(Rendering courtesy of Ascent Architecture)
A Bend Architecture company has been selected to be featured in a recently released Microsoft Office promotional video. Ascent Architecture has been testing out new business apps from Microsoft and the tech juggernaut recently sent a Seattle-based crew to film Ascent staff for a commercial about how they use Microsoft Office to help run the business.
The commercial was part of a release by Microsoft announcing that Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings, Microsoft Invoicing and the Office 365 Business center would now be generally available as part of Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Business Premium.
Microsoft’s newest apps are designed to help small businesses manage customer relationships and build their businesses.
Microsoft arrived in Bend a day before filming to scout locations and the filming lasted two days. It was a 14 person crew including a local hair and makeup artist. Filming locations included Ascent Architecture & Interiors and several local buildings designed by Ascent.
Scenes from the commercial include Bend Area Habitat’s townhouses near Pilot Butte, Silver Moon Brewing’s production facility in Redmond, Worthy Brewing’s observatory and the Bethlehem Inn construction site. An appearance is made by Sun West Builders, a construction company based in Redmond.
All of the filming locations were buildings designed by Ascent Architecture. The advertisement briefly and subtly highlights various landmarks throughout Bend that can all be attributed to the design team at Ascent.
The filming process was unlike anything Ascent Principal Architect Seth Anderson has done before.
“They started filming on a Thursday morning at our office. They set up lighting, microphones and the camera and I answered various questions about being an architect and using the Business Apps in our practice. They interviewed others in the office throughout the day and then took some general shots of the office and our team interacting. Day two was touring them around to some of our projects to get b-roll footage,” Anderson said.
This was the first time Ascent and Microsoft have partnered for any project. The advertisement is a means for Microsoft to promote their apps by showing a real business using the software to grow their company.
“We recently launched several new apps as part of our Office 365 offering for small-and-midsized businesses,” said Jimmy Ward, Senior Marketing Manager for Office 365. “As we were developing the apps, we reached out to Office 365 customers to see if they would be willing to provide us some feedback about their experience. Ascent was one of the businesses we connected with. Once we learned more about how they are using Office 365, we asked if they’d be willing to participate in a video about their experience. It’s not a commercial in the traditional sense, but rather is a way to show business owners how Office 365 can help them.”
Ascent was chosen as a limited number of companies that used the Business Apps in the preview phase of Microsoft’s roll out.
“They were looking for a small business that had used the apps and our being architects and designers would make for interesting visuals,” said Anderson.
By all accounts, Microsoft’s team was graciously welcomed by the City of Bend and enjoyed their time with Ascent.
“The people at Ascent are awesome. It’s inspiring to see a business owner like Seth using technology as strategy for growing his business,” Ward said. “He’s helping his employees more easily create and collaborate on projects, and ultimately to provide better service to their customers. I was also really impressed seeing Worth Brewing, which the Ascent team designed. We plan to stay in touch with Seth and his team to continue to see how our products can help them run and grow their business.”
Although Ascent is never directly mentioned in the video, they see the partnership with Microsoft as a way to continue improving their business.
“We didn’t participate because we thought it would bring new customers, but rather because we thought it would be something interesting to do. However, Microsoft has taken an interest in how we are using the apps and how they can improve them to help our business. That’s where I see the lasting impact – the apps help us simplify our business,” Anderson said.
Ascent Architecture is a client-centered firm offering progressive design solutions for a variety of projects. Their team of creative and technically savvy individuals specialize in complex ground-up buildings and renovation projects. Recently completed projects include a 100,000 square-foot senior living community and Worthy Brewing’s award-winning observatory and dining expansion. They specialize in design services for commercial and residential projects.
Their architects pride themselves on design that is clean, contextual and forward thinking. They work with the client in a collaborative manner to understand and deliver the vision and goal for the client and their community.
Ascent has worked on a wide range of projects including breweries, offices, hospitality, medical, veterinary and custom homes.
The commercial can be seen in its entirety at https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/10/31/grow-your-small-business-with-business-apps-from-office-365/