Choosing the right license is key now, and in the future

When choosing which Microsoft license is right for your business, there is a lot more to consider than simply finding the lowest price. Although scrutinising business costs is always a good idea, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who need to run as leanly as possible, no business can afford to make a bad investment in something as critical as the software and apps they rely on every day to get the job done. 

For any SMB, selecting the right license for their specific needs is more critical than ever, particularly in light of Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience which it introduced late last year, that sees customers now only having a 72-hour cancellation window for 12-month and 36-month subscriptions. 

In this way, once the cancellation window has elapsed, the business could find itself locked into a 12-month or 36-month term that cannot be cancelled - something that could prove very expensive for the business if its employees are using the wrong licenses.

For instance, consumer licenses are simply not built for commercial use, even for a small home office. Although the business might only need apps such as Outlook, Word, and Excel, it could miss out on premium business apps that are so critical to running its daily administration and operations. For small, home entities, Office Home and Business 2021 or Office Professional 2021 once-off licenses are ideal. Alternatively, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, has some great additional features such as 1TB of file storage and upgrades.   

Consumers, however, need to look no further than the Microsoft 365 Family license that permits up to six users, each of which can install Microsoft Office apps on a range of devices. 

Professional users, on the other hand, can get work done and increase efficiency by buying Microsoft 365 Business Standard. This is the perfect package, as it enables companies to collaborate in real-time with teamwork tools that are always up to date. In addition, they benefit from professional email and online storage, all of which come with built-in security to help keep their data secure and private.

For this reason, it is key for businesses, especially SMBs, to choose a partner who really understands their needs and the needs of their users, as well as their future vision for all the business applications they use. Shopping around for the cheapest priced licenses simply isn’t an option any longer, because if you choose the wrong license, it will cost a lot more in the long run.

Simply put, commercial licenses are designed for use by businesses and corporates. They were specifically designed to boost the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of larger entities that use premium apps such as Teams and SharePoint. On the other hand, consumer licenses are designed for day-to-day, personal use at home and are simply not practical for use in businesses, even SMBs.

Many organisations wonder whether or not they can use their Microsoft 365 Personal license for their home office or small business. But this does not work, as consumer licenses are not built with commercial use in mind, even for the smallest entities. Even though your SMB might only need certain Microsoft Office apps, for example, Outlook, Word and Excel, you are missing out on the apps that were purpose-built to support daily business administration and operations. 

There are several things to discuss with your channel partner when reviewing license usage. Firstly, users might be over-licensed for the job that they are doing. For instance, their role or job description may have changed from the time they were first assigned the license, or they might have been initially assigned a higher license than they strictly needed to make sure no productivity was lost or delayed.

In addition, some users may only need light access to the system and might not require a full user license when a Team Member license would be enough to get the job done. In addition, many small to medium-sized businesses don’t need the full might of Microsofts enterprise apps, and having a smaller-scale custom app might prove to be a better option, as this would enable users to switch to the more affordable licensing. 

There are also times when Microsoft introduce new licensing options, or amends and updates its current ones. If no one is keeping an eye on these changes, major cost savings could go unrealised. Even though the days of shopping around for the cheapest possible licenses are over, having a good Microsoft partner would help you to make more cost savings by making sure that all your users are on the appropriate licenses. But this can only be done by working with a trusted partner who knows Microsoft licensing inside out, who understands your business, and knows your systems.

Ultimately, a good Microsoft partner should be able to assess an SMB's current situation and give the best advice for your organisation, even if it is not as profitable for them, and should be aware of any potential offers that may help your business to realise further savings. This is where it’s crucial to choose a partner that doesn’t spread themselves too thinly, as this can make it very hard for them to offer total support for all the products they are licensing. They might, for example, be unaware of new innovations, or functionality limitations, particularly in light of the rapid pace of development in Microsoft. 

Being fully cognisant of this, Microsoft now insists that partners have the right number of qualified staff within the business to be able to support their products in a professional manner. 

This is one reason why it is so important for SMBs to understand the license terms around any new software before they buy it. Another compelling reason is that using software outside of the license terms is classified as piracy and could leave your business open to being prosecuted or fined.

Furthermore, SMBs have simple needs with simple use cases that don’t necessarily need the advanced and powerful features of Microsoft 365, which is why Tarsus recommends Office Home & Business 2021 as the best solution for these customers that still use older Microsoft Office products, or who are in certain regulated industries and might prefer licensed and installed products to supplement other app suites. 

For entities of between one and 25 employees who value the classic suite” and a familiar form factor, and who don’t need frequently updated features, yet still want to create content, stay organised, and collaborate with ease in other lines of business - this is the perfect solution.

Office Home & Business 2021 can help SMBs create content like a professional, effortlessly organise and track data within their business, and collaborate more easily so they can work better together. The solution delivers modern solutions and a familiar form factor that helps them move to take their businesses to the next level. 

The software brings updates to familiar productivity tools to help customers stay efficient and in control of their businesses by employing new solutions to create better more engaging content. In addition, SMBs can manage their messages, appointments, contacts, and tasks, all from one central location, and can work together seamlessly with better and more secure collaboration tools. 

Microsoft’s new Office Home & Business 2021 lets SMBs produce documents and presentations that engage individuals with new, modern visuals. They can quickly build spreadsheets using fewer, more robust formulas that automatically update as information changes, and the software’s enhanced navigation features and search functions help them rapidly find what they need. 

It also integrates media and fun to empower all users to be more creative, enabling them to illustrate a step-by-step tutorial or demonstrate a thought process using Ink Replay to show ink strokes as they were drawn. Moreover, with the new Content Library, they have access to a library of high-quality content to express themselves. 

When it comes to keeping track of what’s happening in their businesses, the software brings new tools and updated features that can help SMBs stay organised while running a modern business. They have the power to quickly build spreadsheets using fewer, more robust formulas that automatically update as information changes, and can quickly find data with improved navigation features and search functions like XLOOKUP and Dynamic Arrays. 

To understand these and a wide range of other features, having the right Microsoft partner on hand to support your small business is crucial. Not only will it save you money on your license costs in the long term, but it will also make sure that you are getting the most from your Office Home & Business 2021 suite, helping your business to perform at its best.

Microsoft Surface Solutions For Small To Medium Businesses

It should be said that Microsoft has been part of the success stories of many garage start-ups. Even Microsoft co-founders, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, worked out of an Albuquerque garage in the early days of the company. Today, Windows is used by both small, medium and massive companies the world over. And now they're taking it one step further by offering cutting-edge hardware powered by the Windows ecosystem. Let's show you why Microsoft Surface is a perfect fit for small and medium-sized entities. 

Covered In This Article:

Unleashing The Power Of Microsoft 365 And Surface
A Hybrid Work Technology As Solution
Reducing Security Risks

Unleashing The Power Of Microsoft 365 & Surface


Microsoft 365 is the productivity cloud designed to help you pursue your passion and run your business. More than just apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft 365 brings together best-in-class productivity apps with powerful cloud services, device management, and advanced security in one, connected experience.

Over the past two years, businesses of all industries and sizes have had to adapt to new ways of working, a challenging operating environment, and ever-changing customer expectations. With all this change, it’s hard to overstate the impact of having secure and reliable productivity and collaboration tools. It’s tools like these that enable the communication, flexibility, and innovation that keep businesses thriving in the new era of work. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are no exception, but they need tools tailored to their unique needs and challenges.

Meet, Call, Chat & Connect

In addition to robust security offering with Microsoft Defender for Business, Microsoft is bringing together all the features businesses need to serve customers with Microsoft Teams Essentials, their standalone version of Microsoft Teams. From restaurants to retailers to professional services, small businesses can easily meet, collaborate, communicate, and serve customers in new ways, all on their trusted Surface devices.

A third of SMB employees expect to switch permanently to remote work post-pandemic, which is why Microsoft is delivering solutions designed for this new reality. One of the biggest challenges in moving from physical to digital is keeping people connected in an efficient and inexpensive way with Surface and Teams Essentials.

Teams Essentials makes this possible by integrating customers, clients, and collaborators all in one place. It offers unlimited group video calls for up to 30 hours, group chat, file sharing, and calendaring. With no IT expertise necessary, Teams Essentials enables those with and without a Teams account to participate easily and effectively.

If you need more convincing, then click here to find the top seven reasons why Surface is perfect for SMEs.

A Hybrid Work Technology As Solution


To build a successful hybrid work environment, business and IT leaders need to give employees the tools to succeed. The Microsoft Surface family of devices have been designed to offer just that.

Surface unlocks:

  • Collaboration: Enable teams to share information and ideas, and to collaborate together wherever they work.
  • Modern Management: Improve IT efficiency and reduce costs with remote zero-touch deployment and management.
  • Security: Protect your business with ultimate control, proactive protection and peace of mind wherever work happens.
  • Choice And Flexibility: Give employees versatility and the performance they need to get it all done.

Empower your people to work on their terms. Whether they’re on the move and need stable, secure LTE connectivity or tackling intensive tasks, Surface has a perfect match for everyone on your team. Surface laptops and 2-in-1s are small business-ready.

Reducing Security Risks


With Surface, security from Microsoft is built into every layer of the device, from hardware to firmware, to the operating system, and through to cloud management tools from Microsoft 365. Microsoft Surface has been using a unified approach to firmware protection and device security since 2015 through complete end-to-end ownership of the hardware design, in-house firmware development, and a holistic approach to device updates and management.

Because device firmware mostly involves third-party providers, keeping track of how secure firmware is, is becoming incredibly complicated. Since firmware is essentially embedded software that provides a low level of control for a device’s specific hardware – a standard set of coded instructions that tells the device what to do, used in all kinds of consumer electronics to computers themselves – they are an ideal entry-point to a device’s actual hardware for any attacker.

For a detailed description of the various security measures implemented by Microsoft mentioned here, please refer to articles on the Microsoft website on Microsoft Surface Security and Advanced Windows Security. The most recent research in cyber security indicates that as manufacturers build more protections into the OS and its connected services, other ways of exploiting device vulnerabilities are emerging at an alarming rate, with firmware emerging as a top target.

What Is Chip-To-Cloud Protection?

Chip-to-cloud is a unique technology that helps craft secure-by-design devices utilising microchips that are energy-efficient because it will further help stay connected to the cloud every time.

Every layer of Surface from chip-to-cloud is maintained by Microsoft, giving you ultimate control, proactive protection, and peace of mind wherever and however, work gets done. Surface devises ship with the strongest security protocols Microsoft offers and enables streamlined management that reduces IT complexity and helps users stay focused on their work.

Surface drives security through a defence-in-depth approach by utilizing a layering of independent defensive sub-components. From chip-to-cloud or a UEFI that ensures a Root of Trust to the AI-powered Microsoft Defender for Endpoint that works to prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to advanced threats, Surface enforces the position that built-in from Microsoft is better than a bolt-on.

Microsoft Surface In The Field

The Microsoft Surface for distance work offers capabilities ideally suited for employees out in the field, with devices that are compact in design, support connectivity, and have extended battery life to keep remote workers in the field able to complete off-site tasks without the need to recharge every couple of hours. Many businesses, large and small, have employees working in the field or on-site, such as construction companies, engineering businesses, and even government departments involved in the building and maintenance of crucial service delivery infrastructure.  If your organisation has business activities that require off-site work, often in remote places, the Surface collection of devices has a solution that would suit any type of business activity, including those mentioned. The Microsoft Surface range is increasingly also being used in education, allowing learners to examine and experience any subject up close and in its natural habitat.

By broadening the range of technology that businesses use, Surface for distance work promotes an interface that reaches not only users who mainly work in offices, but also users who work in far-flung mining or construction sites, to sites such as production floors – above and beyond those employees who work from home. In the case of remote and hybrid work environments, especially work conducted off-site, pandemic, or no pandemic, nothing short of this word will do. Businesses have recognised the need to develop and nurture new organisational capabilities to meet a rapidly changing world, as well as the need to make working on-site or in the field easier and with more computing capabilities. Businesses need to support their collaborative working practices with tools that their staff can use from any location.

Covered In This Article:

Surface for distance work Brings the Office to Wherever You Are
The Many Remote Activities Made Possible by Surface Devices
Surface for distance work Secures LTE enabled Communications Between On-site Employees and Centralised Offices

Surface For Distance Work Brings The Office To Wherever You Are

While certain employees do all or most of their work at a central location, many functions need to be carried out remotely by mobile workers who need the portability of the ultra-thin and light Surface devices, combined with their powerful applications and LTE-enabled connectivity to effectively perform their duties remotely.

Experience with Surface for distance work has shown that the Surface Go, Surface Pro 7+, Surface Book 3, and the Surface Laptop 4 are among the most favoured devices for use by employees in remote, on-site, or hybrid working arrangements as the entire range of Surface mobile devices offers secure access to centralised information, long battery life, and LTE connectivity for collaboration and coordination essential to people working in the field.

One of the biggest benefits offered by the Surface range is therefore their LTE ability to connect with colleagues working in the office, making it possible for those based in the office to see and hear what is happening on-site directly without the need to call or to rely on what is reported by the on-site colleague. In addition, Surface for distance work is creating new and innovative work practices, allowing companies that rely on work conducted in the field to free themselves from previous work tools, which were outmoded and costly.

The range of Surface devices makes office-bound, remote, on-site, and hybrid work possible by allowing for the reliable, secure, and remotely accessible storage and tracking of real-time processes – from information updates by employees working on-site to executive decision-making, from tracking and storing individual observations, necessary building and maintenance activities, storage and inventory – and every business process in between. Whether a worker works in the office or not, there is a Microsoft Surface solution for any activity employees engages in.

Apart from the Surface range of devices, powerful and sophisticated applications that empower users have been a part of the Microsoft product offering for decades. With all Surface devices enabled to run Windows 365, Windows 10, and Windows 11, the workforce of an enterprise that requires significant out of office work has access to the whole range of well-known Windows applications, as well as innovative new applications such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Azure.

No matter what is required by an enterprise or its employees, Surface for distance work devices and applications offer solutions that unlock productivity, collaboration, participation, and innovation that drive businesses to greater gains in their competitive advantage in the respective markets they engage in.

The Many Remote Activities Made Possible By Surface Devices

One of the greatest achievements of Microsoft in the development of the Surface range is that it combines the portability of lightweight devices such as laptops and tablets with the computing power and storage capacity of the traditional large desktop PC. In addition, the capacity of many of the Surface devices to transform from laptop to tablet depending on the needs of the user was instrumental in keeping a wide range of societal sectors – from businesses that require off-site work,  government programs, the provision of healthcare and essential services, as well as transforming education from the classroom to outside activities – functioning during the rapid decentralisation triggered by the global pandemic in 2020.

Microsoft has commissioned several studies related to network security, modernising and securing endpoints, securing access to and use of cloud applications, and the regulatory compliance and threat intelligence of the widely used Microsoft 365 Office suite of applications. One of these studies is referred to as the TEI study and can be read by interested consumers here.

The issue of secure input, access, and shareability of information is at the core of the functioning of remote and hybrid work teams, these studies and others provide ample evidence of the security of organisational and personal data, often of a highly sensitive and strategic nature. The information gathered in these studies proves the effectiveness of security measures implemented by Microsoft in all its devices and applications.

In addition, Microsoft takes extraordinary measures to ensure that their devices, such as the Surface range, are secure against external threats. Read about these factory-enabled measures here.

Surface For Distance Work Secures LTE Enabled Communications Between On-site Employees & Centralised Offices

The same security issues mentioned above also apply to the Surface devices used by off-site employees that are enabled through the LTE capabilities of their Surface devices to communicate with "headquarters" as it were. Not only is the information that is exchanged protected from chip to cloud, but the Windows Biometric sign-in application such as the Hello application, Surface ProSignature Keyboard, and fingerprint ID also makes it nearly impossible for any user other than the owner of the device to gain entry to the information stored there.

With all these security features, connectivity, lightweight design, multi-functional, and long battery life of all Surface devices – and more – makes working in the field with Microsoft Surface devices, whichever one suits an employee working on-site and out of the office, easy, secure, and in-touch with the office wherever they may be working.

Microsoft Surface In An Office Setting

We all know that the Microsoft Surface family of devices are designed to get the job done from anywhere. Whether it be remote working or even on-site and in the field, these machines are powerful and versatile enough so that you don't have to drag an entire PC case around with you. But how does it fare in a traditional office setting? In this article, we explore just that. 

Covered In This Article:

A Tough Desk Jockey
Choosing The Right Microsoft Surface Device
Breaking Down Communication Barriers
Microsoft Surface And Cybersecurity

A Tough Desk Jockey


As Windows built and inspired new computing experiences, new Microsoft hardware accessories helped people interact with them. Microsoft has reached an exciting cross-road where intelligent software is combined with powerful hardware to form magnificent devices. For nearly 10 years, Surface has pioneered breakthrough experiences that immerse people in their creative flow, eliminating friction that often exists between people and technology.

It is because of this that the Surface family of devices are made to get the job done. Surface allows people to adapt to new ways of working and creating through innovative and versatile devices that offer premium design and performance, quality typing and track pads, exceptional cameras and mics, and immersive touchscreen display technologies. From the office administrator meeting deadlines to the designer rolling out CI, there truly is a Surface device for everyone in the office.

Choosing The Right Microsoft Surface Device

Best known for innovative, tablet-like designs, Microsoft has expanded its Surface line over the years and now offers a full family of computers, from a standard laptop to a giant desktop. Let's help you find the right Surface device for you.

Surface Pro 7+

Ready for business, the Surface Pro 7+ is a true hybrid device that offers the versatility of a tablet with the processing power of a laptop. Surface Pro 7+ offers the adaptability to dock into external displays and leverage the needed peripherals for a full workstation setup.

Surface Laptop 4

Surface Laptop 4 is, first and foremost, optimised for Microsoft experiences. With its signature 3:2 PixelSense touchscreen displays in 13.5” or 15” models, the Surface Laptop 4 offers a built-in HD front-facing camera with incredible low-light capability and a studio microphone array, making it the perfect office workstation.

Surface Laptop Go 2

Sleek and portable, Surface Laptop Go 2 features a 12.4” vibrant touchscreen and great typing experience, now with an improved HD camera, secure Windows Hello sign-in, and a performance boost– all in a premium design. Surface Laptop Go 2 weighs only 1124 grams and packs in the power of the Quad-core 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor. With all-day battery life and fast charging – Surface Laptop Go 2 is the perfect companion for class, the office, the coffee shop or wherever life takes you.

Service Hub 2S

Complete your meeting room with a powerful, smart whiteboard that runs on the Windows platform your office knows and loves. The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S comes in both 50 and 85-inch sizes and offers a crystal clear display and can easily and wirelessly connect to other Surface and Windows-based devices. Dissolve boundaries for hybrid teams so they can inclusively engage everyone’s voices, faces and ideas. Surface Hub 2S is a powerful meetings platform for every team, wherever they meet, that’s certified for Microsoft Teams.

Breaking Down Communication Barriers


Surface devices optimise the software and cloud solutions businesses rely on every day by providing a scalable, secure, and innovative solution that empowers you to do more – so your business can thrive.

Microsoft Surface for the office offers employees to:

  • Stay connected and collaborative: Empower employees to accomplish more with always-available collaboration tools powered by Microsoft 365 running on Surface.
  • Modernise device management: Synchronise and deploy Surface firmware and driver updates with Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager within the Configuration Manager client.
  • Deploy with less complexity: Reduce IT complexity and streamline device management and deployment using Windows Autopilot zero-touch deployment and unified management.
  • Maintain security from chip to cloud: Manage devices in the cloud right down to the firmware level, and maintain secure control with a Device Firmware Configuration Interface (DFCI).

Fitting Form Factor

Mobility is a key function of the Surface family of devices. Whether you’re on the move seeing clients, working in the break room or tackling tasks in the boardroom, Microsoft Surface tools adapt to your environment. Not only does Surface integrate seamlessly with other Microsoft products, but it can also fit into any situation. Part tablet, part laptop, fully hybrid. Surface can be whatever you need it to be.

Made For Windows

Surface devices enable your people to work however they work best, offering flexibility, power and style. Save time and money with streamlined deployment, modern device management, and built-in, cloud-powered security with connected experiences from Surface and Microsoft 365.

  • Cloud-First Deployment and Management: Deploy and manage down to the firmware layer through the cloud with Microsoft Endpoint Manager13 and DFCI.6 Reduce IT complexity with Windows Autopilot.
  • Windows Virtual Desktop: Meet complex business and security requirements with broad device redirection support, endpoint protection and Microsoft 365 virtualised in Azure.
  • OneDrive For Business: Access and protect your business and school work with this intelligent files app. Share and collaborate from anywhere, on any device.
  • Collaborate with Teams: Work better together. New integrations allow you to create shareable links, grant expiring access and follow configured policies.

Paired with Microsoft 365, Surface helps customers save time and money with streamlined deployment, modern management and enterprise-level security. Surface truly is anything but ordinary. Visit the Microsoft site for more information about which Surface devices support Windows 11.

Performance meets versatility when it comes to Surface. Whether sketching ideas and handwriting notes, sharing your view with others, or writing code, the range adapts to the endless ways you create and collaborate. A cutting-edge balance of performance, versatility, and mobility sets Surface apart from the rest.

Microsoft Surface & Cybersecurity

Security for business should be your top priority, especially in today’s digitally-driven world where cyber threats and data breaches are incredibly commonplace. Your business can combat these security threats by leveraging the right Microsoft tools and technology, such as its family of Surface devices. Microsoft Surface security features are robust and incredibly valuable to your business – here is a breakdown of a few major ones.

Microsoft Surface security features include a built-in firewall, an anti-malware solution, and automatic updates. This means your business will have access to the newest Teams and Office 365 security features on their Surface devices – as soon as they are rolled out.

These Microsoft Surface security features can help to safeguard your business against cybersecurity threats and breaches, particularly when paired with other Microsoft software such as Teams and Office 365.

There’s no need to sacrifice speed or productivity for security – your business can still experience enhanced productivity, collaboration, and communication while still being secure. Click here to read more about Microsoft Surface's security capabilities.

To learn more about Microsoft device security, or how your business can transform into a modern digital workplace built on an ecosystem of Microsoft Teams and the Microsoft 365 platform, contact Tarsus Distribution today.

Seven Reasons Why Microsoft Surface Is Right For You

If you need more convincing on why you and your office need to be working on the Microsoft Surface family of devices, here are seven good reasons.

Covered In This Article:

It's Powered By The Windows Ecosystem
Chip-to-Cloud Security Comes Standard
Processing Powe At Your Finger Tips
Goes Where You Go
It's Perfect For Collaboration
There Is A Lot To Choose From
Tarsus Distribution Is A Microsoft Surface Partner

It's Powered By The Windows Ecosystem


In recent years, Microsoft has gotten into the hardware side of computing with the Surface family of devices. This has given them the opportunity to showcase what the Microsoft Computational Universe (MCU) is capable of. Instead of creating a separate operating system (OS) for the Surface line, Microsoft has integrated the hardware to run on Windows. This includes all the bells and whistles that come with this OS which we all know and love.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is designed to help you achieve more with innovative Office apps, intelligent cloud services, and world-class security. This means that everything from Excel to Teams has been optimised to work the way it should across the Surface range.

Windows 11

Windows has always existed to be a stage for the world’s innovation. It’s been the backbone of global businesses. At a time when the PC is playing a more central role in our lives, Windows 11 is designed to bring you closer to what you love. Some newer Surface devices come with Windows 11 already installed. Other Surface devices can be upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11. Click here for the full list of supported devices.

Chip-to-Cloud Security Comes Standard


The role of the Windows PC and trust in technology are more important than ever as our devices keep us connected and productive across work and life. Advancements like Windows Hello biometric facial recognition, built-in Microsoft Defender Antivirus, firmware protections and advanced system capabilities like System Guard, Application Control for Windows and more have helped Microsoft keep pace with the evolving threat landscape. Every feature of the Microsoft Surface devices has been designed in alignment with Microsoft’s Zero Trust architectural principles. The Microsoft Surface devices are Chip-to-Cloud Secure. They have built-in advanced security at every layer: the hardware, the firmware, the operating system, and in the cloud.

When it comes to endpoint security, Microsoft Surfaces devices reign supreme. These devices benefit from one simple fact. Every line of code in the hardware, the firmware, the operating system, and the cloud is owned and developed by Microsoft. Their engineers control 100% of the code that runs on Surface devices. This uniquely positions Microsoft to design an unparalleled, holistic approach to endpoint security.

Processing Power At Your Finger Tips


With so many options to choose from across the Surface range, it might seem tricky to find one that’s right for you. The solution would be to have a powerful machine that is lightweight, easy to transport and packs a punch. something that is anything but ordinary. The new generation Microsoft Surface ticks all those boxes and is the fastest machines the tech company has ever shipped. Thanks to its laptop-class 11th generation Intel Core processor, jumping in between spreadsheets, programmes and browser windows is more seamless than ever.

Goes Where You Go


Microsoft Surface touchscreen laptops and 2-in-1s empower you to create however you want, wherever you are. Thanks to their excellent form factor and lightweight, the Microsoft Surface family of devices allows you to take the office with you, no matter where you are.

Connectivity

When Wi-Fi is unreliable, stay connected virtually anywhere with LTE, available on selected models. Surface Pro with LTE Advanced allows people to stay connected with a blazing fast cellular connection. The CAT 9 modem makes Surface Pro with LTE Advanced the fastest LTE-enabled laptop in its class.

Audio & Video

All Surface computers have HD video webcams that orient your face from whatever angle you take your calls, meetings, virtual get-togethers, and more.

It's Perfect For Collaboration


As hybrid work continues to evolve, it is imperative that organisations bring people together wherever they are – both inside the office and out – to communicate, collaborate and co-create.

Whether through Teams or first-rate inking with the Surface Pen, the Microsoft Surface family of devices provides a variety of features and capabilities to address these needs. With the Smart Camera, the meeting experience becomes even more immersive for people both in the room and participating remotely. With its automatic framing technology, portable design and high-quality video, the  Smart Camera helps to ensure participants are seen and heard – whether they are at the back of a large room or interacting with the Surface Hub at the edge of the screen.

There Is A Lot To Choose From


Whether you're looking for a portable 2-in-1 device, a fully-functional laptop, or even a digital whiteboard, there is a Surface device that's right for you. Whether you’ve owned a Surface device in the past or you’re contemplating your first one, the current Surface lineup can be pretty confusing if you're new to this series of machines. Fortunately, Microsoft has set up a self-explanatory naming convention for each device.

The current Surface lineup includes some standout choices. To find out more about which Surface is right for you, click here.

Tarsus Distribution Is A Microsoft Surface Partner


It goes without saying that Microsoft is a world-renowned technology brand and Industry authority. The great news is that Tarsus Distribution is one of Microsoft’s trusted partners in South Africa.

Currently, Tarsus Distribution distributes Microsoft software solutions in the form of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Server, Microsoft Office solutions, and are excited to have been named the exclusive distributor for Microsoft Surface in South Africa across both their Consumer and Commercial range of devices.

Tarsus Distribution is fully equipped to supply Microsoft products in both box product and Electronic Software Distribution, which in today’s world is the fastest and easiest way to sell Office.

Here is a quick overview of the products that we currently have stocked in our warehousing facilities.

Unleashing The Power Of Microsoft 365 & Surface

Microsoft 365 and Surface deliver the experiences employees love, the protection organisations demand, and flexibility for teams to work their way. In this article, we take a look at the synergy between these pieces of hardware and software under the Microsoft umbrella. 

Covered In This Article:

Unpacking Microsoft 365
An Office On The Move
Modern Management With Surface and Microsoft 365

Unpacking Microsoft 365


As you will know, software companies have been steadily moving their products to the cloud in recent years, including Microsoft. This is why the tech giant decided to upgrade its office software offering. Microsoft 365 is portable, flexible and has a powerful range of office applications.

Here are some of the more common Microsoft 365 features:

Office Apps

  • Access: an information management tool, or relational database, that helps you store information for reference, reporting and analysis.
  • Excel: a software program created by Microsoft that uses spreadsheets to organize numbers and data with formulas and functions.
  • Exchange: is Microsoft's email, calendaring, contact, scheduling and collaboration platform.
  • Intune: a cloud-based service that focuses on mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM)
  • OneDrive: online personal storage that you get when you set up a Microsoft account to use services such as Outlook.com or Xbox
  • OneNote: is an app that is designed for research, note-taking, and information storage.
  • Outlook: this allows you to send and receive email messages, manage your calendar, store names and numbers of your contacts, and track your tasks.
  • PowerPoint: a powerful slide show presentation program.
  • Project: a project management software that's used to create schedules, and project plans, manage resources and keep track of time.
  • SharePoint: provides a rich collaboration environment where people inside and outside your organisation can work together, co-authoring documents, and so on.
  • Teams: a collaboration app built for hybrid work so you and your team stay informed, organised, and connected – all in one place.
  • Visio: lets you transform complicated text and tables that are hard to understand into visual diagrams that communicate information at a glance.
  • Word: a word-processing program, designed to help you create professional-quality documents.

Microsoft products work on practically any device you could imagine. However, the Surface is the only device actually made by Microsoft developed alongside Windows and Office 365. New features and updates will always work on your Surface – because they were made to.

An Office On The Move


Whether you choose to buy a Microsoft Surface Pro, Go or Laptop, you know that you are getting a device that will provide all-day battery power, include high-quality communication components, and make use of a powerful processor and high-performance chip sets, no matter where you are. When you use Microsoft Surface for business, you gain an optimised, scalable, and inherently secure solution which enhances your workforce in more ways than one.

Microsoft Surface offers businesses on the move:

Agility

Transforming seamlessly from laptop to tablet, Microsoft’s 2-in-1 Surface devices provide the versatility that your staff need to work in the way that makes them most productive.

Connectivity

Designed to keep your teams online wherever they may be, Microsoft Surface devices are equipped with mobile connectivity as well as a wireless network and ethernet support.

Productivity

Multi-touch screens and all-day battery life, along with software to match it across the Microsoft range, including the 365 suite, mean that you can boost productivity across your team.

Security

Every Surface device comes pre-configured with security software that makes it both secure and easy to deploy, manage and repair without an IT technician being needed on site.

Collaboration

Crystal-clear audio and video features make meetings a pleasure, while Microsoft apps, including Whiteboard and Surface Hub, mean that collaboration becomes easy and efficient.

Microsoft knows that technology needs to move forward with you, which is why they’ve developed versatile and dynamic devices that can adapt to your environment and your way of working, no matter where you are.

Optimised Experiences

Microsoft 365 and Surface is a unified platform delivering every Windows security feature*. All Surface portfolio devices ship with a custom-built camera, designed for Windows Hello. Windows Defender is built-in and needs no extra agents to be deployed, simplifying management and optimising device start-up. The true out-of-the-box experience. Autopilot and MMD enable zero-touch deployment and management, wherever users are.

Modern Management With Surface & Microsoft 365


A Microsoft 365 subscription comes with a set of admin roles that you can assign to users in your organisation using the Microsoft 365 admin centre. Each admin role maps to common business functions and gives people in your organisation permissions to do specific tasks in the admin centres.

If you need help with the steps in this topic, consider working with a Microsoft small business specialist. With Business Assist, you and your employees get around-the-clock access to small business specialists as you grow your business, from onboarding to everyday use, including managing Microsoft 365 subscriptions across multiple Surface workstations.

Giving Power Back To IT

With this in mind, the Microsoft Surface family of devices comes with its own rollout and deployment functions that can be controlled and operated by administrators.

Remove power to the components so the operating system doesn’t know it exists. IT administrators can disable hardware elements at a firmware level such as mics, USB ports, SD card slots, cameras, and Bluetooth which removes power to the peripheral.

Device Firmware Configuration Interface (DFCI) enables IT managers to control Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) via Microsoft InTune, for simple remote management. Windows Defender Credential Guard uses virtualization-based security so that only privileged system software can access them. By enabling Windows Defender Credential Guard, you get hardware security, virtualization-based security, and better protection against advanced persistent threats.

Surface designed with physical security in mind without compromising on build quality. Removable drives mean greater control over data retention.

Every Surface and Microsoft 365 component, from firmware to Windows operating system is delivered by Microsoft. With a purpose-built UEFI and Windows Update for Business that responds to evolving threats, end-to-end protection is secure and simplified.

A Microsoft Surface Device For Your Business

The Microsoft Surface for business range came onto the market at just the right time to ameliorate the difficulties that came with the sudden need to radically decentralise operations at the start of the global pandemic in 2020. This decentralisation had a positive spin-off as it created the necessary incentive for business enterprises of all sizes to invest in and improve upon their digital capabilities. It, furthermore, provided the much-needed push in the macro business sphere for enterprise-wide adoption of the four key drivers of digital transformation, namely a clear vision for the fulfillment of cross-departmental mandates, enhanced collaboration between leadership, wide-scale organisational buy-in, and a modern mindset to "business as usual". Along with all other sectors of society – a much different way of functioning had to be found. The cutting-edge advancements in communications technology the Surface range represents have enabled the maintenance of critical business functions, and these newly adopted ways of working can be retained into the future to accommodate the increasing trend in favour of remote and hybrid working arrangements. 

Not only is business growth necessary for the sustainability of businesses themselves, the growth of the business sector as a whole, as well as individual companies and enterprises is a priority for South Africa's push towards the large-scale creation of jobs and the alleviation of poverty for the close to 35% of the population that is unemployed.

The issue of secure input, access, and shareability of information is at the core of the functioning of remote and hybrid work teams, these studies and others give ample evidence of the security of organisational and personal data, often of a highly sensitive and strategic nature, provided effectively by Microsoft devices and applications.

The Surface range of devices offers solutions for three overarching problems faced by large business enterprises that may have branches or business nodes across entire regions or even globally. The challenges macro-enterprises face relate to: (a) managing or possibly even acquiring the infrastructure necessary to facilitate remote or hybrid work; (b) making sure that remote access to centralised networks, as well as the confidentiality of a vast amount of information being exchanged online from several different locations, is highly protected and secured; and (c) enabling business continuity by making it possible for the individuals who form part of teams that collaborate on certain projects not only to continue with group discussions but also to share documents and other media securely with each other.

Covered In This Article

Top-Notch ITC Infrastructure
Security & The Protection
Secure & User-Friendly Applications

Microsoft Surface for Business Offers Top-Notch ITC Infrastructure for Remote and Hybrid Work Arrangements


While certain employees do all or most of their work at a central location, many functions need to be carried out remotely by mobile workers who need the portability of the ultra-thin and light Surface devices, combined with their powerful applications and LTE enabled connectivity to effectively perform their duties remotely.

In this regard, experience has shown that the Surface Go, Surface Pro 7+, Surface Book 3, Surface Laptop 4, and the Surface Hub 2S are among the most favoured devices for use by employees in remote or hybrid working arrangements as the entire range of Surface mobile devices offers secure access to centralised information, long battery life, and LTE connectivity for collaboration and coordination essential to people working in the field.

The range of Surface devices makes office-bound, remote, and hybrid work possible by allowing for the reliable, secure, and remotely accessible storage and tracking of real-time processes – from information updates by different branches or business nodes to executive decision-making, from tracking and storing individual transactions – and every business process in between. From business development and growth strategising, R&D to design, manufacturing to distribution, wholesale to retail, there is a Microsoft Surface solution for any activity employees engage in when working for a macro- large scale enterprise.

Apart from the Surface range of devices, powerful and sophisticated applications that empower workers have been a part of the Microsoft product offering for decades. With all Surface devices enabled to run Windows 365, Windows 10, and Windows 11, the workforce of a macro-enterprise has access to the whole range of well-known Windows applications, as well as innovative new applications such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Azure.

As the world recovers after the pandemic of 2020, the vast majority of managers, executives, and employees have indicated that they place great value on the flexibility and ease that came with remote and hybrid working arrangements. The pandemic proved that we possess the technological capabilities to retain working arrangements such as these, and demonstrated the many benefits that come along with it, such as flexibility for workers, a decreased need to commute and waste time traveling, lower costs to both businesses and employees, and increased productivity.

Surface For Business: Devices Of Preference For Remote & Hybrid Workers

Today’s workforce relies on PCs and accessories to get work done anytime and from anywhere. Fully configured PCs that are ready to go must be deliverable to users wherever they may be. The technology experience employees have in the workplace has become a priority for organisations to attract and retain the best talent and stay competitive in their respective industries.

Over the last three years, Microsoft has commissioned a number of studies on the multiple impacts and improvements on the world of work made possible by products such as the Surface family of devices and the applications that have been developed to support secure, remote-yet-connected working arrangements. These studies, the Total Economic Impact (TEI) studies conducted by Forrester Consulting consisted of a total of 11 studies, all related to the measurable increases in ROI for companies that are adopting the Microsoft Surface range of devices and applications.

The TEI studies focused specifically on network security, modernising and securing endpoints, securing access to and use of Cloud applications, and the regulatory compliance and threat intelligence of the widely used Microsoft 365 Office suite of applications.

When Microsoft first introduced the Surface Pro range, it was a way to challenge the belief that people have to choose between the portability and convenience of a tablet and the power and productivity of a laptop. In the last seven years, Surface Pro devices have become known for their versatility, power and performance, brilliant touch screen, pen capabilities, and great battery life.

From small and medium-size businesses to the largest organisations, Surface Pro 7+ is purpose-built with the needs of business and C-suite customers in mind. Connect and collaborate with the Surface Pro 7+. The ultimate hybrid device from Microsoft offers the portability of a tablet with the processing power of a laptop. It is lightweight, portable, and powerful enough for employees to meet their deadlines no matter where they work.

The Surface Go 2 is lightweight and ready to go. Upgraded to a bigger 10.5” touchscreen, better resolution, and long battery life designed to keep up with your workers and their multiple tasks. The hybrid tablet/laptop design gives one the portability of a laptop and a full laptop experience with a built-in kickstand.

Designed for work on the go, the Surface Go 3 is the smallest business laptop and tablet hybrid device that helps workers to speed through touch-and-digital pen tasks with a battery life that enables employees to work all day from anywhere. With the flexibility for every task, the Surface Go 3 empowers frontline workers, who are the eyes and ears of the enterprise in the field, with the ability to show their point of view from wherever they work. With the Surface Laptop 4, employees can do it all with style, speed, and performance. Run the familiar Microsoft apps employees are familiar with and on which they depend with improved performance, and more speed and multi-tasking power than before.

Security & The Protection Of Valuable & Confidential Information


Apart from the accessibility and engagement made possible by technology such as the Microsoft Surface family of devices, the security of these devices and the platforms and information they give access to is a non-negotiable part of the confidence and trust that users of Microsoft devices have become accustomed to. The security features offered by Microsoft on its devices as well as collaboration platforms are precisely what is needed by macro-enterprises around the globe.

Over the past three years, Microsoft has commissioned a number of studies on the multiple impacts and improvements on the world of work made possible with products such as the Surface family of devices and the applications that have been developed to support secure, remote-yet-connected working arrangements. These studies, the Total Economic Impact (TEI) studies conducted by Forrester Consulting consisted of a total of 11 studies, all related to the measurable increases in ROI for companies that are adopting the Microsoft Surface range of devices and applications.

The TEI studies focused specifically on network security, modernising and securing endpoints, securing access to and use of Cloud applications, and the regulatory compliance and threat intelligence of the widely used Microsoft 365 Office suite of applications.

The issue of secure input, access, and shareability of information is at the core of the functioning of remote and hybrid work teams. These studies and others provide ample evidence of the security of organisational and personal data, often of a highly sensitive and strategic nature, provided effectively by Microsoft devices and applications.

Growing business with Microsoft Surface devices and the range of powerful and sophisticated applications that empower workers is the latest addition to the improved functionality and usability made possible through Microsoft's product offerings for decades. With all Surface devices enabled to run Windows 365, Windows 10, and Windows 11, a macro enterprise's workforce has access to the whole range of well-known Windows applications, as well as innovative new applications such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Azure. These applications, accessible via the Surface family of devices give teams the portability, adaptability, connectivity, and security necessary to do their work from practically anywhere.

The need to keep multiple teams of people operating with the same goals in mind and according to the policies that apply to all business activities means that different branches need to communicate with a centrally administered headquarters as well as with each other securely with the threat of external interference – in business activities and information that has to remain confidential – must be reduced to an absolute minimum, requiring access control within the company as a whole as well as any external parties. When it comes to macro-sized enterprises these issues are permanent, not only needed during lockdown conditions, as these enterprises operate in multiple locations, and often in multiple countries.

Surface For Business: Secure & User-Friendly Applications That Allow Teams To Stay In Contact & Share Any Type Of Media


With the multi-functional, highly adaptable, and user-enabling features that are standard to the Surface family of devices and applications, business leaders can transform their teams – and the ultimate success of the business – by encouraging creativity and innovation, building and communicating common goals, and making working activities and tasks as flexible and dynamic as the lives of employees.

To remain in business, stay competitive, increase productivity, establish, and maintain the enterprise's relevance and accessibility to reach its target market requires that new ways of doing are brought into operation and develop or evolve in tandem with technological advancements going into the future.

To do this, businesses must make use of the best tools and innovations that are available now, and adopt new developments as they happen, or face the inevitable reality of lost opportunities, losses in revenue, and the loss of the most skilled and talented employees they have, as all of these will increasingly migrate to those enterprises and sectors that fully embrace the all-encompassing shift towards remote accessibility, secure communication, collaboration, convenience, innovation, and growth that the digital domain makes possible. Product offerings such as the Microsoft Surface range of devices and applications are at the forefront of this digital business domain, and therefore offer the most appropriate solutions to address a macro enterprise's needs and requirements now, and into the future.

Microsoft Surface: A Hybrid Work Technology Solution

Microsoft’s leading range of Surface devices is the perfect fit for any office environment – even if that office is the kitchen table or corner coffee shop. From people always on the move to those who tackle intensive creative tasks, there is a Surface that’s a perfect match for everyone on your team. Surface laptops and 2-in-1s are small business-ready. In this article, we unpack what the hybrid worker needs to get the job done. 

Covered In This Article:

Not All Workstations Are Created Equal
IT Assistance From A Distance With Zero-touch Deployment
What The Hybrid Worker Needs
The Right Workstation Makes All The Difference

Not All Workstations Are Created Equal


Business and technology decision-makers today are not fully confident that their current devices are the best fit for hybrid work. For example, only 32% strongly agreed that their current devices provide employees with mobility and flexibility, while 30% reported that their current devices are best in class for hybrid work. This means employees can work well in the office, at home, and on journeys in between. Recognising these gaps, over 70% of those surveyed believed that their organisations need significant to moderate improvements to PC quality to support hybrid work more successfully.

Companies are already taking steps to address the various barriers and challenges to providing better devices for employees. However, business and technology decision-makers need to ensure they invest in devices with the right features and functions to meet employees’ needs and drive a successful employee experience.

Across industries, the shift to remote and hybrid productivity was a tipping point to redefine the future of how we work, collaborate and learn outside physical office spaces or classrooms. We have seen a significant increase in the reliance on technology to keep organisations connected.

Scratching The Surface


In the past year, Surface usage within enterprise organisations nearly doubled, driven by strong growth in the use of collaboration and productivity apps to maintain business continuity.

As a company, Microsoft is committed to designing technology that fosters productivity, creativity and connection to empower people to be successful wherever they work and learn in an office or classroom, or remotely. The Surface family of devices embraces just that.

For the latest and greatest Windows hardware on the market, look no further than Microsoft’s Surface brand. Best known for innovative, tablet-like designs, Microsoft has expanded its Surface line over the years and now offers a full family of computers.

But with so many to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Just like a hammer has a purpose in a toolbox, so does each Surface device. Whether you’re plotting and planning your latest campaign with your team in the boardroom or working remotely from a coffee shop, there is a solution for you.

IT Assistance From A Distance With Zero-touch Deployment


As workers increasingly interact with workplace applications using mobile devices, tablets, or other mobile form factors, organisations face higher risks of these devices being lost, stolen, or temporarily misplaced.

Surface devices can better protect their devices and data against attacks or accidents. With security capabilities built into the firmware, operating system, and Microsoft 365, Microsoft has taken a comprehensive chip-to-cloud approach to help organisations deliver more protection for employees using Surface devices with Microsoft 365.

Traditionally, IT pros spend a lot of time building and customising images that will later be deployed to devices that already come with a perfectly good OS already installed on them. Windows Autopilot introduces a new zero-touch deployment approach using a collection of technologies to set up and configure Windows devices. This enables an IT department to configure/customise images with little to no infrastructure to manage and a process that is easy and simple. From the user’s perspective, it only takes a few simple steps to get Surface to a productive state. In fact, the only interaction required from the end-user is to connect to a network and verify their credentials. Everything after that is fully automated.

Windows Autopilot allows you to:

  • Automatically join devices to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).
  • Auto-enrol devices into MDM services, such as Microsoft Intune (requires an Azure AD Premium subscription).
  • Restrict the Administrator account creation. Autopilot is the only way to have the first person who logs into Windows enter as a standard user.
  • Create and auto-assign devices to configuration groups based on device profiles.
  • Customise OOBE (Out of Box Experience) content and branding to meet organisational requirements.
  • Enable full device configuration with Intune.
  • Reset or restart devices remotely.

What The Hybrid Worker Needs


For some companies, the hybrid work lifestyle has been the norm for many years. Others, not so much. But those enterprises new to this type of setup are quickly learning as they go along. With this, some barriers need to be overcome. Fortunately, with the quick advancement in technology and faster internet speeds becoming more affordable the transition from the office to the home work area has become much easier. But the question remains, what is needed to make this switch easier?

This is where the synergy between Microsoft's Surface devices and the much-loved Windows ecosystem comes into play. When thinking about jobs and tasks, employers need to start by understanding the critical drivers of productivity – energy, focus, coordination, and cooperation. To accomplish this, Surface devices offer the mobility, processing power and necessary plug-and-play ports to do just that.

From strategic planning to team management can be administered through Surface devices at the hand of Microsoft 365 applications such as Teams and OneDrive.

The Right Workstation Makes All The Difference


The right types of workstations that are secured properly and equipped with the right features and peripherals to support hybrid work increase employee productivity, enhance collaboration, and provide greater flexibility for meeting various working styles. These benefits promote greater business success. As companies invest more in improving their device fleets with more modern devices, the responsibility to secure and manage device fleets becomes easier and more streamlined. With Microsoft Surface this is possible.

Microsoft Surface Solutions For Large To Macro Businesses

Larger businesses need reliable workstations to get the job done. Microsoft Surface solutions are ideal for the difficulties these large-scale entities face when it comes to functionality, mobility and security. In this article, we take a look at what these entities need to function, and how Surface can solve these problems.

Businesses that operate at such a large scale face a number of challenges that are specific to large-scale operations, often related to managing multiple branches that have to respond to decisions and policies that are decided upon by a central office, or "headquarters".

To add to the complexities mentioned, the global shift to remote or hybrid working arrangements triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic made such working arrangements necessary and encouraged companies, both macro and micro, to radically scale up their ITC infrastructure to accommodate staff working from home, allowing work to continue even during lockdown conditions. Such remote or hybrid ways of working brought with it the realisation that it is indeed often a better way to work, with benefits such as employees being able to log in to meetings without having to sit in traffic to physically be present. Many workers found that remote and hybrid arrangements made their lives easier, more productive, and less stressful.

From a business point of view, however, it demanded adjustments to how the continuity of work is managed, urging businesses of all sizes to invest in remote access to centralised networks that are secure, protect confidential information and facilitate collaboration and teamwork done by people in several different locations. Microsoft Surface solutions for macro entities meet all these requirements and more.

The three challenges faced by macro-sized enterprises that will be focused on in this article will therefore relate to: (a) managing or possibly even acquiring the infrastructure necessary to facilitate remote or hybrid work; (b) making sure that remote access to centralised networks, as well as the confidentiality of a vast amount of information being exchanged online from several different locations, is highly protected and secured; and (c) enabling business continuity by making it possible for the individuals who form part of teams that collaborate on certain projects not only to continue with group discussions but also to share documents and other media securely with each other.

Covered In This Article

Microsoft Surface Solutions For Remote & Hybrid Work
Protection Of Information
Microsoft Surface Solutions For Macro Entities

Microsoft Surface Solutions For Macro Entities Facilitates: Remote & Hybrid Work


This need to keep multiple teams of people operating with the same goals in mind and according to the policies that apply to all business activities means that different branches need to communicate with a centrally administered headquarters as well as with each other securely with the threat of external interference – in business activities and information that has to remain confidential – must be reduced to an absolute minimum, requiring access control within the company as a whole as well as any external parties. When it comes to macro-sized enterprises these issues are permanent, not only needed during lockdown conditions, as these enterprises operate in multiple locations, and often in multiple countries.

The range of Surface devices makes office-bound, remote, and hybrid work possible by allowing for the reliable, secure, and remotely accessible storage and tracking of real-time processes – from information updates by individual branches or business nodes to executive decision-making and communication from a centralised entity, from individual transactions and operational issues at the ground level, and every other business process in between, there is a Microsoft Surface solution for businesses of all sizes.

In the context of business, the importance of having the right tools and technologies that people can access and learn to use to their full potential is the best way to unlock the innovation and efficiency of the enterprise's greatest asset – its people. This is where innovative technologies – from devices to applications – come into the picture, offering solutions to the problems faced by macro enterprises on a permanent basis, not only during lockdown conditions. No matter what is required by an enterprise or its employees, the Surface family of devices and applications offer solutions that unlock productivity, collaboration, participation, and innovation that drive businesses to greater gains in their competitive advantage in the respective markets they engage in, no matter how widely scattered their respective branches are from each other and from a centralised headquarters.

With the multi-functional, highly adaptable, and user-enabling features that are standard to the Surface family of devices and applications, business leaders can transform their teams – and the ultimate success of the business – by encouraging creativity and innovation, building and communicating common goals, and making working activities and tasks as flexible and dynamic as the lives of employees.

Beginning in 2019, Microsoft has been introducing a rather extensive range of new devices in the Surface family, built for flexibility, portability, connectivity, and ease of group communications to meet the needs of the changing landscape of business and the rapidly unfolding shift to the knowledge economy and the 4th Industrial Revolution. The Surface range was designed with these individual characteristics before the lockdown conditions due to the global pandemic became necessary. Microsoft Surface solutions for macro entities are particularly suitable to macro-sized enterprises who require these characteristics and functionality from their ICT infrastructure on a permanent basis, regardless of situations such as those experienced by the world between 2020 and 2022. The range originally consisted of the Surface Laptop Go, released in October 2020, the Surface Laptop 4, released in April 2021, and the Surface Hub 2S, released in 2019.

Launched in 2021 was a variety of new devices which can be viewed on Microsoft's website. These include the Surface Pro 7+, Surface Go 2, Surface Laptop 4, Surface Hub 2S, Surface Laptop Go, and the Surface Book 3,as devices that are adaptable enough to fit with practically any business activity in any sector. With so many options to choose from across the Surface range, it might seem tricky to find the right ones for use by the many employees working on a vast variety of tasks in a macro-enterprise. An enterprise of such a scale would necessarily have many employees with many different skills and functions within the organisation. For someone in the position of making the decisions on the acquisition of ITC infrastructure, it would be wise to speak to a sales consultant at Microsoft and to view the many pages of descriptions, articles, and research studies on the Microsoft website. Whether someone works as an accountant, is involved in research and development, works on-site or in remote locations, from top leadership positions to administrative and secretarial duties, Microsoft Surface solutions for macro entities offer a device that will suit the needs of that employee.

Protection Of Information For Remote & Hybrid Communications


Even as the world starts returning to normal, with restrictions being eased and no more lockdowns being likely, the remote and hybrid work model in practically every sector is here to stay. Businesses that fail to grasp that the environment within which business is being conducted has shifted to being almost exclusively online and decentralised will not be able to keep up with the new evolutionary path laid out for them. To remain in business, stay competitive, increase productivity, establish, and maintain the enterprise's relevance and accessibility to its target market requires new ways of doing to remain in operation and develop or evolve in tandem with technological advancements going into the future. Microsoft Surface solutions for macro entities have taken this trend into consideration in the design of the Surface range.

The ICT specifications of highest priority in the macro-business environment are:

  • Portability
  • Connectivity
  • Increased processing speeds
  • Independence of location-based network, internet, security, or storage capacity
  • Security systems that effectively protect data that is in essence moving more freely, and from a variety of locations. Traditionally, ICT security would be handled by a centralised network security system which may include reference to firewalls, systems to detect intrusions or the theft of information, mechanisms to stop malware from disabling the functionality of critical processes, and anti-virus software to detect and neutralise malicious code that destroys or corrupts essential data
  • Extended battery life for remote or field-based tasks that cannot be centralised

Factory-Enabled Advanced Windows Security

For a detailed description of the various security measures implemented by Microsoft mentioned here, please refer to articles on the Microsoft website here and here.

The most recent research in cyber security indicates that as manufacturers build more protections into the OS and its connected services, other ways of exploiting device vulnerabilities are emerging at an alarming rate, with firmware emerging as a top target.

Because device firmware mostly involves third-party providers, keeping track of the integrity of firmware is becoming incredibly complicated. Since firmware is essentially embedded software that provides a low level of control for a device's specific hardware – a standard set of coded instructions that tells the device what to do, used for all kinds of consumer electronics to computers themselves – they are an ideal entry-point to a device's actual hardware for any attacker.

Since 2015, Microsoft has been using a unified approach to firmware protection and device security through complete end-to-end ownership of both the hardware design and firmware development, which is done in-house. No third parties are involved in the supply of firmware for Microsoft devices, and this approach has proven to be highly effective in minimising the risk of firmware vulnerability. For the Microsoft Surface For Science and ICT, Microsoft's Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is maintained in-house, regularly updated through Windows Update, and seamlessly deployed for management through Windows Autopilot.

To summarise, Microsoft's approach to security for its Surface range includes:

  • Microsoft designed and built components
  • Factory level security protocols and inspection
  • No third-party BIOS vendors are involved in the development or production
  • Virtualisation-based security, or VBS
  • Hypervisor-enforced code integrity (HVCI)
  • Secure boot and boot guard
  • Malware protection
  • Dynamic Root of Trust Measurements (DRTM) in AMD devices
  • Remote device management control.

If you are in the market for a trustworthy computing solution that runs on the Windows ecosystem you know and trust then look no further than Microsoft Surface for Science and ICT.

Microsoft Surface Solutions For Macro Entities: Cloud-Based Data Platform

Microsoft Azure hybrid cloud strategies are designed for secure online transactions and communications. When data is spread across multiple locations, management can become complex. Selecting the best location for your data is made possible by a hybrid cloud approach. Microsoft Azure Arc enabled data services to deliver a data management experience that is consistent and reliable – wherever your data lives. Microsoft Azure Arc simplifies deployment, integration, and management of the Microsoft data platform, including SQL Server, for better service delivery and business innovation. Whether you are on-premise or in the field, this hybrid cloud platform delivers a consistent Azure cloud experience.

Microsoft Surface Solutions For Macro Entities


The Microsoft Surface family of devices has succeeded in combining the technological need for precision in any kind of business practice with the increasing trend of remote and hybrid working situations.

The huge increases in the demand for remote access to everything, from consumer goods and services, to work and/or social gatherings, as well as essentially social, medical, and security services have challenged the ICT sector to make computers that can handle more information, can remember greater amounts of data, can juggle multiple tasks with ease, and can connect more easily with more devices than ever before. Apart from the ability to collect and store information – as the traditional or original function of computers – remote working conditions have placed increased demands on the security of data, the ability of people to connect and collaborate, the sharing of information seamlessly, securely, and rapidly, and the ability to access all of this functionality from anywhere.

Today’s workforce relies on PCs and accessories to get work done anytime and from anywhere. Fully configured PCs that are ready to go must be deliverable to users wherever they may be. The technology experience employees have in the workplace has become a priority for organisations to attract and retain the best talent and stay competitive in their respective industries.

The issue of secure input, access, and shareability of information is at the core of the functioning of remote and hybrid work teams, and these studies and others provide ample evidence that the security of organisational and personal data, often of a highly sensitive and strategic nature, are provided effectively by the wide range of Microsoft devices and applications.

How Secure is your Surface Device?

Keeping your computer secure helps you avoid malware and direct hacking attempts designed to steal your personal information. On Surface devices, users are spoilt with cloud-to-chip protection.

Security for business should be your top priority, especially in today’s digitally-driven world where cyber threats and data breaches are incredibly commonplace. Your business can combat these security threats by leveraging the right Microsoft tools and technology, such as its family of Surface devices. Microsoft Surface security features are robust and incredibly valuable to your business – here is a breakdown of a few major ones.

Covered In This Article:

Cloud-To-Chip Protection
Easy Deployment And Remote Connectivity
Integration With Microsoft 365
All-Round Protection With Surface

Cloud-To-Chip Protection


Why does the modern workplace need an integrated endpoint security solution? As organisations pivot to remote and hybrid work, they face increasingly sophisticated targeted attack vectors at the hardware layer of devices.

Achieve peace of mind with built-in, proactive defence. Security protections maintained by Microsoft are built into every layer of a Surface device. Surface works closely with Windows and the M365 security stack to ensure that the device not only meets every standard for a highly secured PC but is also capable of automatically receiving updates from the dynamic world of defensive security.

With Surface, it is a security standard to boot only within a trusted OS. This industry-standard feature ensures that every single step of the boot process is measured, signed and implemented in the intended order. See boot phases below:

Firmware was brought in house starting with Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. This move enables complete control over what goes into every Surface device. The firmware is also kept current via Windows Update.

Zero-touch Deployment with Security Protocols in place

Reduce IT complexity and eliminate time-consuming re-imaging by shipping and deploying straight to employees. Surface is built for the Windows Autopilot experience.

Defend data with removable SSD

The removable SSD on Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 4 streamlines data retention with advanced features like pre-boot DMA remapping protection.

Securely wipe all data when you re-deploy

When it’s time to re-deploy, you can remove sensitive data from a compatible Surface device with Microsoft Surface Data Eraser, a tool that boots easily from a USB stick.

Maintain Secure Control

Prevent employee-introduced vulnerabilities. Wherever they’re deployed, manage Surface devices through the cloud with just a few clicks.

Endpoint Protection

Surface is the only manufacturer to have DFCI1 enabled for modern cloud-based device management through Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Security Wherever You Are

Easy Deployment And Remote Connectivity


The adoption of mass remote working during the Coronavirus crisis has helped to keep workers safe but it has also introduced further security challenges for businesses. As a result, the extra hardware security enhancements packaged with the Microsoft Surface devices are sure to be welcomed by firms and employees alike.

Keep data secure from a Surface device’s first deployment to its last, no matter how many times and under what circumstances it changes hands.

  • Cloud-First Deployment and Management: Deploy and manage down to the firmware layer through the cloud with Microsoft Endpoint Manager13 and DFCI.6 Reduce IT complexity with Windows Autopilot.
  • Windows Virtual Desktop: Meet complex business and security requirements with broad device redirection support, endpoint protection and Microsoft 365 virtualised in Azure.
  • OneDrive for Business: Access and protect your business and school work with this intelligent files app. Share and collaborate from anywhere, on any device.
  • Collaborate with Teams: Work better together. New integrations allow you to create shareable links, grant expiring access, and follow configured policies.

Windows Autopilot and Surface Devices

Windows Autopilot is a cloud-based deployment technology in Windows 10. You can use Windows Autopilot to remotely deploy and configure devices in a zero-touch process right out of the box. 

Traditionally, IT pros spend a lot of time building and customising images that will later be deployed to devices that already come with a perfectly good OS already installed on them. Windows Autopilot introduces a new zero-touch deployment approach using a collection of technologies to set up and configure Windows devices. This enables an IT department to configure/customise images with little to no infrastructure to manage and a process that is easy and simple. From the user’s perspective, it only takes a few simple steps to get Surface to a productive state. In fact, the only interaction required from the end-user is to connect to a network and to verify their credentials. Everything after that is fully automated. 

Windows Autopilot allows you to: 

  • Automatically join devices to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). 
  • Auto-enroll devices into MDM services, such as Microsoft Intune (requires an Azure AD Premium subscription). 
  • Restrict the Administrator account creation. Autopilot is the only way to have the first person who logs into Windows enter as a standard user. 
  • Create and auto-assign devices to configuration groups based on device profiles. 
  • Customise OOBE (Out of Box Experience) content and branding to meet organisational requirements. 
  • Enable full device configuration with Intune. 
  • Reset or restart devices remotely. 
Microsoft 365

Integration With Microsoft 365


The backbone of any business, Microsoft 365 provides solutions to empower users to work together more securely to improve mission outcomes. Fully integrated with the Windows ecosystem, Surface devices have access to everything Microsoft 365 has to offer. With tools like Microsoft Teams, you can transform how you collaborate and coordinate efforts within and across departments. 

The hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365, Teams helps users to: 

  • Connect employees with stakeholders across departments in a shared workplace.
  • Centralisecommunication and coordination to provide visibility, accountability, and keep initiatives moving forward. 
  • Enable teams to access resources from virtually anywhere, so they can spend time on the tasks at hand.
  • Do all this while helping to protect sensitive information your teams work with daily.

From viewing live transcriptions during Microsoft Teams Meetings and tracking changes in Microsoft Excel documents to discovering and securing unmanaged devices, Microsoft 365 is designed to enable the flexibility that hybrid work requires when using a hybrid device. Other highlights include the ability to transform Microsoft Word documents into beautiful PowerPoint presentations using AI, and expanded polling capabilities in Teams. 

All-Round Protection With Surface


Surface with Microsoft 365 provides unique protection at the front line. To provide a few illustrations of how devices may be vulnerable and how this new level of protection can support organisations and frontline workers. Here are a few commonplace examples:

Stolen Device

  • Data on the hard drive is encrypted. Surface devices ship with BitLocker drive encryption enabled by default, so the data on the hard drive cannot be accessed without credentials or the encryption key. Even if the hard drive is removed from the device and inserted into a new device, it cannot be decrypted.
  • USB booting is prevented because the organisation used Microsoft Endpoint Manager to proactively turn off the ability to boot from USB through the firmware-level control that the Surface device offers.
  • There is zero access to data even if the SSD is removed. If a Surface’s removable SSD is tampered with, the device will shut off power, erasing any residual data in its memory. Since the device is cloud-managed, the organisation can remote wipe all the machine’s contents.

Malicious Intent

  • A Zero Trust approach means that even if a device is authenticated, the current user profile can only access data and content they have permissions for. The retail establishment assumes that a breach is always possible and maintains strict controls over data access. Conditional access capabilities in Microsoft 365 prevent data leakage from both internal and external actors.
  • Any unusual behavior on the device is automatically detected and remediated with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, which analyses signals from the device to recognise any abnormal behavior, like an uncommon executable running on the device. As part of the remediation path, the device is automatically quarantined from the network until the situation is resolved.

Unsecure Network Connection

  • Instead of worrying about encrypting data that could be shared on a public network, the organisation takes a proactive approach to having a guaranteed secure connection, especially for employees in the field, by equipping frontline workers with LTE-enabled devices. The entire Surface 2-in-1 portfolio (Surface Pro 7+ and Surface Pro X) has LTE available.
  • Any websites, cloud resources, or internal networks not explicitly defined as “trusted” are contained with Microsoft Defender Application Guard. These untrusted sites or files are opened in a virtualised container – essentially a separate PC within the existing PC – to isolate those potentially harmful sites or files from the rest of the device.

Microsoft Surface security features include a built-in firewall, an anti-malware solution, and automatic updates. This means your business will have access to the newest Teams and Office 365 security features on their Surface devices – as soon as they are rolled out.

These Microsoft Surface security features can help to safeguard your business against cybersecurity threats and breaches, particularly when paired with other Microsoft software such as Teams and Office 365.

There’s no need to sacrifice speed or productivity for security – your business can still experience enhanced productivity, collaboration, and communication while still being secure. To learn more about Microsoft device security, or how your business can transform into a modern digital workplace built on an ecosystem of Microsoft Teams and the Microsoft 365 platform, contact Tarsus Distribution today.

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