As a SharePoint person over the past dozen plus years I have seen MICROSOFT change its strategy on SharePoint multiple times. From its origin as a file repository to a CMS platform to enterprise content management to the cloud as a part of O365 and now as they attempt to revive SharePoint as its own brand, Microsoft certainly hasn’t been afraid to change directions as needed.
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes, and I use that word with some trepidation, was the post 2013 move to subsume SharePoint into Office 365 and treat it like it was a service without its own identity. This certainly isn’t the case now that Jeff Teper is back at the SharePoint helm. He certainly seems to want to reinvigorate the brand as a distinct entity both inside of O365 and outside as a stand alone product. All of that is good.
One bit of anecdotal evidence, to me at least, has been the stream of top talent that Microsoft is hiring to join their SharePoint team. I’ve seen some really top people move inside of Microsoft over the past couple of years. I think this is a great move for them and for Microsoft. By bringing some top talent in house they are committing to making SharePoint more feature rich and responding to the types of problems that users have always gone custom or third party to solve.
For customer and users of SharePoint this will be positive. What about partners and ISVs? Well, in today’s market they have to adapt or die. At times Microsoft has made this difficult, like the roll out of modern lists and libraries breaking tools and solutions, and they can and need to do better. The cloud is a laboratory for innovation, but partners deserve to know before those changes are implemented so that their solutions don’t break.
Overall, the new direction is great and I’m excited about it. I hope that the new Microsofties bring some of that solution experience to Redmond and partners and ISVs are better synced with SharePoint going forward.