Yesterday saw Microsoft hold its very first NGO Day in Northern Ireland and it was a great experience for all who attended. We had a great turnout of 132 people in attendance representing 93 different charity organisations serving diverse communities not only in NI but further afield.
We partnered with NICVA (a charity umbrella organisation) to host this event which focused on helping charities “Making the most of your IT”.
It was a packed agenda with a keynote from Will Haire, Permanent Secretary of Northern Ireland , Paul Tanner from Microsoft and Una McKernan from NICVA.
A full house-Will Haire- Paul Tanner
The opening session was followed by a number of workshops throughout the day which included the charities learning from CTX (our partner that assists us in giving software to charities) the exact process they need to follow to get access to MS Software – A charity who availed of the software donations program gave a great report on what it meant to them – not only the financial saving it gave them but also how it has transformed how they work.
In the sessions shown below Eder Currie, Mark Fitzsimons and I covered very practical topics such as getting the best out of Software Assurance, leveraging the whole array of free training material, Office Productivity tips, how to communicate effectively via Live meeting, how to do a quick video clip as well as getting an insight to Cloud Computing. Based on the feedback after the sessions, the attendees really benefited and could see how this technology could really help them be more effective in what they do.
Throughout lunch people got a chance to connect, follow up on what they had heard in the sessions as well as see great demo’s of Windows 7 and MS Live Offerings from Neil Hetherington.
We also used the day as an opportunity to announce our continued to support to FIT NI (who are focused on re-skilling the long term unemployed in Northern Ireland) by donating $50,000 to their organisation. This will assist them to continue to help unemployed people gain IT skills which will put them in a better position to compete in the job market.
Overall the day was a great success