Tag Archives: joined

Businesses slow to embrace products like Samsung Flip board

Samsung has joined Cisco, Google and Microsoft in a digital whiteboard market that has attracted the interest, but not yet the wallets, of companies.

The Korean tech giant launched its Flip interactive display this week at the CES technology conference in Las Vegas. Scheduled for release this month, the Samsung Flip board will sell for $2,699, which is considerably less than competing products from the major vendors but higher than technology offered by smaller manufacturers.

The Flip has a 55-inch, 4K display that lets users annotate content using their fingers or stylus. The device has USB ports and a wireless connection for PCs and mobile devices. The latter lets remote workers view the Flip display.

Today, education, professional sports and media and entertainment account for a significant portion of whiteboard sales. Manufacturers are banking on businesses and government to grow the market.

To date, however, enterprises haven’t embraced the technology. A 2017 survey by Nemertes Research found only 23% of companies using interactive whiteboards and 47% evaluating them. Deployments have been limited mostly to workgroups focused on marketing, content development, engineering, application development and product management. Those groups find electronic whiteboards useful in brainstorming sessions.

“We don’t yet see them as a must-have in every conference room,” Nemertes analyst Irwin Lazar said. “Buyers are still struggling with the business case for whiteboards.”

Samsung Flip
The Samsung Flip can configure to horizontal or vertical orientations and features multiuser annotation.

Samsung Flip board pricing

Samsung’s product costs considerably less than similar size whiteboards from Cisco, Google and Microsoft. But those devices, which range from $5000 to $9000, offer more capabilities, including video conferencing and integration with the vendor’s collaboration software.

Independent analyst Dave Michels believes products that combine video and an interactive whiteboard will be more attractive to enterprises over time than whiteboard-only products. “Every room needs an HDMI display anyway,” Michels said. “Board-only solutions were probably obsolete before they found their way.”

But Lazar sees a “pretty good market” for whiteboards with fewer capabilities than those from the major vendors. Enterprises interested in those products have turned to vendors like Bluescape, DisplayNote, InFocus and Newline Interactive.

In general, those vendors offer whiteboard products that are less expensive than the Samsung Flip board, so the company will likely find it difficult to grab market share. “Given the higher price, and Samsung’s relative newness in the enterprise [whiteboard] market, I think they’ll have a difficult time competing with the other vendors,” Lazar said.

Researchers use AI to improve accuracy of gene editing with CRISPR

From left, Nicolo Fusi, a researcher at Microsoft, Jennifer Listgarten, who recently joined the faculty at UC Berkeley, and John Doench, an associate director at the Broad Institute, collaborated on a method of using AI to improve gene editing results. Photo by Dana J. Quigley.

A collaboration between computer scientists and biologists from research institutions across the United States is yielding a set of computational tools that increase efficiency and accuracy when deploying CRISPR, a gene-editing technology that is transforming industries from healthcare to agriculture.

CRISPR is a nano-sized sewing kit that can be designed to cut and alter DNA at a specific point in a specific gene.

The technology, for example, may lead to breakthrough applications such as modifying cells to combat cancer or produce high-yielding drought-tolerant crops such as wheat and corn.

Elevation, the newest tool released by the team, uses a branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning to predict so-called off-target effects when editing genes with the CRISPR system.

Although CRISPR shows great promise in a number of fields, one challenge is that lots of genomic regions are similar, which means the nano-sized sewing kit can accidentally go to work on the wrong gene and cause unintended consequences – the so-called off-target effects.

“Off-target effects are something that you really want to avoid,” said Nicolo Fusi, a researcher at Microsoft’s research lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “You want to make sure that your experiment doesn’t mess up something else.”

Fusi and former Microsoft colleague Jennifer Listgarten, together with collaborators at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, University of California Los Angeles, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, describe Elevation in a paper published Jan. 10 in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Elevation and a complementary tool for predicting on-target effects called Azimuth are publicly available for free as a cloud-based end-to-end guide-design service running on Microsoft Azure as well as via open-source code.

Using the computational tools, researchers can input the name of the gene they want to modify and the cloud-based search engine will return a list of guides that researchers can sort by predicted on-target or off-target effects.

[embedded content]

Nature as engineer

The CRISPR gene-editing system is adapted from a natural virus-fighting mechanism. Scientists discovered it in the DNA of bacteria in the late 1980s and figured out how it works over the course of the next several decades.

“The CRISPR system was not designed, it evolved,” said John Doench, an associate director at the Broad Institute who leads the biological portions of the research collaboration with Microsoft.

CRISPR stands for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” which describes a pattern of repeating DNA sequences in the genomes of bacteria separated by short, non-repeating spacer DNA sequences.

The non-repeating spacers are copies of DNA from invading viruses, which molecular messengers known as RNA use as a template to recognize subsequent viral invasions. When an invader is detected, the RNA guides the CRISPR complex to the virus and dispatches CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins to snip and disable the viral gene.

Modern adaptations

In 2012, molecular biologists figured out how to adapt the bacterial virus-fighting system to edit genes in organisms ranging from plants to mice and humans. The result is the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique.

The basic system works like this: Scientists design synthetic guide RNA to match a DNA sequence in the gene they want to cut or edit and set it loose in a cell with the CRISPR-associated protein scissors, Cas9.

Today, the technique is widely used as an efficient and precise way to understand the role of individual genes in everything from people to poplar trees as well as how to change genes to do everything from fight diseases to grow more food.

“If you want to understand how gene dysfunction leads to disease, for example, you need to know how the gene normally functions,” said Doench. “CRISPR has been a complete game changer for that.”

An overarching challenge for researchers is to decide what guide RNA to choose for a given experiment. Each guide is roughly 20 nucleotides; hundreds of potential guides exist for each target gene in a knockout experiment.

In general, each guide has a different on-target efficiency and a different degree of off-target activity.

The collaboration between the computer scientists and biologists is focused on building tools that help researchers search through the guide choices and find the best one for their experiments.

Several research teams have designed rules to determine where off-targets are for any given gene-editing experiment and how to avoid them. “The rules are very hand-made and very hand-tailored,” said Fusi. “We decided to tackle this problem with machine learning.”

Training models

To tackle the problem, Fusi and Listgarten trained a so-called first-layer machine-learning model on data generated by Doench and colleagues. These data reported on the activity for all possible target regions with just one nucleotide mismatch with the guide.

Then, using publicly available data that was previously generated by the team’s Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital collaborators, the machine-learning experts trained a second-layer model that refines and generalizes the first-layer model to cases where there is more than one mismatched nucleotide.

The second-layer model is important because off-target activity can occur with far more than just one mismatch between guide and target, noted Listgarten, who joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley on Jan. 1.

Finally, the team validated their two-layer model on several other publicly available datasets as well as a new dataset generated by collaborators affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Some model features are intuitive, such as a mismatch between the guide and nucleotide sequence, noted Listgarten. Others reflect unknown properties encoded in DNA that are discovered through machine learning.

“Part of the beauty of machine learning is if you give it enough things it can latch onto, it can tease these things out,” she said.

Off target scores

Elevation provides researchers with two kinds of off-target scores for every guide: individual scores for one target region and a single overall summary score for that guide.

Target scores are machine-learning based probabilities provided for every single region on the genome that something bad could happen. For every guide, Elevation returns hundreds to thousands of these off-target scores.

For researchers trying to determine which of potentially hundreds of guides to use for a given experiment, these individual off-target scores alone can be cumbersome, noted Listgarten.

The summary score is a single number that lumps the off-target scores together to provide an overview of how likely the guide is to disrupt the cell over all its potential off-targets.

“Instead of a probability for each point in the genome, it is what’s the probability I am going to mess up this cell because of all of the off-target activities of the guide?” said Listgarten.

End-to-end guide design

Writing in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the collaborators describe how Elevation works in concert with a tool they released in 2016 called Azimuth that predicts on-target effects.

The complementary tools provide researchers with an end-to-end system for designing experiments with the CRISPR-Cas9 system – helping researchers select a guide that achieves the intended effect – disabling a gene, for example – and reduce mistakes such as cutting the wrong gene.

“Our job,” said Fusi, “is to get people who work in molecular biology the best tools that we can.”

In addition to Listgarten, Fusi and Doench, project collaborators include Michael Weinstein from the University of California Los Angeles, Benjamin Kleinstiver, Keith Joung and Alexander A. Sousa from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Melih Elibol, Luong Hoang, Jake Crawford and Kevin Gao from Microsoft Research.

Related:

John Roach writes about Microsoft research and innovation. Follow him on Twitter.

Tags: CRISPR, healthcare

Box using Azure is now available | Box Blog

A few weeks ago at BoxWorks 2017, Scott Guthrie, EVP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, joined our CEO Aaron Levie to announce some exciting news: Box using Azure will be generally available in November. The day has come!

What is Box using Azure?

Box using Azure is the first product milestone in the expanded partnership between Box and Microsoft. Now customers can benefit from combining Box’s cloud content management platform with Microsoft’s global-scale Azure cloud platform, to:

  • Simplify, cross-company collaborative processes between employees and external stakeholders.
  • Securely manage content for the enterprise, with integrations for 1,400 best-of-breed SaaS apps, including Office 365 apps, while allowing users to work in their familiar productivity and line-of-business tools.
  • Bring Box cloud content management capabilities to their own custom applications that deliver new digital content experiences and streamline business processes for their employees, customers and partners.

Today thousands of businesses get work done using Box with Microsoft Office 365 including the new Microsoft Teams. This new integration with Azure is another step toward delivering a great user experience for our customers using Box with the Microsoft stack.

“Flex has successfully been using Box as our primary platform for digital content sharing, storage and collaboration globally. We also use Microsoft Azure as one of our cloud computing services for our global IT infrastructure,” said Gus Shahin, CIO of Flex. “We look forward to seeing how Box and Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services work together to deploy next generation A.I. and machine learning capabilities.”

What’s coming next?

Microsoft and Box engineering teams are working hard to build out even more capabilities over the coming months, such as:

  • Powering Box content with intelligent capabilities from Microsoft Cognitive Services, that enable customers to automatically identify and categorize content, trigger workflows and tasks and make content more discoverable for users.
  • Leveraging Azure’s broad global footprint to meet data sovereignty requirements and ensure compliance with industry regulations or corporate policies.

“The integration of Box and Azure services is a welcome development for our digital transformation journey as a company. This can help deliver a more streamlined approach to our content management and ensures that Schneider Electric employees can securely and quickly work together and with customers and partners in a much more productive way, adding more value to our use of Box and Microsoft solutions,” said Herve Coureil, Chief Digital Officer, Schneider Electric.

Box using Azure is currently available with content storage in US data centers. Box add-on packages can be used with Box using Azure, including: information governance to meet all your organization’s security requirements and compliance standards, customer-managed encryption keys to take ownership over your encryption keys, and workflow automation to streamline business processes.

How do I get started?

If you’re interested in Box using Azure, learn more or get in touch with Box Sales.

Geek of the Week: Ex-Marine Solaire Sanderson combats new threats in Microsoft’s Cyber Defense Operations Center

Solaire Sanderson
Solaire Sanderson joined Microsoft in April 2016.

As a signals intelligence analyst in the United States Marine Corps, Solaire Sanderson was deployed twice to Afghanistan and had plans to make a lasting career out of her service.

But injuries to both feet, which required surgeries to realign and remove crushed bones, convinced Sanderson that she probably wasn’t going to be able to maintain the rigorous lifestyle that the Marine Corps demanded.

Solaire Sanderson
Solaire Sanderson served six years in the Marine Corps.

Originally from Palm Coast, Fla., Sanderson was in the Marines for six years, stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., from 2010 to 2016.

“I loved being a Marine, and I love everything the Marine Corps stands for,” said Sanderson, who is our latest Geek of the Week.

“One of my responsibilities was to perform cyber threat analysis, which I quickly became passionate about. While serving on active duty, I attended the American Military University to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity.”

During her recovery from surgery, in the last six months of her time in the Marines, Sanderson enrolled in the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), an intensive 18-week course that provides transitioning service members and veterans with critical career skills required for today’s growing technology industry.

“Upon completion of the course, I went through the interview process and accepted a position as a security analyst in Microsoft’s Cyber Defense Operations Center. Though the military and the corporate worlds are completely different, they have, at least, one thing in common: they both have adversaries. I am happy to work with an incredible team of defenders and responders, who are persistent and determined to defend against technology’s dark side.”

Learn more about this week’s Geek of the Week, Solaire Sanderson:

What do you do, and why do you do it? “I am a security analyst in the Cyber Defense Operations Center at Microsoft. I do it because, as corny as it sounds, I truly believe in Microsoft’s mission statement: to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft has such a far-reaching impact on the world — millions of home PC’s, government agencies, schools systems, etc. all rely and operate on Windows operating systems, the Office suite, and various other Microsoft innovations. As a Marine, I loved the feeling of being a part of something greater than myself. So, it is awesome to have a similar feeling while working at Microsoft.”

RELATED: Why Military veterans make exceptional tech workers, and how Microsoft is helping them land jobs

Where do you find your inspiration? “Children are constantly told that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up — and I believe that to be true (within reason, of course). I try to apply the same mentality to my adult life — I can do whatever I want to do or learn whatever I want to learn, if I apply myself. I have always found inspiration in watching the world evolve around me. There are always new technologies, computer languages, cyber threats, etc., and I don’t like the feeling of not knowing. So, when I find a topic that I am not familiar with, I force myself to spend time trying to understand it and become comfortable with it. Through this effort, I have found inspiration from discovering new ways of doing things or by stumbling upon needs I didn’t know existed.”

What’s the one piece of technology you couldn’t live without, and why? “As sad as it is to admit, my smartphone. Over the last decade, smartphones have become the new Swiss army knife — they do a little bit of everything. I can make phone calls, text message, video chat, play games, take photos, make deposits into my bank account, check my emails, browse the internet, make purchases, listen to music, watch television, and the list goes on. It’s incredible.”

Microsoft Cyber Defense
Microsoft’s Cyber Defense Operations Center. (Microsoft Photo)

What’s your workspace like, and why does it work for you? “My team and I operate in an open workspace, just like many Security Operations Centers (SOCs) at various other companies. Within our SOC, we bring together experts from different security teams across Microsoft to help protect, detect, and respond to threats in real time. I am a huge proponent for an open workspace, as it promotes collaboration, versatility, and brainstorming. I love being able to spin my chair around and bounce ideas off of my co-workers.”

Your best tip or trick for managing everyday work and life. (Help us out, we need it.) “I have found that having a routine is key. Life is full of unexpected surprises, which are much easier to manage when everything else is beating to some sort of rhythm. For example, I make sure to work out at 6:15 every morning, just in case a big security incident breaks out at work and I end up working late. At work, my routine allows me to dedicate time to getting important tasks done while also leaving room for anomalies. I am also a big believer in organization – there should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. Organization just makes life easier and prettier.”

Mac, Windows or Linux? “I have an affinity for all, but I certainly have my hands in Windows more often … ya know, working for Microsoft and all :)”

Kirk, Picard, or Janeway? “I prefer Aram Mojabai from ‘The Blacklist.’”

Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? “Time Machine — definitely!”

If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would … “Buy a piece of land in a remote area of Washington to set up a suite of cabins that each have amazing lake and mountain views, lightning fast wifi, fireplaces, unlimited coffee, and an acre of land between each. Life is so busy and it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I would love to create a serene retreat for writers, tech nerds, or anyone else that needs a place to be productive or simply revive themselves. There would be an application process, in effort to maintain a barrier to entry so that loud, obnoxious partiers don’t slip through the cracks. I would like to think that this kind of break from the day-to-day would give people the time they need to recharge before going back to work to create the next big thing.”

I once waited in line for … “I am not a big fan of waiting in line — I always do my research ahead of time and find a way to have things delivered to my doorstep.”

Solaire Sanderson
Solaire Sanderson and her best friend, Sarah Owen, in Afghanistan.

Your role models: “This has always been a difficult question for me, simply because I don’t have a particular person in mind, but rather a type of person — anyone who has sought and found work that they are passionate about, who has shed blood, sweat, and tears to be effective at it. OK, that sounds a little dramatic — but I do believe blood, sweat, and tears come naturally to anyone with a true appetite for success, whatever their personal measure of success is.”

Greatest game in history: “Duck Hunt.”

Best gadget ever: “Raspberry Pi.”

First computer: “Wow, great question. I believe we used the Apple IIe in elementary school, but our first home computer was a HP 712. Look how far we’ve come!”

Current phone: “iPhone 7 Plus.”

Favorite app: “*cough* Pokemon Go *cough*”

Favorite cause: “Wounded Warrior Project.”

Most important technology of 2016: “Blockchain. Although Blockchain wasn’t created in 2016, there was a surge of interest surrounding its capabilities in 2016. Since blockchain (the technology behind bitcoin) is a decentralized and dispersed digital ledger, almost 50 top financial institutions began investigating how blockchain can track their assets, cut costs, and accelerate transactions — all while reducing the risk of fraud. While I believe it will still take many years for blockchain to become fully submerged in our economic, social, and/or political infrastructures, it is taking the world by storm. However, it is prudent to be vigilant when dealing with blockchain, as the legality behind blockchain and its applications remains suspicious in countries like China, India, and Russia. This is a particularly interesting topic for me, as the implementation and spread of blockchain technology ensures job security for me, haha.”

Most important technology of 2018: “Intelligent things. Between AI and machine learning, there’s no telling how cohesive and interactive the technology around us will become. We have self-driving vehicles; smart home devices that help us set alarms, schedule appointments, create shopping lists, and provides us with a vast array of information from the internet; Netflix and Pandora, which save our preferences and predict accurate recommendations based on those preferences; and the list goes on. 2018 is set to deliver even more intelligent technology that will use behavioral algorithms to predictively learn from our behaviors and anticipate our needs. I can’t wait — we are about to be the real-life Jetsons. Alexa is my Rosey the Robot.”

For Sale – TP-Link AC1200 Dual Band Router

As title, this is the dual band router. Selling as I’ve joined Virgin and their router appears to be equally as good, whereas Sky’s router (who I was with before) only had the single slower channel.

Router itself is in great condition and it comes in the original box, which has some tape on and a shipping label that can’t be pealed off. Pics available on request.

Price and currency: 30
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank transfer
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
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Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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  • Name and address including postcode
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – TP-Link AC1200 Dual Band Router

As title, this is the dual band router. Selling as I’ve joined Virgin and their router appears to be equally as good, whereas Sky’s router (who I was with before) only had the single slower channel.

Router itself is in great condition and it comes in the original box, which has some tape on and a shipping label that can’t be pealed off. Pics available on request.

Price and currency: 30
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank transfer
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – TP-Link AC1200 Dual Band Router

As title, this is the dual band router. Selling as I’ve joined Virgin and their router appears to be equally as good, whereas Sky’s router (who I was with before) only had the single slower channel.

Router itself is in great condition and it comes in the original box, which has some tape on and a shipping label that can’t be pealed off. Pics available on request.

Price and currency: 30
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank transfer
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – TP-Link AC1200 Dual Band Router

As title, this is the dual band router. Selling as I’ve joined Virgin and their router appears to be equally as good, whereas Sky’s router (who I was with before) only had the single slower channel.

Router itself is in great condition and it comes in the original box, which has some tape on and a shipping label that can’t be pealed off. Pics available on request.

Price and currency: 30
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank transfer
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – TP-Link AC1200 Dual Band Router

As title, this is the dual band router. Selling as I’ve joined Virgin and their router appears to be equally as good, whereas Sky’s router (who I was with before) only had the single slower channel.

Router itself is in great condition and it comes in the original box, which has some tape on and a shipping label that can’t be pealed off. Pics available on request.

Price and currency: 30
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank transfer
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Linde drives digital transformation with Microsoft 365 Enterprise to inspire creative workplace culture

Today’s post was written by Sebastian Mahler, head of enterprise infrastructure at Linde.

Profile image of Sebastian Mahler, head of Enterprise Infrastructure at Linde.When I joined Linde, I was interested in the challenges inherent in managing a global company. We are one of the world’s largest industrial gases companies—and over the 12 years I’ve worked here, these challenges have only grown more complex. We serve many local markets with numerous regional offices; however, due to an increasingly volatile and connected global economy, we needed to build a more cohesive collaborative organization. We replaced our on-premises Lotus Notes solution with Office 365 cloud-based business productivity services so everyone could work better together, and to drive agility and responsiveness in a digital marketplace.

Our core values—empowering people, innovating for customers, thriving through diversity, and a passion to excel—are all reflected in our decision to move to Microsoft 365 Enterprise. For Linde, empowering people is all about enabling collaboration among colleagues and with partners and customers. Productive teamwork, enabled by easy access to resources, further drives innovation. And empowered employees are inspired and passionate about what they do. In this way, Office 365 strengthens the principles of the “Linde Spirit,” which underlies our corporate culture.

Improving collaboration is crucial for enabling better communication among our global service functions. We’ll be using Skype for Business Online to run management meetings, where we connect people from all over the globe in virtual conferences, thereby accelerating business decisions. And collaboration extends beyond internal teamwork. We need to maintain close relationships with our partners and customers, especially as we are seeing an increase in our business to consumer engagements. One reason we did not choose Google was that that the Office productivity apps we rely on every day, such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, form a common language in the business world. Moving to Office 365 makes collaboration with outside parties seamless.

OneDrive for Business is another user-friendly collaborative service that helps us create a seamless workflow within a team, and even between departments. Setting up file shares was a cumbersome part of the collaboration process that Office 365 has essentially eliminated. And when we share spreadsheets or work together on presentations, version control in OneDrive ensures that everyone is using the latest material.

We also enjoy a more secure, mobile way of working, thanks to the security and integration capabilities within Enterprise Mobility + Security, which we deployed alongside Office 365 and Windows 10. Today, it’s simple for me to work from home—I use two-factor authentication to access everything I need. I no longer feel tied to my laptop because I can be productive on multiple devices without worrying about compromising security.

Our migration to cloud-based business tools is only just beginning, as we look forward to adopting services such as Microsoft Planner and Yammer. We’re working with Microsoft Consulting Services and Microsoft FastTrack to help us make the most out of the newest functionality. With their help, we can take advantage of the innovative evergreen approach that Microsoft is delivering across the cloud platform. Their expert guidance has helped us to establish change management communities and build a support network, so as we rollout new functionality, the change management process will be in place to empower our employees to make the best use out of the services. Everyone from plant floor workers to management staff will benefit from Linde’s renewed commitment to our global standard of excellence.

—Sebastian Mahler

Read the case study for more details on the Linde digital transformation.