Here’s How You’ll Definitely Lose with Microsoft Surface Hub

Those concerned that Microsoft’s Surface Hub will usurp and then dumb down the video collaboration market are worried about the wrong things.

Here’s the thing: A custom integrator might not like the idea of an all-in-one device that hosts all capabilities for collaboration and video conferencing, but their clients might like that very much.

By far the most influential decision-maker within a customer’s organization is an IT professional, according to CI’s 2016 State of the Industry survey.

Meanwhile, “What’s special is that IT buyers love plug [and] play, zero coordination with [f]acilities, existing help desk support,” wrote Brock McGinnis, VP of sales for integration firm Westbury National, on Twitter, responding to a comment that there is nothing special about the Surface Hub’s features.

Related Webcast: 10 Ways AV Should, Can Own Collaboration

I have no idea if customers will actually want Microsoft’s Surface Hub over more well-established collaboration solutions with more robust features—and there are many of them—plus proven track records thanks

Commercial Integrator has covered Microsoft’s entrance into the integration market so thoroughly that it’s been insinuated that we’re somehow Surface Hub boosters. No, we’re reporters.

to successful implementations by the integration community (although AVI-SPL reports that pre-orders have been steady since it was announced during summer of 2015). I do know that it’s just as important for the integration industry to listen to its customers as it is to educate them.

I covered the residential integration market from 2003 to 2010 for sister publication CE Pro, and listened to countless audiophiles scoff at digital audio and push customers toward their personally-approved traditional audio solutions.

Many of those residential integration firms have either shrunk or are no longer in business, but Apple Music and Spotify together likely have between 30 million and 40 million subscribers to their digital music subscription services.

I don’t want to see the commercial integration community fall victim to the same short-sightedness.

CI, by the way, has covered Microsoft’s entrance into the integration market so thoroughly that it’s been insinuated that we’re somehow Surface Hub boosters. No, we’re reporters.

We also have valued relationships with the aforementioned well-established collaboration solution manufacturers; meanwhile, editor-at-large Craig MacCormack has had to work magic to get even vague comments direct from Microsoft officials.

And no, Microsoft doesn’t advertise in CI. But they should. If Microsoft wants to make inroads into the collaboration market, it ought to start by convincing commercial integrators.

Watch CI’s Tom LeBlanc and Craig MacCormack discuss industry reaction to the Microsoft Surface Hub: