Julia White, General Manager, Office Division Product Management at Microsoft Corporation, explored productivity in the modern workplace during her afternoon general session.
Today, customers are shifting to the cloud to increase the pace of their businesses and become more agile. Just like we are becoming more connected in our personal lives as we use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a matter of routine, the workplace is increasingly operating like a network.
“The world of individual work in the office is a thing of the past,” White said.
In the past, information moved through organizations along organization hierarchies. As organizations scaled, hierarchies were created to make sure that the right information flowed to the right people. Today, organizations are needing to move faster, and information flows more freely across them.
Two stats that illustrate the changing pace of business:
- Of the Fortune 500 companies that existed in 1955, only 11% are still in business.
- 50 years ago, the life expectancy of a business was 75 years. Today, it’s less than 15.
How businesses are adapting
As Jack Welch puts it: if the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near. Businesses are ramping up their pace in a number of areas – collaboration, content creation, mobility, insights, and security. White continued to give examples of how Microsoft customers are adapting.
On average, it takes 12 minutes to get a virtual meeting set up and running – with tools like the Hub or Skype for Business, employees can come together faster.
In terms of content creation, email attachments are antiquated. “It’s about having an idea, sharing it quickly, getting input in realtime, and iterating very rapidly,” said White. What used to take weeks can now get done in an hour.
For mobility, it’s clear that people prefer native experiences for a number of different reasons (notifactions, integration with other apps, seamless login, etc.). Office now works natively on nearly every device, White said.
Continuing themes around insight from the morning keynote, data and personalization are key in today’s modern workplace. Cortana, Delve, advanced lead-scoring in Dynamics all help streamline the increasing amount of information employees today receive.
As information flows more freely across an organization, there are additional security risks – leaving a device behind on a bus now brings a higher risk of exposure from a personal and global security perspective. According to White, four layers of security manage this risk:
- Ensuring the right people have access to the right data and authenticate in the right way
- Enabling people to remotely wipe devices
- Managing which apps can be used for work vs personal
- Encrypting data
Life Time Fitness, Inc.
Jason Grey, Sr. Vice President and CTO of Life Time Fitness, Inc., joined White to discuss the ways that Life Time Fitness has adapted their workplace with Office 365, Yammer, Sharepoint, and Dynamics. “My favorite thing about [Microsoft Dynamics] is it integrates with the Office 365 Suite, and other tools did not do that to the same extent,” said Grey.
Steve Hanna, Vice President and CIO of Kennametal Inc., talked about onboarding 8,000 users to Office 365 in less than 2 months. Kennametal’s engineering teams use Office 365 for videoconferencing, instant messaging, and document collaboration. They also created a company intranet called the Hub where engineers, scientists and manufacturing technicians collaborate. “It’s a real game changer for us to be able to reach our 5,000 factory workers more directly,” Hanna wrote in a blog post.
Read more about how Kennametal uses Office 365 in this blog post.
Stream more sessions from Convergence 2015 live here and check back soon for on-demand recordings.