Surface Gaining Traction In The Enterprise & Education Sector

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A year ago, the Surface was a surprise to many and Microsoft’s first serious foray into the hardware side of the PC market.  In many ways, this was a situation Microsoft was forced into.  The OEMs had stopped innovating years ago focusing on squeezing the maximum profits and loading their “PCs” with crapware to further worsen the experience.  In the meantime Apple had been seriously innovating in the hardware space, with Google also looking into getting in the game as well.

The devices and services strategy is starting to pay off, even if there was an initial $900 million blunder.  The OEMs are finally starting to put out decent devices, and most are now touchscreen, even if it is a year later than it should have been.  The Surface has set the standard of a what a PC can be.  While the distribution channels were not ready a year ago, the Surface 2 & Surface 2 Pro will be launching in 22 markets simultaneously, pre-orders could be made the day after the announcements, and retailers will have the Surface in stock on launch day. 

Large enterprises and businesses en masse are starting to adopt the surface.  We previously reported on Delta Airlines giving 11,000 of its pilots Surface 2 tablets. 

The Surface Blog reported on a number of them today:

Financial services:

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.

Novartis is a worldwide healthcare products provider rolling out Surface Pros for their pharmaceuticals sales staff to use.

Expeditors International, a global logistics company, is also putting Surface Pro devices to use with their worldwide sales force.

In fact a wide range of industries including healthcare, retail/hospitality and automotive are starting to adopt the Surface.

Source: Surface Blog



About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • voleheart

    very nice

  • Yuan Taizong

    This is good news, I’m glad they didn’t consider Chromebooks, I did it once and regretted it, ¡very hard! Microsoft devices are plain better and the sand-box’ed enviroment makes it more secure and the built-in Microsoft Family Safety (Windows Live Family Safety) makes it child-friendlier.

  • Bugbog

    This is just the start of the potential I foresaw Windows 8/Surface being capable of when it was revealed more than a year ago.

    • Florin N

      And with the unification of Windows8/Windows Phone8 app stores…things will explode.Imagine when people, employees, students will be able to buy a Surface with a very strong ecosystem and with around 250-300.000 apps available, suddenly the iPad will become just a pretty neon-coloured interface media toy.6 months from now, the world might turn again.Hopefully :)

  • donzebe

    Hope the new CEO doesn’t come in with some radical changes, because microsoft is on the right path to take over the tablet market in a year or 2.

  • steveo99

    I love my Surface RT. There are quite a few saying what’s the point now with cheap atom cpus and access to x86 programs. Well, I’m not going to run visual studio or PhotoShop on a crappy processor and 10 inch screen anyway. Full office suite is more important to me and the store provides all my entertainment needs. Now the question is, who wants to buy a Surface RT so I can buy a Surface 2? ;)

    • one1611

      A lot of people would be interested in buying it at the right price. Not everyone has to be on the cutting edge. The RT has enough going for it as it is that plenty will see it as cutting edge.

  • jaylyric

    Great news.. Hopefully this will help grow tons of new users to Windows Phone and Windows devices and also keep current users and bring old users back. By seeing increased adoption. Keep it up MS,don’t mess up or let up!

  • Bas

    This is how Surface should always have been pitched. The sandbox environment makes it very safe in the hands of employees, and easy to maintain, while offering the most important business productivity suite available today. Integration with the cloud makes it all the more interesting and starts to position MS as a full end to end solution, the Apple for enterprises if you will. Done well this will mean a lot of $$ for MS. Hopefully, as people get used to Surface, they start using it privately as well.

  • peterpulmonary

    Since I started using my surface pro this summer, my aio touch desktop has been much less used, with no loss in productivity. The surface brings everything, from business to personal music etc, to you in a comfortable portable form factor, and you customize everything to your liking.

  • ron

    where are the trolls? I guess they can not find bad things to say? :-)))))