Tech Data Authority recently had the pleasure of connecting with two key figures at Microsoft: Tracy Cui and Joby Pearson, both of whom work directly on Microsoft’s suite of Surface products. Together, they shared their diverse experiences in the tech industry, the needs of the remote worker, and how Microsoft Surface ensures an optimal user experience.Hi Tracy, thank you for joining us! To begin, tell us about your background. What brought you to technology?
Thank you for having me! I have been with Microsoft for more than 15 years. I was previously with the OEM division for 12 years and the last three years in Singapore as the device sales lead for Consumer and Device Sales Asia.
Technology has always been a big part of my life. Both of my parents were engineering professors; I got my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical engineering and my Master’s in electrical engineering. I’m married to a software engineer and my older son just finished his degree in Data Science. It has always excited me to be a part of a fast moving and dynamic industry.
Your role as General Manager, Partner Development for Microsoft Surface, sounds exciting. What’s a typical day like for you?
The challenges that present themselves are the most exciting part of my job. Every day there are new challenges that need to be overcome. To meet them, I partner with other key stakeholders to remove any obstacles and allow our teams to carry on without hinderance.
Working with others to understand problems and figuring out a solution to fulfill our customer’s needs presents us with a special and unique process in which we can flex our creativity muscles. We are developing unique solutions to transform and perform one’s business that only Microsoft can provide, especially during the unprecedented time like now.
Surface distinguishes itself as offering the most productive devices on the planet. What does that statement mean to you?
Performance and power to get it all done wherever you work. From your essential apps to professional-grade software, Surface devices can do it all with the latest processors, the RAM and storage you need, and all-day battery life.
From the home office to the living room couch, users can choose the way they work best. Whether it’s the laptop form factor or detachable tablets with the innovative, adjustable Kickstand that adapts to one’s lap, there’s a Surface PC that’s designed for today.
What’s more, Surface offers high-end keyboard experiences and the ability to navigate naturally with the high-resolution touch screen. Users can tune into meetings and listening in comfort all day with Surface headphones. And, when Wi-Fi is unreliable, users can stay connected anywhere with LTE. Simply put, Surface enables and empowers users to do more.
Today, many organizations around the globe are working from home. How do Surface products support their efforts and ensure their security?
Surface gives people the freedom they need to be productive, while retaining the control they need to stay secure. Surface delivers security features with modern and increased control to effectively manage devices, wherever users are located.
Protection from chip-to-cloud: the unique thing about Surface is that every component is built and maintained by Microsoft. As a result, we have a multi-layered, end-to-end approach to security across the entire Surface portfolio. We have revolutionized the way new devices get deployed with Windows Autopilot: we eliminate time-consuming corporate re-imaging to deploy straight into the user’s hands. We also offer comprehensive device management that supports on-premises, cloud, or both, allowing IT administrators to remotely control firmware-level functionality both on-prem and through the cloud with Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Welcome, Joby. What brought you to the Surface team at Microsoft?
I began working in tech about 20 years ago, first at a start-up and then I moved to a position handling inside sales. About 10 years ago I joined Microsoft, and have spent the last seven on the Surface business. It’s been an amazing journey. It feels like being in a startup, but with the advantages of a large company. It’s very entrepreneurial; there are always a lot of new things to try. It’s been so much fun to grow and watch the innovation from the inside. Roughly every six months we come out with a new product. The buzz, the excitement of it all – both inside the company and with our channel and customers – is always a thrill.
As a Sr. Director of U.S. Distribution, Sales for Surface, what do you think makes your partnership with Tech Data a success?
We rely on Tech Data to not only find the right resellers, but also to onboard them and nurture them. Tech Data helps to communicate our vision out to the channel: we’re here to sell and provide solutions that help and empower our customers. Without Tech Data, we wouldn’t be able to make such an impact. They provide the scale, expertise, and channel relationships we absolutely rely on to be successful.
Joby, earlier in our conversation, we talked with Tracy about why the Surface family of devices are distinct. Talk with us about new Surface solutions, which are launching June 2020.
We’re excited to launch the Surface Go 2: our new version of the 10-inch laptop. We think it’s perfect for the K-8 student and the front-line workers, meaning anyone who interacts directly with customers. If you need a mobile device that responds quickly and you interact in-person with a customer – whether they’re in healthcare, retail, delivery – then it’s a great fit for you.
The Surface Go 2 features extra-long battery life (as compared to its predecessor), and a slightly larger screen. We saw enormous success with Surface Go 1, so we anticipate a positive response to Surface Go 2. What’s more, the Surface Book has become a very popular device with what I call the hard data users – I define this as anyone who needs graphics or uses Adobe; engineers who rely on AutoCAD; and even gamers. It’s an absolute workhouse: a powerful device with an exceptionally strong graphics card.
It sounds like a great addition to the Surface family. Any parting thoughts?
At Microsoft, we work side by side with our hardware engineering teams, so that our products are built together. That level of togetherness extends to the Surface team. In every facet of the Surface family of products – from productivity and getting connected to the cloud, to the position of built-in cameras – we set out to give the user the best possible experience. Surface thinks about the small details, because that’s what we believe makes the difference. For us, it’s all about providing a seamless, integrated experience.
About the Author
Dena Koklanaris joined Tech Data in 2018 and leads the company’s in-house team of copywriters and content strategists. She’s proud to hone her craft for one of Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies.” When she’s not writing, you can find her on the beach or riding her bike