In this, the third of a series of ‘In our shoes’ blogs, Triad Consultant Dom Kardokas talks about all things M365: from autonomy to buzzword soup and Stephen Hawking.
Q: You’re a Microsoft 365 Consultant. What does that mean?
It means I’m trained to advise and deliver Microsoft’s Modern Work concept. I help organisations leverage their digital tools to create a more agile work environment.
Q: How did you end up at Triad doing this role?
Changing jobs during the pandemic was very scary – but I am so pleased that I did. I was working for an Asset Management company. Monotony was becoming an issue. I had limited influence on my own work. Now I have autonomy; the end goal may be defined, but I have much freedom on how to get there. And I am working with a wide range of clients.
Q: What do you think is the secret to being a brilliant Microsoft 365 Consultant?
You should ask one (laughs). Experience helps. And you need to remain up to date with technology because it is changing rapidly. But ultimately, the skill is in simplifying complexity to a level that clients understand. There’s a lot of confusing or overlapping terminology, buzzword soup and marketing ‘embellishments’ in M365 world. Clients appreciate it if we can cut through all that and talk about realistic solutions that make an impact.
Q: Do you have a role model? And if so, how have they influenced you?
Maybe not a role model in the strict sense, but I’ve read most of Stephen Hawking’s books (popular science ones anyway), and I find his life story very inspiring, not letting external forces define one’s destiny and life. His ability to formulate complex concepts into simple ‘layman’ terms is in a league of its own. I’d like to think I get tiny flashes of that in my professional life, and in explaining the world to my 4- and 6-year-olds.
Q: What is a typical day as a Microsoft 365 Consultant like?
A typical day will often begin with a stand-up or Scrum for a ‘main’ project, some code to write or review, emails and calls with the priorities dictating how my day flows. I love the challenge of pre-sale calls because it’s my opportunity to see how technology can transform an organisation. And if I can, I may do some training; we have free Triad access to Udemy academy.
Q: What has been your favourite assignment so far and why?
Much of my work deals with Software as a Service (SaaS), meaning it’s managed by a provider (usually Microsoft), and there is a boundary that defines what can or cannot change. But on a recent project working for the UK Ministry of Justice, that answer just wasn’t good enough – with 100,000+ users, MoJ is certainly big enough to negotiate changes with Microsoft. Feeling the muscle of the UK Government behind your back was empowering.
Q: What do you love most about your role?
The variety. It’s cliché to say no two days are the same, but as far as desk-based jobs go, that is remarkably true. Looking at my calendar in the morning will give some idea of how the day will go, but it’s almost guaranteed that something will jump out of the woodwork and require adapting or reprioritising.
Q: What’s the hardest thing about your role?
Variety 😊 Not exactly in the same sense, but when dealing with clients, there is a huge spectrum of technical understanding, expectations, and communication styles. It’s not easy to recalibrate, especially if having to jump between meetings quickly, or sometimes even targeting different people on the same call. The scope of what can be described as my ‘area of expertise’ seems to be getting broader by the day. I don’t mean me expanding my horizons, but the world around us is getting more complex, boundaries blurred, and old definitions superseded.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering taking a similar career path to you?
Be committed to lifelong learning. You’ll never know everything you need to know. But also, don’t panic about not knowing something. As long as you understand the main concepts, you can figure out the details later. If you are unsure how to enter the industry, getting a few Microsoft certifications under your belt is a good starting point.
If you are interested in how Microsoft’s Modern Work concept could improve your business, or have a question for the Triad team, then please get in touch here.