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Surface Hub erases tyranny of distance, fosters workplace transformation

Exactly 50 years after Geoffrey Blainey published his landmark book The Tyranny of Distance detailing how geography and history shaped modern Australia, Microsoft launched the Surface Hub.

In an instant the tyranny of distance was erased.

Surface Hub overcomes geographic separation, it brings people together where and when it makes sense, transforming the workplace into a rich collaboration environment where people share ideas, debate, discuss and innovate.

We’ve had overwhelming demand for Surface Hub from right across Australia and to ensure customers get the best solution, the best applications, and the best support for their needs we’re constantly investing in and expanding the platform.

So, there’s now inking available across Word, Excel and PowerPoint – people are using Pen on Surface to literally join the dots on their businesses.

Whatever is displayed on the screen can be saved and shared through OneDrive. It keeps the collaboration alive and active.

Surface Hub can run any Universal Windows Platform app and more than 20 leading developers have created solutions specifically for Surface Hub, including Melbourne based Drawboard. Its Bullclip collaborative mark-up platform and Drawboard PDF is a perfect fit for Surface Hub allowing engineers, designers, architects to work together in perfect digital harmony.

The range of third party peripherals – particularly cameras and audio equipment – supported by Surface Hub also continues to grow. The chances are that the equipment you already have in your conference rooms can be used with Surface Hub, protecting your investment and enhancing the experience.

We’re also preloading PowerBI, OneDrive and Photos apps so that data, files and images are instantly available.

To meet the overwhelming demand for Surface Hub that we’re seeing right across Australia we are also expanding our channel program – working with more specialist partners to ensure customers of all sizes, in all sectors get the best experience and value from the technology.

So if Skype for Business expertise is what is most important to you as you drive your communication and collaboration strategy, then Insync Technology, IComm & Nexon could be the partners best suited for your needs.

If you are looking for a range of Surface devices – for mobile workers, for design studios, for remote national and international collaboration – then we have partners such as Ethan Group, CompNow, JB Hi-Fi Commercial and Datacom able to work with you to create the perfect solution across the Surface portfolio of devices

If the audio-visual element is the anchor for your workplace and communications strategy, then there’s Rutledge AV, Connected Vision Group, Programmed Electrical, Credible Audio Visual Solutions, Corporate Initiatives, Empowered Learning & RTV Group.

Given Australia’s sheer scale and relative remoteness from the rest of the world, it’s not surprising that local organisations have been particularly enthusiastic about Surface Hub – recognising that it can transform the workplace and change the way they and their teams collaborate, communicate and create.

Take Central Highlands Regional Council for example. Covering 60,000 square kilometres of Queensland, the Council has a team of 500 serving the needs of 30,000 people. But given the size of the region it can take two and a half hours to drive from a remote office to HQ.

If you’re driving that distance for a half hour meeting, then have to turn around and head home again it’s hardly an efficient use of time or resources.

By installing Surface Hubs across the region, the Council has created a platform for communication and collaboration that saves time and money – but it also ensures everyone’s voice from right across the region is heard. That’s no mean feat for a council running an area almost as big as Tasmania.

Surface Hub brings people together to get things done efficiently – whether they are all in one office and can gather around the screen to work on a project, or collaborating remotely. It doesn’t matter because everyone sees the same data and images, and can contribute and co-create.

When Microsoft launched Surface Hub last year, we asked Forrester to analyse its likely impact. Forrester worked out that the average time saved per meeting was 15-23 minutes, and the return on investment from a Surface Hub was 138 per cent. This is technology that literally pays for itself.

Ryan Macnamee, CIO, Laing O’Rourke says “The ability to review and annotate 3D models with Laing O’Rourke colleagues in different cities is a game changer for us. Being able to see and speak to each other while reviewing designs saves a huge amount of time and dramatically cuts down on travel cost.”

We’ve designed the entire Surface family of solutions so that people can come together whether they are working remotely, in a cubicle in head office, from home, or as a group in a meeting area.

People can use the technology to share ideas and insights. Applications can be accessed simultaneously across Surface devices – the same data, the same images, and everyone is empowered to make a comment, or add content using their keyboards, touchscreen or Pen.

The Surface Hub does all that on a big screen and it means you work your way, when you want, where you want.

It’s a compelling proposition and local companies including Treasury Wines Estates, Australia Post, BUPA, Mirvac and Laing O’Rourke have been among the first to adopt Surface Hubs as they look to transform their workplaces and their businesses.

There’s a reason that there has been overwhelming demand in Australia for Surface Hub and the technologies that surround it – and that’s because it brings people together and promotes communications, collaboration and creativity.

It tackles the tyranny.