Recently, members of the Windows Engineering team took a field trip to Portland, Oregon to visit Microsoft Store locations and manufacturing facilities. The Microsoft Store Immersion program brings corporate employees into the stores to experience front-line customer interactions. The team was able to experience two store locations and also tour a Surface Hub factory.
Surface Hub Factory Tour
The field trip began at the Microsoft Surface Hub factory, where Microsoft essentially puts tablet-style touch screens on a large-format TV. Scott, the Operations Director, led the team to an orientation and tour of the factory. It was exciting for the team to learn the history of the Surface Hub and see how it is being manufactured. Scott gave a detailed tour of the step by step production of both the 55” and 85” Surface Hub devices. The team was amazed by the intricacies involved in the final testing of each Surface device. The robotics and precision needed to create a Surface Hub was eye-opening.
Microsoft Store at Washington Square
After lunch, the team visited Microsoft Store at Washington Square. This location provides customers direct access to all first-party Microsoft products and services. The Washington Square team welcomed the engineers with a tour of the store. Following a rundown of the day-to-day business, the engineers were excited to interact with customers while trying out the many experiences, from Xbox to Virtual Reality. Our goal is for customers to return to our stores for the personalized service and new technology experiences.
Microsoft Store at Pioneer Place
Later in the afternoon, the team arrived at Microsoft Store at Pioneer Place, located in downtown Portland. After receiving a hearty welcome, the engineers broke off into small groups led by store associates, and learned about all aspects of the store, from general operations to how the inventory was managed.
As a result of their time together, the two teams discovered how each of their roles impacted the other, and how we all work together as one Microsoft. The Windows engineers learned how their work on software and devices comes to life right before the customers’ eyes as they set foot in a Microsoft Store. The store team, in turn, learned how their feedback from customer interactions really shapes the future of products and service.
The Pioneer Place visit ended with a Q&A session between the Answer Desk team and the engineers. The session was designed to be an open forum for the engineers to share their career history, give insight into current tools in place, and answer any questions from the Service Advisors. It provided a unique opportunity for the two teams to discuss common trends and concerns.
The Portland Immersion trip truly was an eye-opening and impactful day! From the Surface Hub factory to Microsoft Store, the field trip really gave engineers a new perspective on the work that they complete every day. It was gratifying to see the direct impact they had on both customers and retail store associates.