A Future in Gaming: I’m headed for Blizzard Entertainment!

It’s appropriate that early in my career in technology started with morale events based on network gaming found on a hidden share versions of Doom, then later it was Command and Conquer and WarCraft, StarCraft, Duke Nukem and Diablo.  Great memories, tons of fun and strengthened friendships.  We couldn’t wait for those moments when it got quiet with no one left around and the machines became available for something even more powerful than your average productivity tools.  Even early in my marriage we’d come to play networked games on battle.net.  I’ve always enjoyed gaming, in balance of course.  I gave my notice at Konica Minolta last week and start my new position at Activision | Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine on January 8 as Senior IT Operations Manager responsible for the End User Computing and Windows Core teams.

Activision Blizzard is the world’s most successful standalone interactive entertainment company. Our portfolio includes some of the biggest franchises in all of entertainment, developed by the incredibly talented teams at Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, King Digital Entertainment, Activision Blizzard Studios, Major League Gaming, and our independent studios, including Toys for Bob, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games and Treyarch.” – Blizzard Careers page

For Christmas I got an Oculus and a gamer VR laptop that will support my new career.  Hope to connect with you on Battle.Net as I build new characters on WOW and Overwatch and whatever else may come along…  More details to come!  My blog will broaden.  You may have noticed I rebranded my blog and you’ll see a broader range of topics from VR to Games and tech gadgets along side the Office 365 and SharePoint content.  You’ll see further improvement in my blog navigation to support those changes.

FAQ

Will you still be working with SharePoint / Office 365?

Yes, I will be managing the team responsible for SharePoint and Office 365 including the collaboration platforms and productivity tools as well as Azure AD, Identity, Exchange, DNS, Patching, SCCM, and Apple and Macs.  I will be driving the strategy for SharePoint, Office 365, Collaboration and Intranet at Blizzard.  Big responsibility I know.

I do believe jobs will expand in Office 365 and contract in on premises SharePoint especially for developers. I posted 8 predictions for SharePoint in 2018.

Will you still be traveling and speaking at conferences?

Yes, in fact I will be speaking at a number of SharePoint Saturday’s, aOS, and Community Meetups and Industry events  in the first quarter of 2018.  This may change slightly, but at this point my management is supportive of my community work and has offices around the globe they’ve already said they’d like me to visit in Ireland, France, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea and they support me in my endeavors.  I’m already booked for my Madagascar trip in February and Ethiopia/Uganda/Kenya Central Africa Family trip this summer.  Hope you can come to #Blizzcon I’m very excited to add that event to my line up in 2018.

How many countries do you have left?

Not sure what this has to do with my new job, but about 30 countries (of ~197) after what’s already been booked.  I’ve been averaging about 10 new countries a year, but what’s left is getting increasingly difficult and more planning involved, so this may vary.  My priority is my family and work, so this should not interfere.

What do video games have to do with the future of collaboration?

It doesn’t have to, but I do see more and more… a convergence in real time and even near realtime for video, audio, chat, feeds, training, screen sharing and definitely the future of interfaces may have more of a convergence with gaming and collaboration and intranets.  We’ve already seen examples of gamification in Intranets.  I expect to see more culture and gaming represented in chat rooms, Intranet interfaces, and video as these experiences converge.  The future of AR/VR bring a lot of new possibilities to the enterprise by 2021 more than 10% of AR/VR will be purchased for corporate use.

How were things at Konica Minolta?

I have had a great relationship with my boss, and I had a fantastic team, whom I will miss dearly.  After about 3 years at KM, I’ve had a great impact on their practice. Together we’ve been able to accomplish a lot, but this is a fantastic opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  You should never burn bridges, and I can safely say this is amicable.

Have more questions? You can ask me in the comments or on twitter at @joeloleson or at the upcoming events such as #SPSUtah or #SPSSD

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Joel Oleson

I LOVE traveling our little planet. In my quest to visit every country in the world I've got about 35 UN countries left! I'm not just country hopping, but looking for the most immersive cultural experiences and capturing them as photos and videos. When not traveling I'm known as SharePoint Joel, I'm a Senior IT Manager at Blizzard Entertainment.

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