The Garage Series for Office 365: Prague road trip and apps for Office challenge

This week the Garage Series Road Trip continues in Prague. Jeremy catches up with organizations using Office 365 in Europe. Then custom apps for Office are put to the test to help Jeremy navigate the historic city and its landmarks in record time.

After Hong Kong – where we saw the impact of multiple device usage and mobility in one of the most crowded cities on earth, hearing first hand from technology strategist and IT director Kenneth Lam from Emperor Group and CIO Gerrit Bahlman from PolyU – I set out for my next road trip in Prague.

Why Prague? It happened to be the next international stop for the Office 365 Ignite training conferences where I was presenting and as before I thought I’d take the opportunity to meet the people using Office 365 and understand their motivations for adoption.

First impressions

Even though I lived in Germany several years ago, I never visited Eastern Europe or made it to Prague. And it’s a fascinating city not the least because of its’ status as a real-life living museum with centuries of architectural history from baroque, renaissance, gothic and much more on display, but as a symbol of amazing transformation.

With the overturn of communism to commercialism over a decade and a half ago, a plethora of young businesses have emerged now ripe to expand and grow. What struck me is that despite the conservatism inherent in the region’s culture, where until recent years people kept their money at home rather than place it in a bank, there’s a thriving interest in Cloud-based productivity solutions.

Office 365

The partner ecosystem is stepping up to help customers on their journey such and energy supplier, RWE, and online betting firm, TipSport, are benefitting from the controls and the ubiquitous services of Office 365.

As many of these companies come of age, most of them smaller-to-medium-sized businesses by US standards, the need to evolve their business processes through more automated document management, collaboration and more cost effective productivity and IT solutions has grown.

Apps for Office test

Ever make it to a great city on business knowing that you only have a few hours open to take in the sights? Then check out the second half of the show as I take myself and you on a lightning tour of Prague in 6 hours using the City Tour apps for Office to plot my course. These apps were developed by my friend Richard diZerega to dynamically serve as my tour guide to get around Prague using services from Wikipedia, Bing Maps, Bing Images, and Office 365 calendaring to plan my trip route. I then use an iPhone and Windows tablet to find my way on foot and check in at each stop.

Our next international stop will be Dubai in a few weeks and on our next show we’ll cover the latest evolutions in search and discovery with Yammer and groups.

Thanks for watching and we’ll see you soon,

–Jeremy Chapman

More resources

Office Dev Center

Garage Series Video Channel

Garage Series Season 1 Blog Archive

Follow @OfficeGarage on Twitter

Office 365 Garage Series App for Windows Phone

About the Garage Series hosts

By day, Jeremy Chapman works at Microsoft, responsible for optimizing the future of Office client and service delivery as the senior deployment lead. Jeremy’s background in application compatibility, building deployment automation tools and infrastructure reference architectures has been fundamental to the prioritization of new Office enterprise features such as the latest Click-to-Run install. By night, he is a car modding fanatic and serial linguist.