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So I was planning on doing a blog on SharePoint in the cloud, but I recently came across a Channel 9 video that covers the vast majority of this exact topic. How perfect!
In my previous role in EPG I had one of the largest customers I worked with purchase the latest version SharePoint and then get into the internal engineering process of rolling out this technology globally. While there was a SharePoint farm inside of the company that was being used already, that environment had never been built to scale to meet the demands of the entire company on a global scale. This customer went through the usual process of evaluating the project cost relative to their budget to get SharePoint in place. The up front capital expenditure to roll out SharePoint globally was a reasonable cost given the overall business needs, and the company had the internal technical expertise to do so. But the implementation timeframe to get the product architected, built, configured, and finally feature enabled was well beyond their expectations. The technology was just going to take too long to get to their end users and see the benefits and subsequent ROI this technology had to offer. Their solution? Well you guessed it, SharePoint in the cloud was chosen. In a matter of about 20 weeks, Microsoft can spin up SharePoint for the largest of customers, or significantly less in a multi-tenant environment. This deployment option is becoming more and more common with customers, so I suggest you look at the below video to get an in depth overview of SharePoint in the cloud.