By Emma Okonji
The Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, Mr. Satya Nadella has stressed the need for organisations to build critical infrastructure and to leverage technology in addressing the negative effect of COVID-19 on businesses.
Nadella, in a recent email he sent to all Microsoft employee, assured them of the willingness of Microsoft to continue to provide critical infrastructure for the communities where it operates and encouraged them to use such infrastructure to better their communities, especially at this period of COVID-19 crisis.
He stressed the need for critical infrastructure development in the areas of healthcare, communication, education, security, among others.
According to him, “Microsoft technology solution in healthcare is being used for telemedicine, enabling user-intuitive solutions to share data and access critical information. St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania and other health institutions across the globe are using Teams to video chat with patients most vulnerable to COVID-19.
“Last week, we released a new Power Platform template to help customers share information and collaborate during a crisis, and it has already been installed by more than 2,000 customers around the world. Global universities have created interactive dashboard to visualize and track COVID-19 cases in real time.
“All the data collected are available via a GitHub repository, and the solution is hosted by our partner Esri’s ArcGIS mapping and analysis software, on Azure. Most importantly, the solution is freeing up doctors, nurses, administrators, and other healthcare professionals to provide critical care to those who need it most.”
“Across the public sector, we are working with governments to help them engage citizens, share guidance, and enable employees to work remotely. In education, schools and universities around the world are turning to Teams for remote learning, Nadella said.
“In security, we are using our AI and human intelligence capabilities to stop attacks designed to take advantage of the angst caused by the virus. As part of a recent spear-phishing campaign, attackers created emails to look like legitimate supply-chain reports related to COVID-19. Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection identified and blocked the attack in transit and shared signals with the Microsoft Defender service to protect all our customers,” Nadella added.
According to him, “We also know that technology has a role to play in accelerating progress for solutions to the pandemic. We are collaborating with research institutions to create an open, machine readable dataset of all scientific literature on COVID-19. Our hope is that the content will help researchers develop deeper understandings and approaches to addressing the pandemic. We are expanding our existing partnership with Adaptive Biotechnologies to map the immune system’s response to COVID-19 and will make the data set freely accessible to speed development of treatments.
“Finally, we are mobilising across the company to address the broader societal and economic impact of the virus. To address the significant hardship that lost work creates for employees and families, we are paying our employees in our retail stores and our hourly service providers at impacted sites around the world their regular pay during this time regardless of hours worked. And we’re providing relief funds for local communities, contributing financial support to those on the front line of the response and to impacted small businesses. Our Tech for Social Impact team is working with nonprofits and international organizations like the United Nations to facilitate remote work and assist in their crisis response work. Last week, we released additional solutions for nonprofits and international organizations, which will be free for six months.”