The Surface Hub is a unique collaborative device created by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Surface Family. Wall-mounted or roller-stand-mounted, the Surface Hub delivers several Microsoft services and technologies through a large monitor meant for conference rooms or meeting areas. It integrates enterprise services, such as Teams and Skype for Business, Whiteboard, and Office Products into a large platform that includes multiple microphones, cameras, and a touch screen.

For this new release of the product to be successful, Microsoft needed to create readiness content to address two different audiences: Microsoft technologists and audio-visual specialists. Each of these audiences have different backgrounds, and neither one knows much about the other’s area of expertise.

Microsoft worked closely with Learn on Demand Systems, to develop a course that blended instructor-led content for both Microsoft techs and A/V engineers. The program had to also include considerable hands-on experience without providing each student with access to their own $9,000 device to learn on. Finally, Microsoft needed a partner that could travel the world over several months to help deliver the training.

At Trustwave SpiderLabs, we’re security experts, not writers. We’re grateful for the invaluable assistance we get every year from Learn on Demand Systems Professional Services in helping us organize and publicize our findings, so we can get back to the business of protecting our customers from cybercrime.

Ziv Mador | VP, Security Research | Trustwave SpiderLabs

The Approach

We approached this project with our standard readiness development methodology, which includes the creation of a functional specification that describes the objectives, audience, deliverables, team members, modality, and module and lab outlines.

We have found that the more effort that is put into the functional specification, the smoother the project goes. We worked closely with Microsoft to define all aspects of the readiness material in the functional specification to assure we met their expectations. The end result was a detailed outline of both the course topics and lab outlines. With this in hand, we knew exactly what we were building and what needed to be delivered.

The Team

With the functional specification signed off by the customer, we assembled a team that included a project manager, two instructional designers (IDs), and editor, a graphic designer, a lab developer, and a tester.

The Teamwork

We worked closely with Microsoft to identity existing content that could be used by the IDs to develop modules for this instructor-led course. The IDs met with subject matter experts (SMEs) to identify existing content that could be used and to create new content as needed. Once content for all modules was identified or created, the IDs built a draft of each module for review with the SMEs. They incorporated feedback from the SMEs into the modules and then presented a second draft of the content for review.

Meanwhile, the lab developers worked from the lab outlines in the functional specification to build lab profiles and the virtual environment. This project had the unique challenge of involving a physical device that has its own operating system and virtualizing it so each lab user has their own virtual Surface Hub to configure and use. The lab developers worked with Microsoft to acquire a virtualized version of the operating system that was then installed in the virtual environment. The Lab Developers then used this virtualized operating system to create a series of hands-on labs that allowed lab users to configure Surface Hub to work with Office 365, Teams, Skype for Business, Whiteboard, and other Office 365 services.

The Deliverables

Learn on Demand Systems delivered readiness content for a two-day class on Surface Hub 2S. The instructor-led content included five modules that primarily consisted of PowerPoint slides with detailed speaker notes.

  • Welcome and Overview
  • Hardware and AV Overview
  • Troubleshooting for Post Installation
  • Managing Surface Hub
  • Surface Hub Architecture

We also presented three hands-on labs hosted on our platform.

  • Lab 1: Configuring Surface Hub for Office 365
  • Lab 2: Managing Surface Hub with Microsoft Intune
  • Lab 3: Microsoft Surface Hub Technical Learning – Troubleshooting

The Delivery

With content in hand, Learn on Demand Systems and Microsoft set off to deliveries worldwide. Microsoft provided the instructor who delivered the modules. Learn on Demand Systems conducted the hands-on labs. Microsoft had two Surface Hub devices for this training. They would ship one to the upcoming venue and leapfrog the devices as we traveled between the following locations:

  • Berlin, Germany
  • Denmark
  • Dubai
  • Multiple US Cities
  • Munich, Germany
  • New Zealand
  • Paris, France
  • Singapore
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • United Kingdom

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