#Microsoft is selling a vision while blending #Windows10 reality at #Build2015

This week there have been a lot of announcements at #Build2015 and I am expecting more concrete to come next week at #Ignite2015. My view about Microsoft is that they are still running after the mobile internet since desktops are no longer dominant. I have written another post back in 2013 about how important mobility is for software vendors, which underlines the importance of Windows 10 today:

Devices / Users (MM in Log Scale)


This graphic also marks an important indicator for the buzz around the Internet of Things (#IoT), because you have to think outside the box when you imagine the mentioned “multiple devices” from the graphic. A great presentation from @ValaAshafar explains the world around #IoT and the bandwagon for Windows 10 IoT:


So the unified approach from Microsoft about Windows 10 as one platform for all is huge an very important to win back market share as a platform, as for example the market for tablets is struggling due to 2-in-1 devices like the Microsoft Surface:

Microsoft as the leader of the desktop market has recognized the mobility threat and is embracing this challenge with multiple strategies:

  1. Native Microsoft apps for non-Windows platforms for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Note.
  2. Microsoft HoloLens came with a big bang last year and showed some impressive demos at Build:
    I am still curious about the innovation appearance about HoloLens, because predicted prices are higher than the Playstation and availability dates are unknown. Interesting too, that HoloLens was a big reason to buy Minecraft as Satya Nadella mentioned in an interview with the New York Times. A glimpse behind the scenes, the article mentioned some competitors as well with less market dominance compared to Microsoft but promising products for competitors:

  3. Besides the unified development approach of Microsoft bringing Visual Studio Code to all major platforms shows the tremendous momentum of the device and os diversity through mobility and cloud computing. Especially with the focus on building applications for Microsoft Azure.
  4. Microsoft continued the talk about universal apps along with the goal of 1 billion users within the next two to three years.
  5. Another great idea is the universal app approach with Microsoft Continuum to embrace Android apps to Windows platforms.
  6. Microsoft Continuum is much more promising when you think about turning Windows 10 phones into tiny, full-blown Windows PCs. The Nirvana Phone might become real.

But let’s face the reality, Microsoft has a long way to go with Windows 10 even they claim themselves a Mobile First, Cloud First company. This is the most interesting statement for me, that Microsoft is selling a vision while blending the Windows 10 reality. Their biggest challenges are their phone platforms and mobility itself:

I also recommend two inspiring posts about Build and Windows 10 from @JanDawson similar to my view:

Enough said, let’s check the announcements of Microsoft Ignite next week.

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#Agile: Improve your daily life while working on your basic roots of paradigms

Vacation is reflection time for me as well, so I bought a classic from Steven R. Covey. For some some of you this might be boring or bathetic, but Covey taught me a real big lesson about attitudes and behaviors. For most of you, it may be an easy one to understand that attitudes and behaviors are based on paradigms. Covey describes paradigms to see them as maps. But a map does not fit to all territories. For example if you have a map of Frankfurt and you are in Berlin, it will be hard to get to the center or even frustrating.

“You might work on your behavior – you could try harder, be more diligent, double your speed. But your efforts would only succeed in getting you to the wrong place faster.

You might work on you attitude – you could think more positively. You still wouldn’t get to the right place, but perhaps wouldn’t care. Your attitude would be so positive, you’d be happy wherever you are.

The point is, you’d still be lost. The fundamental problem has nothing to do with your behavior or your attitude. It has everything to do with having a wrong map.”


And Covey explains paradigms by an easy illustration:

“Do you see a woman? How old would you say she is? What does she look like? What is she wearing? In what kind of roles do you see her?”

Young Lady


“But what if I were to tell you that you’re wrong? What if I said this picture is of a woman in her 60’s or 70’s who looks sad and has a huge nose? Who’s right? Look at the picture again.”

Young Lady in Black

Try to focus on the nose – it is important to see the old lady first, before you continue to the next picture.

For those who are not able to see the old lady in picture 2, there is another one here:

Old Lady

This simple example brings up discussions about what you see and what you don’t – and they are not logical, they are psychological, based on your paradigms.

I wrote about the post The right attitude for #scrum and #life a view weeks ago which are based on my paradigms. So the next step will conclude into this:

I believe Covey shows a basic example in the daily life of everybody. I deal with similar issues every day when it comes to customer requirements, discussions about user stories, tasks and priorities. So I hope those simple examples helps to improve our daily life.

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Two Fundamental Sources About Why #Mobility Is Changing The World

Understanding mobility and what it does right now and in the future to our environment is huge. So I’d like to share two sources of  presentations which explained the challenges and situations very sharp and brief to me. The first one is from Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) who is a partner at A16Z about “Mobile is eating the world”:

Really recommend his weekly email newsletter as well, great insights: http://ben-evans.com/news/

If you are more interested in video presentations, here you go:

The second presentation was another one from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB):

There are plenty of more sources about explaining mobility and its implications to IT our there, but both of them inspired and changed my view. I am very thankful about the content, that’s why I want to share this again. Hope it has a similar or another effect on you.

All the best and happy reading!

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The right attitude for #scrum and #life – #Inspire

This week I am inspired by two posts I have found from my social network which made me think about the right attitude to scrum and life. So I’d like to re-share them in a post.

I love this letter from a Product Manager’s view to the engineer. Right now I am facing similar challenges, like whining about testing & automation due to the massive technical debt or continuous delivery. The main thing I’d like the team to focus is to make the product better for users and make sure our customers get use of the product due to a release (hotfix, patch or whatever). So everybody from the team has to make sure to do the right things to ship the new things to the customers. It is not only about focusing on writing code and developing features. Focus on what is needed for delivery and get your hands on!


This statement originally from Maryl Streep is a bold one. I like her attitude and am able to identify the same values for life.


Both articles correlate for me when I think about scrum, teams, individuals and values in a daily life at work. It is all about our attitude! So work on it, to deliver the best of you.

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7 Dos and Don’ts of Communication: Shared Understanding and Alignment are the Objectives of Collaborative Work

This week I made an experience again which reminded me at one of my favorite movies “Groundhog Day” – the topic is about communication. There is plenty of literature written about communication out there, and I’ve decided to add my experiences as well. This is for me a continuous learning trying to get better in communication.

Last year I’ve learned from Jeff Patton about a major principle in communication when talking or creating User Story Maps. Jeff shared a picture about square, triangle and circle where I’ve found myself discussing with my colleagues about the same subject but a different understanding and level. Communication is never easy due to different perceptions of the sender and the recipient. Often when you are talking about a specific subject it looks like this:

Communication about a specific topic

Three people are talking about the same subject, but have different ideas in their mind what the want to communicate to each other. The idea behind it is very easy, and not always easy to achieve: “I am glad we all agree then.”.

Once you’ve exchanged your ideas the picture formula should become more like this:

Shared understanding

So how do you get there? Here are some ideas and experiences I made to get there:

  1. Write down your ideas as sharp as possible. If people don’t understand what you mean re-phrase it more concrete and sharp. But write them down!
  2. Writing is only one dimension of communication. Start to add sketches about your thoughts. Pictures tell more than words. Start sketching on the whiteboard or post-its, whatever helps to make your ideas visible.
  3. Don’t interpret that much. Interpretation always relies on assumptions. If you think you understand your counterpart, rephrase and ask about your interpretation and assumptions to find the same denominator.
  4. Ask yourself: If I am going to talk now, how much value do I add to the discussion or conversation.
  5. Listen, listen, listen! Try not to talk that much.
  6. Ask if you don’t understand what your counterpart has presented.
  7. Make sure everybody has the same level of conversation. Save details for the right time and type of conversation.

Something to add? Let me know about your experiences.

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#VMware continuous momentum in End-User Computing and acquired #Immidio #EUC

Again, VMware did another acquisition in the market for End-user computing and bought Immidio. There have been rumors before on several sources like for example Gabe Knuth from BrianMadden.com in his post back in October 2014 “If VMware wants into the UEM space, should they build or buy? A look at who they might target and why.“. So we now phase a new marketing term “Workspace Environment Management”:

The interesting piece is that VMware is continuing to invest and grow their solutions for End-user computing. If you look back to the end of 2013 VMware’s footprint in the EUC market was decreasing with no real focus in this market segment.

In fact within 1.5 years VMware’s position totally changed and Immidio is a great next step to complete a End-User solution for the market. The challenges I see for VMware are the different technologies and user experiences due to different products from their acquisitions. The pace of VMware and EUC is extraordinary fast, but I believe customers expect a more unified user experience of VMware’s products. VMware is doing a great job so far in harmonizing their product portfolio, but still a way to go.

In contrast, Citrix did several acquisitions between 2010 and 2014 and now released their restructuring program for 2015:

Citrix also announced the implementation of a restructuring program designed to increase strategic focus and operational efficiency. The restructuring will affect approximately 700 full-time and 200 contractor positions, and is expected to result in annualized pre-tax savings in the range of approximately $90 million to $100 million. Citrix expects to incur pre-tax charges in the range of approximately $40 million to $45 million related to employee severance arrangements and $9 million to $10 million related to the consolidation of leased facilities during fiscal year 2015.
“We hear every day from customers about the dual pressures they face – to deliver business results, while creating an engaging work-life experience for their people,” said Mark Templeton, president and CEO, Citrix. “Our focus on enabling a software-defined workplace is putting Citrix in front of this strategic challenge through the unique integration of our delivery networking solutions, workspace services and mobility apps. I’m proud of our 2014 performance, but we’re not satisfied. We are looking ahead to 2015 with a focus on innovation that delivers a better experience, more flexibility and greater security to our customers, and a more focused organizational footprint that enables profitable growth.”

You cannot compare the different situations both companies are in, but it will be interesting to see the market evolving in 2015.

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Mindmap of Ben Horowitz post about: Good Product Managers – Bad Product Managers

I am reading now “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” from Ben Horowitz which really touches me emotionally. In the chapter about train the people he sets some expectations to guide in a special direction, I found another post here. There you will find a list about good and bad product managers here. I wanted to give it a different view, that’s why I decided to post the list into a mindmap.

Good vs bad product managers


I believe in self fulfilling prophecy, so I like to focus on the good things which was the reason to split between good and bad. I don’t want to comment or rate the expectations about being a good or a bad product manager.

You can download the mindmap as well, it is created with Xmind.

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Patrick Sauerwein

Patrick Sauerwein

Senior Product Manager | Certified Scrum Product Owner

My passion is building software to help people in their daily life. Currently I am working for an ISV as a Senior Product Manager and Product Owner of an agile team. Working as a Product Manager, I am also experienced in areas like Product Marketing, Sales Engineering, Customer Support & Business Development. From a professional view I am experienced in End-User Computing, ITSM & Client Management, Infrastructure Operations, Client Management, ITSM, Virtualization solutions, Enterprise Mobility Management and Cloud Computing. I had the chance to work in different industries like ISVs, Financial, SMB, Enterprise & B2B trade. I am grown up in an entrepreneur family environment with a Diploma in Business Administration.

My personal strengths are Ideation, Learner, Achiever, Intellection & Empathy based on the Gallup Institute. I write about building products, end-user computing, mobility, virtualization and cloud computing solutions. Please have a look at my Twitter profile and blog. I love to exchange thoughts, keen to learn more new "abstract" things.

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