John Jendresak, General Manager, Shared Services Engineering, Microsoft, explored digital transformation inside one of the world’s leading technology companies during his presentation to Argyle’s CIO membership at the 2018 CIO Leadership Forum: Data Strategy & Innovation in San Francisco on Feb. 13. In his presentation, Jendresak provided an insider’s perspective of the digital transformation affecting Microsoft’s products, business model and operations.
According to Jendresak, Microsoft’s IT organization continues to evolve. This organization includes more than 4,000 employees, and getting these workers to collaborate with one another to achieve common goals is an ongoing process.
The Microsoft IT organization has shifted its focus over the years. Whereas the organization once was siloed, it now prioritizes collaboration and product development. With its revamped approach, the IT organization helps all Microsoft departments deploy products designed to bolster efficiency and productivity.
“We really want to make our organization more like a product development team,” Jendresak said. “We’re largely a software development company … and our IT organization has been isolated from the rest of the company. We want to turn our IT organization into the next big product development team inside Microsoft.”
A product-centric mindset is a tenet of Microsoft’s IT organization. By encouraging IT team members to weigh the pros and cons of products – and the impact of products on both Microsoft employees and customers – the IT organization helps Microsoft achieve its immediate and long-term goals.
“We want to have a product mentality when we’re developing our [IT] products,” Jendresak noted. “We want to build a shared services team … to help our IT team build that product mentality.”
The Microsoft IT organization also looks for ways to connect processes and systems. This organization drives innovation in all that it does. And by doing so, the organization frequently discovers ways to connect seemingly disparate processes and systems to help Microsoft improve its day-to-day operations.
“We’re not looking back at the employee that has to traverse all of our systems and what is the true end-to-end experience,” Jendresak indicated. “And we’re also not always looking at it in terms of how to build a world-class product.”
Meanwhile, the customer remains at the core of Microsoft. The company’s IT organization wants to empower business departments to partner with customers and ensure customers can receive comprehensive support at all times.
“We want to have a good understanding of the customer and build a 360-degree view of the customer.”
Microsoft’s IT organization understands the importance of all aspects of the customer journey. Thus, the organization prioritizes finding ways to help Microsoft employees provide customers with unparalleled support, thereby increasing the likelihood that the company can foster long-term customer partnerships.
“When we look at the customer at the center, we really want to live that,” Jendresak stated. “We want any consumer that calls our support line to have a great experience. And we want any sales agent that deals with an account to know exactly what is going on with a customer.”
Data plays an important role in the effectiveness of Microsoft’s IT organization. Although the organization wants to help various departments understand the best ways to connect with customers, it often faces a wide assortment of data from myriad sources.
Fortunately, Microsoft’s IT organization understands what it takes to quickly mine and analyze massive amounts of data. This enables the organization to generate meaningful insights, and as a result, help Microsoft gain a deep understanding of its target audience.
“We want to have a good understanding of the customer and build a 360-degree view of the customer,” Jendresak said. “That’s a good thing to do, but it all has to be grounded in solid data.”
“When we look at the customer at the center, we really want to live that.”
The Microsoft IT organization looks beyond the collection and analysis of customer data. In fact, this organization strives to make it easy for employees to review data and use this information to make informed business decisions.
“We want to make it easy for employees to find information,” Jendresak pointed out. “We’re doing things to build on top of other technologies … and make it easy for employees to find things when they’re searching inside the enterprise.”
Lastly, Microsoft’s IT organization wants to ensure that all employees can realize the full value of the data available to them.
Structured and unstructured data sometimes can be difficult to understand, particularly for those who lack data analysis skills and expertise. The Microsoft IT organization allocates time and resources to review data and present this information in a way that is easy to understand. That way, the organization helps Microsoft employees gain actionable insights and optimize the value of data.
“We want to deliver information to our employees in a clear, coherent manner,” Jendresak noted. “We want to have a clear face for our employees.”
As the General Manager within the Core Services Engineering team at Microsoft Corp., John Jendrezak is responsible for providing the supporting services that lead to innovation, coherence of experience and engineering efficiency in the applications, services and processes that the Core Services Engineering team produces. Jendrezak leads teams responsible for Digital Transformation, Data Science and Analytics, Design and Planning, Project Management, Engineering Services, Workforce Strategy, Venture Integration and Accessibility.
Previously, as a Director of Program Management at Microsoft Corp., Jendrezak was responsible for managing the design and development of the Office family of products; leading teams responsible for acquisition and delivery, commerce and licensing, subscription experience, data science, authoring innovation, help and support services, product launch readiness, product servicing and accessibility.
During his tenure at Microsoft, Jendrezak has managed the design and development of many aspects of the Office applications including the products UI framework, Office’s first Universal Windows Apps, Office Online, service connectivity, Bing data integration, cloud storage integration, subscription purchase, cloud streamed installation, engineering tooling and release management.
Jendrezak joined Microsoft in July 1994 as an Office Product Manager. He holds a BS in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University.
Visit Argyle Executive Forum's 2019 CIO Leadership Forum: Embracing the Digital Revolution, from Information to Transformation in San Francisco, CA on Sep 10, 2019