After the fact, after the event #IBVDay16, we had a lot of time to talk about it and also to talk about the strategy we where going to implement moving forward.
It’s a good exercise to do in teams: working together, brainstorming in my opinion is one of the most important things you have to do after you organize an event like that. And after you (me, in this case) have a clearer picture on were we are heading.
The great part of IBV is People. I found very energizing the fact that we always come up with great ideas to implement in our overall strategy. And it’s not that easy, considering all the differences people have in terms of background, education, past experiences, previous jobs, etc. Sometimes you need to come up with a single solution no matter what. Because the ideas are thousands but then someone has to take the risk to go for one instead of another. The mixture of cultures we have here definitely helps this a lot but, again, one person needs to lead, decide and take actions.
Even the smallest thing can be important. Content, for example. Content is big, huge, is THE topic that drives marketing and sales. But what kind of content? Which types? Considering that people have to do their jobs on top of this, this can become an issue, or at least can become complicated. Sometimes you feel like you are floating around this amount of content that you don’t know where to start. And sometimes Content drives even the business decisions and not viceversa which is kind of weird but often true.
If you consider the huge, monumental amount of content that is out there, you need to have a Vision. And thank goodness we have one 🙂
Me and my counterpart Michael, we work everyday on this Vision. We have a clear picture on where we are heading to. Sometimes we need to “defend” our ideas, and that is normal for a Company that switched gears in a very short time-frame. We do brainstorming every single day, sometimes just for half an hour, but we are able to talk about the same things using different paths or languages (and I’m not talking about English VS Italian VS Swiss German :)). This is very reassuring to me, having the chance to confront my ideas with a person that really understands me and with whom I share the same Vision.
But, what is this Vision then? Well, of course we got some “hints” from our boss Andi who is really a visionary. But we change things, we move items a bit, we modernize them and often times we need to bring this high-level Vision into something tangible, something concrete and something we, the Company, need to work on. And this is not always easy. But we also add our shared vision, based on the different things we learnt on our paths that led us here together.
If I think about the things we want to achieve here I’m really impressed. We set ourselves a very high standard and we want to make this happen. And this doesn’t want to be an “apologia” of our ideas but rather a way for me to explain what you can encounter when you “fight” for your beliefs.
Again, the Vision. During our event we talked about the future of computing. We have this concept now of More Personal Computing which, to me, sometimes sounds like a cool keyword to use. And maybe it’s true but there’s more to that. We talk about inking, voice commands, mixed reality. How will the future of personal computing be in like 3 to 5 years? We’re going so fast every technology we embrace it becomes obsolete in no time. So, definitely you need to stay on top of these things, making sure you learn, listen and understand the markets. But you need to do a step forward, a small step and try to make your own prediction and invest in it. It is a big risk, that’s for sure, but if you want to be ahead of your competition you need to do this kind of exercise. This is, to me, the key to success.
Sometimes ideas come when you never expect and this is the beauty of it. This is because you Believe in the Company you represent, you have Passion for it, and the combination of all these things trigger new ideas. And new ideas come to action only when you have the right people in place.
I’m grateful for the opportunity I have here and I want to continue to learn and growth in this never-boring, sometimes-challenging and always-exciting path I’m in !
I finally got a chance to refresh my blog and also found some time to write something worthy and meaningful, at least for me.
I’ve been working for Microsoft for like 15 years (oh my!) and that was a really long time. I had amazing colleagues, friends, people I interacted with on a regular basis, in Italy, in Europe, in EMEA, in US, in Asia-Pacific, Worldwide.
It has been an incredible, amazing adventure to me and I’ll never forget that not only for the many things I learned there, but also for the broad network of people I had the privilege to meet and talk with. Including the Microsoft MVPs of course!
It came a time to me, few months back, to decide whether to continue this journey or put my skills and my learnings at a service to something else, something different, unique and incredibly exciting. And that actually happened when I came to Zurich, Switzerland, to visit a friend, Gian Paolo Santopaolo. Last time we met was at the MVP Global Summit, few years ago for the first time. He was showing me the Surface Hub (it had a different name at a time) and we had very pleasant conversations during those evenings in Bellevue.
With him, we drove to Zurich, specifically to Bonstetten, as he wanted to show me what he was working on, the workplace and everything surrounding it. And then, what happened completely, and positively, changed my professional life.
I met amazing people here, I had long chats with Michael, the COO of the Company, and with Andreas Gorog, the CEO. They showed me around, they introduced me to the other employees, they showed me what they were working on. In short, very enthusiastic, smart, kind and incredibly passionate people. Yes, Passion is something that keeps on driving me and I was really amazed to see what was happening there at that particular moment of time.
I gotta tell you, it was like a “snap”, something clicked on my mind and my first thought was “Yes, I want to work here!” and I was so excited about that.
After a few days I was already onboard and my journey started (and I was incredibly excited about it!).
I joined as the CDO of the Company, a Small/Medium Business specialized in customized solution, IT Security, Data Management, CRM Solutions etc. (with another Branch in Berlin, Germany). Not only that, IBV was on the point to embrace a new path and I really wanted to be part of it.
This new path has a name: a new business model. Specifically, we started working on the Microsoft Surface Hub and Microsoft HoloLens solutions. Really, REALLY exciting.
Gian was already working on it for some time, and at the same time another Microsoft MVP, and a friend, Corrado Cavalli, joined me at the same time. Later on, Livia Formisani, a Professional Content Manager and writer (and a great friend) who previously worked with me in Microsoft in the EMEA Community Team, joined us and I was really happy about that too.
Now, as I plan to share more about what we do, let me leave you with something: in less than 2 weeks, on September the 21st to be exact, we will host our first IBV event where we will showcase some of the things the Developer Team created on those two devices. I hope to see you there but if not, I’m sure we will meet somewhere else soon! 🙂
In my previous post, I talked about the Power of Communities. Now, I hope you digested this information (or you probably already knew about that) and made it yours because it opens up a world of opportunities.
As we now already covered the WHAT and the WHY, I would like to talk about the HOW, which is the most difficult part (at least for some people and some Companies as well). We all know that there are plenty of Communities out there, talking about different things: cars, travels, technology, apparel, houses, (even Banks!), you name it. And there are a myriad of articles related to this topic. I just want to give my contribution to it. And this time, I would primarily focus on the Technical Communities…
We have a lot of stuff coming up in FY13, lots of events (one above all, the Regional CEE & Italy MVP Summit during KulenDayz), Build, MVP Global Summit in US, and all the local events, MS and community events that will be held in the whole Region (and they are a lot, believe me..).
There are also lots and lots of online activities, from the forums posts to the webcasts/screencasts, from books and e-books to technical articles. Microsoft MVPs, the User Group Presidents, the Student Partners, the Regional Directors. In a word, the whole community ecosystem is already on track to deliver world-class technical activities f which thousands and thousands peers and users will benefit of.
I thought this was the best time to take some days off and make a blog post using my Windows Phone before the whole “community machine” will unleash its full power.
So now I’m taking a full break, relaxing a bit before the “unleash hell” command will be given 🙂
See you very soon!