The world of work as we know it has changed. Do you remember talking about ‘going to work’ as if it were a physical place? We now have the ability to work anytime and anywhere. In my role, I’m always on the go whether it’s moving between buildings on our Redmond campus or visiting customers and partners around the world. I’m rarely in my office and in fact, no longer have a desk, desktop monitor or keyboard. I have a long conference table for in person meetings, a large screen on the wall, a Microsoft RoundTable videoconferencing system that allows me to hold or extend meetings virtually with participants around the world via our Lync technology. Lync and Skype has changed the way I connect at work and my personal life. I no longer have to travel across the world to have a meeting with my global teams and when I’m travelling I can Skype with my family to stay in touch. It’s critical for me to be able to move seamlessly between locations and devices—whether I’m on my Windows 8 slate in meetings or on my Windows Phone while travelling, I need the same consistent user experience and access to information wherever I am.
I have a personal goal this year to ‘go paperless’ and embrace a truly digital lifestyle. Going paperless is not just about doing what is right for the environment. It is also about becoming more efficient and productive. I’ve made good progress and my teams now know to not bring print outs to our meetings—we project content from our devices or share through Lync. I also have my executive support team using OneNote and SkyDrive to post all of my pre-read materials instead of printing them or sending via email. I’m able to access everything I need from any device because it is all in the cloud—and it is all secure. My information and content is available when and where I need it and I’m able to share anything I need quickly and easily with my team. I take all of my notes in OneNote and send out summaries and actions within minutes of a meeting. I encourage you to read our recently published whitepaper "Digitizing the Executive Suite" to learn how you have the opportunity to change the way that you ‘go to work’.
Just recently, I was at the airport getting ready to travel to the Latin American CIO Forum in Miami. I was able to finish up a Lync call with an important partner from my Windows Phone while waiting to board. Upon boarding, I connected my Windows 8 slate to plane’s WiFi and talked with the partner account team to discuss the action items from the meeting. I was able to continue to get additional activities done on the flight such as reviewing sales data for the quarter and providing commentary back to the finance team. I accessed and edited the document from our SkyDrive Pro folder and sent the team an email saying my feedback was available. At Microsoft, we have embraced our DirectAccess technology which provides me with access to corporate network resources from anywhere. My experience of being on the plane’s WiFi is the same as sitting in my office as I am accessing the same set of corporate resources. The recent launch of Windows 8 only makes the current range of mobility options and functionality better. I've been on Windows 8 for a number of months now and love the live tiles and the consistent seamless experience across my devices. I have more choice. I don’t have to sacrifice form factor for access to data or functionality. The type of information that I need to access on a daily basis is highly confidential, business critical data yet I can access it from any device in a secure and managed environment. A Windows 8 slate that runs bit locker can join a corporate domain just like a PC.
- A financial services company in Turkey wanted to go mobile to lower response times and improve customer and employee satisfaction. They needed a cost effective, user friendly solution that would work with the company’s existing IT infrastructure that would support the company’s Bring Your Own Device strategy. By enabling Microsoft ActiveSync for the Microsoft Exchange infrastructure and extending Exchange to mobile phones they were able to cut costs and boost employee satisfaction. Employees were able to access email, calendar, contacts and real time information to accelerate and enhance operational day to day communications and decisions—which has provided the company with significant productivity improvement.
- To allow employees relying on their mobile devices to stay productive while away from the office and wanting to securely access data and documents from anywhere, an information services company in the United States created a mobile version of a mission critical desktop application that provided content-enabled workflow solutions. The company balanced infrastructure efficiency so users of the app wouldn’t have to invest in additional hardware while providing access control and encryption functionality. They chose Windows Azure to deliver the new application because of the on-demand scalability and the cost–efficiency it provides. It also provided a set of familiar tools to manage the development lifecycle and get the application to market faster.
You too can change the way you go to work! Talk with your account team about upgrading to Windows 8 and learn how it can help you achieve your business goals. Test out the new Office with SkyDrive Pro and see how you can start doing business anytime, anywhere. And as always share your stories with me about your experience or how I can help.