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Why AvePoint Hosted A Digital Workplace Conference in Tokyo

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It’s official. Digital Transformation is everywhere.

It’s on the title of research reports, on the agenda of company board meetings and in the national policies of countries everywhere. We all understand this is an important topic.

But the real question is, how do we do it?

No transformation will take place if we just sit down and talk about it. We must figure out what we need to do to make it happen.

And that is why AvePoint Japan, who has supported Japanese customers for the last 10 years, teamed up with SB C&S Corp. to host the Digital Workplace Conference last month.

As providers of Microsoft cloud technology, we have witnessed Japanese companies continue to challenge the status quo. As knowledge workers in Japan, we have also seen the long, unproductive working hours and disregard for work-life balance firsthand.

We all know that what Japanese companies need are actual methods, information, framework, tips, and practices to solve issues, especially as the Work Reform Law is about to be enacted starting in April 2019.

For the Digital Workplace Conference, Microsoft 365 specialists from Microsoft flew in to deliver the latest information and best practices.

As an AvePoint Senior Content Editor based in Japan, I was given this great opportunity to witness this conference unfolding with my own eyes in Tokyo. Without further ado, here are my key takeaways from #DWC2019.

Takeaway #1: We are facing the same challenge no matter where we are.

In the era of agility and cloud, companies all over the world are facing the same types of problems: the need to accelerate time-to-market, surviving the destructive forces of change, and dealing with information overload (the average enterprise knowledge worker spends 20% of their time tracking down information). Workers face similar challenges whether they’re based in Tokyo or Toronto!

After seeing the hundreds of people attending the conference to learn about the latest cloud technologies, I believe that the people of Japan understand this and are eager to learn from the best and brightest.

Looking for a summary of AvePoint's Digital Workplace Conference in Japan? Check out this post: Click To Tweet

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Takeaway #2: If you want change to happen, make people excited.

Another pleasant surprise was to see how excited people were to see the latest technologies up close and personal.

When Stella Chernyak, Senior Director of Microsoft 365, and her team showed the Microsoft Teams’ “background blur” functionality using their own mobile devices during the opening keynote, whispers of “Wow!” erupted from every corner of the conference room; some people even clapped!

Anna Chu, a Senior Product Marketing Manager with Microsoft, captured the sentiment around Office 365 adoption best when she said, “Users are not excited by technology, they are excited by what technology can help them achieve.” I believe that’s what happened during DWC2019 – people felt excited because they saw what Microsoft 365 would enable them to do.

Takeaway #3: Bots are the future!

Jace Moreno, who took the closing stage, carried this excitement through to the end. He showcased how bots and AI can extend the functionality of Microsoft Teams from his very own Teams environment! Not your plain, over-simplified, whitewashed Contoso demo here; everything came from a living, breathing environment with applicable examples. And it absolutely captivated the audience.

As he walked through how he can now book a Microsoft shuttle via a Teams chatbot, add value to his meal card balance, co-edit a blog post, share his calendar, and give a virtual high-five to awesome coworkers, I could feel the audience’s excitement build.

Then Jace showed how AI-driven bots can interact with people by asking “intelligent” questions. For example, if you book a shuttle bus, the bot asks, “are you going to go to this meeting?” and if you say yes, it will ask if you would like to review your PowerPoint deck (and then launch it)!

Many were either smiling, whispering something to each other excitedly, or taking notes as fast as possible. I could tell that their minds were rushing trying to figure out how to leverage the AI in their own organizations.

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Witness #ShiftHappens yourself – join us on June 12-13 in D.C.!

Now that AvePoint Japan showcased how to challenge the status quo and make shift happen, we would like to pass the torch off to our colleagues in North America—it’s time to continue the conversation in the US!

AvePoint has created the #ShiftHappens Conference for industry professionals to share insanely actionable strategies. Keynote presentations include experts from Microsoft, Forrester, Constellation Research and more. Customer-led sessions that showcase digital transformation from the trenches include customers such as Merck, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Mastercard, Bank of Hawaii, Oak Ridge National Laboratory & more. Now it is your turn to say “Wow!” and let AvePoint excite you with what the future holds. Learn more at shifthappenscon.com and register here!

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