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Editor’s note: This publish is a inside a series from CollabTalk Chief executive officer Christian Buckley called “Top Concerns with Hybrid SharePoint.” Browse the other blogs within the series below: 

Hybrid SharePoint: Customizations and Branding

Probably the most important training we’ve learned in the last decade is the fact that healthy finish user adoption and engagement in your Intranet or document collaboration atmosphere has just as much related to the appear and feel from the atmosphere because the features and functionality. Just like the employees choose to operate in a clear, organized, and well-designed workspace, they need their digital environments also to be-designed as well as on-brand.

Altering the appear and feel of the atmosphere might have an instantaneous impact on finish user adoption, whether or not the new system has expanded functionality. People recognize brands – and feel and look is an integral part of enterprise collaboration.

Therefore it is not surprising to determine a few of the most powerful push-back from the proceed to the cloud originating from customers who’ve made major investments in customizing and branding their SharePoint environments. As Microsoft started their cloud push, a lot of the first feedback from customers as well as the Microsoft MVP community was around the possible lack of control of branding and personalization when relocating to the cloud, along with the insufficient support for that customizations that might have been in position for a long time.

As Office 365 has matured, so has Microsoft’s messaging around customizations and branding. Hybrid has become positioned like a path towards the cloud, along with a way to benefit from the most recent innovations while leveraging your overall on-prem infrastructure. For purchasers which have renedered huge investments in customizations and branding and wish to continue leveraging their existing infrastructure, hybrid could be the right answer.

Within the video below, I’m became a member of once more by Bill Baer (@williambaer), a Senior Technical Product Manager around the SharePoint team, once we discuss the subject of customizations and branding needs like a driver of great interest in hybrid SharePoint. Bill does a fantastic job of explaining the evolving thinking around hybrid – and also the very real challenges of organizations which have built SharePoint right into a business-critical system with customizations which are deeply embedded within core business processes.

For several years, SharePoint is a “Swiss Army knife” solution that may be included in regardless of the customer needed. However, as Microsoft has gone to live in a cloud-first, mobile-first development model, SharePoint’s positioning and messaging has moved from this definition, focusing rather on its core strengths being an intranet and document management platform – in addition to a core part of the other workloads within Office 365.

Once touted like a core strength of SharePoint, it’s extensibility encouraged many purchasers to deal with is really as an improvement platform – that is hard to scale and support inside the cloud. For instance, some vendors built full-trust solutions, but oftentimes the seller either ceases to exist, or even the solution wasn’t updated to operate inside the cloud. Hybrid is able to solve thing about this dilemma, allowing people to keep using these business-critical on-premises solutions whilst benefiting from all of the new abilities of Office 365 and also the cloud. This may be a sluggish process or moving one workload at any given time towards the cloud, or perhaps a quick procedure that replaces large portions of the present atmosphere – but customers be capable of pick the path forward which makes sense for them, and minimizes the outcome for their employees.

Microsoft can also be extending its investments within the SharePoint Framework to aid on-premises environments, with being able to build once, deploy anywhere. Organizations also can move their customizations towards the Application model, which may make each solution cloud-ready when the organization is able to begin their transition towards the cloud.

Overall, hybrid usage is rising. Based on research conducted recently, greater than a third of SharePoint environments is going to be hybrid over the following five years, driven through the complexity of existing environments, limitations because of data sovereignty, or concerns around safety measures.

Customizations from past SharePoint environments may restrict some companies motionless fully in to the cloud, since the cost and time of re-architecting solutions exceeds the near-term value the cloud provides. But because these legacy systems age, that barrier to adoption from the cloud decreases.

Whatever the underlying motivation, organizations have to better understand their choices for moving or managing SharePoint customizations inside a hybrid atmosphere. Microsoft recommends that buyers start with an exam from the content, customizations, and branding needs inside their current atmosphere. Microsoft Steps For Success includes a variety of assessment tools and removal guidelines to assist with this particular assessment.

Basically, organizations need to comprehend what’s in position today, map these to the out-of-the-box experience within SharePoint On the internet and Office 365, after which assess so what can be migrated or integrated via a hybrid platform. Way to succeed of the planning activity is getting conversations together with your finish users concerning the move, and reviewing the real impacts (and savings) of relocating to a hybrid or pure-cloud atmosphere. Ultimately, the hybrid path is definitely an option — do why is sense for the organization.

Like a leading provider of management solutions for on-prem an internet-based environments, AvePoint provides numerous solutions to help you design, deploy, and manage your hybrid SharePoint atmosphere. To assist together with your initial planning, AvePoint offers the tools needed to carry out a pre-migration discovery analysis, allowing you to identify not only your articles and SharePoint structure, but the many customizations in your atmosphere, including workflows, custom posts and views, InfoPath forms, Nintex and SharePoint Designer workflows, plus much more.

Once you’ve identified what’s running underneath the hood, you will be better ready to construct your plans for any hybrid atmosphere.

You will discover much more about the AvePoint Pre-Migration Discovery tool within this feature spotlight (PDF), or by reviewing the user guide (PDF).

The MVP blogging world is filled with articles and commentary around support (or lack thereof) of SharePoint customizations and branding. While you start your assessment, here are a few sources from AvePoint, Microsoft, and also the community that will help you inside your planning:

  • The advantages of Office 365 and File Share Integration [Blog]
  • Top Concerns with Hybrid SharePoint: Moving Customizations [Blog]
  • Content, Customizations, and style Changes: How DocAve Online Automates SharePoint Online Management [Blog]
  • Your Workplace 365 Migration Plan in Five Steps [Blog]
  • Get back Charge of SharePoint On-Premises Before Office 365 Can Make You [Gartner whitepaper]
  • Guidelines on SharePoint site Design [SharePointMaven]

The AvePoint team would like to hear your feedback about this subject, and answer any open questions. Publish the questions you have here, and myself or someone in the AvePoint team will respond. And make certain to look into the other posts in this particular series – there’s some overlap between topics, along with other sources referenced that you might also find helpful.