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Surface Hub user - need interactive Whiteboard

Chris Smith
Contributor

Excellent! I'm an early adopter of the Surface Hub and we have (5) total right now, also looking to purchase 15-20 more in the next year with some pending features. We have (3) 55" and (2) 84" units, and we use them allll the time. The adoption rate of these units, compared to the typical "smart board" or VTC units in other rooms is crazy - people just walk up and start using it.

 

There are some day-1 features that are lacking, and we are really hoping to get some updates soon on this as they are pretty significant in our workflow. Please (MS) don't take this as a dig, just as a serious point of interest if not a linchpin in getting our internal customers to purchase these things.

 

Main item - whiteboard needs some additional functionality and needs to support bi-directional input from all attendees whether the other attendees are on Skype for Business (windows or mac, via that Whiteboard) or via another Surface Hub joined into the same SfB meeting with the whiteboard app. This is so powerful when in the room, but having a collaborative experience when you have other Surface Hub-enabled rooms, or even Surface Pro/Book/Studio attendees that also have touch/stylus capacity; it is just a major issue that needs to be addressed.

 

There are also little nice-to-have features that would be nice in this Whiteboard app, such more colors in the palette, ability to expand the canvas or move it around with limitless scale or size, or change the brush size or type. Lots of nice-to-haves, but generally the basic out of the box is pretty great and we use it all the time.

 

We also really want to see the use of MS built-in apps (like OneDrive for Business, PowerBI, etc.) to have the ability to logon with NFC, which other 3rd party apps are already supporting. This would be a huge benefit to saving and interacting with files stored elsewhere on O365 services. Again, not a deal-breaker - we can logon with the keyboard/mouse, but NFC would be a huge win and easy functionality to really Wow people with the ease of use. Those are my opening thoughts, but really I am psyched to see the MS Surface product group reach out and create a community base like this. Who else already has Surface Hubs, and what are you experiences like? Who is 'on the fence' and wants to know more about the capability and how it can deliver on the hype? I'm sure the community can share great stories with you about how they work in our daily lives already, but I'd love to hear what other people are thinking about the products as well. Cheers!

 

Chris

CIO

Not-for-profit healthcare org in Alaska

4 Replies
Hi Chris, it is really nice to meet you! You are my first reply and it is filled with great feedback. By the way, I'm very happy to learn that you and your colleagues are constantly using the your Surface Hubs. I'm also always available to share any ideas that we use to increase adoption both internally and with other valued customers. On your comments related to our white-boarding capabilities, let me just say: WE HEAR YOU. Your TSP (Tyler) has also done a great job channeling this feedback to us and we are listening and working towards delivering the white-boarding experience you are looking for. I have also taken a note on the NFC sign-on for MS built-in apps. Please stay tuned and keep contributing to this growing community. Thank you again for sharing your experience, looking forward to hear more! Nydia
Thanks so much for the response Nydia! It's been a busy week, but I really appreciate the response and hope to see much more dialog from other users on this site. I have to setup alerts for new conversation threads here so I can stay engaged! :) Chris
Check out Stormboard - allows users of Windows and the Surface Hub to work together on the same shared workspace.

Hello! I found Chris Smith's post and I wanted to chime in that I have exactly the same needs. I am a Technician at a nonprofit biomedical research institute (in Maine, not Alaska, in my case). We have two Surface Hubs installed as "test" units in our IT departments, one here in Maine and the other in our Connecticut office. The object ot the test implementation is to evaluate the product and determine whether it should be deployed much more widely across the institution in our conference rooms.

 

Overall, the IT users who have used the Hubs have had largely quite positive experiences with the devices. However, like Chris, the main feedback I get consistently is that interactive whiteboarding is a must, and that isn't there yet (it appears).

 

Much like Chris, we need (roughly in order of importance):

  • Interactivity between two (or more) connected Surface Hubs.
  • Interactivity between a Surface Hub and other connected users on Lync/Skype for Business on Windows and macOS.
  • Interactivity with users on mobile Skype for Business (mostly iOS in our case).

I'd love an additional update on this functionality. When we originally demoed the device in your Cambridge office (back before the devices were shipping) the Microsoft rep indicated that this was the number one request they'd gotten in early feedback. He made, of course, no concrete promises, but indicated that this was definitely being considered on the product roadmap.

 

It has been quite some time, and the Anniversary update has come and gone without this functionality appearing. And I'm wondering if this is still planned?

 

At this point, it is probably the main issue that is holding us back from a wider deployment of these devices.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

- Ed

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