When the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in Iceland, it brought back memories for some of us of what life in Seattle was like  when Mount St. Helens blew off its top almost 30 years ago.  

We aren’t getting any volcanic ash this time, but we’re still feeling the effects. Many Microsoft leaders from around the world are now in Seattle, where they convened for annual business meetings this week.  As those sessions concluded today, our European colleagues were scheduled to return home.  The volcanic ash clouds make it unsafe for aircraft to fly so large areas of European airspace and many airports are now closed.  As a result many of our coleagues are now stranded as their flights have been cancelled. 

But the inconvenience of missing flights hasn’t stopped our co-workers from conducting their Microsoft business.  As Microsoft UK Area vice-president, Gordon Frazer, says:  “I’m doing work here using the cloud as if I were back in my office in the UK.”

For Microsoft leaders such as Area vice presidents Achim Berg of Germany and Eric Boustouller of France, the ability to continue operations is a necessity.  And they’re not skipping a beat.  “It looks like I’m going to be here a little longer than I had planned.  I’m being told the soonest I may be able to return through London is probably mid-next week. While it’s spoilt the weekend, it’s not getting in the way of my business,” added Frazer.

Frazer and his European colleagues are continuing to run their business through cloud computing services such as Microsoft Office Communicator, Live Meeting and SharePoint

They may be stranded in Seattle, but instead of letting the ash cloud interrupt business, Microsoft is working through the cloud. It’s still business as usual.

 

Posted by Dominic Carr
Director, Microsoft News Center.