October, 2013

  • YCAB Foundation Fosters Effective Collaboration with SharePoint Online

    YCAB Foundation is a nonprofit organisation that aims to address social issues such as drug abuse, street crime and the rising rate of school dropouts among Indonesian youth. YCAB is the abbreviation for ‘Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa’, which translates to ‘Loving the Nation's Children Foundation’ in the Indonesian language.

    Founded by Veronica Colondam in 1999, YCAB Foundation has developed into one of the country’s leading social enterprises, with a strong focus on providing economic assistance and education opportunities to empower young people in Indonesia. YCAB currently conducts three main programmes: 

    • Healthy Lifestyle Promotion (HeLP), which strives to create awareness among at-risk youth about the prevention of drug abuse and diseases such as HIV/AIDS, as well as encourage healthy lifestyles among youth
    • House of Learning and Development (HoLD), which provides affordable education for youth from low-income families through the establishment of community learning centres across Indonesia, and supports digital inclusion through the use of information technology (IT)

    The Challenge: Reaching out to at-risk youth across Indonesia
    Headquartered in Jakarta with a Manado-based branch office, YCAB Foundation currently operates in 33 provincial cities and municipalities across Indonesia. The organisation increasingly faced the challenge of having to manage disparate systems and work processes.

    To keep up with the increased scope of its operations, YCAB Foundation needed a consolidated system and shared IT services to facilitate effective work collaboration between its 109 employees. The organisation was also seeking a system with advanced information management features that would address its operational needs, and provide real-time reporting across different work locations.

    “As the scale of our operations expands across the country, we need a collaboration tool that will help us to better facilitate communications and information sharing, as well as ensure that our reports or other important office data such as programme schedules are easily accessed from any location, either through a computer or mobile device,” said Anton Suwoto, Head of Strategic Team and IT Manager at YCAB Foundation.

    The Solution: Utilising a cloud-based platform to support social programmes
    In early 2013, YCAB Foundation decided to implement Microsoft SharePoint® Online from a local vendor to better support its HeLP programme initiatives — with the objective of improving the level of work collaboration and facilitating remote working for its employees who are engaged in executing this programme.

    As a cloud-based platform, Microsoft SharePoint Online enabled the staff to access work-related information and collaborate seamlessly online. Further leveraging the content management features of Microsoft SharePoint, YCAB Foundation was able to customise its work processes and applications according to its operational requirements. The technology implementation also allowed YCAB’s IT team to set up and utilise a shared data repository with ease without having to devote additional resources to handle the infrastructure management.

    The Benefits: Achieving improved collaboration with lower IT infrastructure costs
    Since the implementation of Microsoft SharePoint, YCAB Foundation has seen vast improvements in collaboration and coordination of efforts among team members in the execution of the HeLP programme.

    With the integration of separately managed systems into a single cloud-based platform, YCAB Foundation employees are now able to raise their level of productivity and work together more efficiently across different locations. The implementation has allowed the organisation to monitor the progress of its ongoing projects in a more effective manner. Through the enhanced reporting capabilities, YCAB Foundation also achieved a more consistent view across its various nonprofit operations to measure results and refine its strategy.

    Utilised as a cloud-based service on a monthly subscription basis, Microsoft SharePoint.

    Online has also helped YCAB Foundation manage infrastructure costs and significantly reduce its IT management burden.

    “Microsoft SharePoint Online provided us with many out-of-the-box features that we can readily use across the entire organisation, without us having to devote extra time and manpower to manage its server provisioning or to start developing work applications from scratch. With Microsoft SharePoint, we have also made good progress in consolidating our business processes across multiple systems and drive productivity by bringing our teams closer together,” Mr Suwoto explained.

    Most significantly, the cloud-based technology enables YCAB Foundation to focus resources on delivering support services through its various youth development programmes and work towards its vision of empowering five million youth by 2015.

    YCAB Foundation is currently in the process of getting approval for a new Microsoft software grant to embark on the deployment of Microsoft SharePoint across its HoLD and HOpE programmes as well.

    Mr Suwoto said, “To achieve our mission of becoming a credible and forward-thinking social enterprise, YCAB Foundation is committed to adopting an innovative approach that delivers a measurable impact. We want to extend the benefits we gained from Microsoft SharePoint to our other programmes in the near future, and will look to continue adopting new cloud-based technology platforms to meet our evolving organisational needs.”

  • Delivering a Positive Impact: Crossing Wang

    This is part of a series of articles highlighting the valuable work that Microsoft’s Community Affairs Managers are doing in Asia.

    Teamwork and collaboration, as Crossing Wang learned in her capacity as Community Affairs Manager at Microsoft China, hold the keys to building successful outreach. And it is that sense of shared purpose that Crossing hopes to achieve in every project she manages—whether it’s working closely with her team members to drive Microsoft’s citizenship efforts or supporting volunteer programmes that bridge employees with the community.

    Equally important, Crossing believes that corporations such as Microsoft have a pivotal role to play in bridging the opportunity divide in China and empowering underprivileged people to realise their full potential through technology.

    “As a reputable company with vast experience in running corporate citizenship programmes, we need to set a good example in promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and motivating more enterprises to bring about a positive change,” said Crossing. “We also see a huge potential for Microsoft to build the capacity of nonprofits by doing what we do best: using technology, which will help improve efficiency in these organisations and bring about long-term benefits.”

    Having first joined Microsoft in 2005, Crossing is responsible for managing a wide range of CSR activities and projects focused on fostering greater opportunities for young people in China through the recently launched China YouthSpark programme. For instance, she led her team in collaborating with Fuping Development Institute to run 15 community youth centres where digital literacy skills were taught. Microsoft China also partnered with Tsinghua University Student Club to incubate social entrepreneurship and help develop the local technology talents in the country.

    “The Sichuan earthquake came as a great shock to all of us, and we responded as quickly as we could,” Crossing recalled. “The China team got together within hours to brainstorm about what Microsoft could do. We later donated relief packages and helped local nonprofits in their monitoring efforts. The Microsoft China staff also did their part in contributing money and organising events to help raise funds. We hope that the rebuilding efforts are progressing smoothly.”

    Another aspect that has brought Crossing considerable satisfaction is the use of information technology (IT) as a powerful tool to impact lives and inspire the next generation of social innovators in China. A recent project that she is very excited about is Microsoft's collaboration with the China Foundation for Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment on a programme that will see the deployment of Office 365™, and, most importantly, aim to benefit more than 8.6 million young people in China.

    A simple smile from a nonprofit partner, or a hug of appreciation from a trainee graduating from a community youth centre — these serve as a motivation for Crossing to keep at what she has been doing.

    “I love my job, I love my team, and I am thankful that my work in Microsoft enables me to do my part in contributing to my community!” Crossing concluded. 

  • Ministry of Youth and Sports & Microsoft Malaysia Partner to Nurture Future of Malaysia’s Youth

    Microsoft YouthSpark, a vital catalyst for driving the nation’s push towards an innovation economy, spearheaded by young entrepreneurs

    Today, in Kuala Lumpur, at the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Microsoft Malaysia and the Ministry of Youth and Sports today announced an intent to partner through Microsoft YouthSpark to address the opportunity divide facing young people in Malaysia – a gap between those who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not.

    This partnership will be part of Microsoft’s global YouthSpark initiative, which aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth around the world over three years through partnerships with governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses.

    YB Khairy Jamaluddin, Youth and Sports Minister, Malaysia and Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director, Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Corp

    “The launch of this partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports reflects our commitment to supporting and nurturing youth with innovative technology and with the goal of empowering them to realize their full potential through opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship,” said Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.

    Microsoft Malaysia and the Ministry of Youth and Sports will kick off their local partnership by providing training, mentoring and networking opportunities for Malaysian youth, creating a local alumni of Malaysia’s brightest young talent. From this bright young ground they will search for local YouthSpark Stars who will be recognized at the next National Youth Day in May 2014.

    The YouthSpark stars will then receive additional support and mentoring to achieve their ambitions ahead of the ASEAN Youth Day in 2015 where it is hoped they will be able to present their stories to the broader region.

    Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia, echoed Lacerda’s statement, “The Government is committed to supporting young people to gain the skills required for success in the 21st century. We have a responsibility of nurturing and training young people, but this role is not exclusively the Government’s but is also a shared responsibility with the private sector and other key stakeholders. We are glad that Microsoft has been supporting youth with initiatives like YouthSpark, to enhance the development of employment, entrepreneurial and IT skills through training opportunities and mentoring programs. YouthSpark supports the Government’s push towards an innovation economy, with young people driving efforts to achieve the nation’s aspirations of a high-income, knowledge-based economy by 2020.”

    Globally, Microsoft YouthSpark celebrated its first anniversary in September announcing new opportunities had been created for 103 million young people in more than 100 countries in the first year. As part of the announcement, five global YouthSpark Stars were showcased, including Malaysian youth John-son Oei for his innovative work using technology to bring housing to people from the Orang Asli, Malaysia’s indigenous community.

    “This recognition of one of our young people is testament to the strength of our local talent and why we want to uncover and nurture even more Malaysian YouthSpark stars in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports,” said Lacerda.

    After discussion with the Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Mohamad Najib Tun Razak at the Microsoft YouthSpark booth at the event, Akhtar Badshah, Microsoft Corporation’s Senior Director of Citizenship and Public Affairs reemphasized the commitment of Microsoft to Malaysian youth.

    Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Finance Minister II - Najib Razak, Prime Minister Malaysia - Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director, Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Corp

    “This partnership is very important to us, Malaysia is not alone in identifying a growing gap between the skills of unemployed workers and the skills needed to perform the jobs of today and tomorrow. Beyond the overall risk to economic growth, this is a growing personal crisis for our young people who face an increasingly uncertain future. Closing this opportunity divide is one of the most important actions we can all take – together – to secure the future of our youth and as a result, the future of our global economy,” Badshah said.

    Microsoft YouthSpark is focused on three core areas:

    1. Empowering youth by helping transform education and expand digital inclusion;
    2. Unleashing future innovators by giving youth the inspiration and tools to imagine new opportunities; and
    3. Helping youth realize new opportunities of employability and entrepreneurship.

    “Microsoft YouthSpark goes beyond just philanthropy. It brings together global Microsoft programs including Imagine Cup, Innovate for Good, Skype in the Classroom, BizSpark, Office365 for EDU, DreamSpark and Partners in Learning. We know we can have the biggest impact when we bring our solutions, services and partnerships together to provide young people with access to technology and education, inspire them with opportunities to realize their potential, and help them find a job or start their own business,” added Badshah.

    “For over 20 years here in Malaysia, Microsoft has continuously created opportunities for youth to take the lead in changing their lives and making a real impact in their local communities through initiatives in entrepreneurship and education. This has been our ongoing commitment in transforming Malaysia together. With programs such as YouthSpark, we are encouraging innovation and creativity among young, talented entrepreneurs and start-ups. We are committed to supporting the Government’s efforts in building knowledge and innovation-based human capital, and our presence at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2013 is evidence of that support,” said Lacerda.

    A year ago, Microsoft announced its collaboration with the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), on a partnership entitled “The Spark of Transformation”. Three components are covered under this partnership, each designed to be part of what is hoped will be a robust education system that is essential to develop a knowledge-driven workforce. This would entail working from the ground up on incorporating IT into the school education system, curriculum revision, teacher training and investing in building out the infrastructure.

    For more information on Microsoft YouthSpark please click here.

    Join in the conversation! Follow Microsoft Malaysia on Twitter @MYMicrosoft and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MicrosoftMalaysia.

  • A Year of Helping Young People Create & Capture Opportunity

    Today's youth face an opportunity divide — a gap between those who have access to the skills and training they need to be successful, and those who do not. With more than 75 million unemployed youth around the world, we must work together to close this divide in order to secure the future of our youth, and of our global economy.

    Last year, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launched Microsoft YouthSpark, a company-wide, global initiative to create opportunities for 300 million youth over three years. Through over 30 programmes and partnerships with 186 youth-serving nonprofits, in its first year alone Microsoft YouthSpark has created new opportunities for more than 103 million young people in over 100 countries.

    While there is still much to do, we are inspired by what we have seen: young people taking the lead in changing not only their lives but the lives of other around them, making deep impact in their local communities and on the global stage.

    Explore the YouthSpark site to see how young people around the world are seizing opportunities to build a better future for themselves and for all of us.

  • Final Tips for Nonprofits: An Interview with Beth Kanter

    Over the last few years, Microsoft Citizenship Asia Pacific has been supporting Connecting Up's annual nonprofit technology conference. This year, we also caught up with two of this year’s keynote speakers in a short series of interviews at the Gold Coast in Australia. 

    In this final video, Beth analyses the similarities and differences between nonprofits around the world, and expresses her love for the Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint tools. In conclusion, she encourages nonprofits to concentrate on thinking about what success is and how they can use data collected to continually improve.


    This marks the end of our two part series. We hope you have enjoyed it and have gained much from the experiences shared by John Kenyon and Beth Kanter. Continue to keep your eyes on this page for more exciting stories and videos!

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