Microsoft signs up Batelco and the Government of Bahrain

Both organisations have signed deals with Microsoft to standardise on the software giant's technology platforms as they look to drive productivity and reduce IT costs.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  October 7, 2003

Both the Government of Bahrain and the Kingdom's telecoms provider, Batelco, have signed deals with Microsoft to standardise on the software giant's technology platforms as they look to drive productivity, increase collaboration and reduce IT costs in their respective environments.

The Batelco deal will see Microsoft kit used to enable high speed data services for customers, something that the PTT hopes will increase customer service levels and enhance customer satisfaction.

"We are confident our new partnership with Microsoft will enable us to reach even greater heights. We aim to better serve the consumer market by becoming more responsive through the data services we offer our customers," says Tony Hart, CEO of Batelco.

During the government project, desktop applications such as Windows 2003 and Office 2003 will be rolled out to numerous public sector departments. Exchange 2003, Microsoft Mobile, Share point Portal and an intranet solution will also be deployed.

According to H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin-Ateyatalla Al-Khalifa, minister of the Central Informatics Organisation (CIO) for the Kingdom of Bahrain, the project will build on the e-government work already carried out by his department and ensure the CIO is able to provide both businesses and citizens with well integrated and beneficial online services.

"A significant investment has been made to create a strong technology backbone that will support all our business processes and we believe that we will benefit greatly in terms of increased productivity, better collaboration, tighter integration and faster processing by adopting Microsoft software and solutions," adds Sheikh Al Khalifa.

Through Microsoft's Software Assurance scheme, Bahrain's government will be entitled to all new releases of its licensed software throughout the agreement period. The government will also benefit from a one month training programme for 100 IT professionals from different departments.

Both the Batelco and Bahrain Government contracts have been announced as the software vendor opens the doors to its Bahrain office. According to Jean-Philippe Courtois, CEO of Microsoft Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), the decision to enter the Kingdom's IT industry directly is based on its huge growth potential and IT savvy society.

"The Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the leaders in the development of the IT industry in the region," he says.

"Microsoft North Gulf has been heavily contributing to the growth of the IT industry in the region and through our further investment in Bahrain, our commitment continues to grow at an accelerating pace while promoting the increased utilisation of technology across all geographies," Courtois adds.

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