PHOTO - (from left)) Ananth Lazarus, managing director of Microsoft Malaysia; and Y. Bhg. Dato' Hafsah Hashim, CEO, SME Corporation Malaysia.
Malaysian agency SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) and software giant Microsoft have agreed to support the country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with cloud computing technology through the Office 365 productivity suite.
Under the partnership, which was announced on 5 December 2011, Microsoft will reinvest US$13 per Office 365 seat, which could see an expected investment by Microsoft of up to RM20.8 million (US$6.5 million) for the first year alone, if it is adopted by 50,000 SMEs in the country, said Microsoft Malaysia managing director Ananth Lazarus.
"If Malaysian SMEs are to succeed in growing to contribute 41 percent of GDP [gross domestic product] by 2020, then it is essential that they use ICT to raise efficiencies and innovate the ways in which they work," said SME Corp chief executive officer, Y. Bhg. Dato' Hafsah Hashim. "SME Corp and Microsoft are together actively reaching out to Malaysian SMEs to help them adopt and use one of the world's best cloud solutions to drive both creativity and productivity in their businesses."
"The opportunity for transforming the way Malaysia does business is enormous. 99.2 percent of businesses in Malaysia are SMEs, which presently employs 56 percent of the Malaysian workforce and generates 32 percent of the national GDP," said Hafsah. "In fact, SMEs in Malaysia will benefit from using Office 365, and I encourage everyone to visit our website and find out for themselves how SME Corp Malaysia and Microsoft can help you transform their business."
"It is our intention to start by reaching at least 50,000 SMEs in Malaysia to leverage the power of cloud computing through Office 365 for the first year," she said.
"Microsoft is committed to helping Malaysian SMEs unlock the power of the cloud and transform their businesses," said Microsoft's Lazarus. "This is a commitment that we have built into our national plan at Microsoft Malaysia to support the country's aspirations and realise transformation together; whether it is for individuals, businesses or education. It is a commitment that is certainly also in line with YAB Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's administration's commitment to bring SMEs to the fore as a major contributor to Malaysia's GDP."
Established under the Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation Malaysia Act 1995 [ACT 539] on 2 October 2009, SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp.) is the central coordinating agency that provides relevant information to SMEs on various development programmes.
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