3 Reasons Why Microsoft Dominates the Collaboration Game #MSAUIgnite

Post Date: 02/01/2017
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Changing the Game at Microsoft Ignite Australia

When CEO Satya Nadella took the helm at Microsoft in 2014, there was not much confidence that he could turn things around at Microsoft, which was fast becoming the next dinosaur tech company. Fast forward to 2017, who would’ve thought that not only is Microsoft the cool kid on the tech block again, but it has beat revenue expectations. This impressive feat is driven by new technology investments and the growth of Microsoft’s cloud business.

As an IT professional watching on the sidelines, a key driver of Microsoft’s transformation is their continued domination in the field of collaboration technologies. Apart from well entrenched on-premises enterprise tools, we have witnessed the successive release of many Office 365-based solutions focused on collaboration. In this post, I’ll share three reasons why Microsoft has been so successful in this market and how IT professionals at Microsoft Ignite Australia can keep up with the latest solutions for collaboration, whether it’s Office 365 Groups, Microsoft Teams, or SharePoint.

1. Embracing cross-platform and multi-generational collaboration
When I first worked in IT back in the mid-2000s deploying Office Communicator – it took a lot to configure and deploy Microsoft’s enterprise instant messaging tool. Ten years later, collaboration tools have become faster, easier, simpler, and more aligned with how people think and behave at work.

What’s more exciting is that Microsoft recognized that one size doesn’t fit all. It has introduced a wide array of communication and collaboration tools that can work on anything, anytime, and in varying situations:

  • Regardless if I am using a PC or an iPhone, I can chat with Skype for Business.
  • Need to sync files across multiple devices? No problem, OneDrive for Business to the rescue.
  • Working in a fast-paced environment and my team has an immediate deadline? Microsoft Teams can help facilitate.

2. Expanding the boundaries of information management
The evolution of collaboration has not been limited to technology. Approaches around information management have greatly changed as well.

In fact, one of my first projects in IT was a document management system where we literally spent months debating the core information architecture of the system including appropriate metadata, folder structures, and workspace templates. Yet these days, traditional concepts that once formed the backbone of decision-making for collaboration tools are being replaced with more organic ways of working. Speed, agility, and ease of use are the main focus.

Although “browsing” for documents and information is still required, people want different ways of accessing information quickly. The ability to search for information inside and outside of the workspace is becoming less of a pipe dream and more of a reality.

What Microsoft has done gracefully is to couple structured and unstructured data repositories with technologies like Yammer, Office 365 Groups, and Delve, which can understand users’ interests and surface content that is relevant. Imagine the enormous potential benefit that it provides to the business.

3. Renewed focus on innovation
When Satya Nadella was recently asked what’s the secret to Microsoft’s turnaround, he succinctly explained, “No status quo.” His focus and enforcement of the “growth mindset,” which promoted risk taking and failing fast, encouraged innovation. As a result, Microsoft has been validated by both customers and the industry as the leader in enterprise collaboration.

This sounds all great, but the bigger question is: How do I keep up as an IT professional and learn everything I need to know about the latest Microsoft technologies? The reality is that we get stuck in the day to day cycle of supporting our business, attending to escalations, and “keeping the lights on.” The desire to catch up and keep up with the latest innovations is always pushed to the back burner.

That’s why I invite you to join me at Microsoft Ignite Australia. As someone that has to keep up with the industry as part of your core job focus, it is rare that you get the time to meet with industry experts and thought leaders to engage and discuss the current trends in our industry.

At Ignite, I am excited to co-present “Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups, SharePoint, Yammer…What Should I Use, and When?” with my colleague, AvePoint Public Sector CTO Dux Raymond Sy at 9:45am on Wednesday, February 15. In this interactive session, you will gain practical guidance on finding the right tools to facilitate efficient communications and collaboration both inside and outside the walls of your organisation. We’ll also explain how to drive sustainable adoption and keep your chosen solution under control. Get ready to walk away with the ability to chart a productive and pragmatic collaboration approach that delivers immediate and lasting value to your modern workplace.

What are you waiting for? Sign up now and learn how Microsoft dominates the collaboration game. I look forward to seeing you at Ignite!

More on Microsoft Ignite Australia:

In his former role at AvePoint as Director of AvePoint Client Services, Blair worked in Australia, the United Kingdom and continental Europe in designing and implementing enterprise collaboration solutions for clients across all industry sectors. Blair has been focused specifically on SharePoint since 2007, with specific expertise in designing and implementing document management solutions for members of the banking, legal and professional services industries.

View all post by Blair H.

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