DevelopmentE-governmentICTInnovationsPolicyPublic Sector
child, healthcare, poverty, development projects
July 12, 2016

How tech vendors can boost development projects

Microsoft has mapped its products and services to the United Nation's 17 sustainable development goals.

Governments around the world are seeking to tap technologies such as cloud, mobile and the Internet of Things. And this means big business opportunities in doing good things for technology resellers.

In fact, you could say there are US$1.7 trillion in business opportunities globally that technology integrators and reseller can tap into.

This was the message to Microsoft partner yesterday, of Toni Townes-Whitley, corporate vice-president of Microsoft for the worldwide public sector. She urged Microsoft partners to pursue public sector development projects which the Redmond, Wash.-based company is now zeroing in with its top cloud, mobile, collaboration and other technologies.

“There’s a $1.7 trillion potential in doing good to go after out there,” she said during her presentation on how to profit from the digital transformation in the public sector, which Townes-Whitley gave at the Microsoft World Partner Conference in Toronto on Monday. “You can be doing the right thing but growing your business as well.”

Townes-Whitley said Microsoft has been increasing its efforts in identifying potential developmental projects and helping partners connect with various levels of government around the world.

Part of this initiative includes aligning Microsoft products and services to the 17 sustainable development  goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

In September last year, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes 17 SDGs meant to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change by 2030.

Apart from these, the SDGs also cover the development of industry, innovation and infrastructure; creating sustainable communities; and quality education.

“We mapped Microsoft solutions with these goals to make it easier for you to determine which government programs your products and services create a perfect fit,” she told an audience of Microsoft partners.

“There’s tremendous opportunity in digital transformation,” according to United Nations official who spokes during the presentation. “Development is no longer about doing in developing countries what the nations like the U.S. did 20 or 30 years ago…It’s now about using technology to bring about transformation.”

He said governments are eager to leverage cloud, mobile, collaboration tools and other technologies to improve the lives of the citizens but not all of them are technologically literate. Officials will need IT experts, ISVs and integrators to “communicate and visualize” for them how technology can help them achieve their goals.

The challenges are vast such as finding ways to secure food supplies in Central; building resilient infrastructure and fostering innovation in East Asia; building better homes for people in Gaza, and improving health services in Aleppo.

But also very often, the opportunities can be as close as next door.

For instance, the Southern Ontario city of Brampton is also on the cusp of a digital transformation.

“We are the youngest city in Toronto, the media age of our population is 34.7 and we are still growing,” according to Linda Jeffrey, mayor Brampton.

Brampton is home to more than 8,000 businesses, Brampton enjoys a Triple ‘A’ credit rating by Standard & Poors. Since a huge number of Brampton residents are millennials, they have tech-focused needs and demands when it comes to accessing information and public services, she explained.

“We want to build out our customer services infrastructure to meet their needs today and for years to come,” said Jeffrey. “I think we’re getting better at doing it with the budget we have, but we’re planning for the city for 15 years ahead.”

She said, some of their plans include: 24/7 online services; and automated payment and ticketing services.

Jeffrey said her city of some 523,900 people is still “evolving.”

Townes-Whitley told Microsoft partners that her company has three takeaways for its partner community:

  • A multi-year strategy for digital maturity built on Microsoft technology such as Azure cloud and Office 365 to help partners “sell products that industry needs, in the language they understand.” Among the key areas targeted are public safety, healthcare, and education.
  • Trusted accounts to help partners sell cloud solutions to highly qualified leads.
  • Business development assets focused on partner co-sell opportunities, go-to-market strategies; and innovation platforms.

 

About this author

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Nestor Arellano

Nestor is a Toronto-based journalist who specializes in writing about technology and business. He is the editor of Vanguard Magazine and the associate editor of IT in Canada and a regular contributor to CGE.

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