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Last week we introduced the world to Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 – the most productive tablets ever designed. Attending the unveiling event in New York were several Surface customers who have become passionate fans including designers, filmmakers and artists. They’re all people who love Surface because it’s an amazing tablet when you want it and a laptop when you need it.
But some of the questions we get asked a lot are about Surface in larger business and enterprise environments — “what’s Surface for in business, and which types of users can benefit from the different versions of Surface?” We have some great examples of entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers who have been using Surface and validating the vision we had when we set out. With all the innovations we’ve designed into the second generation of Surface, the answer is hopefully clearer for our business customers. Surface Pro 2 is a perfect, no-compromise laptop replacement. And Surface 2 (the ARM version) is an amazing tablet for line of business scenarios and executives.
For Surface Pro 2, we’ve been laser focused on user feedback to complete the laptop replacement promise – 75% additional battery life, dual-angle kickstand and better typing delivering an improved lap experience, docking station to turn Surface into a workstation and car charger for those mobile warriors. Surface 2 (again, the ARM version) is proving popular as an LOB tablet because it delivers on the core hardware requirements of weight and battery life - and then many customers either custom build a modern LOB app or use one from our business ISVs like SAP. Windows RT 8.1 also brings important additions that complete the Surface 2 story including Outlook, Mobile Device Management, 3rdparty VPN clients and workplace join.
So today, we thought we’d share an update on some new customers and of our partner ecosystem including resellers, ISVs and 3rdparty hardware partners.
Delta Air Lines brings on board 11,000 Surface 2 tablets
Delta announced their pilots will be equipped with Surface 2 running Windows RT 8.1 to help them fly safely and efficiently. We warmly welcome 11,000 Delta Air Lines pilots into the group of people who will stay connected and get more done and we couldn’t be happier to have their confidence in our product for the important jobs they have. Delta projects that replacing the traditional paper document flight bags (large briefcases that weigh on average about 38 pounds each) will help save around $13 million each year in fuel and associated costs. Check out the video below to hear directly from Delta’s senior vice president, Flight Operations and other Delta representatives that have been testing Surface over the past several months.
Surface 2 is playing a central role in an innovative paperless cockpit initiative the airline has planned to roll out across their fleet by the end of next year. The move to Surface is about improving safety and security, but also enabling more streamlined information management to speed access to information. Pilots will now have the information they need at their fingertips rather than flipping through tabbed sections in a large, heavy reference book.
Business customers are adopting Surface across a range of industries
Today we also wanted to introduce you to a few other business customers that are currently using Surface in a range of industries. Below are just a few of the examples we have of businesses and institutions large and small bringing Surface tablets on board:
Financial services: The banking and financial services space has been a great fit for business customers who are required to meet stringent security and compliance requirements that can be met with Surface and Windows 8.1.
Hokkoku Bank, a highly regarded financial services company in Japan purchased more than 2,000 units of Surface Pro across their 112 retail branches and 11 loan centers. “The fact that it is a hybrid device that can be used as both a PC and tablet is a big plus,” said Junichi Maeda, Senior Managing Director, Hokkoku Bank. “We had some tablets in use alongside notebooks and desktop PCs, but with a switch to Surface, we can save with a single device that suits our needs, and managing them will also be easier. Moreover, the Surface Pro’s screen is really beautiful, which is a big advantage when presenting products to customers, and the stylus input capabilities are useful when drawing up contracts.”
City National Bank is a boutique bank with 3,000 employees serving customers in 80 branches. They’ve chosen Surface Pro particularly where they’re opening new branches and bringing forward high-touch customer service programs. Jim Ellaboudy, SVP Enterprise Services adds, “People are changing the way they’re banking. Our relationship managers are using Surface Pro to provide a high-end, technology-enriched experience that gives them access to all of their tools. Surface allows us to empower our mobile colleagues while providing the type of extraordinary service our clients expect.”
Education: Over the past few months, many schools have taken to Surface RT. The original Surface device was a great choice for schools because it came equipped with Microsoft Office. Now, Surface 2 is an even better value with additional services that are great for students and collaborative learning including free Skype calling to landlines in 60 countries and free Skype WiFi at over two million hotspots for a year. And every Surface 2 comes with 200GB of SkyDrive free for two years.
The London School of Business & Finance purchased almost 10,000 Surface RT devices for their 2ndyear students working on business productivity software, replacing an existing tablet program with Surface because they wanted to ensure their students were getting prepared for the work force using the same tools they’d use on the job after graduation. Vicente Fraser, Chief Information Officer at LSBF, commented, “We’ve used other tablets in the past, but the feedback from many of our students doing internships at businesses has been that they need a mobile device which will be versatile enough to use both in the classroom and at work. Surface RT comes pre-installed with Office 2013 which was a big benefit for many of our students who are working with Excel spreadsheets for financial models, presenting business plans with PowerPoint, and using OneNote to record class lectures and meeting notes.”
Sales Force: Mobile professionals and road warriors are a natural fit for Surface. These power users love the durable magnesium body, dual-position kickstand, click-in keyboards, and full size USB 3.0 port that are available in both Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2.
Expeditors International, a global logistics company, is putting Surface Pro devices to use with their worldwide sales force.
In fact, we have business customers across a wide range of industries including healthcare, retail/hospitality and automotive. And remember, we just launched our commercial channel on July 1 starting in the US. Which leads us to ….
Starting October 1, Surface will be available through commercial resellers in all 29 markets
We have seen exciting demand for Surface in business and over the past three months we have made tremendous headway into establishing the right infrastructure for getting our tablets to more business customers in more places. Starting tomorrow, with the inclusion of seven new markets – Hong Kong Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand – we’re announcing that commercial channel purchases will now be possible in all 29 markets where Surface is sold.
Our expanded reseller network, brings a variety of additional value-added services to the Surface family, such as asset tagging, custom imaging, knitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection. We already knew that people who use Surface love it. But, perhaps more importantly, business users who use Surface particularly love the ability to buy through the resellers that they’re already working with for their hardware purchases and ongoing support.
Surface Partner Ecosystem Expands Including App Developers and Accessory Makers
Over the past few months, we’ve been working with ISVs to develop Windows store apps that really help us deliver on the promise of productivity with Surface. On July 1, we announced our ISV Program, AppsForSurface, which provides devices and funding for app design intended to get key enterprise apps on Surface and Windows 8. Today, we are expanding that list with even more participants.
SAP: SAP is a market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and industries run better. Rustum Broacha, VP of Ecosystems & Channels with SAP said, “Our partnership through the AppsforSurface program builds on the SAP tradition of delivering innovation to our enterprise customer base, and, together with our SAP Mobile Platform and Afaria solutions, it provides a strong foundation for enterprise mobile computing. We look forward to helping our customers fully leverage the capabilities of SAP’s apps on Windows 8 and Surface, to enable their business to run better.” We’re excited to have SAP participating in our program. Their applications and services enable customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.
Omega Group: Omega Group is an industry-leading developer of innovative Geographic Information Systems software designed to assist public agencies to better integrate data intelligence, analysis and mapping with patrol/field work to improve situational awareness, decision-making and mission outcomes. Milan Meuller, President of Omega Group, commented, “The Omega group is pleased to join the AppsForSurface program and bring the NearMe app to the Windows 8 platform. Using Surface Pro and the NearMe app, thousands of police and public officials across the country can have mobile access to crime data, making communities safer and public services more efficient.”
Finally, our commitment to the enterprise wouldn’t be complete without new third-party accessories catered specifically for businesses. This year, with the launch of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, we are introducing 10 new accessory manufacturers all committed to satisfying the needs of business customers deploying Surface in the commercial and enterprise space. Designed for Surface, we’ll have:
Fixed and mobile POS accessories from ArmorActive
Leather cases and stands from Maroo
And charging carts from Anthro,
We continue to expand to our list of accessory manufacturers to meet every more business use scenarios including vehicle-mounted solutions and ruggedized cases.
Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are ready for business
Our commitment to Surface and the enterprise is strong and people who use Surface in business love it. And we are grateful for that. We’ve have come a long way since our first step with our commercial channel in July. But the work is not done. We are staying focused and continue to respond to the feedback from our commercial partners, resellers, distributors, and customers around the world.
For more details about Surface in business, visit surface.com/business.
Director - Microsoft Surface
It sure is Surface 2.. We all know Windows have made a bold move and have succeeded quite well in creating the impression as a value for money brand concentrating on productivity.. Surface did it, and now Surface 2 series Im sure will do proud.. :) I came across a nice blog and I'm eager to try it out soon..www.gadgetride.com/.../microsofts-surface-2-and-surface-pro-2.html
Hi, I'm have some question...you said October 1, Surface will be available through commercial resellers in all 29 markets
Is it Surface2? because you didn't put the number on the name "Surface", so many people ask me about this.