Collaborate with futuristic applications on Surface Hub 2

It’s collaboration, Jim, but not as we know it!

For sci-fi writers, the future has always offered up a world of tantalizing tech – from hoverboards and androids, to augmented reality and AI assistants. However, never before has the line between fantasy and reality been so blurred. In fact, catch a glimpse of one of Microsoft’s Future Vision videos and you’d be forgiven for thinking their product engineers had just put down a copy of Blade Runner.

Today, seeing the recently launched Surface Hub 2S in action, you might begin to feel that this future has arrived. While it might not reach the impressive capabilities of Tony Stark’s personal assistant J.A.R.V.I.S, the new Surface Hub 2S is certainly delivering its share of cinematic punch.

The Surface Hub 2S is an all-in-one digital whiteboard, meetings platform, and collaborative computing device. Designed with group productivity in mind, it bridges digital and physical workspaces, connects remote workers, promotes active collaboration and allows people to engage with their organisational data to enable a completely new kind of collaborative experience.

More than one-third of workers are disengaged1. ‘Sit down, zone out’ meetings are warning signs of low employee engagement and poor team culture. If your team are distracted on their phones or multitasking during meetings, you know they’re not engaged. Would you believe that 39% of people even admit to sleeping in meetings?2

Strong human connections not only increase engagement in the workplace, they also lead to a peak innovation known as “group genius”1. Organisations are shifting to a culture of innovate teamwork, by redesigning their workspaces, and using powerful technology to connect with their remote workers. The result is not far off from something you’ve seen in a sci-fi!

How Australian organisations are using Surface Hub 2 to deepen collaboration

The Surface Hub 2S was purpose-designed to engage and empower teams, and it certainly does. However, when paired with the powerful collaboration features of Microsoft Teams and native applications, organisations now have access to future-proofed tools ready to open up new possibilities for collaboration in The Anywhere Workplace.

The availability of Surface Hub 2S is transforming team productivity, collaboration and satisfaction across a wide variety of industries. To help show the outcomes of integrating Surface Hub 2S in workplaces, I’ve rounded up a collection of real-life scenarios from organisations already experiencing this transformation.

Government

When preparing for a major relocation, a government department took the opportunity to refit and modernise their entire building. The Surface Hub 2S is playing a major role in this initiative by enabling a truly modern workplace. Dedicated ‘Hub rooms’ in their new city office are connected with new devices in several remote sites too, removing significant geographical barriers. This upgrade has really changed the game from a collaboration perspective, bringing new levels of innovation and efficiency to their teams.

Transport

With Surface Hub devices installed at head office and frontline workers armed with Surface devices, a transport company has a direct line to what’s happening on the ground. Front line staff armed with Surfaces can project HD video on-site back to head office to immediately provide updates and status reports on incidents or progress that may have a significant effect on their operations – allowing a faster route to resolution.

Higher Education

A university has dedicated an entire area of their campus to collaboration tools, including multiple Surface Hub 2S devices. While some are wall mounted, others are on trolleys to ensure they can be utilised wherever students and teachers need to collaborate. A large focus is on the videoconferencing features, but the applications in education are numerous.

Construction

By loading their complex 3D models on the Surface Hub 2S, team members are able to view and manipulate their projects in incredible detail. What’s more, the devices have allowed them to connect employees from remote sites as well as more effectively engage with prospective customers to bring people together anytime, anywhere.

Surface Hub 2 in Workspace

The Surface Hub 2 applications that are changing the way we work

When pre-orders opened, we shared our first blog on Surface Hub 2S, discussing the significant collaboration potential of the Hub for enterprise. Now with the Surface Hub 2S officially available for purchase, it’s time to highlight some of its standout native and third-party applications, and powerful Teams integration features that the lucky organisations who received the first Australian shipment of Surface Hub 2S’ are already benefitting from.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the applications driving teamwork to new levels.

Key Native application: Microsoft Whiteboard

Surface Hub 2S natively runs all your essential Microsoft business apps – think Office, Teams and Edge, for example. Yet it’s the Whiteboard app that is likely to be the most used feature on Surface Hub for any organisation. When integrated with Teams, it turns your Surface Hub 2S screen into a freeform digital canvas allowing meeting participants to draw, sketch and write together, sharing ideas and saving content that can be referred back to as a project progresses.

Participants can be easily invited to a session at any time. An organiser simply selects the person to be added and they will immediately receive an email from Office 365 that grants them access to the whiteboard with a single click.

When a session is complete, if logged-in, the board can sync and export to OneDrive, alongside the option to automatically share the content – via email or OneDrive – with meeting participants. For added security, if you’re not logged in, users can ‘end session’ to clean up any sensitive data and prepare the whiteboard for the next session. Administrators can also set up an automatic ‘end session’ predetermined by the amount of time the whiteboard is inactive. Other security customisations include the ability to disable the export feature, enable multi-factor authentication and, depending on group policy and preferred settings, block external participants and shared link access.

Watch the Microsoft Whiteboard Experience

Whiteboard + Surface Hub 2S features at-a-glance:

  • Personalisation – customise the canvas, font, and inking experience.
  • Ink Beautification – increase the legibility of messy notes.
  • Ink to Shape – turn hand-drawn figures into symmetrical shapes with straight or curved lines.
  • Ink to Table – draw a grid and turn it into an intuitive, editable table .
  • Ink Grab – convert images to ink, allowing you to manipulate and add to them.
  • Any device, anywhere – invite team members to contribute wherever they are, regardless of device.
  • Sticky notes – add, move, sort, view and group to categorise ideas.
  • One click to collaboration – open the app directly from the welcome screen.
  • Persistent whiteboard – view historical updates even if you’ve been added mid-session.

Key 3rd party application: MURAL

Here’s another fantastic visual whiteboard-type app that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Teams on Surface Hub 2S. MURAL is a popular subscription-based visual workspace that helps remote teams collaborate. As it’s optimised for Surface Hub 2S, MURAL leverages the stunning display and advanced digital inking capabilities of Surface Hub 2S allowing participants to brainstorm and collaborate on the same cloud canvas, wherever they are located.

MURAL + Surface Hub 2S features at-a-glance:

    • Simple sharing – get updates via Teams, and access and share files in OneDrive.
    • Activity notifications – contributors kept in the loop with alerts for team’s MURAL activities.
    • Collaborate in Teams – add MURALs as Tabs inside of Channels alongside Conversions and Files. Plus contribute and edit directly inside of the Channel.
    • Messaging Extensions – quickly locate MURAL templates to run design sprints, agile sprints, and sprint planning sessions.
    • Gather feedback – leverage handy tools to orchestrate workshops such as voting and timers.

Honourable mention 3rd party application: JT2Go

Another valuable application that has been designed to excel on Surface Hub 2S is JT2Go. It’s the industry leader for viewing 3D data (open CAD files) on mobile and desktop devices, allowing users to view and manipulate 3D JT models. When used on Surface Hub 2S, the crystal-clear display creates the perfect canvas for viewing and isolating the finest of details in complex models – including full rotation gestures, anywhere annotation, and maintaining labels and accurate measurements. Once complete, users can easily save and share project

Ready to drive deeper collaboration in your organisation?

With Surface Hub 2S now available to purchase, it’s time to contact a Data#3 Surface Specialist to order your device today or request a demonstration.

Did you know, your organisation could receive up to $20,000* in Deploy Assist funding to run a Modern Meetings Proof of Concept (PoC)?

This experience is designed to help organisations:

  • Experience the value of Surface Hub
  • See first-hand the value of Microsoft Teams
  • Learn how the Surface device ties the experience together
  • Integrate these devices into a test environment
  • Walk through pre-prepared scenarios to showcase how your team can be more productive

Contact Data#3 to learn more about the Modern Meetings PoC.

As Microsoft’s largest Australian partner, Data#3 is uniquely positioned to help your organisation realise the benefits of the modern workplace. With pre-site inspections, installation, deployment, adoption and ongoing management, our expert team will ensure you get the most from your Surface Hub 2 experience.

Live long and prosper.

1. Prowess (2019). Awaken the Genius with your teams. [Online] Available at https://clouddamcdnprodep.azureedge.net/gdc/gdc1MgRKh/original
2. Verizon (2019). Meetings in America. [Online] Available at  https://e-meetings.verizonbusiness.com/global/en/meetingsinamerica/uswhitepaper.php

Tags: Mobility, Microsoft, The Anywhere Workplace, Collaboration, Video Conferencing, Microsoft Surface Hub, Microsoft Surface, Digital Inking, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Surface Pen

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