Walking a Different Path – Redux

Yesterday I wrote briefly about Colgate-Palmolive shifting to Google G-Suite:

Colgate-Palmolive needed to refresh its collaboration tools portfolio, and unlike most of its industry peers, did not embrace Office 365. A year after the migration to Google Cloud, it looks like things are still going well – the core collaboration team is happy, and so are the users.

I’m not happy with the brevity of what I said. I’m not happy with my lack of articulation about the story. So I’m going to try again.

The clients I work with now are all-in on Office 365; I don’t have any clients that have gone Google. And so I’m on the outside of the decision process at Colgate-Palmolive, although I know and know of some of the people in the video above. With the velocity that Microsoft is ramping up on Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Microsoft 365 and more, it’s very easy for an organisation to look at the general market dynamics and say “let’s flow with everyone else.” It takes a different level of gumption and decision tenacity to stand in the flow of the messaging and collaboration market and decide to step outside of that general flow and do something different.

Especially when you are a well-known global brand that gets put in front of many people first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Especially when you are a larger organisation who will get video time with any vendor you go with. And conference talk invitations. And conference keynote interview time.

Especially when, as decision makers and decision influencers, the embrace and adoption of something outside the general flow will have career-limiting impacts on you if it all goes wrong. Either immediately or within several years.

Especially when, as a consequence of making the decision to say no to Microsoft and yes to Google, you will be subjected to an ongoing barrage of sales pressure to switch and “do it properly this time.” Imagine the partying that would happen if that was to transpire.

Especially when you put yourself on the outside of the large and dynamic conferences around the world and join a much smaller group of large organisations that have gone Google.

This is the beauty of the decision process at Colgate-Palmolive, and the in-your-faceness of the video above. I applaud the courage to make a counter-flow decision, and wish the team at Colgate-Palmolive all the best. Given the focus of my work, I have nothing that I can offer to help or assist them in their Google journey, but as a fundamental principle, believe that one horse races are boring. Having more players – and strong ones at that, who are well-capitalised and enjoy strong product adoption by major brands – makes the entire segment a much more interesting place to be.

Walking a Different Path

Colgate-Palmolive needed to refresh its collaboration tools portfolio, and unlike most of its industry peers, did not embrace Office 365. A year after the migration to Google Cloud, it looks like things are still going well – the core collaboration team is happy, and so are the users.

Microsoft Build 2018 – Keynote Highlights

Microsoft Build 2018, a major conference hosted by Microsoft for its developers, was held in Seattle during the past week. CNET cut the multi-hour keynote into a 12-minute highlights reel.
– the importance of data privacy to Microsoft (as it should be)
– a partnership with DJI so that DJI drones can stream video to a laptop and have an analytics model run on the video stream to interpret what is being seen. The example shown, including a drone flown inside during the keynote, was analysing pipe work for structural defects or anomalies.
– the partnership between Microsoft and Amazon for Alexa and Cortana to work together.
– two new mixed reality applications. Microsoft Remote Assist enables a firstline worker wearing a HoloLens to share their video stream with another person, and for that other person to provide verbal instructions based on the video stream, as well as mark up annotations that highlight specific issues or areas for concern or mitigation in the video stream. The second application is called Microsoft Layout, for designing new physical spaces.

Weekend Video 09.12

Amazon gives some ideas of how Alexa could be used at the office, including scheduling meetings, ordering photocopying paper, start meetings, finding an available meeting room, finding a colleague’s desk, and more.

Weekend Reading 09.12

There are many people doing interesting work around the world. Here’s a selection of the interesting ideas I have come across this week. Find yourself a coffee or tea, pull out your digital reading device of choice, and go exploring.


  • Microsoft Teams Update for November (Anne Michels) … “Since we started to work on Microsoft Teams, our mission hasn’t changed – to create a hub for teamwork that provides people with a single place to communicate and collaborate with others so that teams can achieve more.” New capabilities for Microsoft Teams during October and November: PowerShell management, new usage reports, UK data residency option, new group chat functionalities, improved settings and notifications, and more. More

  • Alexa for Business (Jordan Crook) … “The interface is evolving. What has long been dominated by screens of all shapes and sizes is now being encroached upon by the voice. And while many companies are building voice interfaces — Apple with Siri, Google with Assistant, and Microsoft with Cortana — none are quite as dominant as Amazon has been with Alexa. At the AWS reinvent conference, Amazon announced Alexa for Business (as CNBC first reported). The new platform will let companies build out their own skills and integrations for both practical and business use cases.More

  • Flying in the Lawyers from Texas (Tanza Loudenback) … “Rent and home prices in the Bay Area are so high that one Houston-based law firm is using an alternative to hiring expensive local talent: a private jet. Patterson and Sheridan, an intellectual-property law firm headquartered in Houston, bought a nine-seat plane to shuttle its patent lawyers to clients in the Bay Area once a month.More

  • They Know (Steve Jennings) … An ode to the dark side of social media, ending with “They know more about you than you know about yourself.More

  • Dual-Screen Wallpaper (TwelveSouth) … A collection of photos for your computer wallpaper; you can get dual-screen versions too. More

Weekend Reading 02.12

There are many people doing interesting work around the world. Here’s a selection of the interesting ideas I have come across this week. Find yourself a coffee or tea, pull out your digital reading device of choice, and go exploring.

  • Making Cognitive Search Work (Martin White) … “The single major cause of poor quality search is not the incumbent technology but the lack of skilled information professionals. Historically, search vendors have been reluctant to identify the team skills needed to optimize the performance of their software in case potential customers take fright at the implications. This is certainly the case with cognitive search.More

  • LinkedIn and Office 365 (Jeremy Thake) … More on the initial integration between LinkedIn and Office 365. “…When a user opts-in to the integration, the organization cannot leverage the data, only the user can. What this means is that the organization can’t go through the users’ graph of connections i.e. internal recruiters won’t be able to connect to external people that their employees know. It also can’t start doing anything too scary, like predictive analysis on whether John Smith is looking to leave based on him connecting to employees from a competiting company or having LinkedIn message conversations with them.More

  • Updating Timesheets by Bot (Clarizen) … “Clarizen, the global leader in enterprise collaborative work management, today announced the availability of a new module for the Clarizen Bot that reduces the hours people spend every month updating their timesheets to a matter of seconds. Users can quickly and easily update their work and log their time directly in Slack.More

  • Daily Reality Check on your Checklist (Daniel Dowling) … “Do your best. If it sounds like advice from a kindergarten teacher, well, I get it. Vague goals produce vague results, right? So I thought, too. But over the past few years I’ve discovered that, when combined with a system of concrete daily goal-setting, there’s one nebulous goal that can prove a surprising punch-in-the-gut reality check, and lead to concrete results.More

Weekend Video 02.12

Air New Zealand has a bit of fun at the expense of the New Zealand accent. As a world traveller there is something magical about getting back on board an Air New Zealand plane and hearing the Kiwi accent again. But, yes, I get it that our accent is hard to understand.

My standard practice when talking to Americans, for example, is to say that my name is “Michael Saaaampson, no relation to Bart” in order to avoid it being heard as “Michael Simpson.”

Weekend Video 25.11

An overview of the new business apps in Office 365 – for small business clients.

Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings, Microsoft Invoicing, and the Office 365 Business center are now generally available as part of Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium. The new apps are rolling out to customers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.

These apps—together with Microsoft Bookings, Outlook Customer Manager, and MileIQ—bring you seven new ways to manage your customer relationships and build your business. We’re also announcing new intelligence features for MileIQ that automatically classify drives as business or personal on your behalf.

Hopefully this puts another nail in the coffin of Office 365 being just the new name for the Office productivity suite.

Weekend Reading 25.11

There are lots of other people doing interesting work around the world. Here’s a selection of the stop-and-pay-attention ideas I have come across this week. Find yourself a coffee or tea, pull out your digital reading device of choice, and go exploring.

  • More on the Uber Data Breach (Paul Smith) … “Revelations that Uber covered up a hack of its systems that led to 57 million customer and driver records being exposed has demonstrated once again the darling of the disruptor crowd cannot be trusted, and puts its commercial concerns ahead of the community it purports to serve. The news is also an early taster of the flood of stories to come in Australia next year, when companies are finally forced to disclose their own breaches, and tough new EU rules come in that could see global operators here slugged with huge fines.” More
  • How Evil is Tech? (David Brooks) … “Not long ago, tech was the coolest industry. Everybody wanted to work at Google, Facebook and Apple. But over the past year the mood has shifted. Some now believe tech is like the tobacco industry — corporations that make billions of dollars peddling a destructive addiction. Some believe it is like the N.F.L. — something millions of people love, but which everybody knows leaves a trail of human wreckage in its wake.” More
  • Electronic Flight Bag at Pegasus … “Turkish low-cost airline, Pegasus Airlines, has enjoyed dramatic savings of €135,000 per aircraft, per year thanks to its partnership with Panasonic. The relationship, which has seen Pegasus Airlines’ flight crews equipped with fully rugged Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets, coupled with Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) software, has resulted in annual savings of €11m thanks to reductions in paper, printing and copying costs as well as the crew’s ability to work in a faster, more dynamic and cost effective manner.” More / Video
  • Response to Drowning in Business and Life (Curtis McHale) … Three strategies when you feel like you are drowning in business and life: [1] get some support, [2] some exercise, and [3] just start again. “None of these ideas are magic. You’ve likely still got a bit of a road to walk until you can break out of the funk you’re in.” More

Weekend Video 18.11

Samsung pokes fun at Apple in the above, and it caused some laughing in our household. Make sure you notice the haircut at 0:52.

As a long-time iPhone user I have never stood in line on release date, have skipped generations of the phone, and yet have found it to fit well in the ecosystem of devices I use daily. Apple keeps updating the hardware on schedule, and the software frequently too; I appreciate the backwards compatibility to older devices. While the video calls out some good points of comparison in a humorous way, switching sides isn’t just about the phone, unless that’s all you use.

I won’t be buying a Note 8 (and “growing up” to use Samsung’s phrase), but full marks to Samsung for the ad.