The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has selected Microsoft Office 365 to be the standard communications and collaboration platform for its National Societies worldwide. This partnership with Microsoft will serve over a million volunteers and staff worldwide. In Asia this includes the organisation’s 37 national societies, four IFRC secretariat regional offices and 15 country offices.
As the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, the IFRC provides disaster relief and support programmes to vulnerable communities around the world. This modernisation of its IT infrastructure will enable the organization to cost effectively and efficiently connect a mobile workforce and ultimately help to better deliver resources and save lives.
In Asia, it is already being used in Bangladesh to assist volunteers in the food bank to deliver vital supplies to hungry families more efficiently.
Since 2004, the IFRC has provided assistance to 198 million beneficiaries in Asia Pacific, a region that has experienced two and a half times more disasters than all the other regions of the world combined. With a move to Microsoft cloud technology, IFRC will address its digital divide among regional offices to better serve a changing population.
Through this renewed and expanded partnership with Microsoft, the IFRC is aiming to help these National Societies grow stronger by more strategically using technology advances such as cloud services, while making the best use of the resources and investments made by donors. Already two of the estimated 80 early-qualifying National Societies — in Bangladesh and Namibia — have deployed Office 365, and many more are expected to follow close behind.
“The success we saw from real-world use of Office 365 in our American and Danish Red Cross Societies helped pave the way to this broader adoption,” said Edward Happ, Global Chief Information Officer, IFRC. “And now, for the first time in our history, all of our National Societies will have the ability to free up IT spending and time to focus more of their resources on the activities that are ultimately saving lives.”
Prior to signing the agreement for Office 365, the IFRC was actively seeking a solution to address its internal digital divide and provide smaller National Societies with access to the same tools, same technologies and same modern processes that the larger National Societies have. Based on its fundamental principle of universality, providing equal access to entirely new ways of working regardless of location ensures the National Societies become more efficient, participate more fully in the work of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, work more closely with their partners in the broader organization, and are better able to reach out to the vulnerable communitiesthey serve.
“Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help create a secure framework for improved access to technology without compromising on capabilities or effectiveness,” said Laura Ipsen, corporate vice president, Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector. “I am proud that our collaboration with the IFRC will generate new opportunities to achieve their goals and deliver real impact for millions of beneficiaries around the world.”
Now, with the support of Microsoft’s reliable cloud computing technologies and robust security features, the IFRC will be able to provide all stakeholders with a world-class technology platform no matter where they are, and improve the process of delivering new programmes directly to recipients.
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