That’s the point. It’s part of Microsoft’s (where I work) emphasis on a growth mindset since it focuses on the way you relate your sense of self to a challenge. My sense of self has risen immeasurably since taking on the challenge I can tell you and I am relishing it even more as I move forward.
The growth mindset theory popularised by Carol Dweck encompasses many aspects in addition to how you tackle challenges. One of them is the belief that your abilities can be developed, through learning for example (as long as you have a growth mindset).
The automotive industry is scrambling to transform itself in various areas: green (move to electric); smart (move to connected), etc. Much is being driven by nimble startups like Tesla, unencumbered by legacy concerns. This post focuses on two two areas that could further drive the turnaround and may be even more important because they are in white space.
That article as the title suggests, focuses on startups. I haven’t even heard of many of the companies/tools. It got me thinking they are either very early stage or niche products. I tried to make some sense and created this doodle.
I’m not saying this is the way to define the market, for the moment it was just a way to make sense of where the batch of startups in that first article fell. As you can see, I’m suggesting they are for early adopters and small companies, startups themselves probably.
The post rightfully points out the dominance of the big players like Microsoft and Google with their suites. Which led me to think about another big factor on which one could slice the market: best of breed versus suites or bundled solutions like Office 365.
These are clearly dominant players but here too its debateable where these would fit. I would say O365 predominantly with large customers and with over 200 million active users is probably in the upper right quadrant. Google’s G Suite perhaps lower down in that quadrant.
The first article linked to has done a pretty good job of slicing the market up into categories. Admittedly the focus is “private companies that rely on network-driven growth rather than enterprise sales.”
Positioning games aside, that article also mentioned a “report from Zapier on remote work which found that 74% of American knowledge workers would quit their jobs to work remotely. Since only 3% of American workers in 2017 worked from home, there’s a huge, aspirational gap between today and the future of work.” That, if it is to be believed as a driver of workplace collaboration and extrapolated to the rest of the world, says there is still huge amounts of growth to go.
This article touches on the best of breed versus suite debate and also gives a nod to startups and incumbents. But the real point of this article is it’s focus on Apps and not just the ready made ones provided by startups and incumbents alike.
This year, the number of apps per customer is up 6% from last year — 10% of our customers now use 200 apps or more to power productive, secure collaboration.
I’m pretty sure a lot of those Apps are custom built. What this points to is the increasing number of companies that are providing App development platforms. Like Microsoft’s Power Apps but more broadly Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, etc. Another interesting point from the Okta report:
App FOMO is real: More so than ever before, customers are “double-dipping” by purchasing best-of-breed apps in addition to bundles. 78% of Okta’s Office 365 customers have adopted one or more best-of-breed apps with the same functionality as the Office 365 suite, up from 76% last year. When it comes to the trade-off between a centralized provider and individual solutions, functionality, ease of use, and employee needs come first.
I’ve just come off a week of successfully helping a customer run a Microsoft Teams Live Event for an annual event they run. The nature of the event they ran last week was to showcase innovation by the IT department to the rest of the organisation. This was the 5th such event being run in as many years.
This specific event was actually part of a broader effort. It was a test of the Microsoft Teams Live Events function ahead of further potential use. The context was an executive sponsorship program with the CIO as a lead executive from the customer.
We had started this executive program a few months previously. This included senior executive involvement from Microsoft to match the customer executive and provide mentorship based on Microsoft’s success with related activities.
The Executive Sponsorship program was itself a subset of the customers Digital Workplace program. The purpose of the Executive Sponsorship program is to connect executives with employees and to help drive the culture change needed for the new Digital Workplace program to succeed.
Supporting the innovation event by live streaming key elements of it was seen as a good test case for use of new technologies. It could also broadly be seen to be a test of the following:
A learning exercise through the sharing, discussion and recording of innovative or new work to a broader audience. Microsoft always live stream key events such as Ignite and Ready where we talk about new releases, strategies and messaging – see Ignite on demand sessions for example.
In most ways I would say the customer nailed it and these broad objectives. There were some exceptions. Not because they were tried and failed but because they were omitted on this occassion.
For instance, the event was successfully live streamed but there was no discussion or interaction during the live stream. This was consciously left out only because it would have added an element of complexity which would be better handled at a later stage of proficiency. Once again, at Microsoft this is a key component of our Live Events and broader efforts at culture change (see part way down this article): How Microsoft Builds a Sense of Community Among 144,000 Employees.
We had superb feedback from many of the employees and participants. The next stage is to consider doing an all company live event with the CEO engaging with employees.
1. Professional broadcasting equipment and capability. We used a Microsoft partner, Comworks, who brought their own equipment and they most definitely brought some hard core capability. The capability was both from a Microsoft Live Event point of view (the actual running of the event using the tool) as well as filming. These are both important especially the latter when you consider quality of the footage (video and audio) and wanting to use the recorded footage for other purposes as we did. You can run a Live Event with just a PC and its limited video and audio capability – it just depends on the purpose of the event.
Important to note: include a test event before the first real live event as we did. We ran into some administrative/permission issues which were quickly resolved. And in terms of availability to users who may not have access to Microsoft Teams or any of the other tool interfaces, you can run a public event as we did to overcome that (more here).
3. Important supporting technology: Hive Streaming. The customer partnered and integrated Hive Streaming technology to scale and offer frictionless video delivery and end-user experience.
Hive Streaming offers a unified SaaS solution for Live, VoD, testing with advanced reporting and analytics such as Hive Insights and Hive VI engagement index capabilities with network offload up to 99%. Some generic screenshots from them below
4. A good agenda for the live streaming part of an event. A pretty obvious point for any event. Here I make it specifically in relation to events that are happening in a physical location and only part of that is being live streamed as we did. There is a limit to the duration of Microsoft’s Live Events to be aware of (4 hours) when there is an all day event.
But I am speaking more about what part will be of interest to viewers and how live streaming will make that come alive for them. For instance, in my event last week there was an opening ceremony with short speeches from the CIO and other executives and then immediately a dive into interviews and demo’s of the main innovations being showcased. At the end there was a wrap up session. This was live streamed and included brief interviews of the main innovators in terms of the feedback they received from visitors and executives.
5. Cost saving
By this I mean can you establish whether something like Live Events from Microsoft can save you money. This applies to the software part especially. If you are paying for O365 already, of which Live Events is a part, then you can avoid costly expenses from using third party software that non Microsoft partners may be using to help run your live events. Check out licensing requirements here if interested. This was the case in my customer example.
Hoping this was of value. I may add to this over time as I plan more such activities with customers. Hit me up with a comment if you have any queries.
This is based on the thinking of someone who has extensive experience working with startups, investing in them really, in her role at Goldman Sachs. Here is her Ted talk on the subject.
AQ is not just the capacity to absorb new information, but the ability to work out what is relevant, to unlearn obsolete knowledge, overcome challenges, and to make a conscious effort to change. AQ involves flexibility, curiosity, courage, resilience and problem-solving skills too.
My interest is in how lessons learned working with startup founders on what is likely to make them successful can be applied to work and career management. This is the essence of the BBC article. It’s especially relevant in the work I do with customers in Digital Transformation, with concepts like tech intensity that speeds up the need for change and adaptability which I wrote about here: Tech Intensity and the Adaptive Organisation.
So compelling is this interest that I wrote an eBook and trend report about it (more here: Startup Innovation) and write many posts like this one under the category with the same title. My premise and that of many others is that large traditional and incumbent organisations (and the employees in them) would do well to emulate startups in many ways and innovate like them.
I have written about it before in the context of agility and speed as it is implicit in all the technology adoption work I do, indeed in Tech Intensity: Agile in nature not just by name.
In that last post I wrote in the video there was a graphic which is similar to the one above but in this one I wanted to simplify and call out the role of IT specifically.
Essentially the graphics main statement is as follows:
The pace of technology change which is exponential will never be matched by slower moving logarithmic organisations. But everyone in the organisation, especially IT departments who’s traditional role is to manage technology adoption, need to get behind technology adoption that strives to narrow the gap to at worst, remain competitive. At best, adaptive organisations close the gap and compete better.
I’m calling the role of IT out because of the two different kinds of IT organisations and mindsets I often encounter in my work. Those that inhibit and those that enable. Here are some differences between the two:
See themselves as the only arbiters of technology decision making and adoption.
Under the pretext of IT governance, everything is locked down.
See business / user technology decision making as an existential threat to their roles.
Think the technology adoption cycle still works in months and years.
Act with vendors as gatekeepers to the business and users.
Believe that value outcomes should be measured in IT terms.
Understand that the business and users are who ultimately should inform decision making.
Have a strong governance program in place that is flexible.
Understand that enabling the business and users in decision making is a valuable role.
Understand tech intensity and that speed of adoption now works in weeks.
Work closely with vendors to empower and educate business and users.
Believe that value outcomes can only be measured in business terms.
I decided to take that a little further and extend that into how Microsoft Teams which I am currently using heavily at work (in my work and in supporting customers to use it successfully) can be used. Here is the result below:
Not sure I’ve quite nailed it yet. So in the working out loud spirit, if you have any feedback that you think would make this better, please let me have it 🙏 😆
PS: the definition of Hell in the featured image is mine and I’ve created an entry on Urban Dictionary for a laugh – vote for it if you agree (but mostly for some irreverent fun😜 ). Find the entry from here.
Ready is an annual employee focused event run by Microsoft and Inspire is partner focused. We generally run them in July and present some really cool demos and content and so here is some public facing material I can share and my favourites from a bunch.
Notice in the case of the Teams in the Classroom demo, how rich the scenario is in terms of the technology being put to use to achieve really useful outcomes for the lecturer and students. And don’t let the Classrooms in the title put you off, this shows how Teams can be used to drive learning in any organisation. Its a great example of the approach described in this previous post: Beyond technology adoption – business scenarios with Microsoft Teams.
As the title of this post suggests, this is a very quick thought on the state of enterprise collaboration, mostly captured in the form of a DanelDoodle – the one above. Some added thoughts/considerations:
In my view, each new phase supplements the last, not replaces and all products and forms of activity still exist and have a place today. But there is a natural, progressive emphasis.
There are many other products, I have just highlighted the major ones, no offence to the ones I left out 😁
The penetration & value axis is wildly subjective and not intended to be accurate. Also because it conflates two characteristics it will be difficult to judge accurately. It’s just a stab at plotting what’s important.
I work in a field that frequently deals with changing the culture of work through managed change engagements. They are most often aligned to new technology adoption or digital transformation efforts. In all this work, the typical influencers present themselves: people, technology and process.
I’m exploring the first two in this post and assuming people as being synonymous with culture. Mindset is a relatively new component I also delve into. This is an essay capturing recent observations on the changing influence of all these elements. You may get more questions than answers ;)