MJFChat: Everything you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about Microsoft 365

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  • MJFChat: Everything you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about Microsoft 365


We are now in the second year of our 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 #AskMJF 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 Spotify; here for Apple Podcasts on iTunes; and here for Google Play.)

Our next MJFChat, scheduled for Monday, February 17, is all about Microsoft 365, Microsoft’s subscription bundle comprised of Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. My special guest is Stephen Rose, Microsoft 365 Senior Product Marketing Manager.

We want you to submit your best questions for Stephen ahead of our chat. If you’ve got questions about why your organization could/should use M365, Stephen’s your guy. If there are any specific product features or specific scenarios you’d like him to cover, make sure to chime in ahead of time.

Also: If you know someone you’d like to see interviewed on the MJFChat show, including yourself, send me a note at [email protected]. (Let me know why you think this person would be an awesome guest and what topics you’d like to see covered.) We’ll take things from there….



Mary Jo Foley (00:00): Hi, you’re listening to the Petri.com MJF Chat Show. I am Mary Jo Foley, AKA your Petri.com community magnet and I am here to interview tech industry experts about various topics that you, our readers and listeners want to know about. Today’s MJF chat is going to be all about Microsoft 365 and my special guest today is Stephen Rose, Microsoft 365 Senior Product Marketing Manager. Welcome Stephen, and thank you so much for doing this chat with me.

Stephen Rose (00:36): Hey Mary Jo, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here this morning.

Mary Jo Foley (00:39): Nice. Well thank you so much. And for folks listening, I don’t know if you’re listening how you wouldn’t know this, but Microsoft 365 is Microsoft’s subscription bundle of Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. There is a version of it for business users, actually there’s multiple versions of it. There’s a version for education and we hear a rumor that Microsoft may be working on a new rebranded Microsoft 365 consumer subscription bundle that may or may not be called Microsoft 365 Life. I’m not going to ask you about that one, Stephen, since that’s not really what our listeners are here for, but I would love to hear your explanation when people say to you, Hey Stephen, what is Microsoft 365 and why should I care? I’d like to hear your elevator pitch.

Stephen Rose (01:32):

All right, well, I’ll give you the short marketing pitch and then I’ll give you the real world pitch. So you know our,

Mary Jo Foley (01:38):

Sounds good.

Stephen Rose (01:38): Yeah, I mean our marketing pitch is, you know, Microsoft 365, lets individuals, teams and organizations work from anywhere on any device securely. And that’s really at the core because we’re protecting you with all the security features. We’re allowing you to move back and forth across PC, Mac, web, mobile, et cetera, and bring that all together.

You know, the bigger answer is we’ve taken Windows and Windows Virtual Desktop, we’ve taken all of the Office Apps, including things like Exchange. We’ve bundled in you know, there’s OneDrive and Stream and Sway and Power Apps, but then it’s like System Center Configuration Manager, and Autopilot and Azure and all these other features. So it’s much easier for IT pros to just say, look, I have all these features and as we stay agile, as we move in new directions, we’re ready to take those on.

Stephen Rose (02:37): And especially with the security features, by not having, you know, 8 or 9 different products, it’s much easier for you to go from being reactive to proactive because you’re really seeing trends like, Hey, you know, this happened on this machine, or there was an EXE that went off here, or this is going off here, or this person has gotten a bunch of, you know, logged in at weird times from different countries.

There may be a problem there. So we’re going from solving problems to seeing trends. And that’s, that’s really sort of, the key benefit that IT pros get out of the full Microsoft 365 product.

Mary Jo Foley (03:20):

Okay, that’s good. Cause I get that question a lot. I get people saying to me, I already subscribe to Office 365 Commercial, you know, maybe E3 or E5, but I don’t see why I should take the rest of the bundle.

Stephen Rose (03:36): No, absolutely. And, you know, the first thing is it’s not Office rebranded. That’s the first thing I get. Is this just a new rebrand of Office? No, it’s not. So first you’re getting Windows 10, you know, which is great. You’re getting Enterprise and all the Enterprise rights. And with that you’re getting Windows Virtual Desktop.

Now Windows Virtual Desktop allows you, let’s say you’re still running Windows 7 to continue to run Windows 7 and apps that only run in Windows 7 in a fully supported environment since Windows 7 is out of support. Second, it also runs on a variety of devices. At Ignite, I showed off Windows Virtual Desktop you know, running on an Android phone, running AutoCAD with a keyboard, mouse and monitor running it like a full PC. So for our users who are using other third party tools to do that, this is the first of many tools that are now included that start to make it easier for you.

Stephen Rose (04:33): If you have those one or two apps that only ran in Windows 7 that you want to run in Windows 10, great. Now you can virtualize those. Or if you’re training end users on software, you have a chance to virtualize the old version and put the new one on the machine so people can work with two different versions of that at the same time and bring that all together.

You know, with Teams, you’re getting audio calls, you’re getting the whole phone system piece of it that you’re not going to get what just regular Office, you know, and, there’s a lot more as we start to dig into Intune and as we start to dig into Autopilot, device health, you know, System Center Configuration Manager. What else? Azure AD we have the Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection and the Office 365 threat protection.

Stephen Rose (05:21): We have all the data loss protection. And you know, the big one that we’re hearing from folks is that they have moved away from securing the device to securing the data. And that’s where things like e-discovery and Customer Lockbox and Hold Your Own Key and MyAnalytics and all of those things, Power BI Pro come in where you can start to manage that, track that and you can export all of that data to JIRA or any other third party app that you want to be able to track that. But that’s really, the key aspect of that. And then the second thing is we’re in an interesting time now, we have four generations of end users.

We have our boomers, you know, moving down and we get into Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z, millennials. We have one group of people who grew up using desktop apps and that’s their comfort zone. And then a whole new generation of people who grew up in the cloud that don’t see a difference between a cell phone and a laptop. It’s just a way to get to their stuff in the cloud. And they’re using less email, they’re moving to chat. So being able to protect that content, to manage that content and leverage that, but allow people to work the way they want to work is really critical, because we proved you don’t need to be in an office to be productive.

Mary Jo Foley (06:40):

Yup. Totally. So I have two listener questions that are relevant to the kind of the definitional part of M365. So, Matthew, Rays, he asks, is M365 the only way to get Windows 10 Enterprise? So this might be a good time to explain what is the Windows 10 that’s part of Microsoft 365, the thing that’s called windows 10 E3 or E5, what is that and how is it different from regular old Windows 10 Enterprise?

Stephen Rose (07:11): Right. And with the Windows 10 Enterprise, again, we’re getting all that additional functionality. So you have your re-imaging rights, you have your virtual machine rights, you have your autopilot rights, you can pretty much do whatever you need to do with Windows 10 Enterprise rather than having it a user to user or machine to machine license.

So it really opens up a lot of opportunities as you take a look at testing, how folks are going to work, being able to virtualize, move in and out of the device, device re-imaging rights, all of those sorts of things. It just really makes it for folks a whole, I don’t need to worry about this from first line workers if you’re using F1 all the way down to E3 and E5 and, that’s probably the simplest answer.

Mary Jo Foley (07:54): Okay, that’s good. Then Michael Wolfkens on Twitter asked about cost and so he said M365 feels expensive compared to our perpetual licenses. So I assume he’s mostly talking there about Office. And, why should we pay monthly instead of just maintaining things as we have them currently?

Stephen Rose (08:16): Yeah, I think that’s a good answer. I think the problem you run into with perpetual software is not everybody’s going to continue to use it the same way. So again, if you’re paying for Citrix, if you’re paying for those separate, you know, re-imaging rights and licenses, if you’re paying for a VoIP audio system, if you are paying for Azure usage cause you’re doing Azure AD, if you’re paying for third party security apps, you’re actually paying probably considerably more than what you would pay for M365 depending on your version and seats.

By wrapping that all together, we’re not only saving you but we’re giving you all these features because we’re finding that customers are coming back and saying, Oh I’ve just got hit with ransomware. Well you could have had, you know, Windows Information Protection and BitLocker and the data loss prevention, and the features in OneDrive that would help you recover all that rather than having all these piecemeal products.

Stephen Rose (09:13): And then as someone who was an IT pro, you know, for 15 years and ran my own consulting company, people don’t do backups on a regular basis. They don’t check their backups on a regular basis. They get hit with this stuff and they’re like, Oh crap. By having it, you really can sit down and say, you know what? Let’s start to test this. Let’s start to pilot this. Let’s start to move some of this forward and see how we can bring this together. So you have those products that don’t have to go, Oh, I wonder what that would do for us or if this would solve the problem.

So you’re going to save money, you’re going to have a better, as I said earlier, this 360 degree single pane of glass to be able to see what’s going on within your environment rather than exporting data from 10 or 15 different products and trying to put that together and then look at that to look for trends and outliers as you take a look at security and usage and things along that line. So we’ve really tried to make it easier. And by paying for it month by month, we’ve made it that you can really expand or reduce as you increase or decrease your work for your workforce. Especially if you have seasonal workers or times of year that are busier, you can sort of move up and down as needed. So it gives you that elasticity.

Mary Jo Foley (10:23): Okay. That’s good. Here’s one, this is my own question and I kind of think I know the answer but I’m not positive I do. There’s a thing called the Microsoft 365 Developer Platform and I’ve heard Microsoft talk a little bit about that at Build and at Ignite, but what does that actually consist of and why should people care about that?

Stephen Rose (10:48):

Well, our developer platform, you know, at least as I understand it, is a series of tools and SDKs and all of these things that you can build into. So, for example, one of the really sort of nexus points around Microsoft 365 is the Graph and the Graph allows you to take, you know, the information and what users are doing to bring it into the Graph and then to be able to surface relevant information as you need it. It is very anticipatory. I.e. I get out of a meeting and it goes, Hey, do you want to share this PowerPoint that you just showed in this meeting with everybody in the meeting?

Yeah, I do. That would be great. And I just click a button and it happens, before a meeting, it says, Hey, here were the last few emails and documents that you had pertaining to this topic.

Stephen Rose (11:40): Do you want to review it? It’s not like, I mean it is AI, but I hate the term AI because AI has this negative, you know, T1000, Skynet, you know, watching everything you do kind of feel where this is more, we’re looking for certain types of signals that happen over and over again and then surface that up to you in right time.

With the developer platform, we allow anybody who’s making software and apps and things like that to be able to connect to that, to bring that intelligence into the overall Graph, to make your apps smarter, to make your apps show up that just in time information as it’s needed or to be part of those larger searches as we continue to dig in. So that’s really at the core, which is everything from how do I allow my app to be a tab within Teams, because we really sort of see Teams, at least Satya has said, is sort of our next Windows, kind of that key platform that people will spend most of their day in.

Stephen Rose (12:40): And to be able to bring those apps into tabs or to be able to create Power apps or Flow, that are low code, no code solutions right through to doing something more complex than leveraging the Graph to surface up information. All of these are that part of the platform and Microsoft 365 really is a platform that you can customize, that you can build onto, or that you can integrate your own third party app into that to make it more user-friendly.

And, you know, we have Box, we have Dropbox, we have competitors that are deeply embedded, Zoom into Teams, you know, and other applications. So it’s not like our apps are always the best. If you’ve invested deep in that ecosystem, we have ways for you to make it part of that experience for users. So there are some where that’s gonna make more sense than others saying, Hey, this all in one aspect is gonna make it easier for users, but we really let you pick and choose and to pick the level of the equalizer that makes the most sense for your end users.

Mary Jo Foley (13:43):

Cool. Okay. Yeah, the Graph, I always feel like everything comes back to the Graph in a way. So yeah, that seems very central. And, also I guess for me, when I think about the developer platform now, I also think about the whole idea of what is Microsoft’s identity platform too. So that gets back to your point that security is at the core of Microsoft 365 too.

Stephen Rose (14:08): Yeah. And kind of, and let me just close out on the Graph because there are, there are four pillars that may make it easier for people to grok, especially those that are like, what is it? The first thing is, you know, rich context, we’re used to that in Outlook. Hey your manager’s out of the office or this is what you’ve been working on. There’s those insights of Hey, you work with this person a lot, let’s see what they’re working on or help you or try to connect you. It’s those real time updates. Hey, a file has been modified.

And even those broader reach things that lever, you know, that we find in Outlook and OneDrive that bring in the online product or even the consumer product. Those are sort of the four pillars of the Graph. So I think if you think of it that way, that may make it a little bit easier for folks to grok in how it connects in and where you can connect it.

Mary Jo Foley (14:55): Yeah, that’s really good. Thanks. That was excellent. Last year Microsoft announced a couple of Microsoft 365 bundles. One was called Identity and Threat Protection and one was called Information, Protection and Compliance. And the way I kind of understand this is, this is for people who are on E3, who don’t really think they need to go all the way to E5, but they need these sets of core capabilities like, specifically security or compliance.

And once Microsoft introduced these, I got a ton of questions and a ton of interest about them. So I wondered if you could talk a little more about like how the reception of these has been and who are they for, and maybe if you can give us any hints about, is this just the first in these kinds of step up bundles or might there be others perhaps?

Stephen Rose (15:51): Yeah, I mean it came in and what we really saw was we had everything from small businesses around 500 users that were outsourcing a lot of their IT. And were constantly in this, Oh, it’s not up to date, it’s not up to date. We’re not monitoring it, to enterprises again, that were using a variety of products and realized we don’t need all the features in E5.

We’re still going to be using our own voice and we’re still using, you know, a variety of third party products, but our big issue, and again it goes back to that we don’t have this great proactive future facing view of what’s going on in security. You know, folks started using security score and it said, Hey, you can raise your security score, which is a tool available to all of our customers that it will go in and give you like a credit score for your security.

Stephen Rose (16:41): It will tell you, here’s where you’re at, here’s where other companies of your size are at, and here’s what you can do to improve your score. And one of the first things that they’ll often see is multi-factor authentication, MFA.

Oh well we don’t have the infrastructure for MFA and this is all we want to do. So for those folks who are looking to help to make things more secure, to take over their security, to reduce the amount of products or to be more proactive, that really made sense because then they go, we don’t need all that functionality but the security aspect is really important. We heard that from a lot of customers is we have E3 and we just want this stuff so make it part of the skew and I think that’s something that really speaks a lot to Satya and the newer, you know the new Microsoft certainly different than the Microsoft when I started.

Stephen Rose (17:31): That we really listened to our customers and we went back and said yeah I think that we can do this, we’ll give you the all you can eat skew with the E5. But for those customers who are looking now going, we’re now allowing people to work anywhere from a variety of devices. We’re seeing more Macs come in, we’re having people that are only using browser and they’re using it on non trusted machines. How do we secure this data? How do we secure those users?

And again, it’s part of that move from securing the device back in the NT40 and Windows 2000 and Windows NT days to securing the data, which is what we see now from customers as they move back and forth across devices. Because, very few of us just use one device all day. We use 3, I can use up to 5 in a single day sometimes. So this made it much easier for those customers and allowed customers that normally couldn’t afford to buy all of that and the people that implement it a much easier way to do that. That was much more cost effective.

Mary Jo Foley (18:28):

Is there also an academic version of these, do you know?

Stephen Rose (18:32): Yes, there are many versions of that. We have the education skews which are available, which a lot of these things are included for those customers. So absolutely. We also have federal versions of these for our government cloud customers. So there’s a different variety and that’s where it really comes in handy to really talk to a Microsoft rep and say, this is what we’re doing.

This is how many people, if you’re going to be merging, bringing on another company, changing direction where they can really take a look at what you’re spending and what that cost is and your industry, first line, financial health and life sciences, et cetera, and help you put that together. And 9 times out of 10, our customers say, we wish we would have done this ages ago because we’re saving a ton of money and we’re not paying for products that we’re not using.

Mary Jo Foley (19:21):

Yup. Do you think there’ll be more bundles like this in the future? I mean, I don’t know what else you guys would bundle together, like identity and threat protection makes sense. And information, protection and compliance makes sense. I don’t know if there’d be other kinds of bundles like this or,

Stephen Rose (19:38): I think we always have things coming out of the hopper and I think especially as we take a look at first line workers, there are a lot of really cool scenarios for first line workers that we’re starting to see and I can see some features that only make sense for them, for remote workers that are never at a desktop that are only using a virtual machine or something like that for us to do more, but I think we’re really going to listen to our customers for them to say, Hey, we love this feature and I can see more features coming in.

Like personally, if I could vote for a feature to put in to E5, it would be workplace analytics, which is separate and I would love to see workplace analytics because right now we’re at a point where a lot of our customers are saying we have these products, but we really want to track and see how people are using them.

Stephen Rose (20:23):

As we go through the, and I hate the term digital transformation, but I’m going to use it, as we go through that digital information. Can we really track and see are people really working more together internally, externally and doing more virtual meetings and all these other things. Workplace analytics is one of those great tools that helps to track that really nicely.

We have you know, a new app that we just announced a few weeks ago that, it’s in pre-release beta. Oh my God, I can’t think of the name of it right now, it’ll come to me in a minute. And I have a blog post coming out on it next week along with a bunch of other, productivity score. Yeah. productivity score. So that’s another one. So I think as we have more and more of these things that are really more geared as we hear from our customers, yeah.

Stephen Rose (21:09): We could say, you know what, we’re going to put that into a bundle that helps to drive usage. So it’ll be part of E5 and you can get it as an add on to E3 is your productivity tracker bundle maybe.

Mary Jo Foley (21:20): Cool.

Stephen Rose (21:23): Things like that are always possible. I’m not saying that’s coming, but things like that that we take a look at on a regular basis and go, how can we add more value for folks or how do we give this to people that just want this but don’t want all the other stuff but we don’t want to g skew crazy cause that just gets confusing and then have to deal with that and all the fall out.

Mary Jo Foley (21:41): Yeah. I’m glad you didn’t call it something like E4. I was kind of dreading that.

Stephen Rose (21:48): Worse, E3 and a half or something.

Mary Jo Foley (21:49): That wouldn’t be terrible but yeah. Okay. Here comes a reader question about Office 365 specifically. Scott who goes by @shorevaptech on Twitter asked whether there are any plans to make more seamless integration for SharePoint file access and Windows and he said why not add OS support so that you could see SharePoint libraries in Office 365 apps.

Stephen Rose (22:22): All right. It’s a good question. I’ll give you my personal opinion, which will be very very different than with Dan Holme and those guys over in SharePoint lab would probably say, but as someone who was on the OneDrive SharePoint team, A. we did bring OnDrive in because that is one of those secure sharing points, but what we hear from a lot of customers and what I see is we have two different types of customers.

We have the ones who love SharePoint but they’ve been using it for a long time and they love it. They swear by it. They do a ton of stuff with it and we have a lot of newer customers who say, we don’t ever want to see SharePoint. We’re going to do everything through Teams. We want to pretend like SharePoint doesn’t even exist even though it’s the back end and running everything.

Stephen Rose (23:05):

And for those folks, if they’re already doing that, a lot of what he’s probably talking about, which is interacting with folks and sharing and things like that, you’re going to get that. We really look at it as OneDrive, especially with the file redirection feature. You know with the folder redirect, is where you put the things that you are just working on yourself. And that goes back to my definition of that it makes individuals, teams and organizations. So that’s where your individual work goes. As soon as you’re in a team where you’re using SharePoint, you’re in Teams, so you’re already sharing that content, you’re already picking who has access to it. So since that really is in many ways becoming the new desktop that are spending their time at it is fully integrated there and it is part of that search, but only for the users who want it.

Stephen Rose (23:52): So I don’t know, could we bring in SharePoint as part of that? Yes. But I think for a lot of our folks who are Teams, is really becoming the new standard that might create a layer of confusion for them on. But I thought I had this in Teams and isn’t Teams already SharePoint? And how is this different as we really start to move ahead. And you know, Jeff has done a phenomenal job.

Jeff Teper and really doing some great things for SharePoint and his team. But now he’s also overall of Office engineering and Teams engineering. And I’m excited to see what he’s going to bring there, and as he starts to merge those worlds together. So it’s good to know that the future of SharePoint is in the hands of the guy who’s also leading Teams and the Office stuff. So I think how that comes together is going to be interesting and it’s going to come from the brains who get that the best. So rest easy is probably my best answer.

Mary Jo Foley (24:42): Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. Okay. Here’s a little controversy because what’s a podcast without controversy? Christopher who goes by @dillcre on Twitter asked about this recent move Microsoft made where the company announced it was going to be making mandatory, the Microsoft search in Bing extension for Office 365 Pro Plus users.

And it got a lot of people in a panic because it looked like Microsoft was trying to circumvent admins and that they were going to actually go so far as to change people’s default search engines if they were using Chrome. So that they could try out this new feature. Now I actually think this Microsoft search and Bing is very cool, but, I did find it a little overkill that Microsoft was gonna push this on people the way they did. I know that they just last week reversed that and said they weren’t going to go ahead with that. But the question for you is why does Microsoft think this was gonna be okay?

Stephen Rose (25:49): All right. That’s controversial. All right. I don’t know. I’m not the right person, first of all, to answer that. That was not part of the, the core of the sphere of influence that I was involved in. But, I will say this and that is, and I use the search for Bing, especially for business stuff, and we’ve shown all the great things that it brings up.

But I think at any time when we’ve heard back from customers, whether it be this, whether it be the Windows updates and how that was going to work and how often that was coming out, we, unlike in past days, Windows 8, when we really didn’t care about, put the needs of the IT pro first and tried to change that focus. With Windows 10, we have consistently listened to IT pros and when they said, we get it and this is great, but we’re not there yet, it’s gonna take us a while or that just does not work.

Stephen Rose (26:43): We put out, we heard from a bunch of customers with OneDrive that said, Hey, we love the cloud update, but we don’t work that way. We’re still 3, 4 years away. We want a version of OneDrive that we can install as part of a package and that we can manually update. And we said, okay, but if you don’t update it every 60 days, we’re going to shut off the sync service because now you’re putting other users at risk.

And they said, fine. So I think we’re always open to listen and hear back and if we overstep our bounds or we’re really trying to do what we think is best for you, but then you come back and say, you don’t understand me or my business and this isn’t best and you’re making my life more difficult. I think we have a pretty good track record across the products of listening and doing that except for at the highest level when it comes to security.

Stephen Rose (27:30): Security’s one of those areas that we won’t often compromise or we’ll try to come up with something middle. But what we don’t want to do is have you get hurt and lose everything because you didn’t realize what was going on. So, I think we’ve become a lot more flexible that way. And I think that’s a great example of us listening and saying, all right, we hear you.

Thank you. We’ll take that away and we’ll make that a thing that you can turn on for those many customers who want it. And it could be a lot of our Fortune 50 customers have asked for that, but all the rest below you know that doesn’t always float up to us.

Mary Jo Foley (28:04): Yep. Okay, cool. Last question for you is, best resources for people who are trying to keep up with all the different things happening in Microsoft 365 and I want to hear the answer to this myself because I find it challenging. You guys are always announcing new features and roadmaps are changing and there’s always new directions and bundles. So when you’re telling people, here’s how I suggest you try to stay current, what do you tell them?

Stephen Rose (28:35): Yeah. It’s a little tough because our roadmap, our public roadmap tool, which we were really relying upon, has gotten a little bit behind. There’s been some organizational changes and we’re waiting for that group to start back up that will get that back on track. So once that gets updated and fixed, I’m hoping within the next 30 days, that becomes a really great place. Number two is the M365 blog, Jared Spataro’s blog that comes out monthly, talks about kind of the key new features that are coming out and that are there.

One of our internal groups does a great video on what’s new in M365 based on Jared’s blog, but they actually deep dive in with engineering on what that feature means and what it means to IT pros and the tech community blogs are awesome for that. There’s some other tools that are being talked about on how to kind of do what we did for OneDrive, which is monthly put out a blog post or biweekly that would say, here’s the message center updates and here’s how it goes back to the roadmap and what we’re doing.

Stephen Rose (29:34): And I was really proud of doing that and it got a lot of great response from IT pros. And we’re seeing more and more of the teams start to discuss how to do that either individually or as some sort of centralized updates. So I think now that we’ve gone through this organizational change, and now we, my team now reports all the way up now. You know differently than it did before. We’re not under Kirk and different things. I think we’re looking at better ways to do this but I think we’re open to ideas and suggestions.

If folks out there want to hear, Hey, I’m really missing this, but I think the blog, the tech community and once we get our M365 roadmap back on track, those would probably be the three best ways. And then following you, you’re really great at this Paul. I push out a lot of stuff on Twitter so follow the products that you’re also doing. Cause they’re also really, really good about doing that and you can always aggregate that up. But I want a better answer and I’m going to work to get a better one on that. On what would make this better.

Mary Jo Foley (30:32): Good. I’m glad because I get those every Monday morning I get the whole list in my inbox of all the things happening in M365 and O365 and I’m like, okay, what do I do with this? Cause there are a million things going on. And just trying to prioritize it and find it and figure it out is it’s pretty much a full-time job.

Stephen Rose (30:51): Oh yeah. And then when you read it, half the time you’re like, I read this and I still don’t understand what this. Anybody on the line who can explain this to me. And they’re like, I don’t know. I didn’t even know that was coming out. So we do get a lot of that. And I think the one thing we’ve done is a much better bridge of communication between engineering and marketing. So we better understand the stuff which is great. And that’s something which, you know, we’ve done a much better job of.

And I think that needs to continue. And I’m thinking through the new leadership, we have some better chances of bringing that together. Matter of fact, that was even a question I brought up. We did an all-hands with the new leadership and I said, Hey, how do we better bridge that gap? Because we need to know, products fall under evolution or revolution.

Stephen Rose (31:34): They’re either evolution, this is a feature we have to have to compete or to catch up or that folks are asking for. And then there’s the unexpected feature, the revolutionary ones that nobody saw coming. That change how we look at things and how we do business and understanding both of those, why we’re doing them and where they hit becomes pretty critical. And then if we pull that engineering thread so something falls off, what did and where can we see it back?

Because it’s a huge gap. I know when I was in OneDrive, there were several of us that went to Rajesh, and the other team and said, we’ve got to solve this non-persistent you know, VDI issue. And we took a look at it. We had millions of customers who couldn’t use OneDrive in VDI. They couldn’t use Outlook in VDI, they couldn’t use OneNote. So we bought a company. That’s how we solved that. And that led to WVD and you know, all OneDrive and everything else. Being able to be used in non-persistent, persistent virtual environments as well, so we’re always looking for that balance of things. And how we solve those issues.

Mary Jo Foley (32:33): Great. Well, thank you very much. This was like a whirlwind tour, but it was awesome. So thanks for doing this.

Stephen Rose (32:39): No, my pleasure. Always great. And you know, folks can reach out to me the same way they do with you on Twitter, and we’re happy to answer questions and get engaged. And thank you for all that you do for us and helping us to get the word out on everything. We can’t do it without you.

Mary Jo Foley (32:53): Oh yeah, you’re welcome. And for everybody else still listening to our podcast, all you MJF Chat readers and listeners, I’ll be posting more info soon on Petri about who my next guest will be. Once you see that you can submit your questions on Twitter directly for the guest. In the meantime, if you know anyone who might make a good guest for one of these chats, including yourself, please do not hesitate to drop me a note. All my contact information is available on Petri.com. Thank you very much.