This month I was lucky enough to attend the Microsoft Partner conference in Las Vegas, USA. The value of attendance depended on everyone’s goals of what they were there to achieve.
There were opportunities for networking and exploring the potential for partners to work together in order to achieve more for their customers. 3rd party vendors were there to show how they were building on Microsoft’s various platforms in order to enhance and deliver further value to organisations and industries.
Of course, Microsoft had the opportunity to reflect together with their partners on the ups and downs of the year past and share their aspirations and vision for the year ahead and beyond, to have their partners align with them.
The corporate vision of Microsoft was featured in both the global core notes and the Australian wrap-up sessions, and it got me thinking about my own personal mission and that of our company.
Microsoft celebrates ways their technology can be used creatively to improve the lives of those with personal challenges, and their examples are emotive and reach you on a personal level.
Sometimes I wonder what sort of positive impact I can make in other people’s lives and I’ve found that Microsoft’s technology, especially the cloud technology of recent years, enables me to make a difference to a lot of people and their families.
If you get a call to say your child is sick or your mum can’t pick the kids up from school as planned, you need your workplace to be understanding and flexible enough to allow you to look after your family.
Whilst your workplace may be mature enough to understand the benefit of giving you that time, they need a few assurances:
- If we allow staff to start or finish at different times, can they work remotely to get their work done?
- If staff work remotely, can their team still collaborate with them to ensure we are working efficiently and effectively?
- If company data and systems are accessible remotely, can they be considered secure or are we putting our organisation at risk with our ‘Any device, anytime, anywhere’ philosophy?
By using cloud productivity suites such as Microsoft Office 365, we can deliver solutions that answer the first two questions. Data is accessible through the cloud platform and with chat/conferencing/co-authoring capabilities, people can work remotely with their teams as well as if they were sitting side-by-side.
The 3rd question is a bit harder to give assurance to, and this is probably the most important way I can assist with unlocking the ability for staff to work flexibly. The number of cyber-attacks in Australia and in the world is on the rise, but Microsoft solutions are cost-effective to help organisations massively lower their risks.
You wouldn’t necessarily think of Microsoft as a security company, but their aim is to be #1 in that space, so their solutions have seen huge development to the point that I am a big proponent of them.
If we can assist our clients with the above 3 assurances, then the flow-on effect has been that their staff are given greater flexibility to look after themselves (be it making their sport training or mindfulness seminar on time), or their families as in my first example.
This is very personally satisfying, and I’ve defined my own personal mission:
“To use technology as an enabler for people to lead a happier and more productive work and personal life through the flexibility of access and collaboration that is safe, secure, and easy to use.”Hayden Greaves