Insync Technology has capitalised on the growing need for collaboration across expansive regional areas, through rolling out eight Microsoft Surface Hub devices to Queensland Council.
With the help of Telstra, the Microsoft Gold Partner deployed videoconferencing solutions across Queensland’s Central Highlands Regional Council, in a bid to remove the complexities of operating across vast geographies and locations.
Located 350 km west of Rockhampton, the region encompasses an area of around 60,000 square kilometres, similar in area to Tasmania, and supports 30,000 people.
Council headquarters is in Emerald, but there are five satellite offices, the closest is a 45-minute drive and the furthest is two and a half hours away.
Consequently, the council sought a streamlined solution to reduce travel time for meetings, therefore boosting efficiency, productivity and safety.
“Communications technology, like Skype for Business, has proven helpful, as has cloud-based software such as Office 365,” Central Highlands Regional Council Manager of Information Services, Aaron Jurd, said.
“Teams regularly hold ‘virtual’ meetings, communicating and collaborating remotely on documents and we are only at the start of our Office 365 journey.
“The Microsoft’s Surface Hub has taken this approach to a whole new level.”
As a result, Jurd tapped the expertise of Insync, a Queensland-based systems integrator specialising across platforms, productivity and identity.
Recognised as one of Microsoft’s fastest growing partners in Australia, Insync - which took home the 2015 Microsoft Australia Partner Award for Emerging Partner of the Year - consults, designs, builds and operates on the vendor’s platforms, specialising in Microsoft Azure, Skype for Business and Office 365 integrations.
“We worked with Microsoft partner InSync and Telstra to get this right and to make sure we had the best connections and systems to access the applications and data required for any meeting,” Jurd explained.
“We’ve now got a user-friendly tool that is really changing the way our people work throughout the region.
“What’s really interesting is that the IT team isn’t telling people how to use the Microsoft Surface Hubs, we’re letting them experiment and explore what works best for them.”
According to Jurd, traditional videoconferencing solutions remain “very limited, cumbersome and confusing”, creating challenges for end-users across the organisation as a result.
“I run a tight team with just five people to support the IT needs of 500 employees, so there’s no guarantee someone is available to crank the videoconferencing,” he added.
“Now our teams easily communicate across the region. They share data and collaborate using a single easy-to-use system—and the IT team isn’t needed to hold any hands.
“The Microsoft Surface Hubs have given our business the ability to easily collaborate and communicate visually in real-time saving us time and money, while keeping our people connected and safe.”
The deployment follows news that Microsoft has expanded its channel ecosystem around Surface Hub in Australia, through on-boarding a swathe local resellers and integrators to the partner program.
As reported by ARN, Ethan Group, CompNow, JB Hi-Fi Commercial and Datacom have signed on to resell the devices, with the cloud vendor also recruiting other partners with specialist skill sets to the ecosystem.
Skype for Business partners Insync, IComm and Nexon were also added to the network.
In addition, Audio Visual resellers Rutledge AV, Connected Vision Group, Programmed Electrical, Credible Audio Visual Solutions, Corporate Initiatives, Empowered Learning and RVT Group were named as part of the expanded channel, with the vendor also engaging 20 developers to produce apps which run on the platform, which includes Melbourne-based Drawboard.