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Users want resolution to the Microsoft SharePoint Online problem

SharePoint Online was supposed to eliminate some cost and management headaches for users. So why hasn't it?

SharePoint Online reception among users has been a mixed bag, and Microsoft has some work to do to fix that situation.

SharePoint Online is Microsoft's cloud-based version of its collaboration and content management application, and can be purchased standalone or as part of the Office 365 suite, Microsoft's business productivity apps that include Exchange, Lync, OneDrive for Business (file storage) and browser-based versions of Office tools.

SharePoint Online has gotten a good reception from companies that didn't migrate to it but started using it anew. On the other hand, for companies with large, sprawling SharePoint estates on their own servers, SharePoint Online has been quite a different story.

"There was a big section of cheerleaders out there in the user community," said BI and SharePoint expert Scott Robinson in a recent podcast. "On the other hand, there was a section of people grumbling and grumbling and the grumbles are just growing. The distinction between those two groups is that people who came to SharePoint via SharePoint Online, whose first exposure to SharePoint was the O365 environment, were wildly enthusiastic because … it was a big jump up. On the other hand, the companies that were using SharePoint before were using the Online environment and seeing it as a very different creature and their expectations were not met, because [of] often having to hybridize their environment because the two products were not nearly as similar as they seemed," he said.

Microsoft's decision to discontinue or fail to offer certain capabilities in on-premises versions of its products and only feature them in cloud-based versions has created some confusion and frustration for users. In this podcast, we explore Microsoft's cloud strategy with SharePoint and how it can turn around some of these issues and get companies closer to adopting SharePoint in the cloud or a hybrid version of the application.

For more, check out the podcast above.

Next Steps

SharePoint Online won't support Public Websites

Cloud-based ECM technologies

Migrating to SharePoint on-premises vs. SharePoint Online

This was last published in April 2015

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The pros and cons of SharePoint continue to divide users

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Does your company use SharePoint Online, on-premises or a hybrid version, and if so, why?
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We currently use SharePoint on-premise. The reasons are mostly historical, dating back to the initial implementation, followed by multiple leadership changes in the SharePoint development team that have stalled adoption of either SharePoint Online or a hybrid version.
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