Microsoft Office 2010 + SharePoint 2010 Launch Event – The Future of Productivity

Wednesday I was fortunate to be invited to the local Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 launch event in the Netherlands. As you can read in the press release “Microsoft Delivers the Future of Productivity With Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010“:

“Microsoft announced the worldwide availability of Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010, as well as Microsoft Visio 2010 and Microsoft Project 2010, for business customers worldwide.”

This has two implications: (1) the consumer launch and -availability will be later this year, and (2) Microsoft Visio 2010 and Microsoft Project 2010 are launched as well today, in addition to Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. Due to my background in business administration these are both applications I use often, and I’m happy to see that with the 2010 release of Microsoft Office, -SharePoint, -Visio and -Project, the ribbon is available troughout the Microsoft Office Suite.


Introducing Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 within “the smart working better living” framework

The local Microsoft Office 2010 + SharePoint 2010 launch event starts with a presentation that briefly introduces the new products within the boundaries of “smart working better living” framework, which consist of three components:

  1. Technology;
  2. People;
  3. Physical (location);

With the announcement of Microsoft Office 2010 + SharePoint 2010 the technology component is refreshed within the framework (that however has underlying relations with the other components). If you have watched the keynote you will hear Wolfje van Dijk, Strategist of KPN /Getronics refer to this framework as well.

The introduction to Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 furthermore addresses the underlying reasoning  and background information on devlivering the best productivity suite available on the market. These items are also part of the keynote below, and you will furthermore see some the productivity improvements demo-ed !

Stephen Elop, President, Microsoft Business Division, launches Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 in New York

The second part of the launch-event was following live the Microsoft 2010 and SharePoint 2010 launch keynote with Stephen Elop, President, Microsoft Business Division. Very nice to see Wolfje van Dijk, Strategist of the Dutch company KPN/Getronics kicking of the Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 product launch by telling the story of KPN/Getronics.

Steve Ballmer explained the Microsoft Ecosystem, the vision of Microsoft and The New Efficiency, during the keynote at TechNet_Live in the Netherlands last year, when Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 were announced! In the introductary story of Wolfje van Dijk, Strategist of KPN / Getronics, you could hear that the new efficiency reasoning underlies their decision to roll out Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.

Microsoft Office 2010 – Numbers, Math & Financials

An interesting part of the Microsoft Office 2010 launch that matters from a business perspective is some of the math and financials. At first however I would like to look back at some impressive numbers of the Microsoft Office 2010 beta program:

Microsoft’s Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 beta programs were the largest ever, with three times the number of participants compared with the Office 2007 beta program. As a result, 8.6 million people are already using Office 2010 and related products. In addition, more than 1,000 partners are already building solutions for the 2010 set of products.”

As part of the Microsoft Office 2010 beta programs you could sent feedback to Microsoft about improvements you wanted to see in their software. With 8.6 milion people already using Microsoft Office 2010 products you have a nice pool to user crowdsourcing techniques to improve your products.

Lets continue with the math and financials, that show similar calculations on for example return on investment (=ROI) like in The New Efficiency approach during the launch of Windows 7. Remark that the case study in the Windows 7 scenario was also from Getronics. The Microsoft Office 2010 productivity and efficiency improvements have been research by Forrester Consulting:

“A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, “The Total Economic Impact™ of Implementing Microsoft’s Integrated Office Productivity Platform,” May 2010,1 evaluated the 2010 releases of Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Office Communications Server 2007 R2. The Forrester TEI model employs four fundamental elements including costs, benefits to the entire organization, flexibility and risk. Based on the customer interviews, Forrester constructed a TEI framework for a composite organization and found the ROI to be 301 percent with a payback period of 7.4 months after deployment. The study also found that the composite organization would see more than $13 million in savings over a three-year period and on average, a savings of more than two work weeks per year.”

The payback period of about 7 months is impressive in the current competitive landscape. I wonder however if this the optimum result or the average result of a few case studies. The latter approach would provide a more realistic result in my honest opinion.

In this context I would furthermore like to recommend the Mary-Jo Foley article “Forrester: Google still a distant Office competitor” on the All About Microsoft ZDNet Blog, that provides some additional Forrester consulting insights and compares Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

Stories of Microsoft Partners implementing Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010

Stephen Elop, President of Microsoft Business Division, discusses the stories of a few close partners from all over the world, who already implemented Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 in their enterprises.

  • Wolfje van Dijk, Strategist, KPN / Getronics;
  • Stephen Wilson, Chief Information Officer, NSW Department of Education & Training;
  • David Glenn, Director Enterprise Operations, Del Monte Foods;
  • Mark Mastrianni, Manager Global Technology Aquisition & Licensing, General Electric;

I think this is a great approach to share real life practical stories, as a significant part of a product launch keynote. Especially since Microsoft Office is one of the company’s bestselling products. Very cool to see a great role of a Dutch company KPN/Getronics in here.

Microsoft Office 2010 Demotime with Chris Caposella, Sr. Vice President, Microsoft Business Division

Chris Caposella, Sr. Vice President, Microsoft Business Division, provides an excellent 20 minute demo that shows some of the new features and capabilities of Microsoft Office 2010, across the three-screens-and-the-cloud.

A.  Microsoft Outlook 2010

  • Preview pane of your calendar, when a meeting request is sent to you;
  • Someone can leave a voicemail to your inbox in Microsoft Outlook 2010, based on the great updates for Windows Phone in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010;
  • Conversation view, gives you the ability to manage conversations in-stead of e-mails. The clean-up feature lets you easily delete the non-unique e-mails in conversations, providing focus on the information that matters;
  • Quicksteps, reply with a meeting gives the ability to set-up a meeting with all people in a conversation with one single click;
  • Mailtips, provide really helpfull information about the receivers or distribution lists before you have sent an e-mail. Via the mailtips it is really easy to change these items;
  • Outlook Social Connector for Microsoft Outlook 2010, transforms Outlook 2010 into a social hub and connects with networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, or SharePoint inside the enterprise;

B.  Microsoft SharePoint 2010

  • Sharepoint 2010, better work together via the social network inside the firewall of the enterprise, improved search scenarios on Sharepoint 2010, enhaced viewers inside the browser;
  • SharePoint Workspace is the new name for Microsoft Groove and provides “offline use” of SharePoint data on your computer;

C.  Microsoft Excel 2010

  • Sparklines in Excel 2010, give you the ability to create an in-cell-chart of specific data and avoides complex and hard to interpret graphs;
  • Powerpivot in Excel 2010, facilitates easy sorting and filtering of huge datasets in mermory, that give instant results !
  • Slicers in Excel 2010, create a visual dashboard of your powerpivot dataset and graph. You can easily user the slicers as filter, with instant updates of the powerpivot chart;

D.  Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

  • Use of rich media like video in PowerPoint 2010 becomes really easy. Editting is really easy, without the need of third-party tools;
  • Broadcast slideshows directly from within PowerPoint 2010, to easily share your slideshows online no matter if you use a browser, a pc or a Windows Phone with real-time updates across the three-screens-and-a-cloud;

E.  Microsoft Office 2010 Webapps

  • Backstage view in Microsoft Office 2010, gives you enhanced capabilities for the file you are using and let’s you easily share, publish or print the specific file and even “purge” high definition video’s into a lower quality version that saves data;
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Webapps provide enhanced Microsoft Office 2010 capabilities inside the browser with the same consistent interface and functions;

F.  Microsoft Office 2010 on Windows Phone

While I used the Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus-, Microsoft Visio 2010- and Microsoft Project 2010 beta on my desktop and reviewed the Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 beta application for Windows Mobile 6.5 there are quite some features that I haven’t used yet. The demo-ed new features in Microsoft Excel 2010 like the Sparklines, Powerpivot and Slicers are simply brilliant improvements. I’m looking forward to the final version Microsoft Office 2010 Webapps as well, in addition to the recently announced Microsoft Docs for Facebook.

Concluding thoughts and wrap-up

It is not a big surprise that Microsoft Office is one of the best selling products in the Microsoft product portfolio. Microsoft has pushed a lot of new productivity and efficiency features into the new product design of  Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Visio 2010 and Microsoft Project 2010.

Furthermore you can see the awesome results of the three-screens-and-a-cloud-strategy that directs Microsoft, specifically taylored to the Microsoft Office productivity- and efficiency scenario’s.

I think these quotes clearly show the commitment and strategic goals of the Microsoft Business Division. I personally like the consistent user interface across the three-screens, for example with the introduction of the ribbon in Microsoft Visio 2010 and Microsoft Project 2010.

Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile 6.5 and … Symbian S60, MeeGo ?

As a Windows Phone enthusiast I’m really looking forward to experience the Microsoft Office 2010 Mobile applications in the Office Hub on Windows Phone 7. I have already updated my Windows Phones (HTC HD2 and HTC Snap) to the Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 applications, that really foster huge improvements over the past mobile versions.

Who of you remembers “Microsoft and Nokia form Global Alliance for Mobile Productivity Solutions” last year. I’m really curious to ind out if some of the Microsoft Office 2010 goodness will find its way on Nokia devices as well (in addition to Windows Phone). Nokia still ships an impressive ammount of phones, so I personally would expect such a strategic move within the Microsoft Office 2010 context, however this is pure speculation from my side.

SharePoint – Opportunities for the Ecosystem

I haven’t taken a deep-dive into the technology part of SharePoint, however I can understand the great business opportunities for the Microsoft Ecosystem that are supported with some impressive financial numbers.

“The SharePoint integration services opportunity for Microsoft partners and developers today is $5.6 billion and is expected to grow to $6.7 billion in 2011, according to Microsoft data.”

It is really a no brainer to see how Microsoft invests in new developments that drive the IT ecosystem and indirectly become the driver of economic growth, like you could see Steve Ballmer back-up with hard numbers during the TechNet_Live keynote.

Finally I don’t visit the headquarters of Microsoft Netherlands that often, so it was great to be there, experience the corporate culture, and most important I have met some awesome, creative and committed employees from different parts of the Microsoft organization. I would like to thank Microsoft Netherlands for inviting me to the Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 launch event.

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