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Blog | May 19, 2015

Three Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2013

Over the past two years it’s been amazing to see how many organizations are still operating with the SharePoint 2003 and 2007.  This article will address three major reasons why you should consider upgrading to SharePoint 2013 from the previous versions and how the business intelligence features such as PerformancePoint, PowerPivot, Power View, and Excel Services are greatly enhanced from previous versions of SharePoint.

Upgrade to SharePoint 2013

Introduction

Over the past two years it’s been amazing to see how many organizations are still operating with the SharePoint 2003 and 2007.  This article will address three major reasons why you should consider upgrading to SharePoint 2013 from the previous versions.

Reason 1 – SharePoint 2003 is no longer supported by Microsoft

Many people don’t realize that the 2003 version of SharePoint (including Windows SharePoint Services 2.0) is no longer supported by Microsoft.  Support for this product ended in 2013 and Microsoft has warned customers that are still operating this version of SharePoint that their environment is very much at risk since updates are no longer being released.
Some of these risks include possible security vulnerabilities, enterprise systems interoperability, browser rendition errors for content being displayed on newer browsers, and no direct upgrade path other than to SharePoint 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.


Another potential downfall of operating SharePoint 2003 is that most of these installations are housed on a Windows 2003 series operating system, which also is no longer supported by Microsoft.  The security risks for an unsupported operating systems are just as high (if not higher) as continuing to operate SharePoint 2003 without a vendor support.
As a side note…most of these SharePoint 2003 installations are also running on 32-bit operating systems such as Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2.  By comparison, most personal computers today run on a 64-bit operating system…that’s how outdated this older technology has become.

Reason 2 – SharePoint 2013 has a much better user interface than previous versions which makes user adoption much less stressful

Another reason to consider upgrading to SharePoint 2013 from previous versions of the SharePoint is the new streamlined user interface.  Although previous versions of SharePoint were relatively easy to navigate, the newer version provides many additional features and the menu is similar to Microsoft Office 2013.

Essentially, if an end user of SharePoint is familiar with Microsoft Office 2013 (or 2010), the transition to SharePoint 2013 can be easier than previous versions.  With a modern look and feel combined with many of the same icons and commands as Microsoft Office 2013, the user experience is very consistent and recognizable.  Microsoft Office 2013 also boasts of many functions and features that are also fully compatible with SharePoint 2013.  Microsoft Office 2010 will also work with SharePoint 2013, however, the feature and functionality set in the Microsoft Office 2013 is natively designed for interaction with the SharePoint 2013 (some restrictions in the architecture of Microsoft Office 2010 don’t allow for full integration with SharePoint 2013).

Three Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 User Interface – Library Menu

Three Reasons to Upgrade to SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2007 User Interface – Library Menu

Reason 3 – SharePoint 2013 is the fifth generation of SharePoint and has a more robust set of offerings for your business

Many organizations utilize SharePoint as a portal and a document repository.  However, there are other features of the SharePoint that are little known to most people. The business intelligence features such as PerformancePoint, PowerPivot, Power View, and Excel Services are greatly enhanced from previous versions of SharePoint and provide a much more robust user experience and complex analysis functionality. 


As an example, the calculations performed by Excel Services are now faster due to the new in memory calculation feature. PowerPivot and Power View are now native to SharePoint when using SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence or Enterprise editions. PerformancePoint, which has been a native feature in SharePoint since 2010 (prior to 2010, PerformancePoint was a separate product), also performs faster and is much more robust than prior versions.SharePoint 2013 also has many more mobile application features than previous versions and displays content using the industry standard HTML5 versus the use of proprietary ActiveX components that did not render well on many mobile devices.

Conclusion

SharePoint 2013 supports the business needs and the requirements of today whereas the former versions of the SharePoint are using technology that is older by more than a decade…before the days of “big data” and mobile computing.

The question is…why would you want to continue operating an environment that is no longer supported by the vendor, is a security risk, and does not render well with mobile applications? Upgrading to SharePoint 2013 is the logical and decisive way to proceed.

If you’d like to talk with Alan about SharePoint, feel free to email him at: amarkey@tricoresolutions.com