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Microsoft holds 2015 NGO Connection Day

Microsoft Philppines hosted this year’s NGO Connection Day at the SGV Hall of the AIM Conference Center in Makati City last 22 June 2015, with over 120 NGOs represented. NGO Connection Day is an annual event organized by Microsoft Philippines to help non-profits improve their impact through the use of technology. For the NGOs who attend, the event has become a venue for networking with like-minded individuals and organizations, and a way of sharing best practices and knowledge exchange on how their organizations take advantage of, and benefit from technology.

 Organized with non-profit Techsoup Asia (www.techsoup.asia), NGO Connection Day 2015 kicked off on a positive note with the keynote by Ms. Bettina Quimson, deputy executive director of the ICT Office of the DOST (www.icto.dost.gov.ph), who shared what is in the DOST’s ICTO pipeline — with plans to deploy free WiFi services in public places in the rural areas and improving technology access through the ICTO’s Tech4Ed program.

Next on center stage was Microsoft’s Kent Macatangay who presented technology trends and how access to Cloud computing could help NGOs strengthen operations, streamline processes and improve efficiency. He also talked about how non-profits could access Microsoft’s Cloud services for free or for a very low monthly subscription fee for premium products.

Then Gawad Kalinga (GK) head of IT Jersey Miranda, shared their experience on how GK is scaling up their operations with more efficiency while reducing costs through Office 365 and its Sharepoint Services. During the Q&A that followed, he was joined by Ms. Issa Cuevas-Santos, GK head of corporate shared services, who also narrated how the GK IT team was able to hurdle the challenges in rolling out such new technology throughout their organization.

The last speaker of the morning session was Frence Boiser of Student Catholic Action of the Philippines (SCAP), who described how he got his organization to use Office 365 and how it has improved productivity and minimized the operating costs of his 3-man NGO office, while staying connected with their various volunteers across the country.

After a quick lunch break, the event continued with a short demonstration of the impressive features of the Office 2013 productivity tools by Microsoft product specialist John Erwin Magno. He demonstraed  how new Excel add-ins—Power Maps, Power View and Power Query—could help NGOs manage big data.

The day wound down with presentations from Geo Corneby, Microsoft citizenship specialist, and Jed Abao, Techsoup Asia’s Philippine agent. Corneby’s talk covered the resources available to NGOs from the Microsoft group.

Techsoup’s Abao then did a walk-thru of how non-profits could register and start taking advantage of the software licensing packages available to NGOs at Techsoup Asia. In closing, he invited participants to stay in touch with one another and keep the technology conversations flowing by joining the NetSquared community which is facilitated by TechSoup Asia, World Vision, and Celina Agaon with support from Microsoft Philippines.

Reported by Gadgets Magazine editor-at-large Presy Alba.