What Does the Future Hold? – Unity Connect Keynote

Unity Connect kicked off with a must-attend, in-depth conversation with Spencer Harbar, Scot Hillier and Dan Holme, who talked about the current state of SharePoint and Office 365. They addressed many pressing questions about what customers can expect from SharePoint 2016 and voiced their support of migrating to the Cloud.

Without further ado, we’d like to share with you what we’ve learned at the opening keynote session.

The three Microsoft experts discussed the concerns that many businesses have about moving to the Cloud, however, they emphasized that the numerous tools online and the vast information available make it beneficial to make this change. According to these experts, Office 365, which contains SharePoint, is one of the first steps towards creating a business solution that transcends tech visions we’ve had before, and it will empower us to work more efficiently.

They also suggest that being a Microsoft customer today means that we have a lot more flexibility to work with the tools we truly need. They see the Cloud as Microsoft’s ability to innovate and to serve their customers with improved solutions. They predict that businesses will no longer be able to solve their problems with the old ways, and will need to look to the new technology to spearhead positive changes and get results. If we have a well-functioning core platform –they reason – we can solely focus on running that efficiently and, ideally, the rest of our business problems will fade away. Owing to this unified platform, we can –as Mr. Harbar phrased, – “free ourselves of the shackles of outdated IT controls on what we can do.” And while the transition may hold a lot of change management pain, we do need these new methods to solve the problems we face today as individual end-users, and collectively, as businesses.

While discussing migration to the Cloud, Mr. Holme asked the audience to raise their hands if they were excited about the process. Then he asked for another show of hands, this time to see how many of us worked for businesses that were reluctant to move online. The same people raised their hands both times. To ease businesses’ worries, Harbar, Hillier, and Holme have made a compelling argument for migration: Microsoft Cloud gives us the power to pull together all of Microsoft’s tools and build an incredible, new user experience we’ve never seen before. For instance, SharePoint, Exchange, and OneNote used together can yield an enhanced and fresh user experience.

They consider SharePoint 2016 a small but significant part of the puzzle. While it won’t introduce significant end-user capabilities, it’s a step in the journey of refining tools and creating hybrid solutions with great business value. The value of SharePoint 2016 lies in its key role in the evolvement of hybrid solutions that will open up a world of opportunity by allowing us to unify our access to information from disparate sources.

The experts have concluded that we need to be ready to move to the Cloud and start planning user adoption. They argue that we need to be prepared because we can face new challenges anytime, which we could only resolve with the new technology only the Cloud offers.“Concerns about the changes hinder progress, so they need to go away,” Harbar stated. What’s important is that businesses overcome these challenges together. Because the technology is evolving so fast, organizations have to come together and rely on all their members: leaders, IT admins, and end-users.

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