The European SharePoint Conference (ESPC) in Stockholm was full of interesting and surprising announcements. 

Microsoft confirmed, for example, what many have been thinking for a long time: There is no way that SharePoint 2016 is going to be the last on-premises version ever.

Working With SharePoint

The figures just don't stack up for moving everything to the cloud. About 60 percent of enterprises are tied to the on-premises version for the foreseeable future, and Microsoft seems to have finally accepted that.

Yes, there is huge interest in Office 365. But a lot of enterprises are either a) not prepared to give up on the massive investments they have made in SharePoint on-premises or b) move to the cloud without a lot of thought, especially now that Microsoft is making the development of hybrid environments so much easier.

One of the other big announcements from ESPC is that a second SharePoint 2016 beta will be released later this month. This one, Microsoft says, is very close to the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version due next year and will offer deeper insight into what the final version will look like.

Migrating To SharePoint

In response to this, a lot of vendors have announced upgrades or new versions of their products to work with SharePoint 2016. 

No matter what shape the new version takes, getting onto SharePoint is the first consideration for many enterprises, and there are no shortage of vendors that will help them on their way.

Just today, SharePoint and Office 365 management and migration provider Sharegate offered enterprises free migration to the beta version of SharePoint 2016.

Unveiled in the first quarter of this year, SharePoint 2016 promises to provide a better user experience. It also builds on the cloud capabilities of Office 365.  In the words of Bill Baer, a Senior Technical Product Manager and Microsoft Certified Master for SharePoint in the SharePoint product group at Microsoft, "SharePoint 2016 has been built from the cloud-up."

Sharegate is not the only vendor getting into the migration action. Just before ESPC, Metalogix told us it had already managed to achieve speeds of 50GB per hour and that in one case had pushed beyond that.

AvePoint also announced new migration capabilities before the conference with the release of DocAve Governance Automation Service Pack (SP) 6, which allows IT to involve content owners in SharePoint migrations.

It also provides users with site information across hybrid environments as well as better integration with existing business processes through the use of third-party workflows, AvePoint pointed out in a statement.  The statement claimed that the offering gives users a business-centric, role-based service catalog for provisioning, restructuring, moving or migrating content across SharePoint versions, sites and deployments.

Getting Secure

Security is another big issue for enterprises considering SharePoint.

With that in mind, Cryptzone has released a new module for its Security Sheriff product. This release adds new capabilities for encrypting, controlling and emailing sensitive SharePoint data using Microsoft Rights Management Services.

Learning Opportunities

Rights Management Services (AD RMS) is a Microsoft Windows security tool that provides persistent data protection by enforcing data access policies.

Sharing data is one of the big attractions to SharePoint, along with dynamically controlling who can access the information. Security Sheriff enhances SharePoint security by adding fine grained security to control who can access content, as well as control over how they can distribute that content both within the organization and with third parties.

Social Collaboration

Collaboration is another key issue. 

Along those lines, Beezy just announced the general release of Beezy v3. This new version provides enhanced collaboration capabilities across Office 365 and the Office suite.

Beezy also provides migration tools from competitive platforms like Jive, IBM Connections, Sitrion (formerly NewsGator) to on-premises, cloud and hybrid Microsoft environments. Beezy also received the award for Best Office 365 Solution during the European SharePoint Conference awards reception last night.

Shinydocs Compliance

Meanwhile Shinydocs just announced Shinydrive for SharePoint which it claims dramatically changes the way end users interact with the corporate SharePoint environment by improving compliance efforts.

Shinydrive turns SharePoint into a drive on your desktop while keeping all of SharePoint's core functionality, such as records management, categories and attributes and permissions.

For users, SharePoint looks and acts like a shared drive in Windows Explorer, effectively removing any need to train users or apply a change management strategy during a SharePoint deployment.  For organizations, Shinydrive helps ensure compliance using SharePoint while reducing infrastructure costs.

Digital Signatures

Finally,  DocuSign and Office 365 announced a joint initiative to accelerate the adoption of e-signatures and DTM (Digital Transaction Management) on mobile devices for business use.

While this is not surprising, it is a logical move offering the possibility of managing entire business processes electronically using data in Office 365 and signing off with DocuSign’s e-signature.

Title image by Axel Antas-Bergkvist