Hybrid Everywhere

It seems that hybrid is everywhere these days. As I write this, SPTechCon is happening in Austin http://www.sptechcon.com. Arpan Shah of Microsoft just did a keynote in which he emphasized successful hybrid scenarios in which people are unaware where documents or data are being stored. Hybrid was featured in sessions by my friends Christina Wheeler, Christian Buckley, Ben Curry, and Jason Himmelstein. Hybrid was also a theme in the “SharePoint at the Crossroads” panel which included BA Insight’s own Joel Oleson, along with other famous SharePoint experts.

At BA Insight, we’ve been working with Hybrid SharePoint for over three years and have doubled down on our investment in products that make Hybrid SharePoint more effective and successful using search. You can read about our Hybrid strategy here.

I recently finished a pair of webinars for BA Insight on “Succeeding with Hybrid SharePoint”. These were two of the most popular webinars we’ve ever done, and the surge of interest in the subject is remarkable. You can watch the recordings of these Hybrid webinars (Part 1} and {Part 2}. We are offering one-on-one consultations with organizations about their hybrid strategy.

If you want a consultation, drop me an email at jeff.fried@BAinsight.com. The sessions have convinced me more than ever that Hybrid SharePoint is not just an interesting subject – it’s in the future of nearly every organization that is building portals in SharePoint.

Unexpected Benefits of Hybrid
As I was shoveling out this morning (from the fourth snowstorm in two weeks here in Boston, which dropped a whopping 76″ of snow on us), I noticed that my Prius was easier to clean off than my wife’s conventional gas-only car. Why? It seems that the hood of my Prius doesn’t get as hot and it didn’t form as much ice from snow landing on it after we parked. That certainly wasn’t why I bought a hybrid car – it was a little unexpected benefit.

I’m also noticing that people are finding some unexpected benefits from Hybrid SharePoint. Some folks are using it as a way to collaborate more effectively with people outside their organizations – combining the ease of provisioning external accounts in Office 365 and the depth of content they have in their on-premises farms. I worked with a global company recently that reported better user experience in hybrid than with their traditional infrastructure. From most of their offices, the networking connectivity to the cloud-based portal was faster than the connection to their on-premises data center.

As I outlined in my webinars, many people think of adopting hybrid in the context of migration – it is a stepping stone to a future where everything is in the cloud. But the co-existence strategy can be very effective. You might consider maintaining a hybrid model indefinitely. That way you can continue using on-premises systems and customizations as much as you like and mix according to your needs and pace. You also maintain flexibility. I know several organizations taking the strategy of keeping their eggs in multiple baskets.  Makes me think of a recent blog that interviewed Fredrik Schmidt of accellerite on the theme that enterprises need to date clouds, not marry them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

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