Yes Virginia, SharePoint Server 2016 Exists

CollabTalk TweetJam Feb 18th, 2015For some reason, the announcement from Microsoft that there would be another on prem release of SharePoint Server caught a few folks by surprise. Honestly, I'm surprised that people are surprised. Microsoft has always said that they will continue offering an on prem release as long as businesses wanted it, and my prediction is that this won't be the last, with another version to be released in another 3 years or so. And I'm sure others have equally strong opinions in the opposite direction — which is the gist of this month's #CollabTalk tweetjam.

On February 18th at 9am PST, our panel of MVPs, MCMs, and community experts will dive into the topic "Gearing Up for SharePoint Server 2016" in a live tweetjam via Twitter and the #CollabTalk hashtag, or through http://twubs.com/collabtalk. Anyone can participate in the discussion — or you can just lurk and watch it all unfold.

There's a lot to discuss. If you're not up to speed on the latest news around SharePoint Server 2016, you can find out more through Julia White's Evolution of SharePoint blog post. Julia is the general manager for the Office product management team at Microsoft. Dan Holme did a deep dive analysis on Julia's post over on ITUnity (The Evolution of Microsoft, SharePoint, & Office 365), and I also shared some thoughts on this blog (The Evolution of SharePoint Server 2016).

Of course, Julia's post caused a lot of discussion in the community, and you'll find a veritable cornucopia of content out there on the topic. For example, Kurt Mackie wrote an article on RedmondMagazine.com talking about the state of forms in SharePoint 2016. Whether InfoPath will still be supported has been a huge point of discussion (thanks to @RuvenG), spurring rumor and speculation on various other topics. Its brought up some great discussions around past versions, and is raising expectations (in my estimation) for the Ignite Conference in May. In particular, I would point you toward Bill Baer's post The SharePoint Journey which outlines the history of SharePoint through each iteration. Bill (@williambaer) is a senior technical product marketing manager on the product team, and one of my former peers back from my Microsoft days.

New to the tweetjam model? It’s a gathering of experts on a very public channel (Twitter) allowing anyone to watch or participate. We provide a site at Twubs.com/CollabTalk to capture the conversation, or you can use Twitter or Hootsuite or any other platform you’d like to follow along or jump in. Over the course of the hour, we’ll walk through 7 main questions and give our panelists and participants a chance to answer, share links and experiences, and to ask their own follow up questions, The only guidance is to remember to include the #CollabTalk hashtag and, where relevant, the question/answer number so that people can follow the conversation.

The questions we'll be asking this month include:

  1. What is the current state of SharePoint on prem?
  2. Is hybrid the new normal?
  3. Does the new language around ‘experiences’ resonate?
  4. What should we expect from SharePoint’s new management layer?
  5. What are the extensibility gaps in SharePoint’s strategy?
  6. Is this the last version of SharePoint on prem? Why/why not?
  7. What themes/topics should people pay attention to at the upcoming Ignite conference?

Of course, there will be many side questions and side conversations. That's the point: these questions are meant to start the dialog, and then let the conversation take its many turns. For this month's event, here are some of the experts who will be joining the discussion:

  • Asif Rehmani (@asifrehmani), consultant, trainer and SharePoint MVP at VisualSP
  • Barry Jinks (@BJinks), founder and ceo at Colligo
  • Chris Tomich (@christomich82), SharePoint consultant, dialogue mapper, and co-founder of Glyma
  • Marc Anderson (@sympmarc), consultant at Sympraxis Consulting
  • Naomi Moneypenny (@nmoneypenny), Office365 MVP and cto at ManyWorlds
  • Benjamin Niaulin (@bniaulin), SharePoint MVP and evangelist at ShareGate 
  • Jeffrey Schwartz (@JeffreySchwartz), editor at 1105 Media, including Redmond and Redmond Channel 
  • Bjoern Rapp (@bjoern_rapp), SharePoint MVP and senior advisor at Steria 
  • Vlad Catrinescu (@vladcatrinescu), SharePoint MVP and founder of SharePoint-Community.net
  • Erica Toelle (@EricaToelle), business architect at Buildingi
  • Craig Tarr (@craig_tarr), co-founder and coo at GTconsult
  • Jason Himmelstein (@sharepointlhorn), SharePoint MVP and senior technical director of SharePoint at Atrion
  • Gokan Ozcifci (@gokanozcifci), SharePoint MVP and IT infrastructure consultant at Neoxy
  • Brett Hill (@bretthill), Office365 MVP (one of the very first!) and manager of technical marketing at Riverbed Technology 
  • Hans Brender (@hansbrender), SharePoint MVP and ceo of sqtm PSC GmbH
  • Dan Holme (@danholme), Office365 MVP, evangelist, and co-founder of ITUnity  
  • Jeff Shuey (@jshuey), chief evangelist at K2
  • Michael Greth (@mysharepoint), SharePoint specialist and community leader, SharePoint MVP 
  • Stacy Deere-Strole (@sldeere), owner of Focal Point Solutions
  • Dr. Steven Marsh (@drstevemarsh), director of product marketing at Metalogix 
  • Sebastien Levert (@sebastienlevert), Office365 MVP and specialist in Azure, SharePoint, and O365 at Pollen
  • Trevor Hellebuyck (@thellebuyck), co-cto at Metalogix
  • Todd Klindt (@toddklindt), SharePoint MVP and consultant at Rackspace 
  • Virgil Carroll (@vcmonkey), chief monkey at High Monkey
  • Jeff Fried (@jefffried), cto and vp of engineering at BA Insight 
  • Kanwal Khipple (@kkhipple), Office 365 MVP and founder of 2toLead  
  • Fabian Williams (@fabianwilliams), SharePoint MVP and senior consultant at Planet Technologies 
  • and your host, Christian Buckley (@buckleyplanet), Office365 MVP and managing director, americas for GTconsult  

We'll add a few more names over the next few days, and, as always, many more not listed here will join the discussion. We're averaging over 125 active participants per tweetjam, with millions of tweet impressions reaching hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts. Not too shabby. Looking forward to the discussion!

Oh, and if you're interested in personality-driven discussions of the latest SharePoint and Office 365 news and topics, be sure to register for the next CollabTalk episode on February 24th where we'll be discussing Delve boards, the need for more developers in the SharePoint space, and Skype for Business. Register for the next episode at www.ITUnity.com/go/CollabTalk

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Lehi, Utah, through which he provides fractional-CMO for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem.