A few years back when I was working for Axceler, I was frustrated by what I viewed as a slow response to hybrid SharePoint by many of the SharePoint vendors. I saw hybrid as a necessary next step for most on-premises solutions given the time, cost, and complexity of transitioning highly customized environments to Office 365. Of course, at the time, Microsoft was not really talking about hybrid (except for Bill Baer), and the push from their salespeople was all about moving straight to the cloud. My argument at the time was that Microsoft was missing the reality on the ground of the customers who were most heavily invested in on-premises SharePoint, and that at the very least a transition was necessary to shift infrastructure to the cloud. It took a couple years for Microsoft to figure it all out, but once the enterprise customer data started to roll in, Microsoft recognized the error in their messaging and made the necessary changes – brining to the forefront many of the hybrid solutions and discussions that had been happening off the grid.
Last summer, following a couple interesting discussions at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, I started digging into the data surrounding hybrid, trying to understand what was out there beyond the occasional vendor survey. There was not much out there. I’m not knocking the many different vendor surveys – but I did not find anything with real depth, or with statistical accuracy that would help Microsoft, partners, or customers understand the issues driving (or restricting) growth of SharePoint in the cloud. I wanted to know, definitively, how many customers were leveraging hybrid as an informed, planned strategy – versus those who were using hybrid out of necessity. Additionally, I wanted to know how many customers refused to move to the cloud (or hybrid) and why, but also understand those who bypassed hybrid and went to the cloud but with reservations, and why.
At the MVP Summit that took place on the Microsoft campus last November, I chatted with Dan Holme (@danholme) and Bill Baer (@williambaer) about the data they had internally, which was fairly light, and proposed a formal research project to try and quantify hybrid SharePoint. They confirmed that most of the data they had in place was broader, focused more on cloud adoption of the entire Office 365 stack and all of its workloads, with only 2 or 3 questions specifically around SharePoint hybrid. I proposed the idea for a standalone survey to both of them, as well as to SharePoint and OneDrive CVP, Jeff Teper (@jeffteper), and they were all supportive. And so I moved forward with the idea.
Having recently moved to Utah last summer, I visited some of my contacts at Brigham Young University (where I did most of my undergrad) in Provo, and was introduced to the field research team at the Marriott School of Management, and very quickly the project was outlined and approved, and was kicked off in late January with a team of graduate students, faculty advisors, and all of the research tools available to a major university. Going forward, I will be working with BYU on many other research projects under my CollabTalk brand – but am excited about this first major project.
If you are a SharePoint customer, and meet one of the following criteria, please take a few minutes to complete our anonymous survey:
- You are currently using hybrid SharePoint solutions, or are planning to use hybrid solutions
- You are on-prem today, and have decided against a hybrid strategy, and plan to remain on-prem
- You are on-prem today, and plan to move entirely to the cloud without using hybrid
- You are entirely cloud today (SharePoint Online standalone SKU, or any Office 365 SKU), and bypassed a hybrid strategy
- You are entirely cloud today, but are considering using a hybrid solution
You can find the survey at http://hybrid-sp.collabtalk.com/
The Hybrid SharePoint research project is underway right now, with primary and secondary research being collected by the BYU team. The customer survey is anonymous – no personal information is being collected or shared with the project sponsors, and will remain open through March 22nd. The final results will be shared in mid-April, and will be shared through a special panel discussion at SPTechCon Austin on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 with myself, PixelMill’s Eric Overfield (@ericoverfield), tyGraph’s John White (@diverdown1964), and Microsoft’s Mark Mashman (@mkashman).
I’m really proud of the sponsors for this project, as well. We have a great group of highly engaged sponsors and media partners.
If you’re interested in sponsoring, I have two more Silver sponsorships available. Please contact me at cbuck at collabtalk.com for more information.
Thanks for your support and for participating in our survey! I am really looking forward to sharing these results, and talking with more customers about the impact of hybrid SharePoint to their businesses.