HKTDC and Microsoft join forces to launch the “Go Beyond Your Limits” initiative targeted at local SMEs and next-gen talent

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Microsoft Hong Kong today announced a new partnership to jointly launch the “Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and foster next-generation talent in Hong Kong by leveraging best-in-class technology, practical learning and various support measures. The programme aims to achieve two key goals. First, it will help Hong Kong’s SMEs take tangible steps to pursue their digital transformation and seize new market opportunities under the new normal. Second, it will provide a series of learning opportunities for tertiary students in Hong Kong, helping to enhance their business-related digital skills and knowledge.

Yvonne So, Director, HKTDC Corporate Communications & Marketing; Dr Patrick Lau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director; Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau; Fred Sheu, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Hong Kong [L-R]

Dr Patrick Lau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “Our Transformation Sandbox (T-box) has helped more than 2,400 Hong Kong enterprises over the past two-plus years to realise different business transformation goals. Some of the most commonly seen goals relate to digitalization, which is undoubtedly a powerful tool for companies to reshape their business, enhance their competitiveness and drive innovation. The HKTDC is delighted to partner with leading global technology company Microsoft Hong Kong to jointly launch the ‘Go Beyond Your Limits’ Programme. By integrating teaching, consulting and practical knowledge sharing, we aim to help SMEs in T-box to make good use of digital tools, and to equip tertiary students joining the HKTDC Trade Ambassador Programme (TAP) to become the digital economy talents of tomorrow’s Hong Kong.”

Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau, said: “Microsoft Hong Kong is committed to empowering local SMEs to accelerate digital transformation and uplift businesses across Hong Kong. Through a holistic approach that encompasses Microsoft’s technologies such as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 (ERP), one-to-one diagnosis and advising on funding applications for SMEs, we hope to empower them to do more with less and assist them to identify new market opportunities. For decades, we have focused on upskilling next-gen talent, digital empowerment and making the best technology available to enable SMEs to thrive and scale their business. We’re excited to be a part of the HKTDC’s ‘Go Beyond Your Limits’ Programme in conjunction with T-box and TAP and we look forward to creating synergies that can inspire more local businesses and support talent development across different sectors in Hong Kong.”

Dr Lau added: “The HKTDC’s work is always in line with the policy direction of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. Policies to facilitate the development of the local technology industry and enlarge the I&T talent pool in Hong Kong were highlighted in the Policy Address 2022 released by the Chief Executive last week. Accordingly, the HKTDC will put further emphasis on helping Hong Kong enterprises and young people to thrive in the digital economy. We already do this through our conferences and exhibitions, business support and promotional activities infused with various technology elements, and this new partnership with Microsoft Hong Kong is a timely way to further reinforce our commitment.”

“Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme aims to achieve two key goals:

1. Promoting SME digitalisation to increase operational efficiency

Riding on the HKTDC Transformation Sandbox (T-box) programme, and with invaluable support from Microsoft, the “Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme will offer support to more than 2,400 participating enterprises with the Mobile Office Portfolio, free one-to-one enterprise diagnosis and professional training courses to enhance their competitiveness. The programme will provide targeted solutions and follow-up support according to each enterprise’s specific stage of development and business needs. The programme will also help SMEs identify and apply for suitable funding schemes to expedite their business development goals. Highlights of the “Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme include:

i. Mobile Office Portfolio plus special offers for T-box members

The Mobile Office Portfolio offers Microsoft 365 and Cloud PC solutions with a high-speed 5G network that allows businesses to unlock seamless hybrid work capabilities. T-box members can enjoy two months’ rebate with a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 for Business.

ii. Free one-to-one enterprise diagnosis and workshops

Microsoft will provide participating T-box members with free one-to-one enterprise management diagnosis that can help them formulate a suitable digital transformation strategy. There are also free workshops on Dynamics 365 ERP to help SMEs strengthen and streamline their operations flow and management.

iii. Assistance with funding applications

Microsoft will assist SMEs to identify and apply for suitable funding schemes and financial assistance so that they can accelerate implementation and expedite their business transformation goals.

During the pandemic, remote working, automated business and production procedures and e-commerce became the new normal across enterprises of all sizes. As businesses continue their transformation journey, companies across all sectors of the Hong Kong economy will continue to look for new market opportunities with innovation and technologies. And as market and consumer demands continue to shift, enterprises will need to make the best use of new technologies to ensure effective allocation of resources and business processes, maximise operational efficiency and realise cost savings. This will help them capitalise on this new wave of innovation and adopt technologies to meet customer needs and expand into new markets.

2. Committed to nurturing young talents

The HKTDC Trade Ambassador Programme (TAP) was launched to help the younger generation equip themselves for future entrepreneurship, career development, as well as broaden their business horizons. In collaboration with tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, the full-year programme will consist of opportunities to participate in the numerous activities and initiatives organised by the HKTDC so that they can gain a more in-depth understanding and perspective of trade and commerce both within Hong Kong and internationally.

Another important role for Microsoft Hong Kong is to provide next-gen talent with cross-disciplinary learning and practical opportunities to develop a pool of IT specialists that can support the future development of Hong Kong. Microsoft will equip 1,200 TAP students with future-ready IT skills through expert talks, Microsoft Learn online courses, instructor-led tutorials and free examinations on Microsoft Fundamentals, a series of industry-recognised certifications for IT generalists to gain knowledge on digital transformation and to validate their skills relating to the cloud, data, artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity standards and compliance. Students will also be entitled to free US$100 Azure Credits via the Azure for Students programme to enjoy free services on the Azure Portal and to have a hands-on trial of Azure cloud solutions, including but not limited to building their own apps, exploring AI, and working with big data sets.

“Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme website:

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About T-box

In order to assist SMEs to explore opportunities and realised their business transformation, the HKTDC Transformation Sandbox (“T-box”) support programme aims to help SMEs enhance their business competitiveness and achieve upgrading and transformation goals in the areas of branding, e-commerce, manufacturing and supply chain as well as access to new markets. Dedicated T-box staff work with enterprises to identify their goals and provide support over a three-month period, with group and individualised advisory services covering workshops, government-funding information, market knowledge and networking opportunities. The programme has been well received since its launch, with more than 2,400 Hong Kong companies participating and over 600 free consultations provided by professional organisations, chambers of commerce representatives, business partners and HKTDC overseas offices. Website:


The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.

Media enquiries

Please contact the HKTDC’s Communications & Public Affairs Department:

Kate Chan, Tel: +852 2584 4239, Email:

Microsoft Hong Kong Communications Department:

Bobo Wong, Tel: +852 5614 9998, Email:

Topic: Press release summary

Japan – Microsoft and NEC Expand Strategic Partnership to Boost Business Resiliency and Growth

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.

Copyright ©2021 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Japan Corporate News Network.

3,100+ teachers certified as Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) digital teachers by Tech Avant-Garde, Global Training Partner of Microsoft in Education

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 ( 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