Troubleshooting in a modern Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) like SharePoint Online is not my interest. Last week I had a customer who asked to look into an out-of-the-box Search problem in SharePoint Online. When searching on the search box, SharePoint Online throws out the message below:
I’ve recently had a good short conversation with a senior developer, having worked more than 5 years in SharePoint platform. He shared with me that he found SharePoint really challenging and really wanted to master it. It’s pretty difficult for him to have deep understanding about SharePoint plus update about this emerging technology. He came to ask me my idea on what to do next to step up his experience in SharePoint development.
Asked by a colleague of mine yesterday whether there was any security checklist for SharePoint Online to improve security because recently he ran into a huge incident in IaaS cloud in which several productions virtual machines got deleted. This incident triggered an audit plan through the entirely his organization, not only IaaS cloud but also SaaS cloud.
Inspired by Microsoft, its products and technologies, my head with Tung Pham‘s one huddled together thinking about an eBook which would provide step-by-step guide to you in the Office 365 Hybrid deployment because we’ve realized the huge trend for the modern collaboration during our work today. We consider ourselves to be fortunate to have worked and discussed with number of different IT executives and CIO during the last three years before kicking off writing this eBook.
The definition of Digital Workplace may vary, but mostly aims to explain the virtual environment which comprises of tools to facilitate people at work, to increase employee engagement and to automate everything thoroughly the organization. Digital Workplace is just a different way to differentiate the computerized environment, but it also contains some significant changes on how people work in a daily basis. Having involved in number of digital workplace adoptions since 2008 with Microsoft SharePoint, I’m now realizing the road map of the maturity of such a so-called “computerized environment” or “digitalized workplace”.
The deprecation of Sandbox solution is actually not new to those who continuously keep their eyes on Microsoft, which was announced in 2014. And 2 years later in 2016, Microsoft announced that its steps to completing the removal of code-based sandbox solution in SharePoint Online. Customers who have been using code-based sandbox solution have only 30 days before existing code gets stopped. This message does contribute to the list of pain points that exists.
SharePoint is proven a platform for so many real-world no-code solutions, it still requires customization to fulfill business requirement, and to maximize investment for the platform, especially for middle and large organization. With SharePoint On-premises, the customization is flexible as you have several options in the development approach. You own your development environment to test everything you need. You control what to be patched when Microsoft releases a new update. You can rollback with your backup and recovery plan. Everything sounds well as you go. But with SharePoint Online, things are not that easy like the on-premises one. The development approach SharePoint Online supports is to go with client-side technologies. No server-side is supported. Sandbox mode with many limitations has been deprecated. You wouldn’t easily rollback your SharePoint Online site. This results to a nightmare to people who are responsible for roll-out of SharePoint Online in the whole organization.
We have heard a lot about hybrid model between SharePoint on-premises and Office 365, along with many benefits and reasons, from making the best use of your investment to on-premises to utilizing workloads running beneath cloud-based infrastructure, while meeting the requirement of data compliance regulatory. The buzzword about SharePoint hybrid today is almost Search to give end users the access to content stored in both SharePoint On-premises and Office 365. You might have heard of connecting on-premises LOB to Microsoft cloud services. But how about workflow which is an inevitable component to a successful digital workplace deployment? Yes, I mean hybrid workflow.
A bad plan or incomplete plan is often worse than no plan at all, or we have all heard that failing to plan is planning to fail. The business is being changed hoarsely by the trend of digital transformation, and the release of new technologies are out every minute making your business goes more slowly if the consideration of improvement is not proposed within your organization. However, that’s part of an innovation of technology that serves for your business. The other part is how to determine a technology that addresses to the challenge of your business and how you transform from existing technology to new modern one.
This article is to come up with top 3 reasons why Office 365 is the best choice for the legacy transformation.
Total Cost of Ownership
Operation cost for legacy system is unforeseen. The number you have to pay annually not only system maintenance but also human resource responsible for the maintenance. It’s hard to hire them. Even when you have such a resource the salary is always high. For example, with Notes system, you have to pay approximately 2000 USD per client. Hiring Notes system engineer and developers are considered a nightmare to human resource in-charge person.
Look at Office 365, it’s easy to hire an Office 365 staff to help you manage the whole including Exchange Online, SharePoint, Office 365 or so on. Office 365 developers have been come much easier to be hired since Microsoft announced the new future of Office 365 and SharePoint. There is a library called PnP offering you a ton of templates in the real-world scenario. Office 365 pricing makes people comfortable. Imagine just 25 USD/user you have almost everything in your life from Microsoft Office client, email system with no worry about downtime and fault tolerance, collaboration platform to share document and file which is accessible over the internet. More and more of what I just said Office 365 is offering you.
A Modern platform for Digital Workplace
The trend of digital transformation brings about the digital workplace need. A digital workplace becomes crucial part of your business success. In a short way of explanation, a digital workplace is an environment where your employees can complete their tasks by a set of digital tool. They can communicate and share information they have, and access to information they need regardless of where they are and devices they are using.
A legacy system does not provide a comprehensive set of tools to a successful digital workplace. Notes although offers your mail communication, collaboration software but is not considered a flexible and customizable platform. With Notes, it becomes impossible to access information you need out of your network. In case you have a business trip oversee, you can’t use your mobile devices to work on something. In a nutshell, modern information worker these days expect much more that a legacy platform can do.
With Office 365, I’m not providing biased opinion. But undeniably if you have already been familiar with Office 365, you probably know that Office 365 is offering number of different cloud services.
- Microsoft Office – your Microsoft office not only in on-premises but cloud
- Exchange Online – an email messaging
- SharePoint Online – a Collaboration platform
- Skype for Business – a unified communication
- Yammer – a private enterprise social
- Office Delve – a machine learning for collaboration at work
- OneDrive – a file share repository
- PowerBI – your actionable insight and online analytics
- Microsoft Flow – a workflow within Office 365
Read more about Office 365 here https://products.office.com/en/business/office-365-enterprise-e3-business-software
“Cloud First, Mobile First”
Not only Microsoft has “Cloud First, Mobile First” strategy but also many organizations have defined it. Since defined, legacy platform needs to be transformed in order to meet the expectation. Office 365 platform can be implemented as the consolidated enterprise information portal for all of cloud-based systems including Microsoft Azure, Dynamic CRM or external services like SalesForce, SAP. Employees can access information and data in a one-stop shop business without navigating to different applications while legacy platform is just a burden of the implementation. Enterprise Mobility Suite which also can be integrated in Office 365 emphasizes the “Cloud First, Mobile First” nowadays.