It’s a milestone for us and we’ve been looking back at all the changes that have occurred in our industry during this time and reflecting on why our partnership with Microsoft has only grown stronger over the years. The answer is that, as in any successful partnership, Microsoft and BrightStarr have the same vison for the future…one where technology enables people to do their best work.
I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Microsoft’s Tara Roth, CVP of Office Customer Lifecycle Engineering. Our discussion was far from formal. I just asked her to tell me what most excited her about her role within Microsoft. Her answers made it clear that she really cared about the people using the software that her teams are developing. She didn’t talk about corporate growth or strategy, she talked about technology that is no longer bound by devices, subscription plans that were designed to connect families, and breaking down a multitude of barriers between people and knowledge.
One particular story she shared was about Microsoft’s “Tell Me” technology. In a continuous effort to make Office more intuitive and user friendly, this technology has been integrated into the toolbar of the Office products to allow you to simply type in what you want to accomplish. From this simple search, the intelligence within the software actually places you directly into the sub-menu that controls that task. For most users, this is a great time saver, but for Tara the implications of the technology are deeper. Tara stated that this feature “was special because it also supported individuals with visual impairments. Instead of having to navigate though multiple menus trying to read through each of the options, they can access what they need directly, removing impediments that may have hindered their success in the past. The built-in intelligence we create is designed to help people.”
That’s when I realized why our partnership is so strong. Within our companies, BrightStarr and Microsoft may use terminology like “customers”, “clients” or “consumers”, but when Tara and I talked we used the word “people”. Both BrightStarr and Microsoft are passionate about how technology empowers individuals, whether at work through their intranets or at home in their daily lives.
It’s this unified vision of putting people first and designing software and solutions with their needs in mind that continues to unite our companies and create a clear path forward for the next ten years.