Roadmap for Foundation 2016?

Christian Buckley

Christian is a 6-time Office Servers and Services MVP, internationally-recognized technology evangelist and collaboration expert, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • I agree really. Foundation has had its day, the hardware requirements get ever more extreme and I see no reason why Microsoft should give stuff away for free.
    SharePoint has moved beyond that point where it needed to give it away. Its been a good ride while it lasted.

  • I have already posted extensively on this in the Sharepoint IT Pro Yammer group but I definitely want to offer those same opinions in this forum so that those not a part of the Yammer group can weigh in.
    We use SharePoint for Enterprise Content Management and specifically transactional content management. This means our customers store hundreds of thousands or millions of documents in SharePoint. Things such as Student Records, Human Resources Records, and Accounting transactions. These customers to a fault have all told us there is no way, in the near future, they will even consider the liability of moving sensitive records like this wholesale to the cloud. They would certainly like to take advantage of cloud features for selected content and we are excited about employing hybrid environments to help them do so.
    Probably half of these customers are on SharePoint Foundation because they were not running SharePoint at all when we started helping them with their ECM needs. One of the things that helped them make the decision to use SharePoint was that they already owned it because they had paid for Windows Server licenses and SQL server licenses. In some cases these were companies that had already move to Google Docs and GMail and were actively looking for ways to move MS out of the data center. In these cases SharePoint Foundation has kept Microsoft in use at these customers and given it a very positive light.
    Many of these customers would have easily been able to add an additional $2,500 or even $5,000 per SharePoint server to their initial cost and paid for user CALs for the employees in the actual AP, HR, or Student Services departments. The problem comes in when you realize that in order to have hundreds or thousands of infrequent users of SharePoint that these companies could be looking at shelling out $50,000 or even $100,000 or more. At these price points, they will just simply choose another solution for their ECM needs or do nothing in the mid size organizations like many of the school districts we work with. The best way I have seen traditional ECM vendors handle this is with a concurrent user pricing model. An organization can buy 10 concurrent licenses and cover hundreds or even thousands of very casual or infrequent users.
    Some examples of infrequent ECM use cases.
    Vendor Invoice Approval – I have 500 employees who all need to an approve a vendor invoice maybe a few times a year on average. I have to buy 500 CALs to allow this.
    Travel Request Form – I have 1000 employees that on average submit a travel expense request form once or twice a year. I have to buy 1000 CALs to let these users do this.
    Teachers Accessing Student Records – I have 2000 teachers across my large school district that need to access student documents like old report cards maybe once or twice a month on average. You know the story by now – I have to buy 2000 CALs to give these teachers the rights to do this.
    I have confidence that Microsoft will address these ECM related business cases in the new release of MS SharePoint. If not, I think they will certainly lose consultants, ISVs, and businesses that are currently using SharePoint as a true Enterprise Content Management system.
    These are my thoughts on this topic. I hope that others will offer theirs and point out anything I have said that is not correct or that there is a solution for that I am not thinking of. Ultimately, I just want to deliver cost effective solutions to my customers.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  • I believe there are valid reasons for different entry points into any technology, and from a cost perspective, Microsoft will continue to offer different programs to diff segments, like edu and non-profits.

  • Bill, these are great examples — and I’ll certainly point Bill Baer to your comment. Of course, you could argue for a couple of your examples that forms hosted on SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 could be simplified (stripped of proprietary details) and made accessible to external users who could then fill them out and send by email, but that would not be the answer to all of what you’ve outlined. Some guidance on external user licenses at https://products.office.com/en-us/sharepoint/sharepoint-licensing-overview

  • Really appreciate you responding. I think Bill is already aware of some of these because I posted them on Yammer. Thank you also for your suggestion. We are competing with companies who have been doing nothing but ECM for 25+ years. Downloading forms and emailing them in just doesn’t stack up to what these guys offer. So while it might technically work, it is not a solution that will hold up in a competitive environment. We and other ECM software and consulting companies have been in this space since before SharePoint existed so we have a good feel for what is required to do transactional content management. I personally love what SharePoint has been able to do for organization’s ECM needs and hope that with Microsoft’s support we can continue to deliver the full range of ECM features to our customers using SharePoint.
    Thanks again,
    Bill

  • Really appreciate you responding. I think Bill is already aware of some of these because I posted them on Yammer. Thank you also for your suggestion. We are competing with companies who have been doing nothing but ECM for 25+ years. Downloading forms and emailing them in just doesn’t stack up to what these guys offer. So while it might technically work, it is not a solution that will hold up in a competitive environment. We and other ECM software and consulting companies have been in this space since before SharePoint existed so we have a good feel for what is required to do transactional content management. I personally love what SharePoint has been able to do for organization’s ECM needs and hope that with Microsoft’s support we can continue to deliver the full range of ECM features to our customers using SharePoint.
    Thanks again,
    Bill