This young and ambitious engineer ended up in the SharePoint/Office 365 world by mistake [yup, those are his own words]. While he was working at his first engineering-gig, he got introduced to SharePoint as a great tool to organize content. The IT department learned that Matt had an interest in SharePoint, and they requested him to join them on a project for 12 months. “It’ll be twelve months.”, they said. It turned out to be 6 years, and ever since he’s been learning new skills and growing his expertise in SharePoint and Office 365. Today, he’s building user-centric solutions to enhance the overall experience and improve the day-to-day productivity and engagement of employees, students, etc…
“I ended up with SharePoint by mistake. Kid you not.”
Matt is one of the speakers of the upcoming NYC Enterprise Collaboration Meetup – Are [chat] bots taking over?!
Tuesday, February 6
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Microsoft Office in NYC (11 Times Sqaure)
What is your biggest passion?
“Do you mean workwise? Or in general?”
“Well, now you’ve sparked my interest… please, share them both.”
“When it comes to work, I’m committed to the user. Boring, eh? I think the only reason technology has won us over big time is because it makes our lives easier and more enjoyable. With anything I do, learn, explore or create, I always keep the end-user in mind. Building digestible and user-centric solutions became my life’s mission.
What you might not know, and probably wouldn’t have guessed, is my unstoppable love for education. I’ve spent many years on the school board [please fill in exact title/name] and it’s a fascinating world. This might sound odd but I have always enjoyed focusing on policies rather than the individual. By examining the numbers (data) I’d try to find ways to improve policies and processes. That way I could, after changes were implemented, prove the difference me and my team had made.
“It sounds like there’s an overlap if you were to ask me. Keeping in mind the end-user (students) and empower them to do their best work in the most pleasant way. That brings me to my next question…”
Which part of your job do you enjoy most?
“Freedom! I love that I have the freedom to create and share content, especially when people are getting something out of it. It’s great to hear from people what they like, what they dislike, what they miss, or what they believe is redundant. The feedback from my audience is always an important part of the content creation process. If not the most important.”
And which part of your job could you live without easily?
“Oh, that’s an easy one: maintenance. I absolutely hate maintaining systems! It’s great to be a consultant, get organizations up & running with a new/adjusted system. But, I’m bad at trouble-shooting and I’m not a fan of “keeping the lights on” after I’ve deployed the system. Once it’s done, I’m out.”
What project are you currently working on?
“Together with a fantastic team, I’m working on Bizzy. Bizzy is a chatbot that you can train to do the things you need it to do. Everyone knows Siri and/or Alexa, but what if you could build a bot that works exactly the way you want? One that you can teach the skills that are most valuable to you and your business? And, all of that within your Office 365 framework!
With Bizzy, you can build separate bots for your HR, Sales, Marketing, IT and other departments. The bot is plugged into Microsoft Flow, which is where the ‘training’ will take place. You can connect with Bizzy in Microsoft Teams, where it’ll present you with the direct answer to your questions, rather than a link to the source of the answer. If applicable, Bizzy will even suggest a follow-up action.
With all those innovations we like to believe that about 90% of the IT support tasks can be automated. Pretty cool, huh?!”
“Very cool! Sounds like you guys are onto something. Very innovative and progressive. Talking about innovation…”
What will be the most exciting innovation in the next 5 years?
“Wow, good questions…” [thinks for a minute…] “Oh, I know… I can’t wait for self-driving cars. I think that’s going to change the way we’ll move around in a spectacular way. It’ll be super cool and practical to be able to just hop in a vehicle, tell it where you’d want to go and don’t worry about anything else anymore. With that, I foresee a great improvement in traffic safety.
On the other side, I don’t think today’s world is prepared for this kind of traffic/innovation in any way. Think about how the economy isn’t ready for this: Uber/Lyft will have to change their service model drastically, and there will be complete markets that will disappear/transform. As I said: exciting times! But also, very unpredictable. We’re not ready for this yet, but it’ll be here soon!”
What advice would you give your 10-year younger self?
“Hmm… I think I would tell my younger self to give up being ‘planted’ in one place. Pull out. Move away. Hop across the world. After growing up and living in the same place for many years, I finally jumped into an adventure elsewhere in the world and it was the scariest yet fulfilling choice I’ve ever made. The excitement of starting something new in a different place, mixed with the anxiety of leaving everything familiar behind is a magical combination that opens up a whole new world. Literally. I can recommend it to everyone!”
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|“Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyse so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.” – Dr. A.R. Dykes|