Interview with Paul Bryan, Senior Director, Windows Phone Product Management
Innovation comes in different shapes and sizes. Where should organizations put their focus today?
With the rapidly growing use of smartphones and slates, opportunities abound for organizations to re-evaluate how they are mobilizing their workforce and reaching their customers.
For example, organizations can explore new ways these mobile devices can help employees communicate and collaborate with colleagues and customers. The ability to view, edit and share documents on the go, a seamless and integrated email and calendar experience and new ways to access applications and information are all ways to boost employee productivity. There are also new ways to reach and engage customers through their mobile devices with beautiful, compelling applications. These areas are important for organizations to focus on.
Some of the most significant advances in technology over the past decade have come from mobile computing devices. What is Microsoft doing to foster this innovation?
Microsoft has been in the mobile computing business for many years and is continually seeking new ways to push the envelope of innovation. Through our investments in software and services for smartphones, slates and mobile PCs, we have created a platform for a wide range of ecosystem partners to develop and deliver outstanding end user experiences for customers.
For example, Windows Phone is the only phone on the market today with Office Mobile built in, a native SharePoint client for easy access to SharePoint and Office 365 sites, and a seamless and integrated email and calendar experience—enabling organizations to help their employees reach new levels of productivity. Companies can also utilize the familiar Windows Phone development platform to create and distribute innovative, compelling applications for customers.
In order to thrive, companies need to foster a culture of innovation. Can you give us some examples of how companies are innovating with Windows Phone today?
One way companies are innovating with Windows Phone today is in the area of mobile app development. We see customers dedicating developers to focus on innovative apps for their employees and customers, creating solutions that enable critical decisions and connections to be made anytime, anywhere. Windows Phone is a great platform because most companies are already familiar with the .NET framework and our developer tools, so innovation happens quickly. For instance, we’ve seen customers’ prototype apps in as little as a week. Rapid time to market is a tremendous advantage as they bring innovation to their employees and customers.
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Police, the largest police force in Germany with ~50,000 police officers serving about 19 million people, is delivering innovative technology that benefits their constituents. NRW Police added Windows Phone to their IT-approved list of smartphones for their employees because it met their security requirements and works with their existing infrastructure. Next, recognizing the power of delivering breaking news and information to mobile devices for their constituents, NRW Police worked with Expectare, a Microsoft partner, to build an app that delivers breaking news, search warrant issued, and police station locations to their employees and users. NRW Police and Expectare was able to design and build the app in a week because of their familiarity with Microsoft technologies and developer tools.
Successful CIOs and IT departments must be key drivers (and enablers) of innovation. What advice can you give to knowledge workers and business executives to help them partner with IT to deliver a competitive advantage?
Continually seek new and innovative ways to embrace technology to improve productivity. At the same time pay attention to the guidelines that IT provides on best mobile platforms that work well with the IT infrastructure in place in the organization.
What role are consumers playing in inspiring innovation in the Windows Phone?
Consumers are increasingly choosing their own devices and bringing them into work so we must make Windows Phone compelling for consumers in order to be successful in the marketplace. One example of what we have learned is that people want to manage both their personal and business lives through experiences that pull information together in a seamless way, and take fewer steps to act on.
To address this, Windows Phone takes a unique approach by putting people at the center of the experience, making it easier to connect and share with friends, family and co-workers. With features such as Groups and Threads, it’s easier to stay in touch with the people you care about most. These are just a few of the many innovations in Windows Phone and consumers are the source of inspiration for each new capability.