Are you using SharePoint on your website? Perhaps, in a moment of wishful thinking, you hoped you could continue doing that forever. After all, website upgrades can be challenging and time-consuming.
You may or may not be aware that Microsoft has discontinued support for the SharePoint Online “Public Website” feature. While this feature won’t be available to new customers at all, existing customers like you will only be able to use it till March 2017. So the clock is clearly ticking…
There is a clear need for migration to a better CMS with sound capabilities.
Why is good old SharePoint phasing out?
Not long ago, SharePoint seemed to be everywhere. Almost every major organization had deployed one or the other instance of SharePoint. Most of the companies were Microsoft partners and were getting the platform at dirt cheap rates (sometimes even for free). Microsoft branding definitely helped move things along.
But for all of its flexibility, SharePoint was saddled with shortcomings:
- Inability to do out-of-the box stuff like creating dynamic websites
- No built-in tools for marketing or marketing automation
- No built-in capabilities for commerce
- Inability to customize content editing experience as per business requirements or reusability of content across multiple channels
- Insufficient bulk content translation capabilities
- Absence of an across-the-enterprise omni-channel contextually-aware experience
Microsoft, itself, recognized it subtly while making the announcement:
“As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we periodically evaluate the capabilities of the service to make sure that we’re delivering the utmost value to customers. After careful consideration, we concluded that for public websites, Office 365 customers would be better served by third-party providers whose core competency is public websites. Therefore, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the SharePoint Online Public Website feature so that we can focus our efforts and investments on delivering capabilities in Office 365 that will bring more value to our customers.”
Microsoft is recommending third-party providers for both, new and old customers that offer solutions for building an online presence. Out of all the providers, Sitecore has emerged as the popular choice for a complete Web Content Management (WCM) solution.
What is great about Sitecore?
Sitecore is a complete enterprise-grade Customer Experience Management platform with a .NET foundation for hosting public websites. It has become extremely popular among Microsoft partners and customers. Few benefits of Sitecore include:
- Omni-channel automation
- Unlimited scaling
- Robust content management
- Single knowledge repository
- Contextual intelligence
- Cross channel data analysis
But, above all, what tilts the scales heavily in Sitecore’s favor is its ability to integrate completely with SharePoint.
So is it the end of road for SharePoint?
Not quite. Microsoft has recently released SharePoint 2016 version with new and improved features to keep the ball rolling. The new version promises easier collaboration, team-driven workflows and simpler publishing.
Although we’re still evaluating the impact of SharePoint’s new version, we believe that it’ll still be a niche player with a lot of catching up to do with established players like Sitecore.
But then again, every website requires a unique approach. TechAspect has been a Sitecore Gold implementation partner since 2009 with an extensive hands-on experience in creating profitable, omni-channel customer experiences. Talk to us if you’re planning to make a switch from SharePoint to Sitecore.
Interested in learning more? Here is recommended information from key partners and online communities: