Microsoft Australia Partner Awards: Up close and personal with the Empower Your Employees Award

Technology that focuses on changing the human experience

Entries for this year’s Microsoft Australia Partner Awards are starting to come in and there is huge excitement building around the new format of the awards and the five keys areas that will be recognised this year. But the award that really speaks to me this year is The Empower Your Employees Award.

The Empower Your Employees Award focuses on one of the four pillars Microsoft has built around the theme of digital transformation namely how to boost team productivity with technology that securely supports mobile teamwork and flexible work styles.

This award recognises a Partner organisation that has embraced new ways of working by empowering its customers to work like a network by delivering a seamless experience across the familiar applications they already use, including Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Yammer, Sharepoint, Skype for Business and virtually any other application or service that empowers their customer organisations with tools that fuel collaboration and productivity, while mitigating the risks that comes with providing freedom and space to employees.

The award is particularly important to me because it’s about people. While a lot of the other awards are about technology and the impact it makes, this particular award focuses on how we as humans attain a better life because of technology, how we improve our lives through productivity, and how mobility improves our environments. To me this award is the most important because it actually impacts people’s lives.

I am a living example of this as I write this particular blog post from home today because my daughter is sick. My ability to be at home with her is based on the fact that I have the backing of the necessary technology to be able to work remotely. It is technology that enables flexibility and allows me to continue my work while taking care of my daughter, it aids my colleagues because I am virtually in the office and the fact that I am not there physically does not impact them, and of course it helps my daughter because I am right here with her. It’s a win-win situation.

But, on a larger scale, the real power of the story is how technology can help a business transform the culture of its organisation and the flow on benefit this has in helping bolster productivity. We recently saw an example in rural Victoria where a custom-built solution from a partner transformed the life of a farmer who was finding it difficult to go on holiday simply because he needed to be there tend to the paddock every day. The technical solution helped him do a lot of the work he needed to do from his mobile phone, unleashing productivity so all the farmer needed to do was look at the mobile app in the morning from whichever location he was at, then connect that to his irrigation system and map out where the watering and the tending needed to be done.

Seeing how technology can change people and their lives so they get to live experiences that were not possible before, is the highlight of what Empowering Your Employees speaks to and it is something that everyone can relate to. For this year’s award submission we are really looking forward to hearing people tell the story of the impact that empowering their employees had and how unleashing productivity had a major effect on what customers were trying to achieve as well as the culture of the organisation.

The Empower your Employee Award also recognises a Partner that has enhanced the suite of Microsoft Office-based and Microsoft Dynamics solutions through the delivery of an innovative or transformative solution that evolves the way people communicate and collaborate today while delivering a significant impact to the customer.

From a Dynamics perspective this is about helping businesses connect with their customers in a better way. Dynamics brings people, data, and processes together and provides better experiences through the knowledge it provides about the customer. The fact that it connects with the entire productivity platform means that understanding customers or gaining business insights can be something that everyone in the organisation sees, not just the people that have access to the database. This is something else that we want to see come out of this award process, stories about how partners are helping customers grow their business via Dynamics and connecting that with the productivity experience as well.

It takes a great story to win a Microsoft Australia Partner Award and the stories around businesses and lives which have changed through the empowering of employees and the use of Microsoft Office-based and Microsoft Dynamics solutions are the ones that I cannot wait to hear.

   Steven Miller | Small & Medium Business Group Director | Microsoft Australia