Everyone’s talking about the Mobile First, Cloud First world. In fact, shortly after being named CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella announced that from here on out Microsoft would become a Mobile First, Cloud First company.
Want to bet how many people at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. still spend most of their work time on PC’s?
Rather than count, let’s just say most.
That being said, we do know of a company that has challenged its employees to go Mobile Only for 30 days. And not only did the employees agree to try Syncplicity's Go Lite Challenge: They also achieved their goal.
Genesis of the Go Lite Challenge
Blame Varun Parmar, EMC Syncplicity’s Head of Products, he walked into his associate’s office a few months ago and declared that he was going to challenge himself to no longer bring his laptop to meetings.
“I thought it was a great idea,” says Jeff Schultz, Syncplicity’s Head of Marketing and then decided that it might make a great challenge for the whole company. After all, as a leading Enterprise File Sync and Share vendor, going Mobile and Cloud is what it’s all about.
Participating in the challenge was voluntary, of course, but workers from departments as diverse as operations, marketing, sales and even the C-suite signed up.
Who abstained? Primarily workers whose job responsibilities involve heavy content development or WebEx’s. Smart phones and iPads still aren’t ready for that kind of work, Schultz said.
How Did It Go?
At first, Christina Camacho, Syncplicity's program manager for business operations, kept forgetting to leave her notebook and laptop behind. But after a while, she not only got used to it … she loved it because it taught her to use her mobile devices to their fullest potential.
“Being able to sit in a crowded plane without pulling out my bulky laptop to update a document is what I liked the best,” said Camacho.
Welcome to the Future
Syncplicity’s cofounder and chief product strategist, Leonard Chung, said the Go Lite challenge provided him an opportunity to step into the future — a future in which a mobile device is everyone’s first screen.
“The Go Lite Challenge was a chance to see what the future is like when the mobile device is the primary screen for not just content consumption but creation. What was awesome was validating how close to a reality this already is today with tools like Syncplicity,” he said.
But the challenge wasn’t without, well, challenges. Take, for example, multitasking.
“Split screen on the Surface is a killer feature and I sorely missed it on the other platforms,” said Chung. “The others are going to get there, but right now it necessitated having multiple devices to multi-task. The other challenge was the lack of great keyboards for text heavy content creation. This is a place mobile still hasn't quite caught up yet.”
Productive — and Hip
What Vijay Ganti, EMC Syncplicity’s head of product marketing, liked best is that doing important things on his mobile device allowed him be productive and look chic at the same time. (Yes, he’s somewhat kidding.) But what he missed, some of the time, was the ability to type.
Mobile Only, A Blessing for Sales
What Syncplicity Sales Manager Adam Goff liked best about the Go Lite challenge was not having to lug a heavy bag around. “My bag normally has a laptop, power supply, iPad, various connectors and more. Just carrying a iPad mini helped me more than my chiropractor ever had!“ he said.
And After the 30 Days?
Some folks like Chung remain mobile only or mostly mobile. But almost everyone who participated in the Go Lite challenge said they now at least do more with mobile than they did in the past.