Microsoft has been leading the collaboration platforms market through SharePoint. Microsoft introduced several version on roughly a 3 years cycle. The latest version of SharePoint to be released on early 2016 is SharePoint 2016. At the time of writing this post, SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 is released. This version is the first major SharePoint on-premises version released based on SharePoint Online code base. Microsoft has been pushing its new vision “Cloud First Mobile First” through Office 365 and Microsoft Azure.
Although SharePoint 2013 adopted some of the SharePoint Online concepts like SharePoint Apps and hybrid deployments like integration with Yammer and OneDrive for Business but it was not built with cloud in mind. SharePoint 2016 is the first release based on SharePoint Online and introduces strong hybrid scenarios.
However, in my opinion the new features in SharePoint 2016 are disappointing for end users. Microsoft focused mainly on getting the new hybrid experience to the clients through things like the shared app launcher menu, hybrid cloud search service and delivering improved performance and reliability through MinRoles, Zero Downtime Patching. The new delivered features that directly solve end users problems or add new value are very limited.
SharePoint 2016 didn’t tackle a lot of missing features in SharePoint that requires custom development now like mobile apps, 3rd party access (extranet), sharing content across site collections, removing the boundaries of sites for document management scenarios which confuse a lot of users, bringing the Delve like applications to on-premise, tighter integration with Yammer, strong social story to compete with chatter/Jive and likes…etc. I find it is hard to present to business users what are the new features/benefits in SharePoint 2016 vs 2013 trying to convince them to move on and plan for an upgrade!
I would love to hear your views on this!