Collaboration for decision support

Thinking back to the analogue days, how were decisions made? Usually, decision makers were confronted by a pile of paper reports, projections and opin- ions which it was hoped would be consumed, considered and quoted back selectively during the decision-making forum. With rich media and digital presenta- tions for use as part of the deci- sion-making process, there is a school of thought that says that a multiscreen collaborative solu- tion is essential to allow these information sources to be used simultaneously.

Technology update When

Microsoft announced its plans for the second-gen-

join a meeting or open a white- board with one touch. Now Sur-

agile and more affordable to fit any workspace or work style. In

“Tiling is one of the really great features on Surface Hub 2. Seeing four Surface Hub 2s lined up together has undeniable visual effect and will have a profound impact on what groups can accomplish together.”

eration Surface Hub, perhaps the biggest and most welcome innovation was Hub 2’s tiling functionality. Surface Hub 2 scales and adapts tiling up to 4 screens together in portrait or landscape view. Dynamic rota- tion allows you to use the best orientation for your content to help people work in the way that best suits them and the people they are collaborating with. Tiling is one of the really

great features on Surface Hub 2. Seeing four Surface Hub 2s lined up together has undeni- able visual effect and will have a profound impact on what groups can accomplish togeth- er, allowing users to display multiple pieces of content side- by-side. Imagine how much a team could get done being able to work simultaneously across Microsoft Whiteboard, Power- BI, PowerPoint, and a full view video call?

Hub 2 also makes it signifi- cantly easier to move around the combined workspaces than its predecessor. Microsoft has teamed up with workplace ex- pert Steelcase to create a sys- tem of rolling stands and easy- to-use mounts to help Surface Hub 2 customers be truly mo- bile, gain a new perspective and capture their ideas wherev- er they do their best work. Hub 2 display

The 4K+ 50.5” multi-touch display creates an inviting can- vas to co-create, harnessing the power of Microsoft Teams, Mic- rosoft Whiteboard, Office 365, Windows 10 and the intelligent cloud. The 4K cameras, that rotate with the device, inte- grated speakers and far field mic arrays, allow everyone in the meeting to feel as if they are right in the room with the rest of the group, while the standard Surface 3 × 2 aspect ratio means everyone has more usable space to create and col- laborate. “We’re passionate about creating experiences that al- low the technology to fade into the background, so people and teams can be as productive and creative as possible. The origi- nal Surface Hub advanced this mission, making it possible to

P12 AV News June 2018

face Hub 2 takes it even further with multi-user sign in,” says Microsoft.

This feature is described as a

2018 Microsoft will begin to test Surface Hub 2 with select commercial customers. It will be available for purchase in

it was and innovative, it might be, but original? Not so much. Oblong Industries, with some justification, claims to be the pioneer of interactive spatial computing environments for the new era of collaborative work. At ISE this year, Oblong showcased the company’s new- ly expanded range of immersive visual collaboration technolo- gies for innovative workplaces. From the multi-surface im- mersive experience of the Mezzanine 600 Series to Ob- long’s latest solution for huddle rooms, the Mezzanine 200 Se- ries. Mezzanine from Oblong Industries is designed as a superior collaboration solution for complex and distributed global organizations that need to make valuable data and con- tent a central part to all busi- ness decisions.

Decision support is the killer app, particularly for the mul- tiscreen solutions typically found in boardrooms and other locations where mission critical

people make decisions about problems that may be rapidly changing and not easily spec- ified in advance i.e. unstruc- tured and semi-structured decision problems. Decision support systems can be ei- ther fully computerised or hu- man-powered, or a combination of both.


For installation in the higher echelons of corporate manage- ment, more advanced Mezza- nine solutions are not cheap, and it if here that competition might have a positive effect. To be fair, Mezzanine carries a higher R&D overhead than many other solutions. At ISE, Oblong introduced a new Pic- ture on Picture function in its Mezzanine solutions.

David Kung, VP Product Strategy at Oblong, explained the value of the new POP fea- ture: “In a connected work session, this “PoP” innovation automates the size and position of the video-conferencing feed so

that collaborators always

have the best content-sharing experience. It’s magical when Mezzanine PoP automatically shrinks, moves, and expands the video conferencing window so you can focus on your shared content. Only Mezzanine is pre- mised on a revolutionary spatial UI, making Picture on Picture only possible with Mezzanine.” Oblong Industries also showed a variety of next-level innovations to make advanced collaboration with Mezzanine more accessible to more peo- ple. The work is a culmination, and

convergence, of several

At ISE this year, Oblong showcased the company’s newly expanded range of immersive visual collaboration technologies for innovative workplaces, like this Mezzanine 300 solution for huddle spaces.

truly magical experience. Us- ing multi-user sign in, multiple people can authenticate in the same Surface Hub 2 workspace - allowing them to simultane- ously access their documents and ideas, merging them with the ideas of their teammates – and making collaboration as natural as meeting at a white- board.” “We started on the journey of empowering teams with the original Surface Hub and the value it provides has resonat- ed with businesses worldwide. We’ve sold to more than 5000 customers across 25 markets. Over half of Fortune 100 com- panies have purchased Surface Hubs to improve team’s effi- ciency and how they collabo- rate – breaking down barriers and creating real business val- ue. We believe our customers will love Surface Hub 2 even more.”

Microsoft says that Surface Hub 2 was designed from the ground up to be used by teams – to get people out of their seats, to connect and ‘ideate’ - regardless of location. Other benefits are that the new Sur- face Hub 2 is sleeker, more

feature enhancements and en- terprise integrations that auto- mate critical meeting functions to ensure Mezzanine users can have an optimal and seamless

The 4K+ 50.5” multi-touch display creates an inviting canvas to co-create, harnessing the power of Mic- rosoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, Windows 10 and the intelligent cloud.

2019. For additional informa- tion on Surface Hub 2 please visit: face/business/surface-hub-2

Decision support Designed from the ground up,

decisions are taken. A decision support system is defined as an information system that sup- ports business or organisation- al decision-making activities. DSSs serve the management, operations and planning levels of an organisation and help

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