NEW ZEALAND – Cordis Hotel (was the Langham), Symonds Street, Auckland


2 days / 30 talks
Awesome International and local speakers

May 1-2

Day 1

9:00AM – 10:30AM
Be Inspired!


9:00AM – Welcome

9:10AM – Microsoft  – Vanessa Sorenson

Transformation is the new black!

Change is the only constant. A truism more relevant today than ever before, because the rate of change is phenomenal.

Put simply: the way I work is utterly alien to my parents, and you can bet the way my children will work will be utterly alien to me.

Emerging technologies are transforming our workplace, we are hurtling towards a place with free-range employees in offices without walls. We want to be mobile, we don’t want to be stuck in the office, and yet we are also working more collaboratively in more teams than ever before. With new technology come new terms and buzzwords, like ‘remote working’, ‘peer economies’ and ‘intelligent edge’. We are a blink away from having virtual meetings in which it will be hard to determine who is physically in the meeting and who is merely virtually present.

So how do we all adapt to this change? How do we get comfortable with disruption?

Though it may sound strange for someone who works in one of the largest technology companies in the world, I don’t believe that the whole answer is simply technology. Never forget the human in human resources. No technology is more important than the people. So the answer is culture, how do we work and how do we want to work in the future. If you are unsure where the workspace is going, then just ask a Millennial, because they are soon going to dominate and shape the way all of us work.

For instance, work and play are no longer distinct in the way they once were, the two streams often blend. Anyone posting a similar update on LinkedIn and Facebook intrinsically knows this. We all travel along one path now, technology blending together our professional and personal lives. This has both its rewards and risks. We are all in the midst of transforming brick and mortar workspaces to mobile, virtual offices. I want to explore this exciting time of transition, sharing how Microsoft’s cloud-based applications, AI and mobile technologies can free the worker from old restraints.

Naturally, with opportunity and change comes risk and fear. And a technological solution is not the whole holistic solution. We need to remember culture, we need to remember that all of us move at different speeds. We need to be cognisant of the reality that we are a growth business but how do we grow in a sustainable way. How do we blend the seemingly contradictory forces of growth and sustainability. And ultimately, how do you bring everyone – not just Millennials – on the epic journey? In summary, I want to give us a glimpse of what the future might hold for our children and grandchildren.

9:35AM – Case Study – Auckland Transport – Roger Jones with Mark Butterworth (Microsoft)

Auckland Transport provide their experience and digital transformation journey and how it will benefit Aucklanders.

Digital Transformation is driving both commercial and public organisations to become more innovative and customer centric. We talk to what Digital Transformation is, and how Auckland Transport is leveraging advanced technologies including artificial intelligence to provide a great customer experience in Auckland.  Auckland Transport is prioritising customer experience in transportation and leveraging state of the art technologies to understand and solve problems, and inform customers as issues arise. We look at a specific example of artificial intelligence in use today and look into the future technology invisibly enables smooth customer journeys across the Auckland region.

10:00AM – Handling the pace of change in a new era with Paul Culmsee

Guess what – we are in a new technology paradigm, and this conference explores “Digitial Transformation” for good reason. We have moved beyond monolithic tools like SharePoint, to a broader and more wide-ranging set of tools, underpinned by cloud-based platforms. We have a large set of compelling tools and technology platforms at our disposal, that can be switched on in minutes. Used well, they can radically transform how an organisation does its business…

But there is a price.

For all of this power and flexibility, we have to cope with a bewildering amount of options, and a relentless and increasing pace of change. This creates complexity, ambiguity and more questions than answers. It is hard to make sense of where technology is going when, as soon as you feel you have a better handle on things, the rug gets pulled out again with a new announcement, product or enhancement.

So we try and cope with this via strategy and governance, to reduce ambiguity and provide clarity. However, it is one of the great ironies of modern corporate life we often end up doing the opposite: increasing ambiguity rather than reducing it.

Maybe we don’t truly understand ambiguity at all.

This talk examines the powerful, yet hidden force of ambiguity and how intolerance of it drives self-defeating behaviors in organisations faced with change. Ambiguity is a primal force that drives much of our behaviour, and it is typically viewed negatively – something to be avoided or to be controlled. This session shows you how ambiguity can be harnessed, so that IT and knowledge workers can work together to truly realise the potential of digital transformation.


    Vanessa Sorenson

    Vanessa is the Enterprise Director at Microsoft New Zealand. With more than 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, including a stint as GM of Spark, she is a key driver of change and digital transformation.


    Mark Butterworth

    Mark Butterworth is the New Zealand Lead Digital Advisor for Microsoft. He is on a mission to lead clients to success on their Digital Transformation journeys.


    Roger Jones

    Currently delivering for Auckland Transport via a Digital bi-modal approach in conjunction with a fully working “Customer Central“ innovation hub integrated with the business areas for transport in Auckland.


    Paul Culmsee

    Paul Culmsee (@paulculmsee) Paul is a management consultant, business strategist, sensemaker and award winning author from Perth, Australia.

    About #DWCNZ 2018

    10th Anniversary

    This is the 10th year for The Digital Workplace Conference (previously the SharePoint Conference) in New Zealand. We continue to grow and develop the services we offer, supported always by our innovative sponsors and professional international and local speakers

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