While scanning a few blogs today – something that I haven’t taken the time to do frequently enough, it seems, I ran across Veronique Palmer’s blog entry which was a recap of her visit to SPC12 last week. (http://veroniquepalmer.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/thoughts-on-sharepoint-2013-after-the-conference)
I had the good fortune to run into Veronique at lunch one of the days and it was good to see her again. She has a huge source of energy running through her, and anyone who strays too close to her can’t help but feel the energy that she brings to SharePoint and, I can only imagine, the passion that she brings to her clients.
First, there was a lot of confusion and frustration about how Microsoft and SharePoint decided to release information about SharePoint 2013 (SP13) during this release cycle. Veronique was not the only one who complained about the seemingly targeted approach to the release of product information.
It seemed that the SharePoint team was following the lead from the Windows 8 team and keeping things as quiet as possible to avoid competitive product offerings as well as to maximize the “Wow” effect on the day of launch.
It might also have been the opinion of the SharePoint marketing team that with SharePoint 2010 doing so well in the marketplace, that the need for pre-launch buzz generated from conversations in the ecosystem about the product was minimal.
The potential downside of this is a reduction in the number of end-to-end product reviews that SharePoint could have received from partners and developers about the product, when each different type of developer or user was shown only the pieces of the product that were most necessary for them.
Another potential problem, which Veronique pointed out, was that time was “lost” in allowing consultants to be up to speed with the product at the time of launch. This had an impact on partners, as well, as many partners and consultants had a difficult time predicting the launch date, and many products had their timing set for post-January 2013, instead of being able to be ready for a November 2012 release date.
I can only imagine that Microsoft decided that it was, in fact, getting a good amount of feedback, and that these negatives were manageable.
The next set of points that Veronique makes in her blog entry apply to all users of SharePoint who are considering a SharePoint deployment.
It’s important to consider the following when considering/planning a SharePoint deployment:
- Do the research and go into your project with your eyes open about the possible alternatives.
- Make sure that you are listening to multiple sources for your information. Microsoft, consultants, partners, blogs, analysts, and other community sources for SharePoint are useful in rounding out your strategy.
- Understand that different SharePoint versions have different user interfaces and have different user expectations. Your training and procedures may have to regularly go through modifications as you move from version to version, so plan accordingly.
- Don’t cause yourself to feel too much pressure to move to a specific SharePoint version just because it is newer. By understanding the features of each SharePoint version, combined with the capabilities and experience of your teams, your developers/consultants, and partner solutions, combined with the lifetime of your expected deployment and when you might be ready for an upgrade, you will be able to select the right version for your current deployment and plan ahead for future releases.
- It should be understood that your users are going to resist change. Build this into your operations and training plans.
Thanks, Veronique, for getting the conversation started, and for giving me the impetus to write a blog entry again… (I really need to do this more often.)