Posted by James Utzschneider
General Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

Microsoft has changed as a company and become more open. This includes building interoperability into our core products that span office productivity and collaboration, cross-platform systems management, and security and identity management.  We’ve made these investments as a result of listening to customers and focusing on helping them meet new and evolving challenges while making it easier and less costly for them to manage their IT environments.  Below is a list of some of these global customers.  

Aegis Foundation: The non-profit organization in Poland selected Windows Azure as an “open platform” for running open projects and applications primarily developed with open source technology and open standards. 
Ale Kommun Municipality: Ale Kommun, Sweden chose Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Lync to realize cost savings and improve efficiency.  Noting the integration capabilities of the Microsoft platform, it was less costly to invest in Microsoft Office when compared to OpenOffice.
Argentina's Ministry for Justice and Human Rights: The Ministry upgraded to Microsoft Lync 2010, resulting in lower costs, faster IT service delivery and a 40% gain in productivity. Especially important was Lync’s improved interoperability with traditional PBX systems, which allowed the Ministry to get more value from existing telephony investments while providing new capabilities rather than being forced to rip and replace its current systems.
Banca di Credito Cooperativo Sant'Elena: The bank switched to Microsoft Office from OpenOffice due to Office’s ability to better integrate with the application infrastructure and simplify access and management of data and documents, resulting in a better experience for their customers.
Bank AlBilad: Bank AlBilad chose several Microsoft technologies to support their mixed IT needs, including Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Active Directory, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.  Their solution is running on VMware virtualization software and is integrated with Cisco Personal Assistant telephony.  Also, Exchange Server 2010 has integrated easily with the bank’s non-Microsoft technologies.
CASPUR: CASPUR, a computing consortium in Rome, wanted to improve the usability of its high-performance computing (HPC) center for Italy’s research community, so it adopted a pilot cluster that runs the Windows HPC Server 2008 operating system.  Researchers now have an HPC option that is more compatible with their scientific software and provides accelerated data processing of more than two orders of magnitude over single-processor systems.
City of Milwaukee: Milwaukee, USA had a familiar problem: finding a better, less expensive way to manage a growing IT infrastructure.  The city adopted a Microsoft virtualization solution that includes Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V virtualization technology that supports both Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies, such as Linux.  Now, the city’s IT staff is 50 percent more productive, licensing costs are down, and server performance has improved.
Comune di Roma: After testing a variety of options including an open source client and Postfix email, the City of Rome made the decision to adopt Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 to update their outdated operating systems and progressively migrate all workstations to a more powerful client environment. The immediate benefits have been a more reliable environment where more than 50 key business applications seamlessly run with better backend integration.
Dentsu: Dentsu, the top ad agency in Japan, and its digital subsidiary Dentsu Razorfish switched from an open source-based Facebook CMS solution to an Azure-based CMS cloud application platform, citing its increased cost effectiveness, impressive technical support and its openness in supporting multiple development languages.
Embraer: Embraer developed their new website following the W3C standards that Microsoft also supports. This made their SharePoint 2010 implementation even easier, requiring few adjustments to support the same code across multiple platforms, browsers and devices, including the iPad and iPhone.
Emperia Trading Group: Consisting of a dozen independent companies, Poland’s Emperia Trading Group switched from OpenOffice to Microsoft Office to increase its service levels, improve communication across constituent companies, and reduce maintenance costs. 
En Japan: The digital media company chose Windows Azure over Linux on AWS due to benefits such as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cost savings and Azure’s ability to support development of a broad range of applications.  For example, en-Tree Work is their social recruiting support application on Facebook that is well supported by Azure.
Florida Atlantic University (FAU):  When FAU hit its third round of state-level budget cuts, it knew that it had to fundamentally change the way it delivered IT services. By using Linux Integration Services for Windows Server Hyper-V, FAU is able to run their critical Blackboard curriculum management application on Linux and improve performance.  They have also been able to reduce costs by US $600K while expanding and improving the availability of IT services.
Fonavipo: Fonavipo in El Salvador integrated Windows Server 2008 with the open source Joomla content management system. Increased flexibility, enhanced content publishing processes, and improved communication between citizens and the institution are the highlights of the project.
Fondo Social de Vivienda: The Fondo Social Fund for housing in El Salvador developed a website that integrated Microsoft and non-Microsoft solutions on Windows Server, including Joomla and others applications in .NET, Silverlight, and PHP.  The solutions coexist in a “hassle-free and stable" manner, resulting in significantly improved customer service.
Forsyth County Schools: A leader in academic technology innovation, this Atlanta-area district switched back from OpenOffice to Microsoft Office.  Now tasks that took hours are completed in just minutes, teachers are making optimal use of a powerful learning management system, administrators are doing the same with line-of-business applications and databases, and students are working more efficiently in and out of the classroom.
Government of Albania: By hosting key applications in a private cloud environment based on Microsoft technologies, the agency has found that productivity of its current resources has improved.  Also, government users now get better, faster, and more reliable application services.
Government of the Punjab: Pakistan’s Punjab IT Labs Project heralds ground-breaking improvements to the region’s education system, establishing more than 4,200 computer labs in all 36 districts of Punjab, a county home to 90 million people. The project team evaluated Microsoft alternatives, including OpenOffice and Linux, but chose Microsoft because of the support they knew they would receive and the potential to bridge the digital divide for their citizens.
LIBRO: As business grew, LIBRO sought ways to increase efficiencies, lower costs, and gain greater control over its heterogeneous infrastructure containing Microsoft and Linux technologies.  LIBRO purchased SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Support subscriptions through Microsoft to receive single-vendor Linux support. They also participated in a successful proof of concept (POC) that demonstrated how to standardize their mixed environment using the cross-platform capabilities of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager.
Konrad Kleiner GmbH and Co.: Konrad Kleiner migrated from OpenOffice to Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, resulting in improved communications across the company, better interoperability with suppliers’ applications, and improved data management.
Kyoto Prefecture: In order to better serve its residents and share and exchange data smoothly with other agencies and private organizations, Kyoto switched to Microsoft Office 2010, citing its improved functionality, security, and ability to seamlessly integrate with Exchange Server 2010, Share Point Server 2010 and other products. 
Mobility Car Sharing:  Europe’s largest car sharing provider developed and implemented a new car sharing platform called MobiSys 2.0 with a service-oriented architecture based on Microsoft technology and open source components. The database back end is now fully covered by Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Thanks to the open architecture, it was possible to integrate mobile applications for smartphones with ease.
Ministry of Education and Culture, Brazil: A rural school pilot project in Brazil replaced an open source solution with Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 to create a technology learning lab that supports multiple remote users sharing one host computer simultaneously. The school deployed 17 host computers and have reduced costs, expanded interest in learning, and increased exposure to technology for both students and teachers.
Museum of Vancouver:  For a big exhibit, the museum upgraded a PHP/Drupal solution running on Windows Server and extended it with a Silverlight Interactive Map application to deliver a compelling experience across three screens:  web (Drupal + Silverlight), desktop (Silverlight in the browser), and mobile (Windows Phone 7).
Nijibox:  Previously a LAMP-only company, Nijibox decided to use Windows Azure to launch a new social game application for the Facebook market after they were impressed with Azure’s support for open source, including PHP applications. 
Polytechnic of Zagreb: When the Croatian school needed to replace its aging email solution on a single Linux server, they evaluated Microsoft Live.edu and Google Apps for Education.  Live@edu was the clear winner due to its robust suite of tools that are helping the school run more smoothly and open up future opportunities for their students.
Department of Education, Philippines:  The Philippines Department of Education chose a Windows infrastructure after assessing that it would be 33 percent less expensive to deploy and support. Now students are better prepared to join the workforce, teachers save time developing teaching lessons, and schools can expedite report creation.
Qualicorp Soluções em Saúde: Brazil’s Qualicorp wanted to make it easier for users to access information about their health care by developing a multimedia application for self-service terminals. The company instead decided to do a full migration to the .NET platform, which increased its productivity in developing services and new features, allowing it to centralize multiple services into a single channel to give users of health plans easy access to information.
Revigres: This ceramic flooring and pavement company needed to upgrade its technology to support its rapid growth. By switching from Linux to Microsoft Exchange 2010 on top of Windows Server 2008, Revigres increased productivity through improved ease of management and administration, better synchronization of information between devices, and improved remote access and sharing capabilities. 
City of Reykjavik, Iceland:  IT leadership considered open source alternatives, such as Linux Enterprise Desktop and OpenOffice to lower license costs. After comparing total costs of ownership, the city selected Microsoft technologies as its unified infrastructure and desktop solution. By selecting the lower-TCO solution, IT leadership has aligned its strategy with the broader vision of Reykjavik’s economic recovery.
RTP (Portuguese National TV): RTP switched about 3,500 mailboxes from an open source solution to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 running on Windows Server 2008 R2 on a virtualized infrastructure with Hyper-V. This resulted in improved functionality, greater remote access, increased ease of management, and improved reliability.
Santos CMI: The Ecuadorian engineering, procurement and construction company migrated from Open Office to Microsoft Office 2010 to improve productivity, solve compatibility problems and reduce costs. The results:  $2 million in training cost savings, a 30 percent increase in productivity, and a 15 percent reduction in operating costs.
Municipality of Sarpsborg, Norway:  In order to improve services and accessibility for citizens, the municipality migrated to Windows Server, Exchange Server, and Microsoft Systems Center from disparate open source solutions.  They describe their new solution as simple and transparent, noting that “all the parts talk to each other” now.
SKTelecom: SK Telecom needed to get new products and services to market faster for its B2B and B2C cloud services business. It found the solution to its problem by using Microsoft System Center to centrally manage its existing virtualized infrastructure across platforms, significantly shortening its resource provisioning time. 
St. Lucie County Public Schools:  Affordably standardized its IT environment, moving away from a mixture of duplicative open source solutions to Microsoft Exchange.  They wanted an integrated approach, one in which they could just pay for and support a single set of flexible products that worked well together. The result is better data integration and streamlined business processes, allowing St. Lucie teachers and administrators to focus on providing high-quality education for the 40,000 students they serve.
Takara Tommy Entermedia: Takara Tommy had only LAMP-stack technology, but decided to use Windows Azure to launch a new social mobile game application for GREE (Japan’s top mobile social game SNS) after they learned more about Microsoft’s commitment to openness and Azure’s support for open source applications, including PHP.
Tatweer Education Program: The program in Saudi Arabia needed a standardized, secure email system for 6 million students and a collaboration platform for 500,000 teachers that combined on premises and cloud-hosted environments. They considered Google Apps and open source solutions, but chose Microsoft Exchange Server supported by Microsoft security products to align with Saudi Arabia’s data security requirements and to help protect students from inappropriate Internet content.
Terengganu State ICT, Malaysia:  Currently more than 90,000 students have their own PCs and the economy is benefiting from assembling the PCs locally. The state is taking advantage of programs that will help it extend the reach of ICT in schools and local communities to ensure technology is at the core of its education and industry initiatives.
Unimed Blumenau: Based in Brazil, Unimed Blumenau has a headquarters, four regional offices and more than 200 medical service providers that serve more than 90,000 customers. In 2011, the company moved their Linux server based email to Microsoft Exchange Online.  As a result, they were able to adopt a model of cloud computing resulting in lower costs, high availability, and the ability to delegate the maintenance and update tasks to Microsoft datacenters.
Universidad de Tarija: With an enrollment of 17,000 students in 10 different locations throughout Bolivia, the University of Tarija needed an efficient and low cost way to track employment of their graduates. They developed a Microsoft .NET application on Linux using Mono.
Xenialab: Based in Italy, Xenialab provides mobile and unified collaboration and communication solutions using Microsoft .NET and open source technologies. This hybrid solution called XCALLY has increased functionality and scalability for a variety of services for their customers. 

For more on Microsoft’s approach to openness and how open source customers are embracing Microsoft, please see my other post today.