ICT is catalyst for innovation

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is an increasingly competitive nation in Asia Pacific and such development can be further accelerated through ICT (information and communications technology), said software giant Microsoft Malaysia.

“Exciting things are happening in Malaysia with the projects under the Economic Transformation Programme and ICT will be the catalyst for many of them,” said Ananth Lazarus, Microsoft Malaysia managing director.

Microsoft, he said, will continue to support the country’s innovative spirit through its many programmes and initiatives aimed at transforming lives, businesses, and the education sector.

To this end, the software vendor has launched various initiatives, such as organising the Imagine Cup competition to encourage students think up innovative ideas to solve the world’s toughest problems.

It is also behind the BizSpark programme, which equips software startups with Microsoft development tools.

This has led to the setting up of local software companies, such as Israk Technology that is involved with online video production and Web Bytes which produces Xilnex, a cloud-based management software for the retail sector.

Microsoft has also equipped various non-governmental organisations with its software products under its Unlimited Potential programme.

This programme is targeted at narrowing the “digital divide” — the gap between the technology haves and have-nots.

Ananth was speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the Microsoft Accelerating Asia Pacific Summit here. The event highlights how technology can be used to solve socio-economic problems in the region.

Parent company Microsoft Corp sees Asia Pacific as an epicentre of growth due to the region’s growing number of talents and innovations.

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