This content is part of the Essential Guide: Cloud and mobile drove content management trends in 2015

At Ignite, Microsoft Delve helps Redmond sidestep SharePoint woes

Microsoft's emphasis on the cloud has on-premises SharePoint users questioning their fate, but that issue was sidestepped at Ignite by offerings such as Delve.

With its cloud-first, mobile-first mantra, Microsoft had a fine line to walk at the Ignite 2015 conference.

While Microsoft has made it clear that it will focus its development efforts on cloud-based versions of its applications, such as SharePoint Online, the content management and collaboration platform, many users are still heavily entrenched in on-premises versions of SharePoint and other applications.

Many users have been frustrated or bewildered by the focus on the cloud because they aren't quite ready yet to move there. And further, certain features may not work without a license for SharePoint Online. Or other features, such as federated search -- which allows users to search all content residing on-premises and in the cloud -- don't work well, regardless of where the data is.

Still, Microsoft made efforts to turn attention away from the SharePoint angst and focus on some of the features in the cloud-based suite of productivity applications known as Office 365, such as Microsoft Delve, a data visualization tool that tracks your work activities and even coworker connections and interactions. Other tools highlighted include OneDrive for Business, the cloud-based file storage application, and Power BI, a cloud-based data visualization tool designed to work with Excel and other applications like Microsoft ERP and Dynamics CRM.

This sidestepping of SharePoint turmoil may have been an effort to underplay the fact that SharePoint's features are being parceled out to new applications in the Office 365 suite. Some have even questioned whether SharePoint as an all-encompassing content management and collaboration platform will continue to survive or morph into a series of reinvented services in Office 365 instead.

In this podcast, Peter O'Kelly of O'Kelly Associates discusses how Microsoft showcased services like Delve and sidestepped some of the SharePoint user pain, while also acknowledging some of its missteps.

For some users, "The power of what was presented at Ignite was compelling," O'Kelly said. "But these users might not think of it as SharePoint. They might think of it as, 'Hey, I want the best of Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive for the enterprise, and it looks like Office is a pretty strong entry for that.' But you would have to go looking for the SharePoint brand."

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