Microsoft, Tamkeen, and Gulf Future Business signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the ‘Tamkeen Productivity Toolkit’ initiative that allows Bahraini startups to receive support for collaboration technologies along with the required skills sets to grow their business. This initiative comes as part of Tamkeen’s efforts to strengthen Bahrain’s position as a technology-savvy economy and boost the Kingdom’s competitiveness level regionally and globally.
The MoU was signed by Tamkeen's Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Microsoft’s General Country Manager for Bahrain & Oman, Mr. Sherif Tawfik and Gulf Future Business Chairman, Mr. Ahmed Al Hujairy.
Under the MOU, Startup beneficiaries of Tamkeen Enterprise Support Programme in need of technological solutions will receive a 3-year free subscription of Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium as well as implementation, training and ongoing support services. This initiative will be available for Start-Ups starting 1st of November 2015.
Microsoft Office 365, powered by the cloud, allows the startups to work and collaborate anywhere on their favorite devices through trusted applications that include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Online HD video conferencing, Instant messaging, Skype for Business and Corporate social network; in addition to secured cloud storage and easy ‘on the move’ access of documents and files.
“Tamkeen is committed to support business throughout all their developmental stages and allow them to grow and develop by contributing positively to Bahrain’s economy.” said Tamkeen's Chairman and Acting Chief Executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa. “Microsoft has always been a valuable partner of Tamkeen and Bahrain and we are pleased to partner with them on this new initiative to give startups and SMEs access to available technology tools and systems which contribute to creating a nurturing entrepreneurial business environment in Bahrain.”
Each startup applying for the ‘Tamkeen Enterprise Support Programme’, will automatically benefit from the ‘Tamkeen Productivity Toolkit’ including 5 MS Office 365 licenses fully installed on computers (PCs or Mac), tablets and smart phones; 1 TB of storage for each user via OneDrive for Business for smooth ‘on the move’ access to their documents; business class emails with 50GB inbox per user; unlimited online meetings and calendar; intranet site with customizable security settings and corporate social network to facilitate collaboration across departments and branches.
Commenting on this announcement, Microsoft’s General Country Manager for Bahrain & Oman, Sherif Tawfik said, “We are proud to join hands with Tamkeen and Gulf Future Business to equip the Startups and SMEs sector in Bahrain with access to the latest technologies and expertise and help them realize their ideas and grow their businesses.” He added “Technology has opened up new avenues of expansion for Startups and Small Businesses around the world; the cloud-based services provided by Office 365 Business Premium will allow Bahraini Startups and SMEs to be more productive with enterprise-level technology and value-added services. We encourage Bahraini Startups and SMEs to benefit from this initiative that not only provides them access to genuine technology products but also knowledge exchange and ongoing support to help them focus on managing their core businesses and growing them.”
For his part, Ahmed Al Hujairy, Chairman and Group CEO of Gulf Future Business said “We are pleased to collaborate with Tamkeen and Microsoft in such initiative that aims to equip Bahraini startups with latest technologies and provide them skills sets that allow them to launch their businesses and sustain them.” He added “We will work closely with all the beneficiary startups to provide them with training and ongoing services and support in order to help them focus on managing their core businesses and growing them.”
A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) showed that Tech-savvy SMEs grew revenues 15% faster, created jobs nearly 2 times quicker than SMEs using technology lightly. Tech-savvy SMEs were also more likely to have international customers and expand to other countries.
To help Bahraini startups maximize their benefits from the technology innovations on offer, Gulf Future Business will manage the deployment of the ‘Tamkeen Productivity Toolkit’ including intensive training for the startup employees, as well as provide ongoing support and services for a period of 3 years. Gulf Future Business is a Microsoft Certified Silver Partner with a vast experience in implementing successful solutions, conducting training and offering consulting services.