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What we learned about the future of work at Microsoft Build

  • Posted on May 26, 2022
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Future of work at Microsoft Build

Collaboration was a hot topic this year at Microsoft Build, an annual event that explores the latest innovations in code and application development. And it’s no wonder. The rise of hybrid work has highlighted the importance of seamless collaboration in employee retention, satisfaction and productivity. That means rethinking how employees interact with the applications they need to perform their jobs – in other words, simplifying how work gets done.

Introducing the power of collaborative apps
One of the featured products supporting this new way of working is collaborative apps. This comprehensive stack of technologies designed to simplify your workflows by connecting your people, data and processes directly in the digital workspaces you already have, including Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365.

Why does this matter? Consider this: the average employee can only cope with using four different user interfaces before productivity declines (source: Forrester – EX Index Report 2018). Yet, in reality, they interact with an average of 88 different applications. In financial services, that number is even greater. Employees in financial service companies typically have over 100 applications in their systems. Just imagine how long it takes to get work done and the frustration that can emerge with all that clutter. This aligns with our recent research finding that 62% of organizations haven’t yet taken steps to streamline their employee experience ecosystem to help people easily access what they need.

Contextual collaboration in action
The complexity of legacy applications makes it more difficult to compete in a rapidly shifting financial services industry where many traditional approaches, products and tools are no longer as effective as they once were. New methods of trading and advising are calling for more technology-intensive operations that improve organizational and employee productivity.

The good news is that elevating the employee experience doesn’t have to be difficult. Many organizations already have the capabilities to change how they work. By linking the applications they depend on directly to the technologies they use on a daily basis, like Teams, they can create a simplified and more productive, engaging world of work.

That’s why we were excited for the opportunity at Microsoft Build to showcase our work at GLP Investment Management (GLP), a leading global asset management company. With Microsoft and Avanade, GLP is transforming its investment business to become more efficient and globally scalable so it can better serve its investors and customers through productivity and rapid access to new insights. Its technology strategy is centered around a Microsoft-first ecosystem, which shows a commitment to simplifying work for its employees. Using collaboration controls – a type of collaborative app – we helped GLP bring a multi-system, multi-stakeholder journey into a seamless workflow directly in Teams. 

“Many of our key business processes involve collaboration across many departments, regions and colleagues,” said Miao Song, global chief information officer at GLP. “When we heard about the collaboration controls, we instantly could see the opportunity for our colleagues to collaborate on key business processes and track how each stakeholder is interacting, bringing together the Microsoft tools we’ve already invested in.”

GLP, like many firms experiencing rapid growth, has several high priority business processes that are currently manual and disconnected. It saw an opportunity to drive innovation, efficiency and improved colleague collaboration. With collaborative apps, GLP aims to eliminate silos in support of a people-first workplace that inspires employees to be their best, drives improved investor experiences and delivers tangible business value.

Realize the full potential of your Microsoft technologies
As an early partner in helping organizations reconfigure how work gets done, Avanade can help you customize your collaborative experiences with collaborative apps and surface them in Microsoft Teams or wherever you access your Power Apps. Our deep relationships with many independent software vendors (ISVs) combined with our collaboration controls accelerator can help you set up new workflows faster and more efficiently so you can realize the promise and integrations of your Microsoft technologies, just like GLP.

If you missed the session at Microsoft Build, you can still check it out on demand. To learn how collaborative apps can benefit your business, please contact us via the web page or connect directly with Richard Gregory and/or Michelle Baxter on LinkedIn.

You can also check out more of our 2022 global workplace study to see how companies across industries and regions are investing in a people-first workplace experience.

Timothy Popppleton

I can understand the user friendly and usability concerns identified about using multiple interfaces. Something that was originally redressed by aligning application interface design, to at least a certain degree. What is covered here is a logical next step.

I am a skilled and experienced Technical Author, among other things. One of my concerns of the Office 365 offering, etc., that I have worked with recently, is the significant functional reduction of what is available. I understand that my experience means I use a lot more of the Office suite functions than many users and that even I may not use all of the originally provided office functions. The "apparent loss" of these functions however does complicate/ adversely impact processes I frequently use as a Technical Author. Given the number of people using these products it is likely that all of the originally Office supplied functions will be used to some degree and so will be missed. 

June 1, 2022

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