The benefits of being able to access work, entertainment and other digital content anywhere, anytime and on any device, the philosophy behind cloud computing, are already rippling through Puerto Rico’s consumer and business community.
And for the past six months, software giant Microsoft has been collaborating with the Economic Development and Commerce Department to speed up the process of moving toward the cloud and furthering the growth of the island’s knowledge-based economy.
“Microsoft has the most comprehensive solutions for the cloud, and we are fully committed to helping enable people to work from virtually anywhere, anytime, and on any device,” said Kevin Turner, COO of Microsoft, who was on the island Thursday speaking before the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce’s membership.
“Only Microsoft has the depth of product offerings, infrastructure and investment to effectively define the next era of cloud computing,” said Turner. “Customers in Puerto Rico have already begun to reap the benefits, making it possible for a small municipality like Humacao to redirect more than $90,000 in savings from its IT budget to better service its citizens using cloud-based email.”
Turner, whose first visit to the island occurred exactly three years ago, referred to the Humacao municipality’s adoption of Microsoft Online Services for email messaging, collaboration, web conferencing, and instant messaging. By turning to the cloud, the town saved $100,500 on servers, licensing, and maintenance, city officials said.
“We’re truly excited about cloud computing and what’s happening in Puerto Rico,” said Turner, who along with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and other executives, serves on the senior leadership team that sets the overall strategy and direction for the software company.
The collaboration between Microsoft and the EDC revolves around a strategy called “MENE IT,” which focuses on makingthe most of information and communications technologies to maximize the development of the local knowledge economy to effectively support Puerto Rico’s economic growth, agency Secretary José Pérez-Riera said.
One of the strategies calls for commissioning a third-party cloud study, which will accurately portray the potential revenue and job opportunities for the island.
“We see great promise and potential for the cloud here in Puerto Rico, and have already made great traction in the private and public sector with our cloud services,” said Cleber Voelzke, general manager for Microsoft Puerto Rico, adding that more than 35 corporate clients, including Puerto Rico Telephone, municipalities and small businesses have already moved to the cloud for their software needs.
“We’re committed to supporting the [EDC] with its digital agenda to leverage the benefits that the cloud and other information technologies offer to make Puerto Rico increasingly competitive, thus acting as a driver of new revenue opportunities and job creation,” said Voelzke.