Eat your own dog food.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit the new Headquarters of Microsoft Nederland. The building is situated at Schiphol Airport and is called ……. The Outlook.
The purpose of my visit was to discuss Microsoft's vision on Cloud Computing. I got my first surprise when I entered the building. Not the usual procedure of presenting yourself to security guards behind big desks. No you are personally welcomed by a hospitality team. Immediately I got a pleasant feeling: respected and taken care of.
Shortly my host, Account Technology Strategist Ed Houweling, arrived and took me to a nice conference room. Modern, light and with the right equipment. There we discussed Microsoft’s vision on Cloud computing. Microsoft believes strongly in a mix of “traditional” software and services from the cloud.
To prove that Microsoft really believes in what they tell you my host took me on a tour through the new Headquarters. Immediately you will notice that nobody has an own room or own desk. Not even Theo Rinsema, the General Manager. It is an open office landscape, with a variety in “spaces” and interior decorations. It is designed for People! People who collaborates with other people like their customers, prospects, colleagues, friends etc. All using of course Microsoft software.
How do they collaborate? Right, by eating their own dog food. Every employee has a laptop or tablet PC, Smartphone, headset, webcam, keyboard, mouse and smartcard. With the smartcard you enter the Office Building and the Intranet. That is it. If you need a big screen? Just plug it to your laptop. No desktops and no old fashioned telephone equipment. Use built in webcams to collaborate with your colleague anywhere in the world. Do you need to have a meeting with a group of people scattered around the world. Just use Microsoft’s Roundtable.
So more than 900 Microsoft employees, exclusive part timers, are working out of an office where room for only 700 people is. In the old building 60% of the employees had an “own” desk. This means 17 square meters per employee, with an occupancy rate of 70%. Now it is only 12! Yet the Headquarters is not crowded, space enough and a relaxed but active atmosphere.
If you really have doubts about the possibilities of collaboration software take a couple of hours out of your busy schedule and visit this remarkable collaboration office. It is not an office of the future, but an office you can use now.