The rate of adoption for Office 365 is outpacing new on-premise installations of SharePoint, according to information management company MetaVis, which has seen record growth in its SharePoint administration, backup, migration and content manageability solutions.

“We’re seeing a couple of different types of people moving to Office 365,” said Peter Senescu, president of MetaVis. “First are small and medium-sized businesses that want to host their systems. Usually that’s e-mail driven, then they say it would be great to share files, so they start to use OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) or SharePoint.”

In the enterprise, Senescu said Microsoft ran a promotion that allowed SharePoint Server licensees to add a cloud license for US$1, which drove heavy growth in the cloud licenses. “What we’re seeing is those enterprises are just taking advantage of that licensing, to set up hybrid solutions or merely to dip their toes into the water” to see what benefits are there, he said.

Senescu noted it’s “a no-brainer” to move data and documents to the cloud, but many organizations want to back those things up locally for archiving or versioning purposes, or even if they want to access the data or documents when a Web connection fails.

The advantage of Office 365 or SharePoint Online over an on-premise server is that you get the advantages of SharePoint without needing weeks to stand up the server, or use the time of your IT administrators to maintain uptime or SLAs. “That’s what Microsoft and the other hosted solutions providers do well,” Senescu said.

“When we talk about SharePoint administration, we’re looking at things around governance, such as permissions, access to the data, whose site is most active, things like that.”

MetaVis last year secured deals to be the SharePoint migration solution for hosting providers AppRiver, and SherWeb.