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A Look Back: Yammer, Office 365, Mobile Dominate SharePoint in 2013

Everyone that has had anything to do with SharePoint over the year has his own SharePoint story. With such a vast platform used in so many ways, everyone has something he loves and something he hates. The only thing everyone agrees on is to disagree. For my money, SharePoint this year was characterized by SharePoint and Yammer, SharePoint and Office 365 and Mobile SharePoint. 

Before you start writing in to complain, keep in mind that, if nothing else, I understand your pain — I take it all on board — but at the end of the day, these three topics are what really grabbed my attention over the year. We'll look at them in a bit more detail. But first, let’s just mention some of the other issues that caused a stir.

ECM, Metadata, Governance

There was, for example, a lot of talk about SharePoint as Enterprise Content Management system (ECM). Acellion estimates that there are 17,000 organizations running it as their main ECM.

It also said 67 percent of all organizations that have SharePoint are providing access to all of their enterprise users, and that the total number of SharePoint license sold to date is around 125 million. Seductive, but not a prize winner.

Metadata was also a subject that many people were interested in, for obvious reasons. Mimi Donne took a look at it in September and pointed out that the key to a successful SharePoint implementation from a content management point of view is metadata.

SharePoint governance also came up on a number of occasions. This is a subject that is very close to our hearts, should be a core consideration for enterprises, and is likely to continue being of major concern in the years ahead.

We will leave this discussion for another time as it really requires a whole study in itself. Christian Buckley took the bull by the horns, and underlined a number of underlying principles that we have often pointed to here at CMSWire.

In a nutshell, Buckley pointed out that the underlying principles of good governance are the same managing SharePoint as they are for any or any other enterprise collaboration platform and those principles do not change whether that platform is on premises, in the cloud or a hybrid solution of both.

In fact, lack of a governance strategy for SharePoint generally points to a wider problem in the enterprise around their IT deployments and lack of planning around them. If an enterprise doesn’t plan for SharePoint, there’s a reasonably good possibility that it doesn’t plan for other deployments.

For the sake of those enterprises that are struggling with this, we hope we’re wrong and are happy to discuss this further at length in the New Year. However, this is not the place for it, but it is something that will come up again — frequently — over the course of 2014.

3 Issues in 2013

Buckley’s post contains a lot of more sound advice that users and SharePoint administrators, among others, need to consider. That said, in the social and/or collaboration fest of 2013, it just doesn’t have the mass appeal of SharePoint’s new social features, Microsoft’s moves to integrate SharePoint into Yammer or the enterprise collaboration and productivity possibilities of Office 365. Indeed, in the many discussions around SharePoint over 2013 Yammer, Office 365, and Mobile took pride of place

1. Yammer

Since Microsoft snapped up Yammer in 2012, it has spent considerable time and money finding ways to get Yammer and SharePoint to work side by side. As of the end of this year, the two have still some way to go before they are completely integrated, and it is likely that much of the SharePoint social story will be around this next year.

That said, every new social release for SharePoint, or addition to Yammer, has been inspected and dissected by the industry to see where the best advantage lies.

As Chris Clark pointed out in August, while every announcement is met with a flurry of activity, there is still no practical guide on how to get the best out of the two of them together.


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