Microsoft partner Generation-e has claimed an Australian first with the launch of Surface Hub-as-a-service.
Generation-e will sell the wall-mounted device on a subscription bundled with installation, ongoing helpdesk support and consultation services, starting at less than $4 an hour.
Surface Hub retails for $13,499 for the 55-inch model with a 1920x1080 screen and $34,099 for the 84-inch model fitted with a 3840x2160 resolution screen. Both models come with 128GB storage, 8GB RAM and run a custom version of Windows 10.
Generation-e was one of the first six Microsoft partners in Australia authorised to sell the device, which also includes Telstra, Dimension Data and Data#3.
The company will also bundle in user training to educate customers on how to get the most out of Surface Hub.
Generation-e managing director Biagio La Rosa told CRN the idea for Surface Hub-as-a-service came from educating customers on where the device sits in their workplace.
"Relatively speaking, it's comparably priced, but it's at the higher-end of IT spend. So we have had an opportunity around what Hub-as-a-service might look like, and we now have an offering after a few months," he said.
He added that customers may have overlooked where the true value lies with Surface Hub when compared to competitors like Cisco's Spark Board and Google's Jamboard.
"Some people may have seen it as just an expensive whiteboard. If you really look at, you have a powerful computer that can run UWP applications, connect legacy voice services, run data analytics, and run any number of business applications," La Rosa said.
"We understood early on that because this is a new technology market, you couldn't just go in and talk to customers. So we've invested in a microsite that was designed to provide information that we didn't restrict access to competitors."
Surface Hub-as-a-service launched on Thursday.