MJFChat: The Reverse Shiproom with Microsoft 365 Corporate VP Brad Anderson

Transcript posted below.

We’re doing a twice-monthly interview show on Petri.com that is dedicated to covering topics of interest to our tech-professional audience. We have branded this show “MJFChat.”

In my role as Petri’s Community Magnate, I will be interviewing a variety of IT-savvy technology folks. Some of these will be Petri contributors; some will be tech-company employees; some will be IT pros. We will be tackling various subject areas in the form of 30-minute audio interviews. I will be asking the questions, the bulk of which we’re hoping will come from you, our Petri.com community of readers.

We will ask for questions a week ahead of each chat. Readers can submit questions via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and/or LinkedIn using the #MJFChat hashtag. Once the interviews are completed, we will post the audio and associated transcript in the forums for readers to digest at their leisure. (By the way, did you know MJFChats are now available in podcast form? Go here for MJF Chat on Spotify; here for Apple Podcasts on iTunes; and here for Google Play.)

Our next MJFChat, scheduled for Monday, May 11, is a special, pre-Build 2020 chat. I’ll be talking with Microsoft 365 Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson about WFH, WVD, MEM, ConfigMgr and lots of other Microsoft 365/device-management topics. We want you to submit your best questions for Brad ahead of our chat.

If you’ve ever seen Brad’s “The Shiproom” series, where he interviews tech leaders and influencers about what they’re working on and what’s next,” you’ll have a decent idea about the form this upcoming “The Reverse Shiproom” MJFChat will take. We won’t have the glitzy setup, but I will be asking Brad the same kinds of hard-hitting (?) questions — a bunch of which hopefully will come directly from you, our listeners and readers — as he has asked me and others during The Shiproom.

Transcript:

Mary Jo Foley (00:01):
Hi, you’re listening to the Petri.com MJF Chat Show. I am Mary Jo Foley, AKA your Petri.com community magnet and I’m here to interview tech industry experts about various topics that you, our readers and listeners want to know about. Today’s MJF Chat is a very special one. It’s our second ever video and audio chat. And my special guest today is Brad Anderson who is Corporate Vice President of Microsoft 365. Brad has agreed to be interrogated, I mean interviewed by me in the style of the Shiproom series. Welcome Brad and thank you so much for doing this chat with me.

Brad Anderson (01:02):
Oh, it’s great to be here. You know, I think over the years, Mary Jo, we’ve had a lot of fun so I’m looking forward to this.

Mary Jo Foley (01:06):
Nice. Well I’d like to start off by talking a bit about the Shiproom. I can’t believe that there are any IT pros out there who haven’t heard of it. But in case you have not, and you’re one of those turtles under the rocks, the Shiproom is a video series where Brad talks to tech leaders and influencers about what they’re working on next. I’ve gotten to be a guest on the Shiproom, last year at Ignite and I’ve heard there are 24 published episodes so far, but 4 that still have not been released yet. Hmm.

Brad Anderson (01:41):
Where did you get this information at?

Mary Jo Foley (01:43):
You know, this is my job.

Brad Anderson (01:46):
There’s only two or three people in the company that know that. So I better go talk to one or two of them.

Mary Jo Foley (01:52):
Anyone who hasn’t seen it, check them out on YouTube. My mom did and she loved it.

Brad Anderson (01:57):
Oh, that’s gotta be the best story ever.

Mary Jo Foley (02:00):
So Brad, where did the title The Shiproom come from? I mean, I’m so old that I remember when Microsoft had Shiprooms for software back in the day, but is there a Shiproom from Microsoft 365 and if there is, can I visit when travel ban is over?

Brad Anderson (02:18):
We already assume you’re there. And so, you know, whenever we’re in the Shiproom we make sure that we Hey Mary Jo, did you get that?

Mary Jo Foley (02:27):
Nice.

Brad Anderson (02:27):
The concept back in the day of a Shiproom was as you were coming to release a big product, like a new version of Windows, at some point you have to start locking everything down. And so there was a Shiproom where there would be a set of individuals whose responsibility was to approve or to not approve, you know, breaking bugs and issues that would basically be released blockers. And so, you know, when you’ve got these massive, massive projects, you know, you have to have a way to converge. And that was the concept of a Shiproom. You know, we had, we did over a hundred of these episodes, what we called Lunch Break with Brad where we were going around, driving around in cars and you know, you and I had a chance to drive.

Brad Anderson (03:01):
I think It was a 1972 Cadillac. All I remember is it was hot.

Mary Jo Foley (03:05):
And Elvis was in the back. I remember that.

New Speaker (03:07):
Elvis was in the back, that’s right. And those, you know, had great, great interests and we had a lot of fun with that, but we thought it was time to kind of switch it up a little bit. And so we were just brainstorming, came up, you know, Hey, Shiproom’s, kind of in a part of the culture, let’s name it the Shiproom, let’s basically build, you know, it’s a set, a lot of people ask us where’s the Shiproom located at on campus? Or is that actually at your home, and you can see the background behind here, but it literally is a set that can get shipped anywhere around the world in six or seven of these big boxes. It still amazes me that the people put it together with all the things in the same place and the same shelves. But it’s been, more than anything, it just gives an opportunity for, you know, largely CIOs to talk about the changes that they’re driving through their organizations and how moving to the cloud and moving to Microsoft 365 impacts their culture, their productivity, their security. And it’s interesting, it’s just a different way to, it’s an engaging way to, talk with the industry about change and about how the cloud could impact organizations and their IT departments.

Mary Jo Foley (04:07):
Very cool. So, I hear during quarantine there’s some fun thing you’ve been doing with your team. I guess I could have found out if I really wanted to, but why don’t you tell me about it? What is it?

Brad Anderson (04:20):
Oh my word. You know, again, the insights you have about us, it never ceases to amaze me. You know, we like to do fun things. You know, I’m a big believer in, I love to laugh. I love to have fun. And a big part of my leadership style is I just like the team to enjoy things. And so you know, we formed a couple of committees and groups when we first got into the quarantine and we said, listen, what are we going to do to try to maintain some of that sense of community, have some fun. And so, you know many people have heard me talk about Ben before. Ben is the Communications Director who’s the mastermind behind a lot of things we do here. We asked him to go put some time in and he came back, said, Hey, let’s play some of the online game shows that were played in the 1970s, but let’s do it live with the team.

Brad Anderson (05:05):
And so we’ve been playing it every Friday at noon, you know, it’s been the Newlywed game or the Match game. And it’s been a lot of fun because you get all of the leaders across the organization with other people from the team. We’ll have half of the team online, which you think about that half of the team online for an hour and you know, people get to see the funny side of all the leadership. You know, some of the questions are really, really funny. I think Michael Wallent was asked the question of, Michael runs all of Microsoft Endpoint Manager for me. Hey, if you know, if Brad was a cereal, what kind of cereal would he be? And after that question,

Mary Jo Foley (05:39):
What was the answer? I want to know.

Brad Anderson (05:39):
You know, we did not come with the same answer. But it’s just more than anything, it’s just a really fun way to just, you know, get people’s minds off of what’s going on. And then I get a chance to just kind of talk, give a quick update. But it’s all about communication, it’s all about community. It’s all about culture and having fun.

Mary Jo Foley (06:00):
Nice. It sounds fun. If you’re recording any of them, you know, and you want to share them with somebody, I’m right here for you.

Brad Anderson (06:07):
We should do that. Mary Jo, we should take a couple aspects of it. I think, you know, here’s a funny thing about it as well. Internally, obviously we’re dogfooding all of the apps before they hit the market, if you will. And so, you know, when we do this, we’re on Teams, so you can imagine we’re running a version of Teams that the world won’t see for another couple of months. And so you know, a lot of the things that people are asking for, Hey, is this coming to Teams? Is that coming to Teams? You know, maybe that’d be a fun way to kind of like introduce some of the new capabilities that are coming into Teams right now.

Mary Jo Foley (06:35):
That sounds great to me, especially if you want to give them to us in advance. We’re right here.

Brad Anderson (06:41):
Alright you got it.

Mary Jo Foley (06:41):
So next week, speaking of announcements, next week is Build 2020. And I have to admit, I’m a little curious about something. I know you speak at events all over the world, but you’ve never spoken at Build.

Brad Anderson (06:55):
Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (06:55):
Did you do something wrong? Or is it like management guys are considered bad luck for developers? Or were you the one who giggled out loud when Satya said tech intensity? Actually, nope, that was me. But I’m curious why, why have you ever keynoted Build?

Brad Anderson (07:12):
Yeah. You know, I’m kind of the IT pro guy. I’ve never been like the developer guy. And so, my whole career, you know, if you go back the 17, 18 years I’ve been here at Microsoft. The 12 years at Novell before that, it’s all been on endpoint management and it’s all been on endpoint security and in many ways I think that I’m the largest advocate for the IT pro inside of Microsoft. At least that’s the way I kind of think about myself. And so it’s always been on that, IT pro side and less on the developer side. I should probably ask that question. Did I do something wrong?

Mary Jo Foley (07:42):
Yeah, I think it’s time. So on shipper episodes I’ve seen and I’ve been on, you’re very big on these impromptu quizzes. So I’ve got a couple quizzes for you on this episode.

Brad Anderson (07:55):
Okay, alright.

Mary Jo Foley (07:56):
Let’s start with one called, things that might be announced at Build and you can rate the things I’m going to suggest on a scale from I’ve heard nothing to I’ve heard a lot, wink, wink or I sure hope so. Okay?

Brad Anderson (08:15):
Hey, the questions that we do on the Shiproom, are more of these random questions that make no sense. No rhythm. I think you’re trying to slip something in here because you know you’re disguising it as a set of random questions, but you know you’re getting very specific on Build.

Mary Jo Foley (08:30):
Look, I’m giving you an incentive here. If you do well on this quiz, I have a little prize for you alright?

Brad Anderson (08:37):
Okay, I’m trying to think how I balance that where if I leak something from the company I might lose my job, the prize better be pretty interesting.

Mary Jo Foley (08:45):
The prize is pretty good. Okay.

Brad Anderson (08:48):
Okay, let’s go.

Mary Jo Foley (08:48):
All right. Things that might be announced at Build. New Microsoft graph APIs and connectors that might help people do things even cooler than they already can with the centralized graph API. Is this something, I’ve heard nothing, I’ve heard a lot, or I sure hope so.

Brad Anderson (09:08):
Well that question is so specific. I can guarantee there’ll be something about the Microsoft Graph and new APIs that expose new cool things. I’ve heard a lot about the Microsoft Graph. In fact, I live a lot of my life in the Microsoft Graph.

Mary Jo Foley (09:22):
I figured, I figured you do. Here’s another one. Project Cortex, Microsoft’s knowledge repository service for Microsoft 365. I actually don’t know the real name of it Brad, so you get bonus points if you happen to let that slip during the answer here. But maybe more interfaces and SDKs for designers who want to build for Project Cortex.

Brad Anderson (09:45):
Yeah. Well Cortex will certainly be something that we’ll talk about at Build, but it’s interesting on the name. We actually asked Cortex if she wanted to self name, you want to guess what the name she came up with was, Mary Jo. I don’t know how that came about, maybe you’ve got some insights, but when we asked Cortex to self name, she came back with, Hey, I’d like to be named Mary Jo.

Mary Jo Foley (10:06):
Nice. Well it would be the first time I believe a product would be named for me. So I would be very excited about that. I am a knowledge repository about all things Microsoft.

Brad Anderson (10:16):
You are, I haven’t thought about it that way, but you are a cortex.

Mary Jo Foley (10:19):
Nice. Okay. Here’s a tough one. Things to be announced at Build. Maybe, maybe not or, I’ve heard a lot about that. Windows. We’ve heard about Windows 10X already. What about Windows 10Y?

Brad Anderson (10:34):
Hmm. Well, you know, internally we’ve been running Windows 13 since November.

Mary Jo Foley (10:39):
Really?

Brad Anderson (10:41):
That’s a total joke, that’s a total joke. I gotta be really clear on that cause I don’t want that one out in the press anywhere.

Mary Jo Foley (10:51):
Oh yeah that’s going out there.

Brad Anderson (10:51):
It’s really interesting. You know, we inside of Microsoft, the Microsoft 365 team, we call ourselves ring zero. And what that means is everyone who works on Microsoft 365 you know, we get a new build on the operating system, new builds of the apps almost daily. And so, you know, we get a chance to, you know, to dogfood this very, very early on and it really is. It’s one of the most fun parts of the job. It can be frustrating at times, you know, cause you never quite know, you know what you’re gonna get in the morning.

So if I’ve got an eight o’clock call, you know, I’ll need to pop in at 7:45 and make sure that everything has been updated. But I love the fact that we, you know, we bring it to all the Microsoft 365, all the updates first. Then from there we take it out to all of Microsoft and match ring one, ring two then as we flight it out to a portion of the world, and then when we validate everything, you know, it goes out to the whole world. And that’s the final ring. These concepts of deployment rings are core to everything that we do. And certainly with Windows, you know we’re flighting those builds very, very early.

Mary Jo Foley (11:47):
Right. So you’re seeing features even before we have figured them out. That’s kind of intriguing.

Brad Anderson (11:52):
But yes and no, but you know with the insider builds, you know, people are getting a daily cut of what we’re doing, you know, where there’s so much transparency with what we’re doing in Windows. It’s awesome.

Mary Jo Foley (12:03):
Yeah, I agree.

Brad Anderson (12:03):
The apps and stuff are different.

Mary Jo Foley (12:07):
It is.

Brad Anderson (12:07):
Apps with Intune with ADP, all those pieces, you know, we have a pre production, all those things are going on, you know, sometimes months in advance.

Mary Jo Foley (12:14):
Right. Okay. Now this one I’ve heard from a couple sources like, I’m giving it a little more credence. I hear there’s a Microsoft Linux coming and it could be branded Mimics or Linuxsoft. I’m not really sure which, and it will be on brand new Surface devices coming soon, like 2024, 2025 Might we hear a little about that at build?

Brad Anderson (12:37):
You know, you were kind of going in and out on me right there. You know, I think we should just move to the next question.

Mary Jo Foley (12:41):
Oh really? Well, I know you’ve got a little handsome Android based unannounced. Well, it’s been announced but not shipping device. You don’t happen to have that in your office, do you?

Brad Anderson (12:54):
This is what I this is what I live on right now. It’s kind of hard to see it in the background, but yeah, this is the Neo device. I love it. The dual screens is a life changer, it is a game changer.

Mary Jo Foley (13:04):
Nice. We’re hoping to get our hands on that soon. Maybe Build?

Brad Anderson (13:11):
I have not heard anything about that.

Mary Jo Foley (13:13):
Oh, okay. Last one. I’m pretty sure on this one too. There’s a product called Memories, MEM, Microsoft Endpoint Management Services. And I’ve heard this was something that really the config manager guys are gonna swoon when they hear about it at Build.

Brad Anderson (13:32):
That is just awesome. You know, I don’t know if you know this, but Memories is actually one of the brands that we thought about instead of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Memories. And I’m totally making that up. But where’d you come up with that one, Memories. I love that.

Mary Jo Foley (13:45):
All right. All right. I’m going to give you a pretty high score for where you’re going here. I’m a little annoyed you avoided the Linux question, but you are going to get this prize. I would like to show it to you and we’re going to have my minions ship it out to you later today. We’ve made very, very limited edition shirts. What would Brad Anderson do? WWBAD?

Brad Anderson (14:14):
Is it WWBAD or WW bad?

Mary Jo Foley (14:17):
You know, the acronym goes where you would like it to go. I thought about WAAD but I was like, wait, that’s Windows Azure Active Directory. So no, that doesn’t work.

Brad Anderson (14:32):
Endpoint Manager and AAD are kind of one of the same, in fact we rewrote those two. They’re now based upon the exact same microservices.

Mary Jo Foley (14:40):
That’s true. That’s true.

Brad Anderson (14:42):
You know, my 3D printer was going off a couple of minutes ago. Let me go see what’s on it real fast. It’s just right next to me here. Is this what you were sending over to me?

Mary Jo Foley (14:51):
Wait, wait. Do you have it already? How do you have this already?

Brad Anderson (14:55):
You know what, I’ve got my people watching on you. Just like you got your people watching on me.

Mary Jo Foley (15:01):
Interesting.

Brad Anderson (15:02):
Can I wear this?

Mary Jo Foley (15:02):
Yes.

Brad Anderson (15:11):
I’m gonna put it on.

Mary Jo Foley (15:11):
There we go.

Brad Anderson (15:14):
How’s it look?

Mary Jo Foley (15:14):
It looks amazing.

Brad Anderson (15:17):
Alright, WW bad. What would Brad Anderson do?

Mary Jo Foley (15:20):
I mean everybody’s gonna want one of these, but we didn’t really make a lot of them so you may have to churn a few out on your 3D printer. I did send one for your lovely assistant Ben.

Brad Anderson (15:28):
Alright. Alright. I don’t think it’s gonna look as good on him as it does on me though.

Mary Jo Foley (15:32):
It would be tough.

Brad Anderson (15:35):
I do have to tell you a funny story about Ben. He looks a lot like Ben Affleck.

Mary Jo Foley (15:40):
He does.

Brad Anderson (15:40):
There are times when we go out to dinner and people ask me if that’s, well people will ask if he’s Ben Affleck. You know, people don’t ask me questions like that.

Mary Jo Foley (15:50):
All right, we’re going to keep this quiz thing going cause you know what, it’s kind of fun putting a Microsoft corporate VP on the spot.

Brad Anderson (15:57):
It’s like your natural, this is like your natural habitat.

Mary Jo Foley (16:00):
It is. It is. So this is called rapid release round. Give me your first and best answer to the following questions. Don’t overthink it. Just like give me the answer. Okay. Here we go. Unlimited drink refills or unlimited bread.

Brad Anderson (16:15):
I would go for, of those two I’d go for unlimited drink, but can I add a third option? Could we go for unlimited desserts?

Mary Jo Foley (16:21):
Oh yeah. Okay. That’s a good option. I like it.

Brad Anderson (16:24):
I would go for that anytime.

Mary Jo Foley (16:25):
Okay. WVD or VDI or why not both?

Brad Anderson (16:31):
Wow. That’s definitely gotta be a WVD cause that’s a workload that’s gonna move to the cloud in mass. And we actually need to come back and spend some time on that.

Mary Jo Foley (16:39):
We do, we do. Surface pen, Apple pencil or plain old ballpoint.

Brad Anderson (16:46):
Without a doubt, my favorite are the Surface pen and the two pens that are on my Surface Hub in my office when I get back there at some point,

Mary Jo Foley (16:54):
Yeah one day right?

Brad Anderson (16:54):
I’ll tell you that Surface Hub fundamentally changes how I interact with customers, with the field. It’s just amazing. I love the whiteboard aspect of it. And so that’s one of my all time favorite things about that.

Mary Jo Foley (17:08):
You don’t have a Surface Hub 2X hanging around, do you?

Brad Anderson (17:14):
I don’t even know what a Surface Hub 2X is.

Mary Jo Foley (17:16):
It’s the one that is kind of on hold right now.

Brad Anderson (17:21):
You know, it has been interesting as Rejesh has his leadership team and all, you know, we have. His leadership team meetings are always on Tuesdays, which of course you know that. It’s amazing when you take a look at how many are either on a Surface Hub or working on it, you know, from their home offices as we’re, you know, we’re dogfooding them as we live on them. And it’s been one of those interesting things as well where that Surface Hub is, I think about how many CXOs are using those to stay in contact, and how they run the operation of their company. That’s been an amazing innovation for us. And I love the new one that comes out. It’s just a lot more portable.

Mary Jo Foley (17:54):
I’d like to have one here as my backdrop.

Brad Anderson (17:59):
But New York real estate it’s pretty rare. If you’d like to put it right behind you, right there we’ll get you one.

Mary Jo Foley (18:07):
You know what, I would find a way. If you guys got me one, I would find a way.

Brad Anderson (18:11):
Alright. I’ll write that down as an action.

Mary Jo Foley (18:13):
Okay. More questions for you, in an elevator, which is less awkward? Small talk or silence?

Brad Anderson (18:20):
Mm, I’m going to do an audible here. I think the most awkward thing in an elevator is when five of the six people, leave you hanging when you do a high five.

Mary Jo Foley (18:30):
It sounds like that’s happened to you maybe?

Brad Anderson (18:32):
I have no friends.

Mary Jo Foley (18:35):
Okay. How many brand names did you evaluate before going with Microsoft Endpoint Manager?

Brad Anderson (18:42):
Oh wow. You know, branding is hard.

Mary Jo Foley (18:45):
Yes, naming things is hard. It is.

Brad Anderson (18:48):
Yeah, it’s you know, it’s hard. So we have lots of different ideas, you know and I love where we ended up at. But I did put in two suggestions that both got shot down. Do you want to hear what my recommendations were?

Mary Jo Foley (19:00):
Yeah. Yep.

Brad Anderson (19:02):
The first one was Brad’s Bucket of Devices.

Mary Jo Foley (19:03):
Nobody went for it.

Brad Anderson (19:09):
And the second one was Bradfiguration Anderpoint Manager.

Brad Anderson (19:13):
You know, and people just thought it just didn’t like roll off the tongue. Like Microsoft Endpoint Manager. You know, you win some, you lose some.

Mary Jo Foley (19:21):
That’s true. That’s fair. Okay. Really tough one just to end this round. Do squirrels dream?

Brad Anderson (19:28):
Yes. But only about raccoons.

Mary Jo Foley (19:33):
Ooh, very nice.

Brad Anderson (19:35):
You didn’t know that did ya?

Mary Jo Foley (19:35):
No, I did not.

Brad Anderson (19:35):
Neither did I.

Mary Jo Foley (19:35):
Great. We’re starting to get down to the end of time, but I have to, before I go, revisit a product that I helped you guys launch early by leaking it.

Brad Anderson (19:47):
Okay.

Mary Jo Foley (19:47):
Called Microsoft Managed Desktop.

Brad Anderson (19:50):
Yes.

Mary Jo Foley (19:50):
You know what, we haven’t heard much about Microsoft Managed Desktop lately and I was thinking maybe this is the kind of service, you know, Microsoft managing everything for you end to end that would be really popular during times of quarantine. So I’m curious, is this actually the case or, what’s going on with Microsoft Managed Desktop?

Brad Anderson (20:10):
Yeah. Microsoft managed Desktop has been just an incredible experience for us. For people who aren’t familiar with what Microsoft Managed Desktop, it literally is my team taking over the responsibility for helping you transform your management security of your endpoints. And then we actually take on the responsibility of deploying, maintaining, updating, securing your Windows devices across your enterprise. And the core value where we focus at, is really that transformation about how you move all your processes and all your technologies up into the cloud and really take advantage of the full spread of Microsoft 365. You know, I think a lot of people know this, but our fiscal year goes from July 1st to the end of June. So today we’re sitting in our month 11 of our fiscal year. We’ve already blown through all of the goals we had for the fiscal year for Microsoft Managed Desktop.

Brad Anderson (20:59):
And you know, the company that we’ve talked a lot about it publicly is Lloyd’s Bank. I’m gonna tell you a little bit more about Lloyd’s Bank. I think it’s just a good example. And then talk about where you’ll be able to learn more about it. So first of all, with Lloyd’s Bank as they engage with us, the conversation was, listen, we need to transform the experience our end users are having on their PCs. And so we started digging into it with them and you know, they had these boot times of 10 minutes. It would literally from the time a person would power on their PC, it would take 10 minutes before they could work on it. And you know, that’s on the extreme end.

It’s pretty common that I see, you know, 3 minutes but 10? We start digging into it with them and they had 47 different agents on their PCs. Management, security agents and what we were able to do was help them understand how to transform that and think about using the cloud, instead of all these agents on the device, they’re now down to just a couple of agents left on their end points, their boot times, are now sub 30 seconds.

Brad Anderson (21:51):
And the satisfaction that has come across their end user community, it’s just skyrocketing. And so Simon is the individual in charge of their Modern Workplace. And on Wednesday we’re going to publish a version of the Shiproom where Simon talks about the transformation that is happening at Lloyd’s Bank, which you know, that’s critical infrastructure for the country and how we had to pass through all of their, you know, their sec ops, all their penetration testing. And so it’s such a wonderful example of the end users that have the best experience possible.

The security team is happy because they’re actually more secure and their architecture is more simplified and IT is happy as well. So this is win for everybody. And having said that, we just, you know, this week we’ll sign another Fortune 50 company where we will take over the management of their Window devices.

Brad Anderson (22:37):
We’re growing well and you know look to hear more about the Microsoft Managed Desktop. But the thing that I would say for everybody, the one thing that the Microsoft Managed Desktop does, it impacts every person probably listening to this is, it is the only service at Microsoft where there is one engineering team responsible for operating essentially all of Microsoft 365. So the amount that my team learns on this and then the change that we drive across all of Microsoft 365, drives improvements for everybody in the world across Microsoft 365. I see the biggest impact that MMD has is it drives improvements, how we integrate and more and get better at Microsoft 365 and then second are the companies who sign up for the service. We help them transform their endpoint management and give those end users the best possible experience.

Mary Jo Foley (23:24):
Are there any using that new Microsoft Managed Meeting Room service too? We talked about that at Ignite last year and that sounds really interesting where you guys take over managing conference rooms for companies, right?

Brad Anderson (23:36):
Yeah. Thanks for asking about MMR as well. The Managed Meeting Room Service. It’s kind of like the kissing cousin of it. So we actually just released into general availability, the Microsoft Managed Room solution last week. Or our second week of general availability. And it’s kind of strange cause there’s not like a lot of people in the offices right now. But what we do see is organizations are planning for when they come back into the office and the importance of meeting rooms is going to sky rocket. I mean, just kinda think about what the new normal is going to look for organizations. Business travel is going to reduce, you know, that’s just, it’ll be out of fear, it’ll be out of budgets. It’ll be, I think more than anything because people have now recognized that they can be productive at home on a Teams meeting and they don’t have to travel as much.

Brad Anderson (24:23):
So with that in mind, you know these meeting places where when you come in and you say, Hey, I want the meeting to start, it should just start immediately. It should be a beautiful experience. The concept of Microsoft taking over the responsibility of ensuring that everything in that room is functional. The device on the top of the table, the cameras, the screens, the microphones, you know, we have all of that instrument.

And you know, before we actually went to general availability, we had, you know, 7,000, 7,500 meeting rooms that we were already managing, sending us back to telemetry. It just gives us a chance to see at scale the kinds of issues that happen. And for many of them we can automate the remediation of that. So more often than not, when there’s an issue, we just fix it in the background without anybody even knowing it.

Brad Anderson (25:05):
But then, you know, when somebody does have to go to a meeting room because of all the instrumentation, we can tell them exactly where the issue is and it’s not this go find a needle in a haystack. And I’ll tell you Mary Jo, the most interesting thing that I’ve learned on this is in these meeting rooms, one of the most common issues that we see is there are firmware challenges with the device on top of the table with, you know, with the other devices in the room. And that’s a very hard one to find, but because we can manage these at scale and we see that telemetry, we see these kinds of things and then we can fix it globally. The last thing I would say about MMR, it’s kind of a tweener thing. Like who’s responsibility is the room?

Most organizations don’t have enough meeting rooms that they have a team that gets proficient at it. So I think it is a classical example of something that can be, you know, partnered with a Microsoft. And it’s interesting in the research that we did, more often than not, companies would want Microsoft to actually give this service to them relative to any other provider. So we’re just in a general availability and it’s one of those solutions that I’m super excited about it.

Mary Jo Foley (26:05):
Okay. Brad, this has been a blast. Thank you for taking the time.

Brad Anderson (26:22):
Yeah, I got a couple of questions for you. You know, you got a chance to do a lightning round with me, how about a lightning round with you,

Mary Jo Foley (26:26):
i was trying to get off the conference before you did this.

Brad Anderson (26:30):
Oh, let’s just do a quick one, okay. Just a couple of quick ones here. So, first of all, what is the largest animal that you could put in your living room?

New Speaker (26:40):
In my living room here in New York?

New Speaker (26:42):
Yeah.

Mary Jo Foley (26:44):
Well you know, somebody did put a Bengal tiger in their living room here in New York and the emergency crews had to come and get it out.

New Speaker (26:52):
It was alive?

New Speaker (26:52):
This was in Harlem, I believe a guy got a tiger cub and he let it grow to full size and the neighbors started noticing there was some loud growls and they came to the door and they were like, wow, the guy has a full sized tiger in his apartment. So I wouldn’t suggest tigers, maybe. I think for me like a large cat, domestic cat, not a wild cat.

Brad Anderson (27:20):
And this is a friend that had the tiger?

Mary Jo Foley (27:24):
No, no. And it’s not Paul Thurrott either. It’s not.

Brad Anderson (27:28):
Okay. Two more questions real fast then. What has been the most embarrassing moment for you in the office? Was it when you were singing in front of the office or dancing in front of the office?

Mary Jo Foley (27:40):
My home office you mean?

Brad Anderson (27:43):
That’s true. That’s true. This is before you went into the home office. How long have you been working out of a home office?

Mary Jo Foley (27:49):
I like working out of a home office. I’ve been working out of a home office for maybe 15 years. Yeah. I love it. It’s good because I’m really productive and it’s bad because I work more hours because there’s no real hard start and stop time.

Brad Anderson (28:06):
Yeah. There’s been two interesting data points of research coming out from what is right now, the largest work from home experiment ever. One, people working in the US, people are working 3 hours longer than they were before.

Mary Jo Foley (28:17):
Oh, wow.

Brad Anderson (28:17):
That’s the average right now it’s 3 hours. The second thing is, it’s interesting, there’s research now coming back that, you know, mentally it’s more draining being in front of a screen, when your camera is on 7 or 8 hours in the day than being in physical meetings. I thought that’s been interesting. Alright, last question for you then. I actually got two more because these are both good. The first one is, do you have anything against people using human names for their cats?

Mary Jo Foley (28:42):
No.

Brad Anderson (28:43):
Okay.

Mary Jo Foley (28:44):
Although, you know, my cat’s name is Sorachi, which is a hop that is used to brew beer. Little interesting trivia point, tells you a lot about his owner.

Brad Anderson (28:54):
It’s good though, because that was the last question. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever drank beer out of?

Mary Jo Foley (28:58):
Weirdest thing I’ve drank drink beer out of. That’s a good question. I would say a glass slipper, but it’s not true, but it sounds good, right?

Brad Anderson (29:06):
Let’s go with that. No, this has been a blast. You know, we should make this like an annual event or something.

Mary Jo Foley (29:11):
I agree. I think it could be really fun to do annually because there’s always so much happening in Microsoft 365 and especially in your part of that market that I would love to do that. That’d be awesome.

Brad Anderson (29:23):
You know, if you’re trying to dig for information, you gotta do it like a week or two before Ignite.

Mary Jo Foley (29:28):
Yeah. You know what? Maybe we should do it right before Ignite.

Brad Anderson (29:29):
I kind of lose reality of what’s been announced and what hasn’t been announced as I’m prepping for that. So, you know, that might be a time if you wanted to kind of slip something in.

Mary Jo Foley (29:38):
I think that sounds like a great plan. Meanwhile, for all you other MJF Chat readers and listeners, I’m going to be posting more information soon on Petri about who my next guest is going to be. Once you see that, you can submit questions for that person on Twitter, and in the meantime, if you know of anyone else who might make a good guest, even if it’s yourself, just drop me a line. All my contact information is available on Petri.com thanks again, Brad. This was great.

Brad Anderson (30:10):
Bye.

Mary Jo Foley (30:10):
Bye.

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