Microsoft Elevate, the modern workplace event helping resellers elevate their customers’ businesses into productive, secure mobile environments, is coming to Auckland.
The event will showcase modern workplaces and the opportunities they present and feature case study businesses from small, medium, and large New Zealand businesses.
Elevate will be held on February 27 at the Queen’s Wharf in Auckland.
Techday spoke to Microsoft enterprise director Vanessa Sorenson about what to expect from the event.
Why Elevate? What is different about this event?
One word: application. We want to really show true applications of Modern Workplace.
This is a true show-and-tell for all our customers and partners.
We know that the technology sector is rich in hype and complication and that for even the most experienced CEO or CIO or even CTO that there is almost too much out there to grasp what is essential, what will really impact your business, what will make the crucial difference.
At Elevate, we will demonstrate, we will show, we will talk about real-life applications that will hopefully resonate with the audience.
What are some of the issues that you think CEOs are struggling with?
We know from recent IDC research that cost has returned as a major issue for the C-level.
So we want to try and detail where to place your investments, rather than shot-gunning or spreading your budgets too thin, where can you really focus, where can you sniper in and really place your money so that it has the biggest impact.
Complexity is always an issue too, so we hope to clarify as much as we can for people who are bombarded by information.
And we know the only way to simplify is to show what the technology is doing for existing customers so that other customers can cherry pick what works for them.
Cost, trust, security.
All these things remain big issues for C-level decision makers, and this event is driven by an ambition to distil all that down into strong, detailed examples.
This event should walk the walk, rather than talk the talk - although there will, of course, be lots of fascinating talks too.
What is the single thing that is a common thread in the tech sector right now?
Every business person in almost every business you can think of is in some way either racing away from, embracing or reluctantly accepting digital transformation. That is what binds all of us.
The details of the transformation may differ but we are all managing change and transformation, including, I should say, Microsoft.
I always say the reason we understand, empathise, and truly appreciate the digital transformation all our customers and partners are presently on, is for the simple reason that we as a company are also in the throes of digital transformation.
I read a piece by our own Businesses Productivity Manager, Mark Walton, the other day about the simple fact that disruption is just that, it is disruptive.
And to paraphrase his line, he basically said that the path of true disruption never runs smoothly.
We accept that, we know businesses will have bumps and need to make big decisions on this transformational journey.
And again, this event is about saying here is what matters, here is what we think you can do now, here are some hands-on examples.
We want to really debunk a lot of the noise and hopefully give people guidance.
Do you really think that the workplace has changed that much?
Absolutely it has.
The way I work today would be so alien to the way my mother or father worked. And to be frank, the way my kids work in the future will be absolutely alien to me when I am happily retired! That’s not just anecdotally, we at Microsoft run lots of surveys to check the pulse of the workplace culture and we see change every year.
Can you detail some of those changes?
Sure. Here is one super simple example.
All you need to do is consider the most important thing in any business. The people. And the workforce is about to change dramatically.
By 2020 over half the workforce will be made up of millennials, many of whom are not only digitally-savvy but expect to have access to tools that empower them at work.
Business managers will struggle to attract and retain millennial staff in businesses that have not embraced digital technologies and modern devices.
These are not good-to-haves anymore, no, these are the basics, the essential, the starting point.
You need secure, mobile access at all times.
And don’t even get me started on the impact that carefully applied Artificial Intelligence will have on all businesses in the next few years.
Elevate is a rather lofty name for a tech event.
True. But it works.
So many of us get bogged down in the weeds of day-to-day business, problems, issues.
We are all trying our best to keep up and solve things on the fly.
Elevate will give everyone a moment to pause, take a breath, to listen to some inspiring case studies from customers and partners alike, and to engage in some really strong thought leadership.
Basically, we want to try and show you some gritty, front-line, coal-face applications that anyone can implement and run with.
But we also want to sprinkle all that practical application work with a little exciting future gazing.
Can’t wait for the event? Register here to guarantee your spot.
What: Microsoft Elevate
Where: Shed 10, 89 Quay St, Queens Wharf, Auckland
When: February 27
Morning session: 8.30am to 12.30pm
Afternoon session: 1.30pm to 5.30pm