Red pill or Blue pill?

Just over two years ago I started an effort to train my organizations leadership team on Windows 8. At the beginning of the day-long session I show a film clip from The Matrix. In it, the character Morpheus gives the character Neo a choice between taking a Red pill or a Blue pill. Take the Blue pill his life stays the same and he continues a rather tortured existence knowing there was more to his life than he was experiencing. Take the red pill and his eyes would be opened to the true world around him and the power he possessed. Oh, and he would have to fight against the forces trying to keep the world at the status quo. Of course the metaphor I was trying to share was give me your day, invest some interest, and what I show you could change the way you work and by nature the way the organization functions. You will come to understand the tools we have at our disposal, use them, gain efficiency and start setting standards across your departments for your team members to do the same. In this way, we will shift how things get done across the enterprise.

I’d like to think my clever presentation grabbed their attention and was sufficient for helping motivate them. It likely helped that for months our CFO was explaining how the changing reimbursement model across the health care industry was going to decrease stay and incentivize us to actually drive SOME patients and revenue out of the acute setting. Bottom line, you need to figure out how to manage on smaller margins and higher regulation. In other words, figure out how this new world impacts your services and how to be more efficient.

OK ready for your Red Pill now?

The Hook: So this all started months before with a presentation to our Senior Leadership team. I started with some bait. Everybody likes to get a new device. With the release of Windows 8 we started to see some early entries into hybrid laptop/tablet device space. I started taking units we were given to test, to leadership meetings with me and giving previews and planting the seed about mobility and efficiency. Then, during the budgeting cycle I proposed to refresh all SVP and VP devices with a Hybrid Windows 8 device. We had selected the Dell XPS 12 and then just before the program launched also included the Surface pro 2 which had just released as a choice to the user. This was also new for the team. Previously, there was a organizational standard and that what you got. Moving forward, they actually got to select what felt best to them. The XPS was a bit more like a laptop-like while the Surface more like a tablet and had that pen.

The Deal: recognizing the opportunity at hand I pushed for a commitment for the leadership team to adhere to some requirements.

  • They had to give up their current desktop device within 30 days of being trained on the new device.
  • They could only use that device as their PC. If they had offices at multiple sites or had to be mobile they had to take their Windows 8 device.
  • Remote Access would be enabled and limited to VPN client installed on the device.
  • They had to move the last 6 months of active documents from the network share to their SharePoint My Site
  • They had to create or update a departmental SharePoint site.
  • They had to give up any in office printer and only use shared devices if they had to print.
  • All future meetings had to be set up as Lync/Skype meetings to allow an option for remote attendance.
  • Any further utilization of this hardware and associated platforms had to be accompanied by a business plan. Directors who plan to extend this in your departments, demonstrate how it was going to improve your operations and better yet improve quality or save costs.

The Outcome: So I received support from Senior Leadership and we were ready to start our implementation. Tune in in a few weeks to see how we approached training and what the state of affairs are today.

Thanks everyone and blessings to you all!




Honey, I’m home…

Some of you may recognize my borrowing of that line from Kubrick’s The Shining. I didn’t particularly like the movie but Jack Nicholson does crazy, scary like no one else. So here I am back trying to stick to a blog I haven’t updated in over a year. Crazy scary. Suffice it to say life hasn’t been normal during that time. No intent to be secretive, my 4 year old grandson was diagnosed with cancer last year so nothing has felt normal in some time. Crazy scary. We have at least entered in to some sort of routine and while the specter of cancer still looms, the mind longs for some routine and distraction. That’s why we work and have hobbies and sometimes we are blessed that both are the same. It takes us out of the inward focus and channels it into something bigger than us. My faith is a core element for addressing life’s hard realities. To that end God gave me an interest and vocation in tech to pour my energies into. So I will pray, I will work and I will write.

Recently I got to attend Microsoft’s first “Ignite” conference in Chicago. This is a collapsing of their TechNet conferences and a few other gatherings into one event. It was like going to a Microsoft buffet. You try and gorge on everything you can but in the end its too much. The saving grace is Channel 9. This is Microsoft’s YouTube for developers and enthusiasts. Every session at Ignite can be found at Or on Windows 8.1 and Windows phone 8 you can download the Channel 9 app. That’s over 800 presentations that can tell you all about whats coming at Microsoft over the next several months.
And then there is E3. Microsoft just did its keynote at the US’s largest entertainment expo yesterday and talked about the future of its entertainment and gaming platform. You can see it at Yes the focus was on games but I think Microsoft has a vision much bigger than games for its Xbox and other platforms. Just as with Hololens, while the is a focus on gaming and entertainment now, the enterprise and business aspects of these tools will soon emerge. How about Xbox as a center for home automation and security or for home medical device connectivity? If they bring the grail of the unified Windows 10 platform why not?
We have a lot to consider but I’ll keep these blogs short for both the reader and the writer in hopes we don’t get gorged and want to keep returning to the table for more.
Thanks for visiting!

The Quest for My “One Device”


The new slogan for the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 is “One Device for Everything in Your Life.” While Penny Arcade seems to indicate that for many people the Pro 2 can be, I tend to play more demanding games than Hearthstone or Wakfu (whatever that is?).  And it can be quite frustrating as a parent to be tied to a bulky laptop or immobile desktop that can’t be used in one hand when carrying around a 2-month old, or discreetly toted around when running after a two-and-a-half year old. So, I found myself in the interesting position of needing something incredibly powerful for gaming, work and hobbies, but incredibly portable and kid-friendly. There aren’t a lot of options out there that hit both of those targets with any degree of precision. Continue reading