SharePoint Review
Plan, plan, plan. Over-budget.


SharePoint 2016 was released in the Spring of 2016, and builds from many of the features already introduced in Office 365. Though SharePoint 2016 does have new features, most of the features are behind the scenes, from the administrative perspective. Much of the user experience, social, and content management experience is untouched (as is the ribbon), with some exceptions.

Among the new features:

  1. Delve / My Profile (About Me) - My Sites disappears in favor of a new profile, About Me, that also uses the Delve inference engine.
  2. Cloud / Hybrid - Hybrid enables you to integrate your on-premises farm with the cloud, at your own pace.
  3. Durable Links - Resource-based URLs now retain links when documents are renamed or moved in SharePoint.
  4. Image and video previews - Preview images and videos in SharePoint Server 2016 document libraries.
  5. Large files - now supports uploading and downloading files larger than 2,047 MBs
  6. Mobile - an improved mobile navigation experience.
  7. Search - SharePoint Search has now fully integrated the FAST Search engine, with more features, and indexes up to 500 milliion documents (per app).
  8. Sharing - better user sharing options, including a Shared folder, and invitation email notifications.

My company, Prescient Digital Media, has been using SharePoint for 10 years; we've been working with SharePoint on behalf of our clients for even longer. SharePoint has been our primary intranet for 8 years, and has more pros than cons, but it's not an ideal fit for every organization.

Prescient principally uses Office 365 - SharePoint Online (almost complete feature parity with SharePoint 2016) for Enterprise Content Management; improving the way our organization functions in terms of employee collaboration and knowledge sharing specifically via document management, and social collaboration (discussion groups, profiles and blogging being the most used social tools).

The solution could use improvement, however, in terms of Web content management / social media tools (e.g. wikis), and general usability. We also encountered many, many problems with deployment -- customization and implementation requires more work than you expect. Additionally, like most organization, we customized the user experience, which can break (particularly specific webparts) with every SharePoint patch and upgrade. However, we found no issues with stability or scalability.

We switched to SharePoint Online because its the market leader, and 80% of our clients use SharePoint. We are first and foremost SharePoint intranet consultants, so we build and design other intranets, and need to deeply understand the ins and outs of SharePoint. 

A great new feature in Office 365, is Microsoft Teams. Some people claim it's Microsoft's answer to Slack, but it's so much more, and more impressive. Finally, Microsoft has launched a best-of-breed collaboration tool. And it's impressive.

The initial setup of SharePoint is very complex and requires a lot of work to customize, including hiring outside experts. The advice I would give to others looking into implementing this product is plan, plan, plan, and plan to run over-budget (unless you hire very strong outside experts to develop and run your plan and budget) for customization activities. And do not underestimate the infrastructure required (servers and farm configuration).

Additional changes and improvements were announced to the SharePoint Online in Office 365. An overview of the changes are here: Big Changes to Office 365 / SharePoint Intranets

The latest on SharePoint is to be released this summer. In fact, many of the new features are already available on SharePoint Online.

SharePoint 2019
SharePoint 2019

The forthcoming SharePoint 2019 features major upgrades to the user experience design and mobile access, including a new dedicated SharePoint app. The UX for SharePoint 2019 is noticeably superior to previous versions of SP. It’s very clean and modern, with a major emphasis on images, and video.

“SharePoint 2019 has the most UX (improvements) than we’ve ever delivered before in a SharePoint release,” Hani Loza, of the Microsoft SharePoint team, on www.IntranetBlog.com.

Among the new UX features, particularly noticeable in the new SharePoint Communications Sites, are drag-and-drop web parts for image galleries, slideshows, hero slideshow, and video.

Continue reading: The New SharePoint: SharePoint 2019

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 visitor found this review helpful

2 Comments

James KekicReal User

I believe that Centralpoint is superior and much cheaper!

Like (0)26 December 16
J.V. Tuazon, CPMReal UserTOP 10LEADERBOARD

Err...what's Centralpoint? :D Is that an actual enterprise solution?

Like (0)29 March 17
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