Ooredoo clicks on Microsoft ahead of network launch

As Telecom operator Ooredoo prepares to launch its mobile network here in August it is hyping a slew of new partnerships and deals with global companies that it hopes will give it the edge over its rivals, as well as drum up attention to its service.

The latest announcement is a deal with software giant Microsoft that Ooredoo says will spark global opportunities for the next generation of techies in Myanmar.

It said its programme to support local start-ups in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, Ideabox, will be connected to Microsoft tools and services offered through that company’s DreamSpark and BizSpark programmes.

BizSpark provides access to software, developer tools, support, training and cloud technology to enable developers to develop new programs. Free access to Windows stores and the ability to access the global BizSpark community enables new ventures to build scale quickly, Ooredoo Myanmar said.

Its IdeaBox, launched earlier this year, offers ICT start-ups seed money, office space, resources and mentoring. It puts the value of this assistance at up to US$100,000 per start-up, but does not say how many start-ups are participating in the program.

Microsoft’s DreamSpark program targets the next generation of entrepreneurs by supporting students, educators and academic institutions. It delivers a diverse set of resources to educators to make learning more relevant, motivating and engaging, Ooredoo said. By providing professional developer tools, students are enabled to innovate and given the opportunity to create breakthroughs in technology, it says.

Ooredoo said its IdeaBox initiative had “gained terrific momentum in Myanmar in recent months”. It said that this has been the result of Myanmar’s “first-ever Hackathon – a contest to create tech-based solutions – regular networking via the introduction of the global Mobile Monday’s forum and the launch of its ICT incubator and accelerator programme”.

Speaking at the official signing of the partnership, Ooredoo Myanmar’s CEO Ross Cormack highlighted the benefits of collaboration. “At the end of the day, we’re a communications company. We understand the value of coming together and sharing, to enable the people of Myanmar to take advantage of the leapfrog in technology that our network roll-out will deliver,” he said.

César Cernuda, Microsoft’s president of Asia Pacific, said: ‘Myanmar has tremendous potential to become a key player in the Asian economy. We are proud to be able to provide technology programs and help local citizens develop the right skills that will allow them to maximise the opportunities that will come up from the region.”

The partnership between Ooredoo and Microsoft will see the companies collaborate further in a range of ICT focused events, Ooredoo said.

Source: Myanmar ELEVEN

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