by Ifreke Inyang
Yesterday, Microsoft Nigeria started its 2-day high profile Open Door events in Abuja. The event is a key initiative of Microsoft’s continued investment in the region and it aims at fostering local IT development and drive innovation. On the first day, the event had more than 300 participants and they included customers, IT professionals, partners and developers drawn from different sectors of the economy.
This year’s Open Door event which has already held in Lagos earlier, provided an opportunity for attendees to experience the latest Microsoft technologies first-hand, increase their knowledge, share ideas and advance their skills as well as network with their local IT community and senior Microsoft technology experts. Some of the products and services on display included Microsoft Lync 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. The much anticipated Kinect for Xbox 360 also made its debut at the event.
“The Open Door events are a great platform for us to showcase our complete vision and wide range of technology solutions including our unique position on Cloud computing and the potential this offers to basically change how individuals and organizations across the region will use technology in the future,” Emmanuel Onyeje, the Country Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, noted at a press conference to announce this year’s event.
“We remain committed to fostering local growth and development and believe the Open Door events provide a fantastic opportunity to not only highlight the latest developments in ICT, but also the potential growth opportunities they offer.”
The Open Door events also provided a good opportunity for many Microsoft local partners across Lagos to showcase their own innovations and business solutions. With the Open Door events, Microsoft is further building on its local partnerships across the country to expand the possibilities for computing and extend the number of people both using and developing technology, driving growth, energy and ideas for Microsoft’s many partners here through innovative new technologies.
Responding to a question during the press conference, Dele Akinsade, Director Developer Platforms, Microsoft West East and Central Africa said, ”Microsoft understands the need to help others innovate and compete favourably. This explains why we have raised the bar in our partnership with local universities to empower students with the best technology tools to enhance their learning experience.
Consequently, Microsoft will offer students in local universities (focused on IT) free copies of DreamSpark, a platform that provides professional-level developer and design tools to students and educators, at no charge for development and testing purposes only. These Microsoft tools help to advance learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science, and engineering activities.”
Speaking further, Akinsade added, “We identify that the potential to innovate must be nurtured early-on, Microsoft will continue to provide appropriate and superior learning tools to encourage innovation.”
Some of the Open Door sessions were dedicated to Cloud Computing with the aim of helping businesses discover cloud power; control and manage their IT across physical and virtual server environments while leveraging their existing IT investments and skills.
According to Awawu Olumide-Sojirin, Marketing and Sales Excellence Lead, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, “The event is an absolute necessity for IT professionals and developers who desire to harness the many benefits of Cloud Computing, to transform businesses.
Microsoft’s network of partners across Nigeria include local developers who build software products for local businesses to deploy solutions based on Microsoft technology, further helping to drive local innovation, growth and competitiveness through continued investment in the local IT economy.
By equipping local businesses with the tools to develop local technology solutions, Microsoft is helping to give this vital growth engine vitality and long-term sustainability through valuable skills and new jobs.”
About participating in the event, Moji Sodunke of Ha-Shem Network Services Limited said, “Our involvement confirms our promise to deliver solutions that allow people to access information anytime and anywhere across many devices and even more importantly, adaptation of the latest Microsoft technologies.