Considerations for Upgrading to SharePoint 2016
SharePoint Migration Considerations
SharePoint 2016 finally addresses the issues commonly listed as reasons to avoid migration. These include a lack of mobile support (a long-felt pain with users, despite many third-party tools to bridge the gap, minimal capabilities for sharing files and collaborating with others outside of the AD organization, and drawn-out release cycles.
Among the SharePoint 2016 announcements during The Future of SharePoint event, Jeff Teper heralded three new features: a new responsive design, the release of SharePoint mobile apps and a sharing feature analogous to OneDrive for Business. SharePoint Online users will not only have access to these features first, but they are also in the best position to take advantage of the new capabilities.
Customers who are considering upgrading to SharePoint Server 2016 should first evaluate the option of migrating their entire environment to SharePoint Online.
What Might Change in Migration?
In theory, SharePoint 2016 still supports custom branding and server-side code, so none of those modifications should require changes. In practice, you have to wonder how well this will work or how long this will be the case, since SharePoint Online does not support these same customizations.
If you have a number of customizations in your current version of SharePoint, it’s possible those will have to be rewritten or you may have to transition to new tools in order to have the same functionality.
Additional Benefits to Migrating to SharePoint 2016
Better Integration With OneDrive
While Microsoft will not provide synchronization of SharePoint Online document libraries with OneDrive until the end of this year, it’s giving users access to SharePoint Online document libraries through the new SharePoint app now. That effectively provides mobile access to documents stored in SharePoint.
Users will also be able to discover and surface OneDrive documents from both OneDrive and SharePoint. Discovery means finding documents in a repository that a user does not know exists, as opposed to search, where users simply search for documents they know about. You will also be able to copy documents from OneDrive to SharePoint.
One of the most interesting new additions is the document analytics app. This will be used to surface documents in OneDrive, as well as show what those documents have been used for, who has been using them, and what their impact has been.
AvePoint and Nintex’s SharePoint 2016 Response
With something as big as SharePoint 2016 now in general availability, a lot of vendors that feed into the SharePoint ecosystem are upgrading their offerings or adding new capabilities.
AvePoint released DocAve 6 Service Pack (SP) 7, an addition to its enterprise-class infrastructure management platform for SharePoint. AvePoint helps organizations migrate to SharePoint 2016 whether its to an on-premises, cloud or hybrid environment. DocAve enables direct migration to SharePoint 2016 and Office 365/SharePoint Online from previous versions of SharePoint as well as other legacy collaboration platforms.
Enterprises moving to the cloud and using Nintex Workflow can also migrate, replicate and transform on-premises document-based workflows into Nintex Workflow for Office 365, while keeping document workflow definitions intact.
E-Signatures for SharePoint 2016
E-signature provider SIGNiX and its partner, infrastructure specialist Micro Strategies, is integrating its e-signature solution with SharePoint. The integration will seamlessly embed the s-signature solution into both SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server.
The SIGNiX and SharePoint integrated technology will be available to other Microsoft partners and consumer companies of any size looking for a complete digital workflow that offers a secure and simple way to get business documents signed online.