Week one at Microsoft

Should I have named this blog post ‘Career 3.0’? Today saw me complete my first week at Microsoft, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be heading back to Thames Valley Park for week two. I’ve joined the Enterprise and Partner Group as a Business Productivity Sales Professional in the Specialist Team Unit. Here’s a few thoughts from my first week:

  • Thames Valley Park is an inviting place to work – free drinks and fruit on offer, a number of subsidised restaurants, a small Starbucks outlet, and a well-being centre. There’s also lots of informal meeting spaces, including collaboration areas incorporating television screens for projecting presentations.
  • I had a new laptop (a Lenovo T420s if you’re interested) and a Windows mobile phone (an HTC Mozart) even before I’d sat down at a desk. By the afternoon (after Orange had worked their magic by activating the SIM) the phone was receiving e-mail, calendar content and contacts.
  • The on-line ‘Welcome Experience’ is excellent.
  • Along with every other Microsoft employee based at Thames Valley Park I’ve been invited to the ‘fun day’ to kick of the new fiscal year. Get that… a fun day… food, drinks and entertainment provided.
  • In one morning I met five Business Partners who have already deployed Microsoft Lync with integrated telephony into customer infrastructures. And I learned about the scale of the Lync business. Say no more.
  • A couple of days later, I was fully Lync-enabled. Up until then I’d been able to use VoIP and click-to-call, but now I have a single number (that anyone can call) that will cause Lync on my desktop or my mobile to ring.
  • Everyone uses Lync for telephony – there are a few phones in meeting rooms, but none on the desks. Lync (and a headset) is provided for everyone… and everyone uses it.
  • There are a number of really good features in Outlook. There, I said it.
  • The Intranet provided by SharePoint is quite amazing, particularly the features around the search results. And the Lync integration into the SharePoint content is extremely polished.
  • I bumped into a large number of former IBM colleagues – now colleagues again.

Unfortunately, I suppose it’s time to request my removal from Planet Lotus… that was part of Career 2.0.


  1. Yeah, but wasn’t the new employee initiation process that included a human sacrifice a bit much? Free fruits and beverages are nice, but really. And the tattoo in the times new roman font…

  2. So in one day, you met more Lync with telephony integrated customers than IBM has SUT customers. That’s saying something.

    Microsoft totally understands the resources and effort needed in making Lync a rich environment for telephony partners, IBM doesn’t IMHO. For this reason, Lync has the solutions first, and many more of them. Which leads to Lync looking a much healthier solution.

  3. Darren, great news, glad your first week went well.

    Hope to catch up with you soon.

    Let me know when you next fancy going to the pictures.

    All the best, Dave

  4. @Ed – the human sacrifice is part of the entertainment for the fun day I think… 😉

    @Carl – a pretty good summary I’d say. I don’t really what to stick the boot in on IBM, but as a former colleague of mine was fond of saying, what can’t speak can’t lie.

    @Paul – thank you, the gentleman as ever.

    @Dave – soon… Mrs A and I have completely incompatible cinema tastes. Thank goodness for Lolli wanting to see the final part of Harry Potter.

  5. Aha! I knew you would come over to the dark side eventually 😉 Welcome. I trust MGX was a suitably high-energy introduction to the world of MSFT (I have never been, myself, but I hear stories). You must be working fairly closely with Mr Cox, then, I presume, if you’re in Lync land?

    Do let me know if you have occasion to come to Redmond – it would be great to catch up.


  6. @Mr Thomas… I don’t know why they call it the dark side. Everyone is smiling and friendly, and there’s a real winning attitude everywhere. The company invests in its employees and provides a great environment to work.

    MGX was great, Mr Ballmer came on like a prize fighter and captivated the audience. Saw some great stuff to come (which can’t be discussed of course).

    I’m not working with Mr Cocks (not Cox) but see him often and we lunch together when possible.

    Maybe coming to Redmond next February… to be confirmed. Lync me any time 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *