No, requirements.
Dux: Oh okay.
Sue: Because end users shouldn’t define requirements. What they should define is business outcomes they are trying to achieve. Then it’s really the job of the business system analyst and the information architect partnering with the technology architect to come up with the system requirements to solve that problem.
Christian: Isn’t that what always happens though in successful deployments is where you take the technology out of like… again historically you hear this with SharePoint, “Oh I hate SharePoint but I love what you’ve built.” It’s like, yeah we built it on SharePoint but the focus had shifted to solving the business problems, providing that and so that the word SharePoint went away. But that’s…
Sue: Well you can’t take SharePoint completely out of the picture because think about it, I mean you’re getting a suite of tools and it isn’t going to be the answer for everything. It’s not going to make your coffee in the morning and it will not, unlike Dux, drive you to work. However, it is giving you a foundational set of capabilities that you really do want to pay attention to because you want to take advantage of them and not try and reinvent that wheel. So, while you do want to be technology agnostic, you also want to have that let’s try and stay out of the box lens on so that you’re not over complicating your ability to migrate to future platforms and take advantage of other services because you’ve customized the heck out of something where you could’ve solved that problem natively with a little re-crafting of expectations for your users.
Dux: Sure. So, sounds like, Christian, this hybrid white paper is something that everybody should look forward to and review and look at and use this as part of their planning consideration.
Dux: When is it coming out, and how can people get it?
Christian: Yeah, so it’ll be available in mid-April and so you’ll be able to get that from I’m sure AvePoint will have a copy downloadable from the site and through your various marketing campaigns. You can also just go to CollabTalk.com and you’ll be able to download a copy there.
Dux: Awesome. And, the other thing that we’re going to do just to make sure beyond the white paper we’re going to host a webinar with Microsoft’s Bill Baer with Christian, with Rick Taylor and really unpack and dissect what the findings are and make it meaningful to everybody as they consider deploying a hybrid environment.
Dux: I think we’re almost there.
Sue: We are. That’s where I’m going.
Dux: That’s where you’re going?
Dux: Hey Christian where shall I drop you off?
Christian: Well I’ve not eaten. I was hoping that if you have a few dollars?
Sue: I mean yeah don’t you think you should feed us?
Dux: Yeah, all right, we’ll grab a bite. But for everybody watching thank you. Thank you for joining our drive into work and hopefully, we could do more of this. Until the next time. Bye.
Christian: I could really go for some flapjacks.
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