Microsoft Philippines hosted two NGO Connection days on 8 and 10 November 2011 to help the organizations learn how to leverage information technology (IT) to better serve the community.

For the event, Microsoft worked with the Philippines Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the Bacolod Negros Occidental Federation for ICT (BNEFIT) and the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDFIT) to present a range of IT solutions. These included Microsoft® Office 2010, SharePoint ®, Windows Live®, Microsoft Lync® and Microsoft Dynamics®. These solutions help address different needs of the NGOs, from collaboration, communication and networking to document storage.

John Bessey, General Manager of Microsoft Philippines, welcomes Governor Marañon to the event.


Ms Santos, IT Head of Gawad Kalinga speaking about their experience in technology planning.

Nearly 250 NGO staff benefitted from the event with takeaways that will help them immediately in their daily operations. For example, a good number of Bacolod participants that did not have email accounts before the NGO Connection Day went back to their office to create their own Windows Live accounts after realizing the benefits of email as a means of communication. Creating the accounts was fast, inexpensive and easy.

The NGO Connection Day was also a good avenue for participants to share concerns and exchange solutions. One of the concerns brought up was that of security of NGO data. NGOs were resistant to adopting cloud computing because they were afraid of data exposure on the web. Although this risk was not unfounded, Microsoft Philippines’ national technology officer Dondi Mapa said there were two solutions. NGOs could either find cloud providers who guaranteed to return client data at the end of the service, or find providers that offered a combination of public and private cloud services to cater to different security needs.

This was only one of a series of solutions that Microsoft provided to NGOs serving different community needs. Hilda Cleofe, Executive Director of Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR), said “With Sharepoint, we were able to quickly manage our information and respond to various disaster management efforts in the community.”

SharePoint also helps other types of NGOs like Gaward Kalinga, a foundation focused on empowering and instilling positive values in the people. Mr Isaa Santos-Cuevas, IT Head and Board Member of Gaward Kalinga, said that SharePoint helped Gaward Kalinga access vital information in its daily backbone operations, and essentially do what they do best, empower the community. 

With the success of these two NGO Connection Days, Microsoft moves closer to its goal of making 70 million lives better by 2012.

“With Microsoft SharePoint, our organization has been able to facilitate online collaboration of our files and access vital information that help us in our daily backbone operations.”
-  Issa Santos-Cuevas, IT Head and Board Member of Gaward Kalinga
“With Microsoft SharePoint, we were able to quickly manage our information and respond to various disaster management efforts in the community.”
-  Hilda Cleofe, Executive Director of Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR)