Speaker

Zoe Wilson

Zoe Wilson

Europe Workplace Value Realisation Offering Lead, Avanade

Nottingham, United Kingdom

Zoe is the Europe Workplace Value Realisation Offering Lead and a Senior Director at Avanade, who are the leading global Microsoft Partner.

In this role, Zoe is working with colleagues and clients to help them realise the value of their investments in workplace technology, with a focus on employee experience, frontline workers and workplace experience. Innovation and technology evangelism are both core to the success of this role, as well as a passion for delighting and exciting customers with the art of the possible. Additionally, she also works closely with partners like Microsoft on technology innovations, and contributes to many events across the Microsoft tech community through speaking, volunteering as part of various event teams, and more recently was a member of the organising team for Scottish Summit.

Zoe brings together a customer-focused solution background with several years of technology leadership experience and over 15 years experience working with collaborative tools SharePoint and other Microsoft technologies. She is passionate about solving business problems in an innovative and exciting way, and although her primary tech focus has been SharePoint, Teams and Microsoft 365, she now has the pleasure of working across a much broader range of innovative technologies.

Early in 2022, Zoe joined a group of other like-minded MVPs to form the Viva Explorers, who actively promote, evangelize and champion a modern employee / workplace experience under-pinned by tools such as Microsoft Viva.

Awards

Area of Expertise

  • Government, Social Sector & Education
  • Information & Communications Technology

Topics

  • SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Accessibility
  • Microsoft 365
  • Power Platform
  • Women in Tech
  • Women in Technology
  • Modern Work
  • Innovation
  • Customer Success
  • Technological Innovation
  • public sector
  • modern workplace
  • Modern SharePoint
  • Modern Sharepoint Intranets
  • Microsoft Viva
  • Customer Experience
  • Automation
  • SharePoint Syntex
  • SharePoint Strategy
  • Compliance
  • Microsoft 365 Compliance
  • Future of Work
  • Hybrid Work
  • remote work
  • Innovation Strategy
  • Innovate for change
  • The future of work
  • Future Skills
  • Future-proof Workforce
  • hybrid meetings
  • Government Innovation
  • Technology Innovation
  • Metaverse
  • Microsoft Mesh
  • Employee experience
  • digital employee experience
  • Human Resources
  • workplace experience
  • Microsoft Workplace Analytics
  • workplace strategy
  • workplace culture
  • Modern Workplace Engineering

The UnbeVivable Truth

Join us for our take on the radio gameshow, the Unbelievable Truth. The panellists must talk for two minutes about Microsoft Viva, sneaking in 3 lies without the other panellists noticing. Panellists will earnt points for each lie spotted and for each lie which escapes notice. The audience is very welcome to help panellists spot those lies.



This session will give you insight into the lesser known Microsoft Viva facts and you may even have some fun along the way!

Prepare to step into the metaverse with Mesh for Teams

The metaverse is all the talk at present with both Facebook and Microsoft going all into to expand and build into it. But the biggest achievement of the metaverse is an industry wide scramble to figure out just what the metaverse is.

Microsoft Mesh is described by Microsoft as a way of letting people connect with a holographic presence, share across space, and collaborate from anywhere in the world. Mesh for Microsoft Teams combines the mixed-reality capabilities of Microsoft Mesh, which allows people in different physical locations to join collaborative and shared holographic experiences, with the productivity tools of Microsoft Teams, where people can join virtual meetings, send chats, collaborate on shared documents and more.

After attending this session, you will understand at a high-level:

What Mesh for Microsoft Teams is, what new opportunities it introduces and what business benefits it can bring?
A live demo of what stepping into Mesh for Microsoft Teams will feel like
How you can better prepare your organization for the metaverse and Mesh for Microsoft Teams

Technologies in this session will be

Microsoft Teams
AltspaceVR

Link to room: https://metaverse-one.rocks/room1

Productivity, innovation and the future of work

We find ourselves at a pivotal moment in history.

The last two years have demonstrated beyond doubt that large-scale working from home is not only feasible, but delivers significant benefits to individuals in terms of work-life balance, regaining the time spent on the commute, more time with the family – which is invaluable for those with young children.

On the flip-side though, the statistics regarding wellbeing and mental health over the last two years make for stark reading. 85% of people are reporting a decrease in wellbeing, with 70% of people reporting higher stress levels, and across the board we all have more work to do and generally less time to do it in, as our diaries are full of back-to-back meetings.

Another angle to consider is hybrid-working, and how to actually make this more effective. Since the return to offices, I’ve seen plenty of evidence online of the return of low-quality hybrid meetings – it feels like collectively, the world more or less forgot how to behave when you join a Teams call with remote participants, and you’re in a room with multiple people joining at the same time. Echoes, issues with sound, microphone, speakers, the people in the room dominating the conversation and those on the call not able to get a word in edgeways… Accessibility and inclusion out of the window as people struggle to make the tech work just for a normal hybrid meeting, let alone one that accommodates everyone!

The last angle to consider then is arguably the most important one. I’ve heard many people remark over the last two years that they are more productive at home. I’ve said this myself actually, and cautioned our leadership team that we won’t be able to expect the same level of productivity when we see people start to travel more. However, myself and others have made the mistake of confusing productivity with efficiency, and the amount of tasks that a person is able to complete.

Over the last couple of years, I know many people who have become incredibly efficient at completing tasks and getting work done, but who have lost that connection to their colleagues, and the ability to innovate and think creatively. Many organisations struggle with tech to just get meetings to work in a hybrid situation, much less adopt technical solutions for brainstorming, creative thinking and opportunities to innovate and transform productivity at an organisational level.

Join us in this session, as we walk through these thorny challenges and share some key considerations and tips with you. In this session, we’ll talk about
- What exactly we mean by innovation and productivity, and why these are so important to us at an organisational and even societal level
- The macro-level context organisations are operating in and the challenges that they are facing from a people, technology and wellbeing perspective
- What we CAN do with modern work tech to help address some of these employee experience challenges and what types of collaboration we shouldn’t try to replace with technology solutions
- And how we need to be really intentional about when and how we bring people together to increase creativity, innovation and productivity

Tips to thrive in Modern Work leadership roles

I've worked with collaborative technologies - starting with SharePoint, but more recently across the wider Microsoft 365 stack - for almost 20 years. Starting in IT support roles after university, becoming a SharePoint champion, moving into a technical SME roles and then finally moving into leadership roles about 6 or 7 years ago.

In this session, I'll share a quick overview of my career journey including:
- some of my key observations and learnings from my journey through almost 2 decades working in tech
- career highlights and the opportunities that a tech career can open up
- tips for how to follow a path into leadership, and how to thrive once you're there

The battle for HR supremacy between Dynamics and Viva

Join this session if you want to see us battle to find the perfect solution to design the perfect Employee Experience using different Microsoft Platforms such as D365HR, Microsoft Viva and Microsoft Teams. This session will provide a fun comparison of features across both the business applications and modern work tech stack, and will give you the knowledge you need to deliver a great experience for your employees.

Microsoft Viva and Syntex Workshop

Learn about how Microsoft Viva and SharePoint Syntex can help your organisation improve their Employee Experience through greater engagement, supportive knowledge management and automated processes with AI.

Agenda

- What is Microsoft Viva and why does Employee Experience matter
- Introduction to the Viva pillars
- Hands-on Viva Connections Workshop
- Hands-on Viva Topics Workshop
- Hands-on SharePoint Syntex Workshop

Microsoft Teams: Usability vs Security

Over the last year, the whole world switched to remote working, with Teams playing a key part - and the result is that Microsoft Teams has seen an unprecedented amount of growth. In many cases, Teams was thrown out quickly with little planning or governance, to quickly facilitate this shift to remote working.

End-users have adopted Teams and love the freedom to work and collaborate in the open with colleagues, customers and partners alike. Microsoft Teams is a fantastic tool for supporting cross-functional and even cross-organisational collaboration, but its openness introduces concerns about unfettered file and data sharing between an unlimited number of users.

Historically, often, effective security came at the expense of usability. And usability came at the expense of security. Many continue to go by the notion that there is no way to achieve both effective security and usability simultaneously - but with Microsoft Teams, and the wider M365 security and compliance capabilities, it can be possible to achieve secure collaboration.

In this session, we will take you through some of the requirements and challenges that your Teams users typically have, and then highlight key technology solutions that can be used to secure these use-cases.

After attending this session, you will understand at a high-level:
• Some of the key use-cases for Microsoft Teams and some the key risks it introduces
• What are the fundamental technical components that Microsoft Teams builds upon
• Where does Microsoft security responsibilities end and yours begin
• An action plan of what you can do today to better secure your Microsoft Teams instance without affecting end user productivity
• What are the licensing implications of the above

Technologies in this session will be

• Microsoft Teams
• SharePoint Online
• Azure AD
• Microsoft 365 E5 Security and Compliance

Live Events Revisited - Supercharge Your Webinars

Over the last year, we've seen an explosion in the use of Teams Live Events, as people have adapted to remote work, and looked for new ways of using technology to carry on their business.

However, throughout the last year, Microsoft have continued to release changes to the Teams platform which means that there are new options to consider when planning events, as well as additional features and capabilities for live events themselves. This raises questions around whether live events are the right option anymore, along with what your other options are.

During this session, we will:
- Review and compare capabilities for live events, meetings with hard mute and the new webinar type meeting
- Planning for large (up to 1000 attendees) Teams meetings
- Run through which of the options would work best in a variety of different scenarios and use-cases, along with why I'd recommend it
- Look at options for using OBS with meetings and live events to level up your output
- Review the new presenter features within Teams
- Look at the capabilities included in the Teams pro service plan, as well as the Advanced Communications license SKU
- Key considerations for planning your webinar / live event
- Lessons learned

Technologies / features we will look at:
Teams live events
Teams meetings
Teams webinar
OBS

The Future of Modern Work

The last 18 months have delivered a paradigm shift in how we work, seeing first of all a huge shift to remote work, followed by a gradual move to hybrid working.

Alongside this, we've also seen a huge decrease in general wellbeing and mental health of our global workforce - our working day has lengthened, we all have more Teams meetings in our diaries, we send and receive more chat messages than ever, and the digital overload we all experience on a daily basis is continuing to have a negative impact.

In this session, I'll talk to you about the future of modern work, with a focus on collaboration, productivity and the employee experience. I'll look at how we can use tools like Teams and SharePoint in a smarter way, and how Microsoft Viva will give us the ability to manage our wellbeing, workload and productivity more effectively. I'll also touch on the future of hybrid meetings, and share tips for how we can be more intentional about how and where we work, to ultimately ensure we're more effective while also minimising the impact of digital overload.

Technologies in this session will include Teams, SharePoint and Viva.

Presenting in Teams Masterclass

Does the phrase "next slide please" send shivers down your spine? Do your meetings often start with a few minutes of trying to share your presentation? When you share your slides, do you struggle to see raised hands or engage with the chat?

If so, then this session is for you!

Over the last few months, Microsoft have released tonnes of great meetings features which can really help you up your game when presenting in Teams calls and meetings. In this session, I'll walk you through all the different ways that you can present, we'll go through the pros, cons and gotchas for each, and I'll show you what both the presenter experience and the attendee experience look like.

Once you leave this session, you'll have all the knowledge and skills you need to be a superstar at presenting in Teams.

What we'll cover:
Basics of presenting in Teams
Presenting using PowerPoint Live in Teams
Dynamic presenter views such as stand-out mode
Additional tips and tricks for Teams and PowerPoint

"I'm in fileshare hell - how do I get out?"

Many organisations are still running legacy file shares, with huge amounts of dark data sitting on on-premises infrastructure that at some point will reach its end of life.

We frequently talk to customers facing this very challenge - usually with a few different reasons for wanting to address their own file share hell. Reasons can include cost savings, having to move out of a datacentre (due to end of contract for example), infrastructure end of life or security / compliance concerns.

We are often asked how to approach getting people out of this nightmare, and in this session, we plan to share some of our findings and recommendations with you.

In this session, we will:

• Take you through the options for migrating your data
• Help you understand the business case for moving data to M365, and where Azure Files can fit into this
• The benefits of moving content into SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams
• How you approach the challenge of understanding your data and planning the migration
• Key lessons learned

Technologies in this session will be

• Microsoft Teams
• SharePoint Online
• OneDrive for Business
• Azure Files
• Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance

Putting People First - Making the Case for EXP

The world of work has changed. The global shift to remote working has resulted in people feeling less connected to their colleagues, in an increase in stress levels and decreased mental health, and poor digital experiences have led to a whole generation of workers feeling disconnected and disillusioned.

When work no longer happens primarily in a shared workplace, how do organisations impart their sense of culture, belonging and core values to employees? How do we ensure that people are connected and engaged? Currently, we're not doing a great job of it. Nearly 60% of people report feeling less connected to their team after shifting to remote work, despite having access to collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint. Additionally, 70% of employees reported higher stress levels, with 40% experiencing decreased mental health as a result of the pandemic and the shift to remote work.

This is a real problem - and one that Microsoft are looking to fix with the launch of their new employee platform, Microsoft Viva. When we are all remote workers, without that physical office and the ability to see and connect with people in person, then it is fair to say that the digital experience you provide to your people IS the employee experience. Delivering a great digital experience that provides a way to connect, support wellbeing, learn in the flow of work and access knowledge and experts - this is how corporate values, a sense of community and culture will be created in the new world of work.

In this session, I will:
- Explain what an employee experience platform is and why it matters
- Introduce Microsoft Viva, including all four modules - Viva Learning, Viva Topics, Viva Connections and Viva Insights
- Show you how you can use the products which are available now, and what you need to do to get ready for future modules

Supercharge your Productivity & Protect your Time!

The rapid move to remote working that took place last year delivered years of transformation in a matter of months. However, this has had a major impact on mental health and wellbeing.

We all spend significant amounts of time in Teams meetings, which are often back to back - the amount of mental effort required to shift gears constantly, to stay on camera, to maintain the required level of focus - it is just exhausting!

We run the risk of burn-out, it affects our home life, our ability to sleep and over sustained periods of time, has the potential to negatively impact our creativity.

During this session, I'll explain why this matters so much, show you how you can start to correct the balance, protect your time, and become a productivity superstar in the process!

Within Microsoft Teams and the wider M365 stack, there are a number of tools you can use to help with focus, to help with work-life balance, to help reduce the pain of back to back calls. We'll cover tips, tricks and features in Teams, Outlook, Viva Insights, To-do and more!

After watching this session, you'll be armed with the tools you need to manage time and tasks more effectively, to create and manage boundaries between home and work and supercharge your productivity.

Creating a More Inclusive Workplace

2020 was a year that delivered many challenges for all of us - lockdown across the UK triggered a significant transformation in weeks, with many organisations having to quickly enable technology that would help people work more effectively from home.

However, a lot of people found this more challenging due to disabilities, mental health conditions and the loss of the in-person contact and support network that they previously had in the office.

Microsoft 365 is a productivity platform which has accessibility features embedded within its DNA. Many of these are hidden in plain sight, with people not realising the capabilities they have at their disposal, which can help make it easier for them to use and work with technology. Additionally, there are also many things that we can all do as individuals to help us be more inclusive - whether it is through creating more inclusive content or changing how we interact with people through technology.

In this session, I will share:
- the top accessibility features hidden across Microsoft 365, and how they can make it easier for you to work
- how to create more inclusive content in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint
- how I use Microsoft Teams for social connections with my colleagues
- tips for running inclusive meetings in Microsoft Teams

Accessibility in M365 - A Whistlestop Tour

Moving to Microsoft 365 delivers significant productivity and capability benefits to workforces, and provides them with technology which can truly transform and modernise their ways of working. However one of the benefits which isn't that well known is perhaps one of the most important, and that is the out-of-the-box accessibility functionality available within Microsot 365.

During this session, I will explain what accessibility is, why Microsoft are focusing on accessibility as a priority, and why inclusivity is so important for all of us. We will look at the different types of accessibility features that help with vision, hearing, mobility and neurological ie autism or dyslexia as an example.

I will then follow on with a practical demonstration of the accessibility features available in Microsoft 365 which will include:
- Features available within the desktop clients of the Office apps.
- Edge browser accessibility features
- Teams and Stream
- Windows 10

This is not intended to be an exhaustive demonstration covering every feature in detail. Audience members will take away with them a practical understanding of key accessibility features within Microsoft 365. This will immediately allow them to create more inclusive and accessible content for their colleagues and customers, and also empower those with accessibility requirements to learn more about the wealth of tools available to them.

I will also share resources with audience members to help them learn more following the session.

Virtual M365 Friday Cincinnati

October 2022

South Coast Summit 2022

October 2022 Southampton, United Kingdom

Ignite In-Person at South Coast Summit

October 2022

Technology Empowerment Fair 2022

September 2022 London, United Kingdom

Metaverse One

September 2022

Scottish Summit 2022

June 2022 Glasgow, United Kingdom

Collabdays Lisbon 2021

November 2021

South Coast Summit 2021

October 2021 Southampton, United Kingdom

The North American Collaboration Summit 2021

August 2021 Branson, Missouri, United States

Dutch Microsoft Cloud Call

June 2021

M365 Virtual Career Fair

February 2021

Scottish Summit

February 2020 Glasgow, United Kingdom

SharePoint Saturday London 2019

June 2019 London, United Kingdom

Zoe Wilson

Europe Workplace Value Realisation Offering Lead, Avanade

Nottingham, United Kingdom