Microsoft Launches Program for Regional SMBs
By Ikenna UGWU
Microsoft has announced the launch of a brand new program focused on providing support, benefits and tools for the small and medium businesses (SMB) segment in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
The online program, titled ‘Keep Your Business Moving’, is designed to assist the MEA region’s budding entrepreneurs as well as provide advice to SMB owners already in operation. The program’s website will provide information in English, French, Arabic and Turkish.
The program will help entrepreneurs start a business, will support SMB owners to take actions to grow their business, increasing their profitability and expand their reach into new markets. Through this initiative, Microsoft will help businesses by providing an online hub for business advice, and up-to-date information on products and solutions specifically available for SMBs.
Speaking about the new ‘Keep Your Business Moving’ program, Hennie Loubser, general manager, West, East, Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, says, “Studies indicate that SMBs in the Middle East and Africa are boosting regional GDP – in Sub-Saharan Africa, they contribute to over 50% of African employment and add 20% to the continent’s gross domestic product.
“With industry experts also forecasting rapid growth in IT spending in MEA in the next few years, we want to provide this innovative community with the tools and support they need to grow. There’s no doubt that SMBs are increasingly competing in a global market, but they also come from diverse geographies and have very different needs, resources and goals. Cloud computing, mobility, big data and social technologies are key growth drivers in MEA, and Microsoft’s advice and solutions will help SMBs take advantage of these trends and become the industry leaders in their region.”
According to Loubser, the regional SMB segment has always been a key focus area for Microsoft. “With this exclusive program, we reinforce our commitment to equip small and medium businesses with the best of intellectual capital, ICT solutions, tools, resources and best practices to maximise their return on ICT investments,” he adds. “We’ll use the program to share white papers, case studies, free tools and products, stay in touch with the SMB community and guide them to keep their business moving.”
Ken Spann, former Microsoft Development Platform Evangelist for Nigeria and West Africa and now the MD/CEO of WaveTek Nigeria Ltd. says: “The SMB segment is better positioned to take advantage of technology normally thought to be affordable for larger organizations. The arrival of Microsoft Office 365 gives the SMB segment Enterprise Level IT Solutions without the need for an IT Department.”
He goes on to say “WaveTek is providing free Pilots for Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. WaveTek provides low priced, real-time business solutions in addition to high speed connectivity so that business owners have the IT Tools regardless of where they travel or type of device they are using. WaveTek is committed to its motto of “Technology Solutions beyond Space and Time” and makes it easy for customers to take advantage of the many Microsoft solutions that can help manage and grow their business”.