Microsoft Drives Digital Transformation

We are happy to have Microsoft as one of our main sponsors for the event. It shows that one of the biggest brands on our desktop is as devoted to Enterprise 2.0 as we are.

Historically Microsoft is a software company, providing a complete software solutions for business and home (operating systems and productivity tools, as well as many other forms of software such as games). Now they are moving into the services realm, using their software to support the service.

On a personal note; I have used Windows since 1996, when I got my first PC. As of 1998 I also worked with various Microsoft products professionally. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Microsoft for almost 20 years now. I’m a power-user, I stretch the capabilities of any OS (now also with OS X) to an absolute maximum, and when you do so, things get boggy. This, I learned, is unavoidable, install too much stuff, run too many thing at the same time, ask too much and something has got to give.

Why am I sharing this? To make the point that for over 25 years Microsoft has provided us with a platform that is asked to run anything on any machine. And that is very impressive. Do a clean Windows install on a new machine and you’ll realise how blazingly fast Windows is.

And now Microsoft’s taking our trusted office environment and redesigning it into a cloud based, up-to-date, streamlined experience.

They are offering the service of collaboration. You can create, store and share everything in the cloud, via your browser. You can do this on a small scale, one or two people, all the way up global sized companies.

And updates are done continuously. Take a look at the Office 365 Roadmap. This gives a good perspective on how much is done to make and keep Office 365 up-to-date.

Office 365

The maturity of Microsoft’s Office suit is on par with the solutions needed for businesses. The ability to access your documents anywhere and on any devices (and work on them collectively) provides a flexibility not seen before with Microsoft’s Office Suite.

Of course, working from home, via a VPN has been possible for a long time, but that required (or requires) the necessary technical support and is not very flexible. In essence, you create a second workspace. A laptop gave (and gives) you more flexibility. But, you always had the challenge of synchronising any work with others as soon as you left the office.

Now you can collaborate on a document while you’re on the go. You can reach people by various ways (other than email). You can see if they’re online and have a quick chat which can save you time and helps you get your work done faster.

With Office365 anything can be your office, and your office can be anywhere.

Delve

Changing the way we find information, or rather, the way information finds us.

According to Microsoft:

Delve is a new way to search and discover content across Office 365.

The default way of searching is entering a search term and get a list of blue links, then you hope whatever it is you seek is actually there. Delve turns that around.

Image by Microsoft

Using Office Graph all your actions (likes, documents, shares, calendars, etc.) are indexed and analysed. This way, any search you do will show only relevant items.

Also, when opening Delve, you will be presented with any number of articles (blogposts) created by colleagues. These articles are selected based on, well, everything you do within the Office environment.

Delve is powered by the Office graph. The Office graph analyses content and signals and applies machine learning, and Delve uses information from the Office graph to help people easily find back and discover relevant content across Office 365.

An excellent benefit from this is stumbling upon content you might never come across any other way.

See it as a newspaper that is delivered to your house. Most (if not all) of the content is not relevant to you. Wouldn’t it be great if you received a newspaper with tailor-made content, all relevant to you and in the proper context.

Time

One of the main problems with the Digital Transformation is the notion that it adds to the workload, that tasks and workflows are added to an already packed day. Change in and of itself is for many people hard enough, adding workload doesn’t help.

If you want to have a successful Digital Transformation, people need to see and experience the benefits of the change. With Delve this can be visualised instantly, there’s no denying the benefit of having relevant information dropped on your doorstep.

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Rogier Noort
I'm a Social Business addict coming from the technical depths of IT and rising from these dark ages, through web and social, to the enlightened field of Social Business. Also blogger, podcaster, talker and listener.