WORK-LIFE BALANCE AND LEADERSHIP AT THE DIGITAL SUMMIT

The 'modern workplace', a key factor in the digital transformation of companies

#innovation #cybersecurity #business

"We support companies that are transforming their businesses so that it is done efficiently and swiftly. If your employees work in a different, better way, it has an effect on customer satisfaction," explained Ana Alonso, Strategic Sales Director, Enterprise Commercial at Microsoft, at the 2018 Digital Summit organized by Iberdrola.

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Question: What does it mean to be a leader and what is the challenge for women... and about the work-life balance?

Ana Alonso, Strategic Sales Director, Enterprise Commercial at Microsoft: "Well, for me, leadership, despite its many definitions, is something I'd sum up as succeeding in getting a team of people to reach their goals and develop personally and professionally. The greatest challenge is trying to emulate the leadership of men. That is, we are in a kind of vicious circle where the environments are very masculine, very traditional, where there are also no role models, and that can tempt us to want to use male models of leadership instead of being the authentic leaders we ourselves would be. The topic of personal and professional work-life balance is a very personal one. In my case, I'm doing very well; if I weren't, I would probably not be doing the job I do nor would I have the family I have".

Question: What do you think of the 2018 Digital Summit?

Ana Alonso: "I think that one of the big challenges that companies have right now is developing their internal talent and continuing to push so that the people who work there, at that company, have the knowledge and the soft skills required for the constant changes that are being made; and I believe that this initiative is going along those lines, so that it seems to me to be a very good one".

Question: Focusing on the topic of the Digital Summit, what is Microsoft's proposal for digital transformation?

Ana Alonso: "To provide customers with a technology that will allow them to meet their goals; in other words, we have a mission as a company, and that is to provide, or create, software that makes both companies and individuals more productive, in the sense that they can do what they want in a much better way. What we want is to partner with companies that are transforming their businesses, adapting technologies, so that they can do it much more efficiently, do it more rapidly, and do it with a greater return for their investors”.

Question: And is that return also going to help society in general?

Ana Alonso: "Yes... One of our principles is that when we are going to work, we have to have a purpose and that purpose is normally a social one. Technology not only lets you help companies but society as well".

Question: Let's talk about Azure. What is the strategy for being at the top of the cloud ranking? Is cybersecurity a key factor?

Ana Alonso: "The strategy is mainly an investment strategy in two senses. First, a strategy of investment in R&D. But there's also a topic in investment, what is now being called a hyperscalable cloud. We are investing right now in data centres worldwide, we have over 54 regions, the number of data centres we have worldwide is more than the sum total for our next two competitors. So, this investment that allows you not only to give customers the best service, but also to adapt to local legislation, guarantee privacy... for me has been essential".

Question: What does the use of a digital workplace mean? Does it influence the relationship with the customer?

Ana Alonso: “In the end, the modern workplace or flexible collaborative tools are a basic tool for helping to make workplaces more flexible. Going to work shouldn't mean working for a certain time but completing an activity that you can do at home, at the airport, anywhere. When your employees work differently, work better, it has an impact on the satisfaction of your customers”.

Question: What projects are Microsoft and Iberdrola collaborating on currently?

Ana Alonso: "Microsoft and Iberdrola have been working together for many years. And we have been working as Iberdrola has evolved its technology platforms. We have always been with them from, right now, the workstation aspect, to adopting cloud technologies to be able to transform digitally".

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