Series trailer: Innovating the future


Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. The focus is typically on innovation, imagination, and alternative perspectives—all of which result in groundbreaking ideas and projects.

Right now, Microsoft’s focus is offering assistance to people and organizations in the midst of the COVID-19 situation.

CEO Satya Nadella acknowledges the need for everyone who is able, to step up: “No one company is going to solve a challenge like this alone, and it’s going to take the private and public sectors working together to turn the tide on COVID-19,” he wrote in an email to employees. He added that the corporation views its responsibilities seriously, and that it will continue to use the tools and digital capabilities to address the widespread challenges.

It’s inspiring to see how so many organizations and individuals have determined ways in which they can help humankind. They are empowering others to achieve more—and right now, that means helping others operate while their daily lives are drastically altered.

Watch this short video. What types of alternative perspectives can help us during this disruption? Are innovation and imagination more valued now than ever before?

Seven tips to manage your mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak

We’re living in extraordinary times—there’s no denying that for most people around the world, life is different since the introduction of the coronavirus. These are increasingly stressful times, yet humans have persevered throughout history. It’s what we do, how we’re designed. Besides our press-on spirit, never before have we been so well-equipped with tools to help us through this challenge.

Clinical psychologist Desiree Dickerson shares her professional insight on best ways we can take care of ourselves in her article, “Seven Tips to Manage Your Mental Health and Well-being During the COVID-19 Outbreak.” One of Dickerson’s tips is to manage expectations. Routines are changing, and while some people might have more time to increase productivity, many others will experience new challenges: “Difficulty concentrating, low motivation and a state of distraction are to be expected,” states Dickerson. She cautions to “not underestimate the cognitive and emotional load” that COVID-19 brings. Adapting to a new rhythm—one that includes remote work and fewer real-time connections—will take patience and effort. Read Dickerson’s entire article for suggestions on taking care of your mental well-being during this difficult time.

We think this is a topic that every person should discuss–please consider sharing this article with organizations, neighbors, friends—everybody could benefit.

Read More…

Beyond overhead: Donor expectations for driving measurable impact with technology

Microsoft conducted an extensive survey and found that donors and funders are more likely to contribute to a nonprofit that can show how it is using technology to run its programs in a better way. This report summarizes the results of this global survey, provides examples of nonprofits investing in technology, and explores how technology is contributing to organizational impact.

Additionally, “Beyond overhead…” offers actionable guidance for building a technology investment strategy that meets the needs of the nonprofit organization and its donors. It should be downloaded and reviewed by your team, and also shared on social media with customers.

View: Beyond overhead: Donor expectations for driving measurable impact with technology

Promoting Workplace Mental Health in the Age of COVID-19

There’s plenty of information—everywhere—on how to safeguard our physical health during this COVID-19 situation. But what about mental and emotional health; how do we make sure we’re addressing those needs? Elizabeth Bille and Erin McClintock, in their blog for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), share solid strategies both for organizations and for ourselves.

One important element in alleviating stress with your employees is maintaining flexibility in the workplace. “One of the biggest stressors for many employees is the well-being of those they may care for. Those with children are likely concerned about how to handle school or daycare closures; employees who care for older adults may have increased responsibilities given the CDC’s advice that those populations stay home,” writes Bille and McClintock. Help employees navigate these concerns by providing flexible work arrangements, such as virtual check-ins, telecommuting, flex-scheduling and other plans that may help relieve them of some of their worry. These are extenuating times—look to offer extenuating flexibility and support to your employees.

As with any global health scare, it’s natural that people may experience an increase in fear and anxiety. We know from previous epidemics that quarantine has impacted people’s mental health, and thus we have a responsibility to address this topic—to make it just as vital and attention-garnering as the physical health component. Read the rest of this article to learn about more ways you can support mental health in the workplace during especially stressful times.

Read More…

Bootiful Azure: Taking Your First Steps with Microsoft Azure (1/6)

As the first of six installments in this informational series, users of Spring can learn how to get started coding their applications via Microsoft Azure, leveraging all the unique tools and benefits along the way.

Read More…

Modernizing the Data Estate with Azure | Rohan Kumar


What do you hope a modern estate will bring you? When Microsoft began their own transformation, they realized that they wanted a system that would allow them to empower employees, deeply engage with customers, develop new and better products, and increase agility and efficiency in operations.

They also realized that at the center of making all this possible was data and AI capabilities. How could their learning experience help your business? Check out this video to find out.