A Day in The Life of Isabel

Karl Lagerfield

“I like to reinvent myself — it’s part of my job.” - Karl Lagerfield

It is Wednesday, end of business day, it is the moment of the day I use for answering my emails. I open Outlook, 73 unread emails... I need to do something about that someday... suddenly my eyes are drawn to a message which is named: "Women in Technology Blog".

I open the email and read it: Would I like to write a blog about a day in my life as a woman in technology?

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog on how I fell in love with IT and another blog on how I think, we, women, still have a job cut out for us, to accelerate our impact and stay as close as we can to our authentic selves. Writing this blog for Women in Technology is an honour and a great addition to the stories I have told on this subject, so I answered with a big YES. After that I work through the rest of my emails.

When I am just about to close off for the day, I get a call from one of our Microsoft partners. I ask him how he is doing. After his personal and business update and a good laugh, he asks me if I would like to join them and lead a strategic workshop for their business plan for next year. After checking the scope, I check my agenda and confirm inspired.

This is my cup of tea, connecting the mission of Microsoft to the mission statements of our customers and partners and from that point on driving the conversation on digital transformation, relevance, changing value chains and changing value propositions.

It is on the other hand my reality check, which I build in on a regular basis, to learn from the field, keep the close connection and confirm my data analyses and chosen tactics on subsidiary level per audience.

Then I call it a day and shut down my Surface.

It is early next day, 8:00am, I am on my way to present Microsoft in a Keynote at Citrix Solutions Days.

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When I arrive, I have an hour left, which gives me the time to do the last preparation. My phone is in silent mode, so I will not be not disturbed. I am relaxed and a bit tense, which is good. My ideal preparation, next to building up a good story, is silence, relaxation and tension, just before I go on stage.

After a great opening and story of one of our mutual customers, I am announced and get on stage. I look at the audience. More than 750 people, IT professionals and technical decision makers are in the room. Most of them have belong to our loyal fanbase for years and I see quite some new comers. I always start with scanning the room while being silent for a couple of seconds before I start my story. That helps me to connect with the audience and to draw the attention, in this case for the story about the Microsoft and Citrix partnership.

It is a story about digital transformation, the change process and key elements of success.

It is a story about how we as one team enable our customers and partners in their journey, supporting every person to use every moment of the day with products and services which are beautifully designed to work together, our hybrid story, how everything comes together in Azure.

After my presentation, I grab a quick lunch-to-go at the exhibition floor, connect with several customers and partners, ask them about their journey, their relationship with Citrix and Microsoft and this gives me quite interesting insights.

I get my phone, check twitter for messages concerning this Citrix event and see it is 12:30 PM, it is time to leave to the Microsoft Office for a creative design workshop with my team on our value proposition with regards to GDPR.

In this workshop, we cover the problem statement of our customers and partners with respect to GDPR, the current state, the scenarios with solutions needed and the architectural designs to reach the desired state.

During this workshop, we start a good discussion on the guidelines of GDPR around retention policies and the impact on the design principles of IT environments and data storage.

With the facts and figures on the current state of our customers and partners, I learn a lot and conclude there is a job to be done, since I firmly believe it is of the utmost importance to create the right level of awareness and educate our customers and partners on this topic. On the other hand, we can support them with the technology needed to enable them to build a foundation of trust with their customers and partners and prevent unnecessary penalties or high unnecessary expenses on resources.

I start a brainstorm on potential interventions and we do a prescriptive analysis based on the data we gathered. With that we start drawing a plan and within an hour and a half we have a concept proposal on the whiteboard. We leave the room, energized on the impact we can drive, as a team.

After this session, I walk to the third floor, my controller is sitting at his usual spot, heads down in work, creating impactful BI reports. He is a real hero and can do magic with the data sources we have, using Power Bi. He just finished a report, although that is my take, he is a perfectionist, so never ready.

I buy him a good cup of coffee and we walk through the report together, the result is as expected, brilliant and so ready, so I compliment him for his great work.

The report gives me great insight and allows me to predict my forecast on the consumption of our services in a very accurate way. We talk about including prescriptive analyses with this data to determine whether and how an action or intervention causes a change in the outcome the report predicts.

I am very inspired and get ideas on new experiments we can do, because we can track our chosen activities and impact in a very powerful way. So, I take the action together with the relevant product managers, to define the experiments we like to start with as a desired outcome, accelerating the consumption growth of our advanced workloads.

My phone rings, it is the trainee I coach, we have our monthly 1:1 at 3:30pm ., 5 minutes from now. We decide to meet at the first floor on the red couch. When he arrives he immediately starts talking, he is full of energy working on the case I shared with him.

I gave him a real-life experience within one of our customers and in our conversation, we reflect on their journey and how they are using our products and services, working with our partners but also on our organization and how to get things done.

I ask him on his approach, about the styles he uses and on the why. I counsel him on the bigger picture. He is intrigued and starts asking a lot of questions.

Instead of giving him the immediate answer, I choose to follow up on these questions and insights with an action, asking him to reflect on this, since I think it is good to give it more thought, sort things out and follow up on this next meeting. Thinking about it, makes me curious, curious to learn with what he will come back.

After this last appointment, I check the traffic on the road… and see it is a good time to do some email first.

I open outlook... 64 unread emails… I really need to do something about that someday… I check and answer the most important ones.

I go home with a smile on my face, thinking about the great team of people I have around me, from whom I learn a lot. I am happy and full of energy and ideas on how we can achieve more and last but not least, I have enough material to write my blog.

Isabel Moll
Senior Business Group Lead Cloud & Enterprise Microsoft

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