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B2B: Transforming Business Digitally

The MT Conferences section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

Nikolay Pryanishnikov
Microsoft in Russia

Social networks firmly enter into our life: Most Internet users have at least one account on a social network. It's familiar for users to get access to information they need and to share news with friends in one click. This new way of how people communicate is a common thing today and employees expect it in their companies to proceed their daily tasks. "Social enterprise" is one of the emerging megatrends today, along with mobility, Big Data and cloud, which are beginning to dominate and change the way organizations use technology. In the social sphere, these trends are driving changes in how companies work that give rise to new ways of getting things done inside the business. And they are also driving changes in customer behavior, leading to the emergence of the social customer, who expects to be engaged in new ways.

In its study conducted in 2011, Mckinsey Institute revealed that 72 percent of companies used social technology for business, and 90 percent of them have noted that it brought them benefits such as increasing employee loyalty, a new level of productivity and strengthening relationships by successfully engaging with customers, which is vital to business growth. Next year Mckinsey Institute estimates that social services and technologies will enable business to get additional profits of $900 billion to $1.3 trillion. There is another important thing: People's workdays don't start at 9 a.m. These days, and their personal lives don't start at 5 p.m. There's constant overlap between the two. All day, every day, we are all simultaneously consumers and professionals, friends, family, and colleagues—and our communications technologies need to move between these dimensions as seamlessly as we do. We just want to connect quickly with the people we care about in a way that's easy for us to manage.

Let's imagine how the company and the workplace may look. From morning to night, our experience with technology is consistent and intuitive, whether we're using a phone, PC, tablet—or even a gaming system. As we move between home and work, it's easy to store and access data digitally via the cloud and from any device. Our technology experience is fun and natural, enabling us to directly manipulate text, slides and other objects through gestures, touch and pen. We meet our colleagues, partner and customers virtually and it's just as productive as in person. The devices we want to use are the same ones that meet enterprise security requirements, helping you protect sensitive information and communications. Our latest communication solutions enable high-quality audio/video conferencing that allow us to go paperless with application and presentation sharing. In meetings, we draw, type, click, or swipe to save and search notes—from any device. Distant future? No, it's today's reality via social enterprise.

For businesses, social computing facilitates team collaboration and connects the business to partners, customers and the wider world. Enterprises need to create engaging social conversations, but they also need to build facilities for productivity into internal collaboration systems and be able to track and influence social conversations taking place around their brand and products. That is the key to success, to grow the top line by expanding your product offerings and market share, to grow your bottom line by improving productivity and saving costs, to grow in capabilities through innovation and developing skills and leadership. And businesses can do it today with new technologies, making another big step into future.

The MT Conferences section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

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