Helping partners -- small steps can be a big deal

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/11/07 10:01 -05:00, original URI:

So it was yesterday from over in Hong Kong that friend/colleague/Microsoft MVP Martin Poon pointed out an article in Chinese entitled Microsoft 帶領合作夥伴協助中小企克服經濟逆境 (Microsoft partner will help lead SMEs to overcome difficult economic conditions).

This is a really great idea and I hope that this is the kind of program that Microsoft will get behind in other parts of the world as well.

I mean, with current economic conditions as they are, it is easy to see small-to-medium sized businesses feeling a very uncomfortable squeezing sensation, and I think it is great for companies large enough to weather the problems to step up and help others in the community who are making long-term investments in their technology.

From the article:

中小企支援計劃,協助本港小型及中型企業克服因全球經濟低迷而帶來的挑戰。Microsoft 將提供全面的資訊科技套裝,包括免費伺服器軟件、免費寬頻連線、伺服器折扣優惠及全面安裝支援,務求協助中小企提升營運效率及減低成本。


Microsoft Hong Kong 總經理林向陽表示:「中小企是本港經濟命脈,佔本港企業超過98%,而且僱員數目約佔本港私人界別勞動人口的五成。面對經濟不景,IT提供強大的工具,能夠協助企業節省成本及改善營運。企業投資於適當的資訊科技,及了解如何充分運用現有資訊科技資源,有助開創新意念及營造有利環境,以便在經濟反彈時迅速增長。」

Or, for those who may not be really up on their Mandarin, a fairly accurate translation:

Microsoft Hong Kong has announced the launch of the "Innovation of SMEs bad days" plan to support SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), to help local small and medium-sized enterprises overcome the global economic downturn and the challenges it brings about. Microsoft will provide a comprehensive suite of information technology, including free-of-charge server software, free broadband connection, server discounts, and fully installed support to help SMEs enhance their operation and reduce costs.

Although SMEs in Hong Kong are accustomed to face the challenges of intense competition, in 2008 with the financial tsunami triggered by the economic downturn and future uncertainty, they are still caught in a dilemma -- real challenges for short-term and long-term business operation and decision-making. Support schemes to assist SMEs in Hong Kong give full play to existing resources to meet the current economic uncertainty, and highlights the easy-to-use technology can help enterprises improve their productivity.

Lin, general manager of Microsoft Hong Kong, said: "SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, accounting for more than 98% of enterprises in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong's total number of employees in the private sector of the labor force. As the economy slows down, IT will provide powerful tools to help companies reduce costs and improve their operation. Enterprises have the opportunity to invest in the appropriate information technology resources, and learn how to make full use of existing information technology resources, help to create new ideas and create a favorable environment for the economic rebound. "

Like I said, this is a really good thing to be doing, something that really underscores a desire to help people in the community out (in this case communities that Microsoft helped enhance and even create!).

Hopefully this is one of many such programs -- there are SMEs all over the world who could benefit from this kind of thing...

Another reason to like the company I work for, and that I like the company I work for. :-)


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