Enterprise IT organizations, and their counterparts in the public and not-for-profit sectors, need detailed migration plans when they decide to either implement a new computing platform, or migrate from an earlier version to a new release. SharePoint server 2013, the latest on premises version of the software computing platform, is no exception to this rule. So Computerworld, back in December, 2013, published an article by Jonathan Hassell titled What SharePoint 2013 Means for the Data Center.
It’s worth spending a couple of paragraphs on why this topic is of interest for this blog. The points made in Hassell’s article appear to be intended to be useful for Enterprise IT planning an implementation of SharePoint Server 2013. Hassell doesn’t mention the cost of implementing SharePoint server 2013, but deciding whether or not to add Yammer to the implementation, or (for communities of SharePoint 2007 users) planning a short migration to SharePoint Server 2010 prior to moving up to 2013, are questions with clear costs associated with them. On a technical level, it’s important to list all of the milestones required to get a platform solution like SharePoint 2013 up and running, on premises. On an IT management level, listing these same milestones, and choosing the ones important and essential for a specific organization, in advance, ensures the budget proposed for the project will be adequate.
We manufacture a system for SharePoint 2013, VisualSP™, which can be successfully used to deliver training information directly to users within the SharePoint 2013 computing context. Because every community of SharePoint users is distinct, the kind of custom tailored help our system can be used to provide can deliver substantial cost savings. Simply consider how an existing team of administrators, developers, architects and designers can be empowered to implement this new server platform, without a need for outside consultants, once they are provided with access to our specialized training sets on SharePoint Server 2013 administration, branding, and even metadata tagging and taxonomy.
If you care learn more about how our system can be used in this context, please contact us.
So we think it’s important to read Hassell’s article within a cost analysis context. From this perspective, we note our agreement with him on the question of whether or not it makes sense to include Yammer in an implementation plan. The unique requirements of successfully implementing a social computing solution like this one are, by no means, pervasive. Some organizations are simply too hierarchical, and vertically structured to benefit from a system like Yammer.
Hassell also spends a lot of time on the App model. We think Apps for SharePoint 2013 have gotten off to a slow start. So Hassell’s points about how a typical data center will have to plan for Apps are either premature, or, perhaps, over stated. We see the new SharePoint 2013 App model from a different perspective. We like it as it helps SharePoint communities do a better job of protecting the SharePoint server than “trusted solution” alternatives. A secure computing experience is, certainly, less expensive to maintain for almost any community using SharePoint.
He also foresees lots of organizations simultaneously maintaining SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2013, on prem, instances. Neither have we seen a lot of activity in this area, at least to date. Our VisualSP system is available as a farm solution for SharePoint Server 2013, and as an App for SharePoint Online. The same custom content can be used, simultaneously in both environments. But the basic package of content served by the App is actually reposed on our servers.
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