Microsoft Starts Shipping Its Expensive Surface Hub To Business Customers
Microsoft has announced that they have begun shipping its Surface Hub to business customers. The Surface Hub is a large wall-mounted display that behaves in a similar way to that of a surface tablet. The Surface Hub comes in two versions, a 55-inch HD model, and the impressive 84-inch 4K version and is priced at $9,000 and $22,000, respectively.
Microsoft designed Surface Hub with enterprise and business customers in mind and comes installed with Windows 10 and is capable of multi-touch features, supports on-screen annotations with a special pressure-sensitive pen, and runs Office and Skype software.
Surface Hub is designed primarily for corporate meeting rooms, where teams can collaborate with more than one person writing or presenting something at once, in addition to teleconferencing tools and the ability to wirelessly mirror presentations to remote screens. Microsoft also claims that the device to improve post-meeting productivity and approximately 20% increase in sales.
Companies that conduct meetings in rooms and collaboration spaces with a Surface Hub installed experienced a 75% improvement in remote attendee setup and post-meeting productivity, saving about 15-20 minutes per hour-long meeting spent on setting up video or screen-sharing services and completing meeting notes. Organizations saw decreased printing costs of up to $9,000 in the first year, using Surface Hub with pen and touch-enabled screen to make changes and take group notes instead of paper copies. Companies that conducted sales meetings using Surface Hub as a platform for presentations and collaboration with clients estimate a 20% sales improvement with those clients.
According to Microsoft, the Surface Hub can also be used as a command-and-control center for doctors and medical staff, to manage scheduling and replace outdated whiteboards.
For example, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will be using a Qwaltec developed application on Surface Hub as a command-and-control center for doctors and medical staff, to manage scheduling and replace outdated whiteboards. The hospital is calling it a "game changer", not only because it will help the hospital save time and money, but also because Surface Hub helps connect the entire care team to their patients with up-to-date information.
Microsoft says that Companies like AstraZeneca, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and SHoP Architects has shown interest in the Surface Hub have demonstrated on how it will improve the way people work together and engage customers. Citing an independent study commissioned by Microsoft, the company claims that these five early adopters can save over $850,000 in device deployment and management costs, avoided printing and device purchase costs, and improved sales.
In a recent Total Economic Impact study commissioned by Microsoft, Forrester Consulting* worked with five Surface Hub early adopter customers to outline the costs, benefits and risks for implementing Surface Hub in a business environment. This resulted in benefits of more than $850,000 (3 year NPV**) based on savings in device deployment and management costs, avoided printing and device purchase costs, and improved sales.
Apart from these business, Microsoft has not revealed exact numbers on how many Surface Hubs have been ordered, but seeing as how the prices were increased late last year, you can bet on the customers who did buy one having deep pockets.
Currently, we have no idea how the device will be received or whether it will become a hit among enterprises and corporate users. Until Microsoft releases any sales data, all we can do look at Microsoft's promotional images here and imagine the situations where you might see one someday.