Joint project for SMEs to access technology era

Joint project for SMEs to access technology era

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Joint project for SMEs to access technology era

Microsoft Turkey General Manager Tamer Özmen (L), Vodafone Turkey’s CEO Serpil Timuray (C) and Akbank General Manager Hakan Binbaşgil speak at the panel that introduce Cloud Computing to the SMEs. Company photo

A local partnership between Microsoft, Vodafone and Akbank for “Cloud Computing” is set to enable Turkey’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to combine telecom and informatics services with a low-cost investment. SMEs will be able to use Office programs in their internal IT system via all mobile devices without any time or location restrictions.

Vodafone Turkey introduced in April 2012 “Kırmızı Bulut” (Red Cloud), offering an online IT system – including email, web management and business management solutions, information security and more – to SMEs. Through Kırmızı Bulut SMEs can buy only the services they need and create an intercorporate IT system at a low cost, said Vodafone Turkey CEO Serpil Timuray at a panel held by Vodafone Turkey and Akbank yesterday.

This partnership made Microsoft Office 365 a product of Kırmızı Bulut in June 2012. Microsoft Turkey General Manager Tamer Özmen said Microsoft Office 365 carried Office programs to the “cloud.” SMEs using Kırmızı Bulut are now able to use Office programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint) in their online IT system. The SMEs can reach company data on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones anytime and anywhere using Microsoft Office 365.

“The companies should meet their data storage needs at an optimal cost,” Timuray said, noting that Cloud Computing allows companies to store data without making a high-cost IT investment. “Cloud Computing allows SMEs to compete with big companies with equal opportunities,” she added. When SMEs can maintain their business without spending any time on IT issues they will focus on their jobs more efficiently, she said. This program will provide savings and growth to SMEs that will contribute to Turkey’s economic growth, she added.

Özmen also pointed out the low-cost advantage of this service. ”A small company needs around 100,000 Turkish Liras to establish an IT server and also it has to hire IT staff. But this service’s cost per employee in the company is around seven liras as big companies spend millions of dollars for IT systems,” he said, adding that update services were included without any extra charge. This system, which allows work to be done on the same document by a few persons at the same time, improves communication and productivity at the companies.

“SMEs, which make 99 percent of total companies in Turkey, create 55 percent of added value in the economy and assume 60 percent of total exports,” said Akbank General Manager Hakan Binbaşgil. In this project Akbank provides financial aid to SMEs in order to encourage them to use mobility and innovation, he said. SMEs that pay their Cloud Computing fees via an Akbank account will be billed only half of the fee the first month, Binbaşgil said. Akbank became a partner in this project two months ago.

Microsoft Office 365 is available only for corporate bodies via partnerships such as Vodafone; it is not yet available for individual use.