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SharePoint as a Service - From Flashback to Office 365

The core concepts of SharePoint as a service are still valid today, especially with the advent of Office 365

The idea behind this solution concept is to initially deliver a SharePoint as a Service within the IT infrastructure as a foundational environment for future growth of the service.   

The objective of SharePoint as a Service solution is to provide a utility/service model-based solution that supports general collaboration, web-based document sharing/publishing, and a business solution platform to business units and employees.  The service will scale to meet the needs of the individual, team, and enterprise audiences.  In addition, the solution will be available to all users connected to the corporate network and facilitate both publishing and collaboration between teams and business units.

 deployments provide a flexible web-based solution of tools and services to help employees publish information and collaborate effectively with others. An initial service offering often focused on building off a set of requirements that are common to most users. These might include the following:

  1. Departments and Communications Coordinators need to disseminate information to the entire company via portals.
  2. Teams need to store and collaborate on shared information through team or project workspaces.
  3. Individuals need to store their personal information in a private area that is only accessible to them.
  4. Individuals want a way to share information with others based on rules they define.
  5. Individuals also want to display personal information (that describes their abilities or their organizational role).

The tools and services provided by such an offering will enable individuals and teams to:

  1. Centralize data storage.
  2. Share information.
  3. Find information easily.
  4. Access a collaborative environment over secure.

In most organizations, collaboration is essential. Individuals also want personalized information (what is relevant for them in their context or role). Key requirements for collaboration include a simple publish capability, integrated data storage, an easy-to-understand taxonomy, options for personalization, and search criteria that spans job function, business area, and multiple data stores – all available from mobile, home, or work via a secure connection.

Another benefit of the approach in its initial delivery is that it provides IT operations an opportunity to establish service and operating levels.  The run organization can use the MOF Process Model or the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) to establish operational requirements with respect to the various IT Service Management functions.  The principals of one or both of these frameworks can be used to establish process and procedures to support the initial release of a deployment

While many of these concepts may have become familiar as commercialization strategies for on-premise deployments, they are just as relevant today with Office 365 and SharePoint online, largely because weather it be site provisioning, branding, or governance, creating the systems, software, and solutions necessary to facilitate the proper and systematic delivery of collaboration sites across the enterprise has become even more critical in an environment where we are dependent on another third party service provider, even if that provider is Microsoft.