Hybrid SharePoint Overview from the Experts [Webinar]

It was so much fun to host a webinar with my former colleagues from back in the day, Bill Baer and Christian Buckley, and take a deep dive into hybrid. We discussed new research that gave us interesting insight into hybrid’s future, challenges associated with the cloud, and the hybrid philosophy really is. Whether you’re already in a hybrid environment, are considering it as a stepping stone to the cloud, or approach hybrid as a strategy, there’s something in this webinar for you.

In this webinar, we covered:

  • The current state of hybrid and where it’s going
  • Best practices for managing and implementing hybrid environment
  • Top use cases for a hybrid SharePoint deployment

Still have questions about hybrid SharePoint? Send them to our experts on Twitter! Tweet your questions to Bill (@williambaer), Christian (@buckleyplanet), and me (@slkrck).


More Resources for Hybrid SharePoint

  • Step-by-step SharePoint 2016 Hybrid Configuration Click Here >
  • Microsoft’s Introduction to SharePoint 2016 Hybrid Architecture Click Here >
  • SharePoint Hybrid Benefits Click Here >

Webinar Transcript: Hybrid SharePoint Overview

Rick: Hello. Welcome, everyone. This is Rick Taylor. I will be your webinar host. And this is a webinar presented by AvePoint. We are going to talk about Hybrid SharePoint. We have a couple of experts that I am actually very, very familiar… who I’m very familiar with and very excited present to you. And we’re looking forward to spending this next hour with you to talk about hybrid.

The agenda that we’re going to cover today. First, I’ll introduce who are speakers are. World renowned SharePoint experts will talk about the state of SharePoint and its research findings. We’ll talk, also, about best practices, key scenarios for hybrid. And then we’ll kind of open it up for discussion. If you have some questions or other kinds of points that you would like to make, you can do those in your window and we’ll have our Q and A experts go ahead and answer those.

All right. A little bit about who I am, again, my name is Rick Taylor. I am a Strategic Advisor for the AvePoint client services. And I’ll just let each of these speakers introduce themselves. We’ll start with Bill Baer. Bill, go ahead.

Bill: Thank you, Rick, for the kind introduction. I’m Bill Baer. I’m a Product Manager here in Redmond, Washington in our SharePoint product group. Many of the technologies that I focus on or the areas or aspects of SharePoint that I focus on a day-to-day basis are our server product, which today is representative of our in-market author, SharePoint Server 2016. I’m also responsible for our Feature Pack cadence. So Feature Pack 1, we released earlier this year and was inclusive of a number of different IT capabilities to include some new hybrid capabilities, hybrid auditing, and hybrid taxonomy, respectively. I’m also responsible for Feature Pack 2, which we just announced a few weeks ago at our virtual summit, which will be a developer-centric release focused on our ecosystem investments inclusive of the SharePoint framework. I also cover, obviously, our hybrid space in addition to our migration offerings, and our security compliance and manageability areas of the product. So that’s a little bit about myself. I will go ahead and turn it over to Christian for introductions.

Christian: Thanks, Bill. And so it’s kind of fun too because Bill, Rick, and I all used to be peers, you know, back in the day at Microsoft. So that’s always fun. But my name is Christian Buckley, I’m the founder and CEO of CollabTalk. CollabTalk does a couple different things, but it’s a consulting and independent research company. And at the beginning this year, and I’m sure that…I’m sure everybody that’s participating in this call was spammed repeatedly by one of the vendors with either to participate in the survey or to check out the results of the survey. But my team and in partnership with the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University to five days in Salt Lake City, but we performed this study, looking at the State of the hybrid SharePoint ecosystem globally. And there really hadn’t been any data around it yet.

So was excited to go through and put some definitive data around the research, and then it’s afforded me the opportunity to spend more time with Bill, and Rick, and others to talk about, you know, the impact of this and the various solutions that we could offer out to customers. So, excited to be here. And once again, talk about this because I was hanging out in Bill’s office just like a week ago or so, and he was excited to have me leave and stop talking about hybrid. So, yeah. And then here you are again.

Rick: And here we are again. You know, and I didn’t get that invite so Bill, man, you’re on my bad list now.

Christian: It was a party and you weren’t invited, Rick, sorry.

Rick: Absolutely. Well, I’ll tell you what, Christian, I have had the opportunity of reading your report. Actually, I even got to participate, I was asked to participate. So I really, really enjoyed that they were very insightful questions. And so, actually, what we’d like to do. So Chris, I’m going to turn the time a little bit over to you. You know, the kind of like a summary of what is the state of SharePoint and what were those research findings?

Christian: Sure. And, you know, it was…and I know that a lot of these kinds of studies can be, you know, dry and boring or they can be very broad and, you know, difficult to kind of identify what’s the value here to me as a customer or as a solution provider, and working with my customers. But this is something, what’s different about this report…because there’s a couple different initiatives that Microsoft has been working on. And maybe even Bill can talk to a couple of those points where there was an internal research that was done, there was an external Microsoft research effort that was done, looking at broader cloud adoption, but which is typical. You get these cloud adoption which kind of covers the various technologies, collaboration technologies, where this was focused entirely on SharePoint, and so it was unique in that way. And so, just a little bit of a background of kind of what we were trying to go through.

So, you know, you had this process of…these organizations are trying to figure out how do we move forward? They have years of on-premises infrastructure, all the customizations of third party tools, and things they’ve built out, which is just typical that we see for organizations. If you spent more than three, four years using SharePoint, then you most likely use it as this, your Swiss Army Knife solution where you went and kind of built it to meet your company needs. And it can be then difficult as you’re transitioning and trying to move away from owning your servers and infrastructure and having to manage all that with, you know, over to these…you’re consuming it as a service from the cloud. But we really didn’t have any data as to how many customers were being impacted by various issues. I mean, there’s, I think, you know, Rick, Bill, there’s no surprises out of the report, but it’s about putting numbers behind it to see what truly is the impact of some of these issues that we hear about, talk to customers on a constant basis.

Rick: Did you find if there’s a validation?

Christian: Well…

Christian: …we learned things, but it was…there was a validation on all of that data. Sorry, Bill, I mean you talk on that too?

Bill: Yeah, I think it was…I think it absolutely validated some of what we already knew. And, you know, in most cases, one of the situations that you don’t wanna find yourself in is not knowing. And we have the luxury through several phases of the research, as you mentioned, both internal and external, in addition to the research that you had mentioned that have really validated where we are in respect to hybrid migration and cloud adoption today. So we’re able to pull those three together and determine the commonalities that exist across those. And for many customers, the area that still remains, a point of contention, or a barrier to adoption of cloud services is a concern related to security and compliance, predominantly, that could be governmental or regulatory compliance, that the customers are required to adhere to, in many cases, from a security perspective. At the end of the day, the cloud is more secure than on-premises. And it’s, you know, it’s one of those things that’s easy to say, but if you think about some of the capabilities that we have inside of Office 365, it’s difficult to match those, particularly on-premises.

So one of the things that we’ve invested in most recently is, really, if you think about OneDrive for Business, and you think about SharePoint and some of the recent investments, a lot of those have been centered on this concept of intelligence. Really bringing machine learning into the equation to help people discover information and collaborate more efficiently, in addition to automation and other capabilities, and intelligence, and so forth across our collaborative suite. But at the same time, we’ve taken those same intelligence capabilities and we’ve infused those into security and compliance, and great examples of which are advanced data governance and Threat Intelligence via Office 365.

So really, what, at the end of the day, what the cloud does is it takes your firewall which usually sat on a device or was the device itself up in your data center, and transitions that to the user. The user becomes the new firewall for your organization. And that’s where you have to really think about how you apply your security principles. Unfortunately, via our cloud services, we’ve provided a number of different pivots via conditional access to address that exact scenario. So we can pivot across user device and location in order to help you address that new corporate firewall which is the user. But, you know, coming back to the original question, it definitely helped to validate some of the concerns that customers have. For us, that’s great news because we can continue to drive capabilities and features designed to meet, you know, those needs.

Christian: Right.

Rick: So here’s my question then, so…

Christian: Go ahead.

Rick: …I have a question here. So I’m hearing what you’re saying, and I’m hearing what Christian is saying and everybody else is hearing what you’re saying. So here’s the question, why are they still hesitant?

Christian: So as far as the reporting or going to doing this kind of study, knowing that there are people that have various, you know, concerns and trying to identify, well, how many people are saying, “Hey, security is an issue.” Is it, you know, 5% of customers are saying that, is it 25%, is it, you know, 85% of customers, being informed and putting data around those things, you know, one, allows us to go and digging deeper into that and analyze that, ask additional questions, kind of pivot off of those types of responses. And to clarify that having…you know, getting back to the purpose of the report and that’s going through this activity, is so that we can then go and have those kinds of conversations with customers so that we can better respond to what they…you know, the number one response, you’re gonna see here in a minute with some of the other data point. Number one response or concerns of why have you not moved entirely to the cloud was, you know, “security.” Well, what did that really mean? We’re still digging into the specific requirements around that and try to understand that. And so it’s difficult to have those conversations well…

Rick: Did you speak to the, find that in your reporter?

Christian: We did go, you know, deeper within than just that top layer of, “Hey security.” But, you know, we… Because it wasn’t just a survey, there were actually about 100 different independent interviews that were also done with a variety of people: customers, partners, Microsoft people, you know, MVPs, Microsoft Certified Masters in the SharePoint arena. So we talked to Microsoft IT people, engineering, marketing. So we really got a variety of the backgrounds or others, and explored some of these topics. So there is a little more depth around each of the different areas. I think provides better insights if you’re a customer saying, “Hey, this is my concern.” And looking at the data and some of the responses, you may say, “Well, yes, those are my same concerns,” and see some of the responses and some of the solutions there. But it also…a report provides an opportunity for the sponsor to report, so AvePoint, and Microsoft, and others to then go in and say, “Well, look, this is…maybe it’s unfounded because the new features here,” or, “customers have this concerns, here’s how we address that, here’s how we answer that.” And so they…of course, it’s a report, it’s based on the survey, it’s a bunch of data, and interviews and analysis around those things to kind of show the impact of those things so that companies could read this, take action on it, go and say, “Yes, these are our same concerns. Oh, I see that we’re in the majority,” or, “I see that we’re in the small minority around that.” So, yeah.

Rick: Which is, actually, my next question was “Who were you targeting?” But you answered that question.

Christian: Well, and again, I think they clarify too, it’s, this is SharePoint related rather than all things hybrid. It’s not about OneDrive, it’s not about exchange, about any of those things, and providing data specific to that. So here’s the goals of the research. These may help too. So, to estimate the market size of hybrid, to see the impact today, why customer’s who choose to remain on-prem do so, to identify those fears, those concerns about moving to the cloud, and those technical challenges. And then outline how customers are addressing the challenges, we get a lot of partner input there. And then the security administrative implications of maintaining hybrid, which there are.

So the key issues, you know, that just there’s the question about, you know, the future of hybrid, was a big question. People were even asking, “Is Microsoft really gonna support?” Type of scenarios. Then it was security, cloud flexibility, the control of data, the cost of integration were the major drivers, the major areas of concern, going forward.

So let’s talk about market size really quick, and then we can jump into the questions. And so I’ve got about six or seven slides here with some of the data points. When we calculated based on the public information, the size of the SharePoint ecosystem, which is about a $10 billion ecosystem. So that is Microsoft, that is all of the ISVs like AvePoint, you have all of the SIs or consulting companies, all the partner companies. So it’s all of those things together is about a $10 billion global ecosystem. Based on the data that we’ve compiled today, that is, equates to about $3.2 billion just around hybrid environments, hybrid components. So it’s pretty sizable, and with our projection, it was that with the continued growth, and so the number of… And I’ll get another slide here, the number of on-prem only customers, decreases over the next three to five years. I think, which is expected, and the number of purely cloud customers grows in the next three to five years. But we’re projecting by 2020 that just the Hybrid space alone will grow to $5.3 billion.

And so, if you go and look at it, on the right side, it’s the percentage of customers that are claiming that we are a hybrid environment. Today, it’s 32%. In the next three to five years, by 2020, we’re saying, you know, 46% of the slice. So you see, what’s happening there, maybe it’s hard to see in your screen, is the light gray bar at the bottom of the circle there which is the on-prem, shrinks down. So the next, I think it’s going to rapidly shift away so that will be very few customers, and I can’t remember the…maybe I have it in the slide here, but like 15% to 17% will be, you know, on-prem only in the next three, four years. And that the majority will either be hybrid or as you could see, the slice of the pie gets larger of those that decide to move entirely into the cloud.

And so, here’s a better view of that. So we were trying to, with this…and the report actually goes through and explains this graphic a little bit better, but kind of showing that current and future state. What’s interesting is the size of the overall pie, gross, meaning the number of net new customers into the SharePoint ecosystem continues to grow. This is interesting. I just made this point yesterday. I’m sitting here at this, participated in the digital workplace conference here in Auckland, New Zealand where I’m sitting this early morning call, talking about the number of net new customers on SharePoint continues to grow. So there are new customers that are still deploying on-prem. There are those that are going straight to the cloud and it’s growing much faster than those that are going straight to the cloud. But overall, the SharePoint continues to grow. And remember, you know, both you guys remember when 2010 was coming live, it’s really where I started noticing some of the detractors out there, was like, “Oh, you know, SharePoint, yeah, it’s not really gonna stick around, da, da…” You know, just the haters out there in the world just started saying that. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention with the 2007 version, but 2010, it really kind of, you know, came to live. And here we are more successful than ever, as it continues…

Rick: …service applications, Yeah.

Christian: Yes, exactly.

Rick: Yeah, yeah, the architecture totally changed then.

Christian: Right.

Bill: Yeah, I think there’s a couple of interesting things.

Christian: Yeah, go ahead.

Bill: There’s a couple of interesting points that you just brought up in your monologue there. One of the one of the interesting piece to this, you had kinda asked the question as to whether or not Microsoft was committed to a hybrid. And I think, I think that’s something that we definitely had heard. When we had initially invested in some of our hybrid design that began in early 2012, and as we thought about what hybrid could mean to our customers, you know, a lot of the decisions were proceeded by a discussion around migration. So, migration hybration…migration and hybrid became a topic of discussion, but what we ended up with were a set of hybrid controls that largely facilitated a migration motion. And to that extent, we offered our capabilities such as Search, to help you discover information across on-premises and Office 365. And we did that by virtue of federation in one direction or another, otherwise bi-directional.

We also invested in business connectivity services, a means for you to connect back from SharePoint online to line of business systems on your premises. So, really, migration or hybrid itself was predicated by this idea that we wanted you to be able to bring your business to the cloud. And what changed over the last couple of years, and most recently over the last several months is we took a step back and we thought about what the next gen Hybrid migration strategy means to us in SharePoint and OneDrive. And the way that we think about it today is the idea is no longer one that’s predicated with you bringing your business to the cloud, but really what we’re looking at hybrid as, is as an opportunity to go to where our customers already are with our cloud capabilities. But the way that we think about it, in a nutshell, is it’s not about bringing your business to the cloud, it’s about bringing the cloud to your business. And some of the ways that we facilitated that are obviously through our OneDrive for Business redirection, some of the simple redirection controls via Yammer, embed, or Office 365 video embed. But more so in respect to capabilities such as hybrid auditing which doesn’t require you to actually move the underlying data to Office 365. You simply send your anonymous usage in audit logs to Office 365, the data remains on-prem, but you can execute the security and compliance reporting capabilities that the service provides against that content. Very similarly, cloud hybrid search enables you to discover content without actually having to migrate the underlying content, so if you see, there’s been a shift in philosophy to where content is no longer as coupled with Hybrid. Yeah. So there is no longer the coupling with content.

Rick: Do you remember the mantra used to be all in, right? Is this kind of backtracking?

Bill: I don’t think it’s necessarily backtracking. I think there is a recognition that there are some challenges to looking at the cloud as a wholesale proposition. For many of our customers, they’ve been with us for a long time from a product perspective, which means they’ve accumulated vast amounts of data. In order to be successful in the cloud, you really need to think about the type of data that you wanna bring there. You generally don’t wanna bring the entirety of your non-working set to Office 365, and there’s a number of reasons, you know, for looking at it that way, is, A, why would you take your non-working set data and then just redeliver it via Office 365 where you’re paying, you know, for that, you know, storage utilization. It’s almost like using OneDrive Consumer as a means to backup your PC. You know, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to bring that non-working set with you.

The working set of data, however, can, you know, benefit from a number of different capabilities that Office 365 provides. So your non-working set resides on-premises, it remains in your SharePoint implementation on-premises. Perhaps, your highly regulated data or your highly sensitive data remains on-premises but that working set of data can exist in Office 365 and benefit from all of the capabilities that the service brings.

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