SharePoint 2016 Demystified

There’s been quite a bit of mystery surrounding the next version of Microsoft SharePoint, including rumors the product would become cloud exclusive without on-premise capabilities. Fans of both solutions can breathe easier. On-premise and hybrid deployments will continue to possible while cloud capabilities receive a huge boost.

Microsoft will be slowly evolving SharePoint into the cloud with Office 365. Originally launched as a content collaboration solution with team sites SharePoint’s features have dramatically deepened over time with:

  • Experiences including portals, search, business intelligence and enterprise content management (ECM)
  • Management layers enabling customer control of their solution
  • Extensibility allowing for the enhancement of out-of-box experiences

Evolving in the Cloud

Investments will continue in the core areas outlined above, as well as in the areas of experiences, management, and extensibility for SharePoint in the cloud with Office 365. In addition Microsoft will be making large investments in hybrid as well, realizing that many businesses still prefer to run on-premise installations behind a firewall or in parallel with other hybrid deployments. This thinking means that businesses can take advantage of cloud innovations over time, but on their own terms.

What hasn’t changed is Microsoft’s understanding of the paramount importance of management, security, privacy, and compliance. Whether SharePoint 2016 is run in Office 365, hybrid, or on-premise, Microsoft has continued to invest in available features like:

  • Rights Management
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  • eDiscovery, Legal Hold
  • Metadata Management and Policy Control
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM)

SharePoint is where it is today thanks to the help of over 3.4 million developers who build extensions and customizations for the platform. The app model introduced in SharePoint 2013 will continue, with only slight differences in how apps are created for the cloud and on-premise. Expect more custom capabilities and connecting of SharePoint data through a rich set of Office 365 APIs.

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Seek Out New Experiences

SharePoint 2016 will continue to offer great traditional capabilities, like Search, Content and Team Sites, but will also implement new experiences in Office 365. These will revolve around being:

  • Collaborative: bringing teams closer together
  • Mobile: will work on any mobile device
  • Intelligent: contextual, relevant, and personalized
  • Ready-to-go: shorter times to delivering value
  • Cross-suite: will blur lines between traditional product offerings

Improvements to existing features include:


Will go beyond a traditional enterprise search, and be powered by Office Delve, a new way to find relevant information and connections from data stored in Office 365. It will offer predictive search capabilities and offer insights from Office Graph.


Will see the addition of ‘ready-to-go’ portals that would have traditionally taken weeks if not months to build. NextGen Portals are intelligent, collaborative, mobile and ready-to-go by design.


Will be an addition to general purpose document libraries SharePoint 2016 will see OneDrive as a place to easily store, sync and share personal files across multiple devices and people. Security, reliability and manageability will all be inherent to OnDrive and can replace the need for personal file servers and local hard drives.

Team Sites:

Will be expanded with a broad amount of content from Office 365 including email, instant messaging, tasks, contacts, personal files, social feeds and more. End-users and IT teams should be happy with a holistic experience across Office 365 that standardizes management, governance, and extensibility models.


Will build on the forward vision of Power BI and provide an integrated analytical platform in the cloud that connects users to where information is stored using the common Excel interface.


Will evolve from a standalone newsfeed to an immersive experience across Office 365. Features like Yammer will help users work in more dynamic ways, and have been integrated into Office documents and videos, along with other common business applications like Dynamics CRM and

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The Best SharePoint Yet

If your company is thinking of leveraging more cloud technology then SharePoint 2016 with Office 365 is likely a perfect collaboration platform choice. Even if you’re on the fence, the ability to run hybrid or on-premise versions of SharePoint 2016 makes it a very compelling option still, one that gives you the ability to leverage the cloud over time, and at your own pace.

We are very excited at Rand Group to offer this newest SharePoint option soon. Talk today to our expert to find out if SharePoint 2016 is the right collaboration platform for your company! Stay tuned for further updates as they are available.