Microsoft brings cloud services to UAE nonprofits

Microsoft brings cloud services to UAE nonprofits

One of the largest tech companies in the world is empowering United Arab Emirates (UAE) nonprofits by offering a new system of credits for its Microsoft Azure cloud service.

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft's answer to the cloud: it's a wide platform of services which allows for things like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), website hosting, storage services, data management implementations and much more. MS Azure utilization takes place in the cloud, where individual clients send data to Microsoft to be stored off-site, and services are delivered through the internet.

In an Oct. 24 press release, Microsoft discussed how these cloud services help businesses and organizations to innovate, and to gather and use business intelligence for dramatic improvement.

The new mission to supply groups in the Emirates is part of Microsoft's Public Cloud for Public Good initiative, where -- according to Microsoft's top management -- the company will donate $1 billion in cloud computing resources by 2019 to some 70,000 nonprofits and NGOs around the world.

"We are committed to helping nonprofit groups to use cloud computing to solve basic human challenges,” Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft, said in a press statement. “One of our ambitions for Microsoft Philanthropies is to partner with these groups and ensure that cloud computing is accessible to a greater number of people and meets the widest range of societal needs.”

Some of the Microsoft products in the cloud include Office 365, a cloud extension of Microsoft's traditional office software solutions, as well as Dynamics CRM, which helps with customer relationship management, and Power BI for business intelligence and analytics

Nonprofits will be able to access Microsoft data centers, and to run applications in the cloud.

On Monday, Gulf News Journal spoke with Jaime Galviz, chief operating officer at Microsoft Gulf, about the Microsoft Azure program.

Galviz said eligible nonprofits will get a $5000 annual credit towards Microsoft Azure.

“This will allow many small nonprofits to tap the cloud in new ways that they might not otherwise be able to afford, and help offset costs for many medium-large nonprofits who are considering, or are already using, Azure,” Galviz told Gulf News Journal.

He went on to say that qualifying nonprofits can renew their credits annually, or turn to a pay-as-you-go system. Eligibility can vary, but groups can look up eligibility requirements here.

“The Public Cloud for Public Good forms part of Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more by investing in technology, employees and partnerships, to drive greater inclusion and empowerment of people who do not have access to technology and the opportunities it enables,” Galviz said.

He also talked about how the resource will specifically help nonprofits.

“Today’s nonprofit needs collaboration amongst its staff, scalability and flexibility to work securely whenever, wherever and even on the go … to achieve that, they need to take advantage of today’s technologies and drive impact in their daily operations,” Galviz said. “NGO staff and volunteers can now connect, collaborate, track tasks, edit reports and access information from anywhere; supported by industry leading security and identity management services, allowing them to spend more time on programmatic issues … these organizations will now be able to save time, connect, problem solve and share knowledge across all resources to get work done. Azure also gives nonprofits the flexibility to choose how they deploy the cloud, whether on premise or hybrid, leveraging open source technologies, or improving resiliency and scalability -- thus moving at their own pace to maximize value from existing investments and achieve their mission.”

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