The Malta Independent 25 July 2016, Monday

Microsoft to launch new Office 365 for Nonprofits

Monday, 21 March 2016, 18:36 Last update: about 5 months ago

Microsoft Malta and its partners will be hosting a Technology for Good event on Tuesday 29th March at the Microsoft Innovation Centre to help Maltese NGOs find out how they can operate better and more efficiently through the use of innovation and technology. During this event, Microsoft will also launch its new Office 365 for Nonprofits, a product that is being donated to local NGOs as part of Microsoft's Citizenship programme.

This new offer follows an announcement late last year that Microsoft was extending its software donations to 184 new markets for a total of 238 markets overall, including Malta.  Moreover, donations and discounts of Office 365 Nonprofit were also made available in 26 new markets for a total of 139 markets overall, an availability that will continue to expand as its commercial availability expands.

As any person working or volunteering for an NGO will tell you, great teams and effective teamwork are built on good communication. For this to be possible one needs to have the best platform and this is also applicable to NGO's.

Nonprofits are well aware that technology should help them deliver on their mission, not distract them from it. Whether an organization already uses web-based productivity tools or is considering them, choosing the right cloud solution can enable any team to work from anywhere, breaking down geographic boundaries that might otherwise hinder progress.

Microsoft has now applied this same philosophy to nonprofits and devised its new Office 365 for Nonprofits. New capabilities now in Office 365, combined with the just-released Office 2016 apps, means that NGOs can obtain access to the most comprehensive, most secure cloud productivity and communication Office 365 offering ever.

The new platform which is now about to be launched in Malta for Malta's NGOs, addresses their specific needs. It is a productivity solution that works and adapts according to the way NGOs operate so they can focus on what matters - their fundraising and planning activities, event organisation and providing the services that make a difference.

Available as a donation offer to qualifying nonprofit organizations, Office 365 for Nonprofits provides anywhere access to professional email, shared calendars, instant messaging (IM), HD video conferencing, screen sharing, and personal online storage. Users can also gain the ability to view and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files via a web browser, and can easily set up a public website and Intranet site to support collaboration. Those NGOs that qualify for this product will also get on premise Windows and Microsoft Office as a donation.

Backed by industry-leading security features and a 99.9% uptime guarantee, Office 365 for Nonprofits also decreases the time spent on IT maintenance, while providing access to always up-to-date technology that is simple and easy to use.

In Malta, Microsoft has had ample opportunity to realize how NGO's are such a vital part of the local community and we are truly appreciative of the great work they do across so many different spheres. This is why every year, Microsoft makes it a point to reach out to these NGO's through our annual NGO Connection Days during which organisations meet together and find out more how our technology can help them operate more efficiently.

We like reaching out physically to these NGOs because they also help us understand how we can improve our technology and our processes. Besides events at our Microsoft Innovation Centre, we have also hosted an NGO Connection Day in Gozo.

One NGO that has already benefited from Microsoft's assistance is Gozo's Oasi Foundation. In 2013, Microsoft assisted the Foundation through a donation of a Microsoft operating system and productivity suite, as well as CRM to assist Oasi manage better its Donor/Customer/Patient system a donation valued at over €60,000.

We believe in NGO's and the work they are doing in Malta and supporting them, means supporting a better community, enabling its members to reach out to those in need and helping them become better citizens. We want to see Malta's NGO's fully harness the power of innovation to meet the needs of our country and the various communities. This is why we have constantly invested in this community and to date we are proud to say that Microsoft has donated about €1.5 million worth of software to NGO's in Malta.


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