Archive for the ‘Surface Hub’ Category

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): You

BYOD, an acronym we heard several times in the last year or so. Now it seems a bit obsolete because, as we very well know, technology runs faster than the blink of an eye (or maybe because marketing did a darn good job at the time!).

A “buzzword”, or a cool word, that has been used several times to apply something that was so obvious for a lot of people but somehow it was not really happening in the business world. Bringing your personal device, from home to the office, and connect it to the domain/active directory or whatever you have/had in the workplace. Why? Because it’s easy, fast, efficient, …. (fill in the blanks with any other powerful word you can think of!).

Time Magazine

When I was working for Microsoft, it was even more obvious to me that we needed to bring our own device and configure it as a personal/business device (and I’m not talking about those nice-keyboard-but-very-hard-to-configure Blackberry devices). It didn’t happen a few years back and then Microsoft, and many other Innovators, realized that.

But why starting a blog post with something like this? Well, it’s not really about this buzzword I want to focus your attention on. The attention is on two main points: “You” and “Personal”.

These 2 concepts are part of the Evolution, or better Re-volution (Re-Evolution), that we are experiencing right now. Not of all us really understand what’s happening (lack of knowledge, or simply disinterest) and I’m definitely not calling myself an expert on this field. But there is this wind blowing, this fresh air you can smell, and that’s happening right now. You can feel it, at least heard about it, and, not only that, this will have an impact on us and our children for many years to come. There is no turning back.

But what is this Re-Evolution and why this is somehow related to the Personal Technology?

Everything is personal, even if it’s loaned or temporarily provided it to you by the Company that hired you. Think about iOS or Android: everything that it’s in there is personal (although the “Data” you digest, in and out, are not really yours but that is another story). You have all these services and tools that are tailored to your needs. And here the Cloud concept played a huge role affecting all of us, business or leisure-related data or service you can think of. There is no difference anymore; these 2 things are not completely separated anymore. And, whether you like it or not, that’s a key difference from the past.

People want to embrace the “personal” and the “business” because it’s easy, because it makes sense and, why not, because it’s even fun sometimes.

Personal Technology. The BYOD concept was about bringing your personal into the business, now you don’t have to do it anymore. Because YOU are the technology and there’s nothing more personal than you, right? 😊

Wearable glasses, virtual reality, more personal computing (and yet another buzzword): put all these things together and you got yourself what? You. We are experiencing all these revolutionary technologies that will change our lives forever and the best part is that they are all “You-Centric”.

Think about all the devices you have: your laptop, maybe a PC at home, a couple of smartphones, a GPS in your car. You won’t need all of this anymore because the technology is (and will be) all around you. Devices that are always on (like the Amazon Echo), lenses that communicate with you, holograms that come out from a display (HoloLens in-primis), watches that measure your pulse and who-knows-what in the near future. This is the big step forward I think human kind did since the Invention of fax machine (maybe bad comparison but gives the idea 😊).

HoloLens in action

Why do you need to type when you can use your most natural gestures? Why do you need to click when you can speak? And why do we need a computer when this fast-changing world will be able to “compute” itself?

This will be your Personal Technology: something which is always on, something which is always there whether you turn left or right. But it won’t be you that will have to learn how to use an application anymore: the application, or more in general, the technology will be around you.

So, prepare Not-To-Bring-Your-Own-Device anymore because you will be already in it 😉

(Link to the original article)


Surface Hub gets the Big Update!

Some of us today in IBV are excited. Not because the weekend is approaching (LOL) but because Microsoft recently announced the availability of the Anniversary Update for the Surface Hub!

This is not like getting the update for the Phone (which was exciting, yes, but not at this point), this is about seeing what the Update will bring to the device we in IBV use the most, together of course with our HoloLens.

This morning we will be running around and check the installation on our 3 different Surface Hubs. It’s a big improvement also because it will enable us to do much more on the Hub (other than of course solving several bugs).

But the primary reason we are excited about it’s because of our app CollaBoard, specifically designed for Windows 10 Devices with Ink capabilities (and who’s better than the Surface Hub ?? :)). I think it’s an amazing app, it brings a lot of additional value to the device, it brings real-time collaboration where everybody were waiting for it, and much more.


I will tell you more about our app but, in the meantime, let’s go run the Hubs and start the Engines 🙂 !!

Our first Surface Hub Event !

Yes, the title says it itself, although it’s gonna be more than that. But yes, we are gonna host the first IBV event related to the #SurfaceHub (and the #HoloLens) here in Zurich next week. You can’t imagine the excitement I can feel around me! And the excitement is pretty high on my side too as it’s the first IBV event that I co-organize somehow. I wish it could all be perfect but, although we know we can’t hit the top (the 100% perfection), me and my “counterpart” Michi are very confident it’s gonna be successful and we’re gonna get close to that number!

But let me do a step back on: Why we are doing this? Well, since I joined IBV one of the things we started to do was to embrace new technologies, technologies you can bet they’re going to represent the future for all of us. No matter what the size or the weight they have right now, in just a few years we will see them getting better and better (as it always happens with technology, or at least most of the times). This concept perfectly applies to #virtualreality or #augmentedreality or better #mixedreality devices. We don’t know what will come up in the near future, we just know that some technologies will be more successful than others. That’s a fact, or at least this is what we believe as part of our Vision. That is why we are concentrating our efforts on two of the most exciting hardware devices Microsoft has built over the course of the last few years: the Surface Hub and the HoloLens. These 2 devices have a complete different story and of course some of you may wonder why we put them together. Well, first of all because they somehow represent, together with other things we do here, our playground for now and the future of IBV, then because it’s really clear Microsoft is betting a lot on these devices and third, well the 3rd one is more like a surprise if you’re gonna attend our event 🙂

Me and Michael today are gonna do some preparation because, hey, I forgot to tell you something important. The event is called “Surface Hub meets the HoloLens” and I told this has a meaning and it’s not just a marketing keyword to attract more people (or is it? :))


The location is the Swisshotel in Zurich. It’s a location that is also very much used by large Corporations (including Microsoft Switzerland) to host their events as it’s close to the city center and the airport, very close to the train station, together with other amenities you can’t find in other places. I found in there well-prepared organizers and technicians so I think we’re safe on that side.

I’m also really excited as the “Crew” (this is how I like to call it) is formed by amazing and passionate people: Michael, Gian, Tamara, Livia, Marina, Nicole and Corrado and of course our CEO which I’ll try not to involve too much (you know, he’s the Big Boss, he might be busy :)). But I’m really confident, as I’ll be surrounded by these amazing people, that not only the event is gonna be successful but it will surely be repeated somewhere else in Europe soon.

I wish I could tell you more but the only thing you can do is to really immerse yourself in this journey together with us and to take a flight and be here on Wednesday, next week! Alternatively, you can still come back here or in our new website to get content and follow up of the event 🙂

Talk to you soon!

And the Journey continues, better than ever!

I finally got a chance to refresh my blog and also found some time to write something worthy and meaningful, at least for me.

I’ve been working for Microsoft for like 15 years (oh my!) and that was a really long time. I had amazing colleagues, friends, people I interacted with on a regular basis, in Italy, in Europe, in EMEA, in US, in Asia-Pacific, Worldwide.

It has been an incredible, amazing adventure to me and I’ll never forget that not only for the many things I learned there, but also for the broad network of people I had the privilege to meet and talk with. Including the Microsoft MVPs of course!

It came a time to me, few months back, to decide whether to continue this journey or put my skills and my learnings at a service to something else, something different, unique and incredibly exciting. And that actually happened when I came to Zurich, Switzerland, to visit a friend, Gian Paolo Santopaolo. Last time we met was at the MVP Global Summit, few years ago for the first time. He was showing me the Surface Hub (it had a different name at a time) and we had very pleasant conversations during those evenings in Bellevue.

With him, we drove to Zurich, specifically to Bonstetten, as he wanted to show me what he was working on, the workplace and everything surrounding it. And then, what happened completely, and positively, changed my professional life.

I met amazing people here, I had long chats with Michael, the COO of the Company, and with Andreas Gorog, the CEO. They showed me around, they introduced me to the other employees, they showed me what they were working on. In short, very enthusiastic, smart, kind and incredibly passionate people. Yes, Passion is something that keeps on driving me and I was really amazed to see what was happening there at that particular moment of time.

I gotta tell you, it was like a “snap”, something clicked on my mind and my first thought was “Yes, I want to work here!” and I was so excited about that.

After a few days I was already onboard and my journey started (and I was incredibly excited about it!).

I joined as the CDO of the Company, a Small/Medium Business specialized in customized solution, IT Security, Data Management, CRM Solutions etc. (with another Branch in Berlin, Germany). Not only that, IBV was on the point to embrace a new path and I really wanted to be part of it.

This new path has a name: a new business model. Specifically, we started working on the Microsoft Surface Hub and Microsoft HoloLens solutions. Really, REALLY exciting.

Gian was already working on it for some time, and at the same time another Microsoft MVP, and a friend, Corrado Cavalli, joined me at the same time. Later on, Livia Formisani, a Professional Content Manager and writer (and a great friend) who previously worked with me in Microsoft in the EMEA Community Team, joined us and I was really happy about that too.

Now, as I plan to share more about what we do, let me leave you with something: in less than 2 weeks, on September the 21st to be exact, we will host our first IBV event where we will showcase some of the things the Developer Team created on those two devices. I hope to see you there but if not, I’m sure we will meet somewhere else soon! 🙂