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

1,340

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

Also announced is the forthcoming release of SharePoint 2019 in Beta during the Summer of 2018. An overview is here: SharePoint 2019 and Hub Sites


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 visitor found this review helpful
John bligh li?1414337595

2 Comments

A49de8ad 2c8f 41d5 aae5 973ab76a75ec avatar
James KekicReal UserTOP 20

I believe that Centralpoint is superior and much cheaper!

Like (0)26 December 16
1cc11b77 fb2b 45da b8e1 caaaacc64493 avatar

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

Like (0)29 March 17
Anonymous avatar x30
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