Manama, Oct19:

Microsoft, Tamkeen, and Gulf Future Business(TechoSmart)

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 and Oman, Sherif Tawfik and Gulf Future Business chairman Ahmed Al Hujairy, it said.

Under the MoU, the startup beneficiaries of Tamkeen Enterprise Support Programme in need of technological solutions will receive a three-year free subscription of Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium as well as implementation, training and ongoing support servicesThis initiative will be available for start-Ups starting November 1, 2015.

Microsoft Office 365, powered by the cloud, will allow 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,” Shaikh Mohammed.

“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,” he said.

Each startup applying for the ‘Tamkeen Enterprise Support Programme’, will automatically benefit from the ‘Tamkeen Productivity Toolkit’ including five 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.

“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,” said Tawfik.

“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 servicesWe 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,” he 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,” said Al Hujairy.

“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,” he said.

To help Bahraini startups maximise 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 three years, the statement added.