When you think of Prague in December, it’s often Christmas markets that spring to mind — huge Christmas trees, children singing carols, local delicacies like chimney cake, mulled wine and paprika sausages. This week, however, the event at center stage was the European SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure Conference — ESPC19 for short.
After meeting in Copenhagen last year, the Microsoft community converged on Prague this time, more than 2,000 strong from not only Central Europe but as far away as Chile and Mongolia.
Microsoft places such importance on the event that the keynote was delivered by Jeff Teper, Corporate VP, Microsoft Office, OneDrive, SharePoint and Office Media Group. He and a group of colleagues made the journey from Redmond to tell the European Community what’s next for the intelligent workplace with Microsoft 365. It was exciting to see some of the great product integrations coming up that will make life so much easier for all Microsoft users.
Ease of collaboration was a key theme throughout the keynote and one that flowed into many of our conversations with delegates. No matter where they were from, it was interesting to see that the conversations were so similar — digital transformation & collaboration.
Digital transformation, it’s clear, means different things to different people. To some, it’s implementing a product to assist them with a particular challenge. To others, it’s going paperless. Some people see it as a personal project to simplify day-to-day activities. Still, others see it as an enterprise-wide undertaking.
Whatever it means to you, the first step toward successful digital transformation is to understand the challenge you’re trying to solve, and where you currently are. Only with those questions addressed should you build your digital transformation plan.
The digital transformation movement is huge, and with so many enterprises on the bandwagon, it may not surprise you to learn that some of your colleagues are on it too! Again, it’s about collaboration. Talk to your colleagues, understand what they do, what tools they have, what they are trying to solve, and see if working together will accomplish more. At the very least, you’ll have somebody to bounce your ideas off, and they may even have some tools that can aid in your goals. But start by getting clarity on what you are trying to achieve and selecting the right tool for that purpose. Just because you already own it, doesn’t mean it’s the right one.
Ryan Duguid, Nintex’s Chief of Evangelism and Advanced Technology, summed it up nicely during his ESPC session on where RPA fits into your Digital Transformation Strategy: “A hammer is for nails, and a screwdriver is for screws. You need both to build a house.”
We don’t know yet where ESPC20 will be held, but we do know that a conference this valuable should be on your list for next year! And if you haven’t been to Prague for the Christmas markets, you should probably do that too.