Work imitates life: Workplace ambience – powered by context in the cloud! – Part 2


Posted on: September 18, 2018 by Mike Harm

This blog is part of a 3-part series on ambience and context in personal digital experiences, and how they enable productivity.

In my first post in this series, I talked about personal digital experiences providing choice, convenience and efficiency that transcend work-life boundaries. Now we’ll look at how the same kinds of context and ambience are set to make a bigger impact at the office.

It starts with familiar tools

At the office, we carry devices around because they carry our digital context. You use your laptop because your files are on it and it has your configuration. It’s set up for you. What if that personalization could follow you based on the kind of work you want to do? What if you could work from any station you happened upon? Just a screen to display visuals and a computing device that delivers your available activities based on the fact that you sat down and identified yourself? Imagine that your files, your work in progress, and your schedules, recordings and meeting notes are there. Anything you tell the virtual assistant at that desk station or smart wall, adds to your context.

Add ambience

That part is not too farfetched. It’s just a matter of accessing familiar tools in new ways — with a little support from the cloud. Now, scale it to a 10-person meeting room. The AI tech in the room knows who is present in the meeting and for how long. It compiles agenda topics, notes and action items. It integrates with the project management system to mark tasks complete. It interfaces with back-end systems to provision the servers, containers or storage you need for a new development initiative. It books travel. All using electronic requests with predefined fields. No redundant forms to fill out.

How much administrative work would we eliminate if this was a reality today? How many of these services already exist, but need the power and relational understanding of Virtual Assistant (VA) technologies to bring them together? The rooms we use to get work done as teams are already getting smarter and wire-free. The next step in this evolution, merging this new found help of the VA with the always-there context of our cloud productivity services, is naturally a workspace (whether shared or single) that’s smart enough to understand YOUR productive needs, provide for and fulfil them wherever possible, and do so without as much physical, single-use technology requiring personalization.

The modern non-executive dream: administrative assistants for everyone!

When I first started at Atos 18 years ago, a CTO would have had a support staff. Things like booking travel, managing post-travel expense reporting, coordination of schedules and even action item management were handled by a trusted assistant so that the executive responsible for those tasks and actions could focus on them. We’ve lost personal assistants and project managers to lean operations and corresponding budget optimization – It’s understandable, I’m not complaining - I do, however, see a need for assistance through a new kind of assistant. (See what I did there?)

And the cool part is that this is all coming soon to an enterprise near you.

In my 3rdand final blog in this series, I’ll look into how artificial intelligence and cloud solutions create a naturally productive workplace.

Mike is part of the Atos Expert Community which aims at helping to steer Atos business strategy; building its technology roadmap anticipating the products and services that will be needed by the market. The 1st Atos expert convention will take place this week from 19 to 21 September in Madrid. Follow us on #YourExpert.

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About Mike Harm

Chief Technology Officer – Workplace and member of the Scientific Community
Mike Harm is the Chief Technology Officer for the Workplace domain at Atos and has spent over 20 years providing, designing, implementing and envisioning differentiated workplace services in partnership with clients worldwide. With a background that spans support services, process engineering, IT Service Management, systems engineering and innovation product management, he is passionately connected to the technological, behavioral, and procedural pulse of the user experience from end-to-end. He is a member of the Atos Scientific Community where he explores the impact of digitization on the human experience, the future of work, and new concepts of productivity and employment emerging from digital trends. In his role at Atos, he is responsible for technology partnerships, supplier strategic relationships, overall workplace vision and strategy as well as delivery technology policy in the workplace domain and adherence enforcement to those policies throughout service and product development lifecycle.

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