At Tech Data Authority, we love stories of collaboration. That’s why we were excited to connect with Derek Dezso, Partner Development Manager at Microsoft. A specialist in the Surface Hub space, Derek discussed the platform’s many unique capabilities for collaboration and gave us a sneak peek into his musical talents.
Hi Derek, thanks for joining us today. You’ve been with Microsoft for well over a decade, working across several regions. Share a bit about your Microsoft experience.
Thanks for having me! At Microsoft, one’s career can go in so many directions. I started my career at Microsoft selling Windows Embedded, licensing a custom version of Windows for embedded devices. We then connected those devices to the cloud generating data and insights which evolved into IoT. After that experience I joined the Surface Hub team creating a new category of collaboration technology. We needed people to create a new channel because existing channels weren’t the right match for a collaboration device like Surface Hub.
Along the way I had the opportunity to focus on things like the Device-as-a-Service (Daas) model, Apple compete, launching the Multinational Reseller Program, driving sales of LTE-enabled Surface devices, and driving commercial Surface sales with Microsoft Stores. In a large and dynamic company like Microsoft, there are so many opportunities to learn and grow within the pace and change of technology. I find it fascinating. I can’t imagine a role at Microsoft that wouldn’t be interesting.
Let’s talk about the partnership between Tech Data and Microsoft. Why do you think it’s successful?
Although we are obviously separate organizations, we share many mutual goals. At the end of the day, we are committed to enabling our customers to achieve more. Whether it’s digital transformation or modernizing the workplace, what’s core to our story at Microsoft is also core to Tech Data. We’re aligned toward strong customer and product outcomes.
Microsoft’s products span so many areas within Tech Data. Cloud, devices, productivity – all the different elements of Microsoft have a counterpart within Tech Data. You don’t just handle one bit of our portfolio – you represent so much of it. When I think of the Surface Hub, I know that Tech Data has a specialty group focused on enabling resellers who support end customers on collaboration technologies. I think of our partnership as both a mile wide and a mile deep.
Talk to us about the Surface Hub. How is it specifically designed to drive collaboration?
Surface Hub specializes in co-creation: it delivers outstanding audio/visual capabilities with a 4K resolution camera and display, it allows users to see and hear and see each other incredibly well through Microsoft Teams, and it unlocks the power of the group no matter where the members are located.
During a collaboration you can pull up the shared Microsoft Whiteboard, stitch content onto it from any application, and share it on any device. Users can save the whiteboard to the cloud and rehydrate it later to continue with the collaboration. Surface Hub enables co-creation plus killer audio visual collaboration capabilities with a familiar operating system and apps that spur collaboration in a way that’s easy and second-nature.
Teamwork is at the core of the Surface Hub. Across the board, how does it empower creativity and productivity?
Surface Hub is rooted in Teams and M365. For any customer who is running M365 and Teams – which represents many of Tech Data’s customers – Hub is a logical extension of that investment. Our pen and touch solution has a very natural, intuitive feel and the glass is precisely calibrated to feel exactly like an analog whiteboard. Through our partnerships with Steelcase and Schneider Electric we can deliver a rolling cart and battery to create a fully mobile large format collaboration device. No detail was overlooked. In the end, we made sure that users have a first-class experience from a device perspective so that they can co-create with ease.
What should Tech Data’s customers and resellers know about opportunities related to the Surface Hub?
First and foremost, there’s tremendous Microsoft momentum for the partner ecosystem to harness. We have a wealth of salespeople calling on accounts. They’re supported by a large group of specialists who can get deep on Teams, devices, and other capabilities. From a channel and partner perspective, we offer terrific resources.
Moreover, we rarely go direct. Since the beginning of Microsoft we have been a partner focused company. For us, partners are not just a transactional entity. We certify, train, and engage our partners. In segments like SMB, we completely rely on the channel. There’s significant opportunity for a reseller to grow their business, and that’s our intention.
Derek, is there anything else you’d like to add?
There is! Along with a few colleagues and friends at Microsoft, I make music. Our latest creation is a tune we penned to the joys of using the Surface Hub. We call it “Hub Love.” To date, it’s gotten close to 1,400 views. Check it out and enjoy, and look for my other music videos on my YouTube channel.
About the Author
This post was sponsored by Microsoft: Surface Hub.