As part of Microsoft vision of empowering individuals and organizations to achieve more, Microsoft’s Future Decoded event this week in Mumbai had a track for CHROs and an exclusive CHRO conversation that People Matters had the privilege to lead.
“Depth and breadth of business is shaping every life of our society. There is no walk of life or sector of the economy that is not affected by technology” shared Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.
Future Decoded, an event that investigates the impact of the digital revolution on social, economic and technological spheres, saw its first keynote by Anant Maheshwari, President of Microsoft India, who revealed the four pillars of the digital transformational journey for companies First, how companies are changing the way they engage with customers; second, how companies are evolving the way they empower employees with access to data and tools; third, how companies are transforming operations and value chain; and finally, how we are reimagining our products and services. All these changes are driven by access to technology that provides new opportunities to look at these business dimensions differently.
But it was the keynote by Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, that said it all - “There is no walk of life or sector of the economy that is not affected by technology.” Nadella presented his perspectives on how Microsoft’s India stack is being fuelled by innovation and gave an overview on how Microsoft is supporting “early-age start-ups that are letting cloud handle their advanced computing needs.” Earlier this week, Microsoft announced its partnership with Flipkart, where Flipkart will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform. Microsoft Azure services, built out on the public, private, or hybrid cloud offered as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) are enabling fledgling start-ups to find their path to digital transformation. Nadella mentioned how large businesses are leveraging Microsoft Technologies (from SBI to Tata Motors) and how small and medium enterprises are joining this trend as technology is becoming affordable and easier to use. One of the stark points that was shared by Nadella was how the Indian government is taking advantage of the technology opportunity, citing the example of Andhra Pradesh government that is leveraging Microsoft’s Kaizala App for its day-to-day administration and for bringing groups together.
Nadella revealed an awesome list of announcements and product launches Microsoft has brought to India in the last one year. While most of Microsoft’s innovations are rooted in local realities, delivering innovative solutions and creating value for individuals, organizations, and society is what Microsoft’s mantra is.
Here are some of Microsoft’s initiatives that are most relevant to the HR community:
Kaizala App: The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu endorsed Microsoft’s Kaizala App – a productivity tool from Microsoft Garage that helps in getting work done by tracking bills, jobs, location and includes features such as chats, tasks, groups and actions. Andhra Pradesh government officials use this app for group communication and this app is now being institutionalized for the day-to-day administration of the state. Nadella mentioned that “It is a mobile app that’s messaging oriented. Apart from AP, NITI Aayog is now using it, and many more are piloting it.” However, Nadella, while addressing the audience also stated that organizations using such messaging applications don’t have access to the data generated from them, and therefore they should be cautious as they don’t have the opportunity to control and analyze such conversations.
New functionalities in Skype that makes it more apt for HR purpose: Nadella announced Skype’s Lite version that is designed specifically for addressing Indian infrastructure constraints. Skype Lite works with low-speed Internet and is integrated with Aadhaar. It can be used for interacting for job interviews, government and other services. This will open many channels for Skype as a product, and can now be used for recruitment that requires video interviews along with identity verification. HR professionals can request Adhaar verification through Skype Lite that can verify Aadhaar data on-the-go in the form of OTPs generated. This functionality will allow recruitment teams to leverage Skype across the board as a verified video recruitment tool.
LinkedIn: the path to skills and opportunities: Nadella extensively shared the opportunities that LinkedIn has brought post Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn. He specifically referred to the role LinkedIn will play in India and across the world when it comes to upgrading skills and economic opportunities. Nadella announced LinkedIn Lite (for connecting the low connectivity zones in India); LinkedIn Starter Pack for Business (to help companies build their brand) and LinkedIn Placements (to democratize jobs for the entry level talent).
Project Sangam: Nadella stressed on the importance of empowering individuals at the bottom of the pyramid who have no or limited access to education or jobs. Project Sangam will not only train but also help people get jobs via professional networking website LinkedIn. It provides an opportunity to everybody to access skill development courses, prepare and apply for jobs. Nadella stated that “Project Sangam will be an open ecosystem where trainers can pour their content into the project and people can take the training right from “Sangam” and apply for jobs.”
Nadella concluded his keynote address by stating that digital transformation starts and stops at empowering people and organizations to achieve more. He mentioned that Microsoft is committed to innovating solutions that provide economic opportunities so that “you can go on and change the world.”