Continuing our “Top Office 365 Influencers Speak Out” series, we present our next interview with Christian Buckley, Chief Marketing Officer at Beezy and the number six ranked influencer from the 2015 Top 25 Office 365 Influencers.
In this interview, Christian discusses the state of social in the enterprise, how Microsoft is working with partners, the future of Office 365 and Microsoft and much more.
The full video can be viewed below.
What is the state of social in the enterprise?
“Most organizations are sick and tired of hearing the word social, however it has become pervasive in just about every solution being developed. It’s this ubiquitous capability that you have for communication and collaboration, a social fabric that is across every enterprise application. So as you look at what’s happening with Office 365, the Office suite and OneDrive for Business, you have this social conversation that’s happening on the side of the screen - an in context conversation about the things you’re working on. What’s evolved in the last 2-3 years is that people are not satisfied with the idea of going to a separate URL to have a social conversation about what they’re working on – it needs to happen right there in place with what they’re doing. [Without that] you have these sort of disconnected social activities that are happening across all these different tools. Microsoft talks about these different modalities of collaboration – some are more comfortable with email, some are more comfortable with the traditional ESN model, others want to do everything on their phone, others on their laptop. In the enterprise however, it needs to be a bit more organized and that’s where companies are starting to make some decisions about what they want to see and don’t want to see.”
With the freedom of choice for Microsoft partners to mix and match services for customers through the ease of the cloud, more customers are using middle ground solutions between SharePoint and Office 365. Does this ‘new’ Microsoft, give partners more freedom to test things out?
“Microsoft may not like the idea of SharePoint as a Swiss army knife. I understand their point there because that’s a hard thing to support, develop and innovate on. At the same time, there’s a lot of fear with partners about what they’ll be able to do with the platform. How do we on the outside innovate on the platform. That is all rapidly changing and people are seeing now that we can go and develop these solutions. There are a lot of ISVs and SIs – consulting partners – that are channeling their expertise in industries and channels to develop and innovate on these platforms and develop solutions for Office 365 and Office suite. I think that we really are entering a new renaissance of SharePoint. There’s more opportunities for ISVs, not less.”
You were one of the early adopters of Office 365, how has it evolved your personal work style and how you’re working with your team?
“Well there’s been a number of little things that we take for granted like sharing content externally which used to be more difficult. I used to have a Dropbox account and now I don’t even think about it. It’s in my personal OneDrive, or OneDrive for business depending on the audience if its personal or work related. It’s given us a lot of flexibility.”
Let’s look to the future: Office 365 version 2020 – what do you think is coming, or will be the trends for the next few years.
“I think we’ll see Microsoft keep producing these next-gen experiences. Microsoft is recognizing there is a lot of power in the Office Graph and Delve experiences to go and create these industry and channel specific solutions. Planner is a great example. For organizations that were looking for a light project management tool, that has been a gap for years. Project server is hardcore. Other people use Excel spreadsheets or a SharePoint list and there needed to be something in between. Maybe they venture in and start creating HR solutions or maybe they’ll leave that to the partner ecosystem. I think we’re going to see more of these common business solutions that all companies need to go and build which Microsoft will make out-of-the-box next gen portal solutions with a mobile experience included.”
Catch the full interview here: