Christian Segurado on The MVP Show

Christian Segurado on The MVP Show

Christian Segurado
Microsoft Business Applications MVP


  • Christian Segurado talks about his family and background, growing up in Germany, and moving to the US on a soccer scholarship. He shares what he does for fun outside of work, which includes running marathons and playing soccer. 
  • He also shares his transition from soccer to tech. Christian explains how he got into consulting and how he found a passion for tech and system integrations. He also talks about the challenges he faced in this transition and how he overcame them. 
  • In this podcast episode, Christian shares the importance of collaboration and communication, and how his team at Mazars works with clients to provide customized solutions. 
  • Christian talks about the future of mixed-reality devices and their potential to replace traditional screens and laptops. They also discuss Microsoft Mesh, an entry feature that uses Teams infrastructure and avatars, and its potential to revolutionize virtual meetings and collaboration. 
  • How Christian feels about the layoffs at Microsoft that have affected the HoloLens team and other areas. 
  • Discussions about the benefits and drawbacks of remote work from their unique cultural backgrounds. 
  • Christian discusses the future of work and whether remote, hybrid, or in-office work will be the norm. 
  • Christian expresses his hopes for HoloLens, saying that he sees the future in the virtual keyboard and multiple screens. 
  • Christian stresses the importance of team culture in remote work, explaining how it fosters trust, collaboration, and a sense of belonging. He offers advice on how to build and maintain team culture in a remote work environment. 
  • Christian discusses the impact of remote work on productivity, the environment, and work-life balance, and predicts what the future may hold. 

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Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith


[mark_smith]: Today's guest is from the USA. He's the manager for System Integrations at Mazars. He was first awarded MVP in 2022. You can find links to his bio in the show notes for this episode. Welcome to the show, Chris.

[chris_segurado]: Thanks so much Mark. Appreciate it.

[mark_smith]: Good to have you on.

[chris_segurado]: Pleasure to be here.

[mark_smith]: Tell me about what you do when you're not working. What do you do for food? What do you do for family? What do you do for fun when the work's behind you?

[chris_segurado]: Right, there are like a lot of topics to address. Let me maybe start with family, the most important, right? I'm originally from Germany, grew up there. My parents still live there. Came over to the US actually a couple years ago in a soccer scholarship, did my MBA here and started my consulting career then afterwards in New York. Initially, tried to plan to stay one, two years here, but a couple years later, we're here, right? living the Upper West in York and now I can maybe tie it to what I'm doing for fun and I think it's pretty clear now I'm soccer, sports, German, any kind of activity or competition and that's what I'm doing in my free time I ran the New York Marathon for example last year.

[mark_smith]: Wow that's amazing.

[chris_segurado]: That's that's that's stuff that I'm Because there's so many good things and recipes and restaurants here and from a good risotto over paella, over just a New York City pizza. Well I couldn't decide, let's just do that with my preferences.

[mark_smith]: Do they, can you get a pretzel as good as what you can get in Germany, like a hot pretzel in New York?

[chris_segurado]: Well, naturally I should answer that on this podcast. No, and I mean the German food or the home cooked food back home is you can taste the difference. I have to be very honest. It's not the same, but there are a couple places where it gets close to what you can get back home.

[mark_smith]: When I first had my first pretzel in Germany, it was just shh man, I can see what they mean.Thank you. It's amazing. It's like nothing, you know. Yeah, totally phenomenal. So tell me, how did you transition from soccer into tech? How did that move happen for you?

[chris_segurado]: All right. I actually played soccer in Germany and for me that was more a way to, or continue my education in the US, right? So I got a soccer scholarship and literally it was more like the way how I can finance my MBA in the US, right? And luckily I was good in sports as well as I was So it was, at some point, you need to make a decision what's the preferred route to go. For me, it was the professional route in tech. And my background in Germany, and maybe that's also an interesting fact, to add is engineering, my bachelor in engineering. So I always had ties to tech in one or the other way. Yeah, and I had some good mentors that believed in me that hired me initially and trained me up, pulled me up and still in touch with them, grateful for the mentorship and

[mark_smith]: for Very cool.

[chris_segurado]: yeah, that's how I ended up in tech. It was not 100% planned and again, I tried to stay for one or two years in the US, wanted to explore it and yeah, it worked out very well.

[mark_smith]: What are you doing in the mixed reality space?

[chris_segurado]: Interesting, interesting one. I actually published an article about industry trends today about that. What I'm doing with mixed reality, especially focusing on HoloLint's tool and the business application that Microsoft provides in mixed reality space, means guides or remote assist scenarios. Initially, in ERP, an enterprise resource planning system, every organization, to some extent, and so on. Mixed Reality is actually an interesting field at this point because it's more perceived as a cherry on the cake. You don't really 100% need at this point, but I consider it as a game changer, an optimizer, especially for your workforce on the floor. That is, often doesn't have the availability or doesn't have the overview about information they need to perform the job. Why do you perform the job? in terms of your front-line worker at the manufacturing floor, you're doing an asset inspection, and you have in mixed reality a guide that guides you through a process. And while you might be not the expert, there's an expert that's somewhere in the world, and you can via remote assist dial in and have a collaborative session. So those are the use cases that I'm covering,with those use cases.

[mark_smith]: How did you feel with the announcements at Microsoft's layoffs that massively have impacted the HoloLens team specifically, but also there seems to be a lot of collateral damage around what's been let go there. What does that mean to you for someone that's quite close to it?

[chris_segurado]: Yeah, a couple of sorts that I can share from my perspective is that Holland's tour, the business applications that Microsoft supports with guides, remote assist, I believe they're still

[mark_smith]: Yes.

[chris_segurado]: there to stay. So at least all the information and all the communication that I have here in the last couple of weeks, but it was definitely interesting to see because I saw that I consider mixed reality as a cross sector, right? because you are currently at this point, there's not a cash card or you can generate great revenue at this point, but if you don't stay on track,you may miss the train.

[mark_smith]: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. And that's what blew my mind in this is that, you know, we can see where we're going with AI because when you were describing that scenario before and you said, oh, someone could be sitting on the other side of the world. In my mind, I was like, AI can be the person on the other, like talking to you, guiding you through step by step, right? Whether it's, you know, a step in a manual, you could just ask and they could give you a diagram on screen or point there. trajectory and that's what shocked me around the the layoffs because like what you said you know for HoloLens to get to I feel mainstream everywhere it's got to get down to you know grams and weight it's got to get really small it's got to get really

[chris_segurado]: Yeah.

[mark_smith]: you know and and as you said is that if you there where they're currently are right you've got a journey to go on to be able to okay let's everything that like how do you let's make sure it's you know to fire has it you know in a mining scenario because That's where I deal with in that front that it's going to be explosion safe that all those type of things I would have thought you been it you know to tall intense and purposes It's the market leading tech out there at the moment in this kind of You know overlaid space quite different than Oculus for something like that where it's you know full immersive That's what shocked me.

[chris_segurado]: Yeah, I mean, again, it caught me for a couple of minutes of guard two and didn't expect it because again, for me it was a gross error to invest in because I see it as a disruptor in the future. So definitely interesting. I think there's also with more adoption in the consumer market, I think we will see more traction in the B2B or in the business market too. And we're seeing that in organizations right now, if you asked the C-Level Suite about mixed reality, I think there's not a really clear understanding of what it is. And if you don't have the understanding of what it is, how can you actually think it's helping your business or your business processes to be more efficient, productive, and so on? Actually that's maybe tying back to your initial question, what are we doing or what I'm doing with mixed realities? I try to close that gap,that knowledge gap. sessions. I will be in Slovenia in two months in May at Dynamics Minds conference speaking about mixed reality manufacturing. That's what I try to, you know, I'm trying to publish and create awareness through content, but also we have an offering in Mazar's that's exactly addressing that problem. What is more like an assessment type of engagement where I come in and to sneeze in the seat of a and literally in an app in a day kind of concept, create one use case or address one of their use cases and they can actually play with it after. So then you get a tangible feeling for it, you know what I mean? And afterwards you can have those conversations, oh, now I understand it, oh, now there would be great use case for our asset inspections or maybe remote audits or maybe manufacturing, mixed reality supported manufacturing processes. So that's kind of what I'm trying to do with my content, with the content that I'm publishing in the last couple years.

[mark_smith]: So, do you? Okay, so just, we'll have one more focus on Microsoft. What do you think their game is there? Like what do they, what do you think? And like, cause I know that you don't know the detail, but what's your speculation and what's, what they're gonna do? Like for me, are they pivoting to go, listen, we're gonna use mobile screens, tablet screens, and we're gonna do much more of a, bring your device and chuck it up in front of me, as opposed to what you get with, with the HoloLens, what's your thoughts?

[chris_segurado]: Well, my thoughts and my hopes, I mean, I can see, I mean, I'm working with Holens too, right? Again, it has a key virtual keyboard, you can have multiple screens. I mean, where I see the future moving and I hope it's moving in that direction. Again, it's just my personal opinion is that more and more mixed reality devices will be used instead of like screens, laptops and so on in the future. At the moment, again, it's still in early stages, but you should keep it on on your mind, can support, make the client or customer experience better, can internally support processes. And I think Microsoft is still in the game here. Again, there were some articles published that B2B meta versus still an important thing with

[mark_smith]: Exactly.

[chris_segurado]: mesh on top of teams and stuff like that. So I don't think mixed realities from the table. I just think economic situations certain decisions, I still think mixed reality is essential for the future.

[mark_smith]: Hopefully they'll come out strongly from a marketing perspective and say that that's, you know, they're staying the course because as I say, I think a lot of space there. Tell me, you mentioned their mesh. Tell us about that as an, and are you, are you doing any work with

[chris_segurado]: Mesh on HoloLens, yes. It's still in early stages too. So adoption is, could be quicker, let's just say that. And there will be a mesh feature that comes on teams with avatars

[mark_smith]: Yes.

[chris_segurado]: and stuff like that. Again, it's just an entry, I would say, but it's smart using the team's infrastructure and building mesh on top of it. make sense to me. And I'm

[mark_smith]: Yeah.

[chris_segurado]: excited what's to come here. And I'm tracking it. I'm tracking it. And I would love to come on another podcast maybe in a year from now and talk about specific debt topics.

[mark_smith]: that would be epic. Did you see the presentation that Sachiya did in Barcelona about 2019, I think it was before the pandemic, where they did the launch of HoloLens 2? Did you see that at all?

[chris_segurado]: I can recall. I may have seen it, I can recall specifically.

[mark_smith]: so a couple of the use cases that in my mind was like, yes, this will be a game changer for business. One of them was, you know, a virtual board room where stakeholders from all around the world put their lenses on. But then everything from presentations to whiteboards, everything was part of the interactive objects. And you could do, for example, a design thinking session, put post it notes up, have people interacting, but being totally different geographies. it could be saved, could be output into presentations, etc. for circulating with people that weren't there. Do you see that still becoming a reality that, you know, the, let's say, pandemic took happens in our lifetime, right? Once again, I,you

[chris_segurado]: hopefully not.

[mark_smith]: know, statistically, it says it's going to, right? So isn't that a, once again, a massive reason why makes reality is so, so important because it allows us to continue to totally function, but with a high fidelity experience.

[chris_segurado]: Yes, where I have to be honest, I think those use cases in the boardroom or in the office, they're valid. Again, especially if you can track the meeting outcomes or can have the digital artifacts out of it. And if you add CHATGPT and AI on top of it and you can get recommended follow-up tasks

[mark_smith]: Exactly, exactly.

[chris_segurado]: and stuff like that, there are definitely some interesting use cases on that front. Still, the most obvious use case is for the front-line worker, means

[mark_smith]: Yes.

[chris_segurado]: on the manufacturing floor, the folks doing the asset repairs or asset inspections, the people that are literally on the floor doing the work and may often not have access to the information they need

[mark_smith]: Yes.

[chris_segurado]: when they perform the job. And now you have the ability to have the information in your view while being hands-free doing in alignment with security standards. You execute a process in certain quality standards that your organization builds for you, like via a guide, for example. Risk mitigation. If you need support, you can call an expert via remote assist. And every step is tracked. Means if I took five minutes on one specific guide step, and I can report on it. What does that help you as a manager? You see, oh, all those folks take very long on that manufacturing step. Maybe we need to take a look what's happening here. There's also insights, data insights, when you use HoloLens and a guided process. So many use cases for the frontline workers, in my opinion. Those are most obvious. Everything in the office, we have board rooms, virtual rooms and those kinds of things. for engineers is also a valid, valid point. So many use cases. Sorry, I could talk for like minutes, hours.

[mark_smith]: No, it's good. It's good. I love it. I love it. Tell me about how you became an MVP.

[chris_segurado]: Interesting question. So, I mean, as you know, I have a block, so I publish content via blog. And it's called Dynamics Duo Academy.

[mark_smith]: Nice, We'll put it in the show notes.

[chris_segurado]: Thanks, appreciate that. Additionally, I like to do speaking sessions. I would be in Slovenia, as I just mentioned, in May. There is another one in the end of the year, the Dynamics North Carolina, I was just in Orlando last year. I did classes and mentoring at Palm Beach Atlanta University, what is university

[mark_smith]: Nice.

[chris_segurado]: I played soccer for. They have an ERP track, so I wrote a textbook and teach mentor students to get the foot in the door in the dynamic space, because I don't think it's a very niche

[mark_smith]: Yeah, totally.

[chris_segurado]: consulting space. Not many people know about it. about it. But if not, it's not like, oh, I want to be a Dynamics 365

[mark_smith]: Yes.

[chris_segurado]: FNL consultant. I don't think that will happen often. So, yeah, I mean, those are the three things that I'm focusing on, blogs, content, speaking session, as well as mentoring.

[mark_smith]: Yeah. Nice, nice. my last question for you, because we're on time, if you and I were to have this conversation in five years time, what would have changed? What is it like, and if your vision of reality in the next five years could play out, what are we gonna see?

[chris_segurado]: Very, very interesting question. Technology-wise, I believe, for example, Apple announced that they bring out the consumer glasses, I mean, postpone a couple of times if you believe the news, right? If we have more, I mean, again, adoption in mixed reality as well as advancement here, from hardware as well as software perspective, additionally use cases with JetGPTA, It will be very interesting. I would be surprised if you still have laptops and screens. I believe that it will be replaced by some kind of glasses that look a little bit more sexy and normal, not as freaky. likely replaced by AI capabilities. already see it, content creation, even some easy coding tasks that GPD could handle, for example, right? And that's the start, right? So I think there will be a focus more of high evaluating tasks. And it will be also like an interesting, interesting to see how it will be impacting like this, the social circles, right? and how do education change, which jobs do you start after graduation? Right? I mean, there's so many interesting topics just to be to do that you need to think of. But yeah, I mean, those are a couple of things that I believe could be the case in five years.

[mark_smith]: I like it. So within 20 years, do you think we'll just have contact lenses with everything running on them so you wouldn't even need glasses?

[chris_segurado]: Well, that would be, I mean, could be the case, yes.

[mark_smith]: embedded microphones in our cheeks and airpiece in our air permanently.

[chris_segurado]: Well, I mean, you know that the company from Elon Musk

[mark_smith]: Neuralink. Neuralink.

[chris_segurado]: does implants, correct Neuralink, correct, that does implants in pretty much, yeah, can enhance your skills apparently. You can download the new language and you can speak a new language immediately. That would be interesting to see. But to be fair, how quick technology evolves like the internet or the phone or the smartphone.

[mark_smith]: Yeah,exactly.

[chris_segurado]: It was not too long ago. It was not too long ago. I think we forget that. We forget it often.

[mark_smith]: Yeah How would we survive the pandemic if there'd be no internet? You know, how much do we do virtual meetings nowadays all over the world? My day is literally today is one to like, I've already done 10 appointments today. And of course, all of them from in my office without anyone else around physically.

[chris_segurado]: It's interesting. I mean, actually one more interesting fact to add here. I think the US embraces remote work and those technologies a lot. What I see in other countries, for example, Germany, remote work, remote work meetings is not really well-liked,I would say.

[mark_smith]: interesting, interesting. I mean, I'm at the bottom of the world in New Zealand and everybody's doing it. Even with the choice to work in the office or work from home because you got your commute, you've got all that hassle, it's just, it's massive time savings. You get much more work done. Yes, the culture is not there the same, but hey, we live in a different world. Have some mates at our neighbours and stuff.

[chris_segurado]: Yeah, I mean, it has all it has advantages and disadvantages. I mean, while you're more flexible and you can, um, yeah, you, you save the commute. I mean, time is so valuable. So for that, from that aspect, remote work is great. But yeah, the team culture as well as also the trust, right? I think, I think especially, I mean, growing up in Germany, I think our culture is a little bit different from that standpoint. We like, you know, the team there creating that culture, kind of maybe also being in control a little more. It's interesting to see here and I'm excited to see what how the world looks like in five hundred twenty years.

Christian SeguradoProfile Photo

Christian Segurado

Christian Segurado, a Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) is leading the Supply Chain Management as well as Mixed Reality Team at Mazars USA. His background is digital business transformation and solution architecture across Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations/Supply Chain Management as well as Power Platform, Mixed Reality and Azure/Azure AI with a clear focus on adding ultimately the most value across the client’s business processes and achieve operational efficiency holistically across the organization/value chain.