CAVCOMM Corporation
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Across America

U.S. & Canada

Microsoft is known, among other things, for its first-rate support of its dealer network.

Microsoft Across America was born when managers at Microsoft Events let their suppliers know that they were interested in creating mobile demonstration centers that dealers could use at local events. They originally thought they might build the centers on motor home chases, but CAVCOMM had another idea.

The toterhome is a unique vehicle used in the auto racing industry. Built on a Columbia Freightliner chassis, a toterhome is rated for constant use, and it’s not unusual for one to log more than a million miles for its original owner. As with many mobile homes, the vehicle can be built in a custom configuration.

CAVCOMM worked with ShowHauler Trucks, Inc., to design and build seven Microsoft Across America vehicles using the toterhome platform. We approached the project as we would any design / build installation, but in this case, of course, the AV system had to withstand the dust and vibration of travel and the uncertain AC power conditions that its crews would meet on the road.

We designed a 42’ vehicle with expanding sides, a 1.2 meter retractable satellite dish to provide network connectivity, and housings for the latest computer and networking equipment. We also included two 46” and one 37” NEC LCD displays, plus a DVD player and computer interfaces. We brought in a retired Navy submarine engineer to design an auxiliary generator and battery system. It can power all of the electronic equipment plus heating and air conditioning. The system has been robust enough to run summertime events in Atlanta and Houston.

Microsoft launched the program in 2005 and the trucks continue to travel across North America, holding several meetings each week. The company uses the trucks to demonstrate business solutions based on Microsoft Office Small Business Edition, Vista, Office 2007, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the latest from Cisco, HP and Intel, including VoIP phone and data systems.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Microsoft donated the use of two trucks to serve as mobile communications centers. CAVCOMM outfitted these vehicles with food and water and had them on the road within 48 hours of the decision to deploy.

In October, 2006, Corporate Events Magazine awarded Microsoft and CAVCOMM its Silver Award for creative production. CAVCOMM continues to provide preventative maintenance and repair service for all seven vehicles.

Pictured: one of the Microsoft Across America trucks being outfitted at the CAVCOMM fabrication center in Skokie, Illinois.

Click to visit the Microsoft Partner Events website and learn more about the trucks