The Archaeology of Technology

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in Dynamics CRM Online | 0 comments

When Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft (@SatyaNadella) used this phrase in his recent Business Forward 2017 keynote (see video here) my ears pricked up and my mind engaged.  It sent me back to my first interactions with the new technological equipment that was transforming the world of administration and secretarial services that I found myself in after leaving school.  I had been trained as an audio typist on a manual typewriter with the keyboard deliberately created to slow us down whilst at the same time testing us on speed and accuracy.  Yes, it seemed a bit strange at the time too!  I worked alongside rows of other women all typing letters dictated almost entirely by men.  It seemed to be the way the world naturally was but things were changing.  We had no idea how fast though!

Electric typewriters were a badge of status then just as a super-fast, super-lightweight laptop or tablet is nowadays but in just a few years every office moved to having a word processing “work station” at which a specially trained operative (usually the same person who could use the telex machine) sat to produce specialist documents such as bills of lading or customs forms.  I trained in Locoscript, one of the many word processing languages around at the time, and in the following years Word Perfect emerged as the almost universal word processing language of choice.  This seemingly unassailable lead was to be lost to the emerging Microsoft Word for Windows heralding the beginning of the extraordinary globally successful project that Microsoft became under Bill Gates.

In that process the technology flattened the hierarchy, bosses began writing their own letters, emails did away with most of the need for them anyway, the typing pool pretty much disappeared.   Also in that process, bright people from all over the world began to head to Microsoft headquarters to bring their creativity and intelligence to bear on the creation of the new software that was changing the world.  It attracted people like the 24 year old Satya who was excited by the idea of forging connections between the various platforms and machines and using them to provide meaningful information.

The technological pathway of this equipment and the processes they brought with them, wound their, occasionally unexpected, pathways through all of our lives, leaving behind traces of business ways changed by their passing; evidence for future archaeologists and anthropologists of the seismic change they wrought on the way.

The digital transformation Satya comments upon in the attached video link continues on its way.  This year sees the launch of the latest suite of apps in the Dynamics 365 stable, their watchwords remain connectivity and meaningful data however. In this instance the functionality of NAV has been harnessed to the vital customer interaction data held in CRM.  This provides a way for small business owners to manage sales, purchasing, inventory, project management and sales using Outlook as the first port of call for information setting appointments, viewing contact and account information and of producing invoices.  All this is available on a mobile phone or tablet making it truly possible to run a business with accurate real-time information from anywhere in the world.

The implications for this in terms of, the ability to respond quickly and accurately to customer requirements or queries and thus steal a watch on your competitors and opportunity for good effects in our work life balance makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business for Financials a compelling opportunity for anyone involved in the business world.

As always we will be bringing more news to you about this as it comes in. Why not consider joining us for our inaugural podcast on June 15th at 11am?

Grab a coffee and take 20 minutes to catch up on our reasons to be cheerful, information about the benefits of partnering with us and why our CEO Ian Bourne thinks you should be buying a last minute ticket to Washington and meeting him for coffee at Inspire 2017.  Register here

We’d love feedback on this blog post, send us your stories about the Archaeology of Technology to hello@cloud2020.co.uk or tweet us at @Cloud2020

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Wendy Clifford is a writer with a longstanding interest in Technology and its impact on our lives both from a business and social sense.  She can be found listening to music (analogue, digital and in a field with a Gin and Tonic), writing and reading, or scavenging for free food from the hedgerows which she turns into jellies and jams.  Contact her via Twitter @wendyjoy1

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Microsoft Cloud CRM Partner of the Year 2016 – Finalist

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Behind The Scenes, Cloud Solutions for Business, Dynamics CRM Online | 0 comments

We’re incredibly proud to announce that we have been named as finalists for the Microsoft Cloud CRM Partner of the Year 2016 award.

The annual awards celebrate top Microsoft partners that demonstrate excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology – and we’re proud to be selected from the selection of global partners that specialists in this area.

Click Here to download the full press release and hear what it really means…

Cloud2020 Customer Relationship Management Partner of the year 2016

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Microsoft pledges ‘cloud computing for public good’

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Cloud Solutions for Business, Cloud Solutions for NonProfit, Office365 | 0 comments

 

Computing giant Microsoft has pledged to provide $1bn-worth (£700m) of cloud computing resources to organisations it deems to be working for the “public good”.

The resources will be shared out over the next three years to about 70,000 non-profits and 900 university research projects.

In simplest terms, cloud computing is the term given to storing data on the internet, rather than on a local computer.

As well as making data more easily accessible, the added promise for non-profits is that the resources will provide vast amounts of computing power that would ordinarily be out of reach for all but the biggest businesses.

In a blog post explaining the initiative, Microsoft’s chief legal officer Brad Smith wrote: “Cloud services can unlock the secrets held by data in ways that create new insights and lead to breakthroughs, not just for science and technology, but for addressing the full range of economic and social challenges and the delivery of better human services.”

The crunching of so-called “big data” is seen as a major opportunity for non-profits dealing in social issues that pose a cumbersome problem without the kind of processing power cloud computing can provide.

In that respect, Microsoft’s pledge isn’t for a tangible product, or cash, but instead access to servers and services that normal businesses would need to pay considerable fees for.

The money will also be spent on improving “last mile” internet connectivity – the hope is countries that are under connected will begin to enjoy some of the luxuries more developed internet nations have – such as broadband at home.

Tough crowd

Other companies, particularly Facebook, have pursued similar goals.

Facebook’s Internet.org project is investing in connectivity technologies – such as drones – to fill that last mile, helping what founder Mark Zuckerberg refers to as the “next billion” people to access the web.

However, initiatives such as this aren’t always so well received. Facebook’s Free Basics scheme, in which certain mobile sites were accessible for free, has caused uproar in India, where local businesses say Facebook is giving itself an unfair advantage over local competitors.

Microsoft will invariably be hit with the same accusation – that a donation over three years will be made in the hope that organisations will become ingrained in the Microsoft cloud ecosystem for many more years to come.

That said, Microsoft boss Satya Nadella has gained considerable applause for his continually expressed desire to use Microsoft’s immense size and wealth in developing countries, including his native India.

As well as being a guest of Michelle Obama at the recent State of the Union address, the 48-year-old is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, seeking to stress Microsoft’s potential to provide computing power for initiatives beyond big business.

In a blog post published on Wednesday, he wrote: “If cloud computing is one of the most important transformations of our time, how do we ensure that its benefits are universally accessible?

“What if only wealthy societies have access to the data, intelligence, analytics and insights that come from the power of mobile and cloud computing?”

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