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What Office 365 means for traditional SharePoint features

Office 365 is deconstructing SharePoint as we know it and recasting traditional SharePoint features into a collection of services, according to an expert.

Due out in early 2016, the next iteration of SharePoint comes in two flavors: on-premises SharePoint, known as SharePoint 2016, and SharePoint Online, the cloud-based version of SharePoint.

While many companies will continue to use SharePoint on premises for security, compliance or other reasons, there is little doubt that Microsoft is driving its customer base toward the cloud with new SharePoint features.

At the same time, SharePoint Online functionality has been recast. While SharePoint Online will continue to serve as a content management and collaboration tool, many new services and capabilities will reside in Office 365 -- from new tools such as the enterprise search and recommendation engine Delve to Sway, a new Web-based presentation tool due to rival traditional PowerPoint.

As Shawn Shell, vice president at Hitachi Consulting, noted, these new services represent enhancements to existing functionality. But they also represent new, overlapping services that Microsoft hasn't outlined or defined well.

"Microsoft is recasting a constellation of products around that SharePoint platform and creating deeper integrations between the various products that make up Office 365 in general," Shell said.

In this podcast, he discussed some of the core functionality in SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online and how capabilities related to services offered in Office 365. We then outlined some of the new SharePoint features through Office 365 in greater depth in part two of this podcast.

"Microsoft is deconstructing what it means to be SharePoint, and creating more atomic services, and then wrapping different collections of those services … and making them available through Office 365 or through a variety of mobile apps," he said.

Shell also discussed the continuing importance of hybrid SharePoint as customers migrate to the cloud. Moving completely to the cloud may take years for some organizations, or they may never opt to go there.

"In the short term, that hybrid environment is something we'll continue to see," Shell said.

For more, check out this podcast above. And check out part two here.

Next Steps

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This was last published in November 2015

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Navigating the Office 365 and SharePoint hybrid roadmap

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