By Lori Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs

Microsoft has an enduring commitment to working to fulfill our public responsibilities and to serving the needs of people in communities worldwide. Fundamental to this commitment is the role we serve as a responsible corporate citizen.

As our company has grown, this commitment has extended far beyond our own products and services and has been amplified many times over through our network of partners who help us make a real impact for a better tomorrow.

Today Microsoft announced its 2013 Partner of the Year Awards. Chosen from 3,000 nominations from more than 100 countries, award winners and finalists will be recognized at the 2013 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, the company’s premier annual event for industry partners, July 7–11 in Houston, Texas.

This year we want to call special attention to the Partner of the Year winners and finalists in the three Citizenship categories: Humanitarian Response, Innovative Technology for Good, and YouthSpark. Congratulations and thank you!

Humanitarian Response

  • Winner: Ignify, for the innovative work it has done for World Vision on its global supply chain initiative, which has enabled the nonprofit to better deliver its critical relief services in calamity stricken areas around the globe. Using Microsoft Dynamics AX, Ignify helped World Vision to more effectively and efficiently distribute donated goods through its supply chain, ensuring that supplies reached disaster stricken areas in a timely manner. The implementation has changed the lives of thousands of children throughout Senegal and Mongolia by providing them water, food, mosquito repellants, books and emergency supplies. Overall, the program has positively reached more than 250,000 people around the globe. Looking forward, this impact will only multiply as World Vision’s global supply chain program is rolled out in 17 more countries in Africa.
  • Finalist: Systemgroup Consulting, Inc.

Innovative Technology for Good

  • Winner: RBA, for its inspiring work with Opportunity Partners supporting the nonprofit’s efforts to provide training, support, and paid work to teenagers and young adults with developmental disabilities. Specifically, RBA developed an innovative technology solution using Kinect, Office 365 and Sharepoint that enabled Opportunity Partners to bring the benefits of their services to more disabled people with greater impact. For example, Opportunity Partners implemented a Kinect-based learning solution that allowed people with autism to gain new job skills without a heavy reliance on job coaches. This cutting-edge solution enables people with autism get effective training to find employment and live more independently, and Opportunity Partners is able to reach more people through its staff. Through its work with Opportunity Partners, RBA has provided a pioneering path to better serving those with disabilities so they can lead more fulfilling lives.
  • Finalist: Winvision

YouthSpark Citizenship

  • Winner: Dell, for its extensive work to spark greater opportunity to young people around the world to help them imagine and realize their full potential. Specifically, Dell’s Youth Learning initiatives have brought critical skills to enable school-aged children around the world learn and achieve life goals despite their lack of access to the proper facilities, teachers and technology. Dell has expanded the program across 15 countries including Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, the UK and the US, and has reached over three million children across more than 1,000 communities in the process. Dell has demonstrated impact at a huge scale and an unwavering commitment to creating a better world for young people.
  • Finalist: CHH Enterprises, Inc. (d/b/a New Signature)

“The 2013 Partner of the Year Award winners and finalists represent some of the best and brightest our ecosystem has to offer,” says Jon Roskill, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft. “That’s definitely worth celebrating.” Please join us in celebrating and applauding these winners for their exceptional work.