Microsoft Corp. (Microsoft) and NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701) on Tuesday announced an expansion of their decades-long collaboration. Through a new multi-year strategic partnership, the companies will leverage Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, NEC’s network and IT expertise, including 5G technologies, and each other’s AI and IoT solutions to help enterprise customers and the public sector across multiple markets and industries further accelerate their cloud adoption and digital transformation initiatives.
The partnership will see NEC adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform to deliver enhanced capabilities to drive sustained digitalization, help customers transform their business models, and build Digital Workplaces for the post-pandemic “new normal.”
To accelerate NEC’s Digital Workplace innovation and workforce transformation, the companies will work together to migrate NEC’s on-premises IT environment to Azure and deploy Azure Virtual Desktop and other Azure services among the NEC Group’s 110,000 employees worldwide. This modernization builds on NEC’s existing Microsoft 365 platform and will enable a highly sustainable environment that is more secure and robust, accelerating cloud migration for NEC and its customers throughout the commercial and public sector in Japan and around the world.
The companies will work together to help improve digital services for public sector and enterprise customers through workplace and workforce transformation. Greater speed and lower-latency data connections will provide high-performance network experiences to create more efficient workplaces and empower employees to realize more personalized work styles for public sector as well as private sector customers.
Leveraging the assets of both companies, including Microsoft’s Intelligent Edge solutions and NEC’s private 5G networking technologies, the companies will work together to help customers across industries transform. In retail, for example, the two companies will work together to analyze customer transaction data in real time using AI to better understand buying patterns, improve operational efficiency and identify new market opportunities.
The combination of Azure and both companies’ AI and IoT technologies and expertise will enhance NEC’s customer experience through advanced solutions and enable more secure maintenance and operation of stores. In addition, NEC and Microsoft plan to explore network innovation initiatives built on Microsoft Azure for enterprise domains and specific industries.
Through the partnership, the companies will work together to double the number of digital-focused engineers within the NEC Group who are specialized in Microsoft technologies. This investment in technical capabilities and the expertise of NEC’s employees will help ensure customers’ digital transformation success, benefiting the market and society.
“As we’ve seen over the past year, digital adoption curves are accelerating across every industry and business function,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Our strategic partnership with NEC brings together the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 with NEC’s services and infrastructure expertise to help public and private sector customers build resilience and transform during this era of rapid change.”
“NEC is pleased to enter into this strategic collaboration with Microsoft Corp.,” said Takayuki Morita, president and CEO of NEC Corporation. “With Microsoft’s trusted cloud and services, the experience that NEC has cultivated in its own systems, and both companies’ AI and IoT technologies, we will enable companies globally to use digital services that are safer and more secure than ever before as they progress with digital initiatives.”
“The need for sustainable transformation to ensure business resiliency and growth has never been more important in the world and especially Japan,” said Hitoshi Yoshida, president & CEO, Microsoft Japan. “Our partnership will help accelerate the industry’s cloud-based digital transformation and utilization of data migration and help Japan’s continued success globally, leading to greater economic and societal prosperity.”
This announcement is based on a history of strong collaboration between Microsoft and NEC spanning more than 40 years.
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The largest congregation of teachers taking the test to become MIE certificated in a single day anywhere in the world! 3,173 school teachers from different parts of the country got recognised as Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) digital classroom teachers after qualifying and passing the test conducted by Tech Avant-Garde (TAG), technology powered Ed-Tech company and a Global Training Partner of Microsoft in Education. As part of the Knowledge L’avenir Conclave (KLC) webinar series, which started on Teacher’s Day 2020, and will continue till November 2020, 300 teachers trained nearly 5,000 teachers (in the last 18 days) from across the country. The first assessment test was held on Sunday, 28th September 2020. As it is important for teachers to get a degree/ diploma in teaching to become a qualified teacher, similarly it is important to be recognized as a digital teacher MIE certificate.
The Schools who attended these Conclaves were as follows: Knowledge L’avenir Conclave registered schools whose requirement was 100% attendance in the KLC and 100% MIE certified teachers. Digital Transformation and Holistic Learning Program registered teachers attended the conclave to witness high quality of teaching in these webinars. The third category of teachers who attended were from schools across the country who got 2 free passes to attend these webinars.
The highest percentage of marks was 100%, followed by 97% in second place and 94% in third place. In first 3 positions there were 63 teachers. In the first place, it was Anamika L. with 100% from Mathakondapalli Model School – Hosur; while Akansha Singh from TCIS Bengaluru and Vineeth Chandrasekar from Litera Valley Zee School Hosur were in 2nd place with 97%. These 63 teachers will be felicitated on 2nd October 2020 at the Connected Learning Community (CLC) Carte Blanche Graduation 2020 event, which is held to celebrate the Digital Transformation of schools from Bricks and Mortar setups to Connected Learning Community vision of UNESCO.
Ali Sait CEO of Tech Avant-Garde, said, “Teacher is most important stakeholder of education by empowering the teachers we can empower the entire society. If teachers are not digitally skilled, our formal education will collapse and it will have a serious impact on our human capital.” He went on to say, “In today’s world where knowledge is the greatest asset, the benefits of the information-rich, technology-enhanced, Connected Learning environment must be extended to empower students, teachers, parents, schools and entire communities to learn without limits. Training and certification 5,000 teachers is just the tip of the iceberg, Tech Avant-Garde is finding ways to digitally skill 26 million teachers in India and many more across the world.”
Ali Sait of Tech Avant-Garde (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/partners/showpartnersdetails.aspx?id=2076473&i=false&t=1&p=1&ps=24) has been recognised in ET Industry Leaders 2020 Awards List for Software Innovation in Ed-Tech.
TAG is undertaking Digital Transformation & Holistic Learning program to make Indian school principals and teachers future-ready. Every year, the Microsoft Global Training Partner (GTP) program connects Training Partners to thousands of education leaders, educators, and faculty throughout the world – helping them to best leverage technology for teaching and learning, no matter where they are. Microsoft announced ‘Teams for Education’ features to engage and prepare students and teachers for new remote and hybrid learning formats in the upcoming school year.
To ensure all professional development (PD) sessions are consistent, all Global Training Partners have undergone an official Microsoft training program enabling them to deliver in-depth learning experiences aligned to the Education Transformation Framework on behalf of Microsoft. This engagement is highly advisable for every school by upskilling teachers thereby ensuring that students and educators have everything they need to excel. The network of Global Training Partners offers professional development experiences several of the 5 following areas: Education Transformation Framework; Modern Classroom Teacher Academies; Future-Ready Skills and Industry Certifications; Minecraft: Education Edition; and Hacking STEM.
TAG has already started the record-breaking Knowledge L’avenir Conclave (KLC) webinars in association with Microsoft, Knowledge Key Foundation, Lycee Corp, Efeeonline and Roshini Social Schooling. Over the next 12 weeks (till November 2020), 3,000 professionally trained teachers will exhibit their Digital Teaching Skills and train over 150,000 teachers from over 72,000 schools across India with a student-teacher population of 7.6 crore. This grand education showcase is part of Mr. Sait’s vision to transform 18 lakh schools in India from four walls of the classroom to Connected Learning Community after the announcement of the National Education Policy (NEP). On the momentous occasion of the first-ever Black Friday event, TAG unveiled NEP-compliant Learning Management System (LMS) software called AZVASA, which helps teachers with STUDY, REVISE & ASSESSMENT modules. AZVASA Connect is a complete School Management Solution having Teacher – Student – Parent Connect in one platform.
TAG-Microsoft will deploy emerging tech-driven ideas such as Skype in Classroom and Virtual field trips instead of the traditional ‘chalk and talk’. As home schools become the new normal, Cognitive learning, Mixed Reality, Immersive Learning, IOT and AR-VR will eventually reach students at home. School teachers trained in Gen Extra Muros – Knowledge Beyond Walls pedagogy – will understand essential tools such as Microsoft Teams, One Note, Flipgrid, Padlet, Powerpoint and others that improve the quality of their teaching and lead to a holistic learning experience for students.
Ali Sait’s dream of a Connected Learning Community is a simple yet powerful idea with even more relevance today than when he first introduced the concept in the year 2002. His vision is that the world is an enriched learning environment in which technology used well enhances and expands opportunities for learning while providing the practical technology experience needed in today’s society and workplaces. In the Connected Learning Community: Students, educators and parents have anytime, anyplace access to learning; Learning is relevant, individualized and personalized; Schools have information systems that support accountability and efficient management; Schools, campuses, homes, libraries, businesses and global resources are connected in a dynamic, collaborative learning environment.
Partnering TAG are transformists, visionaries and thought leaders such as Vincent K V (Principal Huddard School Kanpur), Dr. Kulbhushan Sharma (President, NISA), T. Balakrishna (Chairman Venkat International Public School), Asif Ahmed (Vice Chairman, New Cosmo Edu. Society) Shanti Krishnmurthy (Director, CCMT Education Cell), R. Chandrasekhar (Chairman, Litera Valley Zee School), Krishank Malik (Trustee, Arya Gurkul Kalyan), Roopa Arun (Principal, TCIS Sarjapur), Saman Sherwani (Principal, The Blossoms School, Aligarh), M. Meru (Secretary, MMS-RICE ), Kush Khaitan (Director, Sunshine Worldwide School), Priya Anand (Principal, TCIS Whitefield), Radhamani Iyer (Principal Arya Gurukul School Kalyan), Judith Singh (Principal Cambridge Public School HSR), Dr. Wg. CDR. R. Mandal (Principal BGS world School), Sharmila Nandi (Director Dr. Virendra Swarup Education Centre), Rajendra Singh (Chairman Priyadarshani) and Prathana (Director Oxford Grammar School Hyderabad), Shri Aurobindo School Hyderabad amongst others. The change makers are organizations, which are the ones that develop innovative products to bridge the technological gaps in Education. They present a passion to make a difference and a willingness to weather the uncertainties of Change. ICICI Bank, Microsoft India, NPCI and AZWASA amongst others.
About Tech Avant-Garde (TAG): TAG is a technology services organization which focuses on “Product Fostering” which means Development, Nurturing and Promoting of the software products. To enhance customer support and user experience, TAG has innovated an App based “Help Desk called TAG” which is accessible to the user from anywhere, any place and on any device. Being a socially conscious organization, it has taken the cause of “women empowerment” in the digital age, it trains and employs women at its residential complexes called “Navy Campuses”. In these campuses, it provides boarding, lodging and continuum training, on software development and Help Desk management. For more info http://t-a-g.in/