Software donation programme allows NGOs, non-profits to leverage the cloud
Staff and volunteers more agile in responding to Society's social mission
THE Thai Red Cross Society, one of the largest nonprofits in Thailand, recently adopted Microsoft Corp’s Office 365 to enhance speed and reliability in its communication systems and mission-readiness, the US tech giant said in a statement.
To date, the Thai Red Cross Society has successfully migrated 3,000 staff and volunteers to Office 365 Enterprise E3 edition and plans to expand Office 365 usage to its remaining 7,000 users.
It implemented Office 365 under Microsoft’s Office 365 for Nonprofits software donation programme, an initiative conceived to enhance IT capabilities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profits.
The adoption allows the Thai Red Cross Society to be more responsive in carrying out its social mission using the cloud, Microsoft said.
Previously, the Thai Red Cross Society used an email system that was plagued with many issues, including unstable Internet links, limited data storage, and various complexities associated with maintenance.
This led to a considerable strain on its IT staff who had to deal with numerous IT support requests, Microsoft said.
“For the Thai Red Cross Society, email is an important tool for communications – especially for critical issues such as organ requests,” said Pornchai Timpawat, director of the Thai Red Cross Information Technology Centre.
“The email system must be reliable and secure enough to deliver messages without delays or interruptions to ensure patient safety.
“The great benefit of using Office 365 is that we now have a reliable email system, which is critical to our day-to-day operations. A cloud-based email system can also help reduce support tasks,” Pornchai added.
Microsoft said that in a study by TechSoup Global, non-profits reported that the top four advantages of cloud computing are easier IT administration (79%), cost-savings (62%), improved collaboration (61%), and data security (54%).
Given the increasing challenges facing non-profits around the world, it is more important than ever to ensure they have access to the advantages of cloud computing and drive even more social changes in the world, the company added.
“With Office 365 supporting its day-to-day work, the Thai Red Cross Society no longer has to worry about maintaining the complex and costly IT infrastructure needed to make its staff and volunteers productive and collaborative,” said Clair Deevy (pic), Microsoft’s Asia Pacific Citizenship Lead.
“The software also provides a safe and secure environment that protects NGOs and their beneficiary data, which is important for all NGOs – especially those that handle sensitive information or data on children.
“Office 365 for Nonprofits enables Asian NGOs to better focus on their missions to address societal challenges such as poverty eradication, healthcare, education, youth empowerment and workforce training, that these countries might be facing,” she added.
In fiscal year 2013 alone, Microsoft donated more than US$35 million in cash, software and services to close to 5,000 non-profits in the Asia Pacific region.
For more information about Office 365 for nonprofits and other corporate citizenship programmes of Microsoft, log on to www.microsoft.com/office365nonprofits and www.microsoft.com/ngo.
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