Microsoft has entered into a three-year partnership with the Special Olympics to help modernise the non-profit organisation’s software and games management system, as well as help elevate it to the cloud.
“The Special Olympics’ goal of creating a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people is something we believe in here at Microsoft,” said Lisa Brummel, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Human Resources. “I am thrilled about our partnership with the Special Olympics over the next few years and our opportunity to contribute both technology and financial support to help them run their organisation.”
Despite enjoying a high global profile, as a non-profit organisation, Special Olympics has to run within its means. The organisation was previously running the risk of hitting a ‘technology ceiling’ if it didn’t modernise its technology.
Special Olympics has nearly 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries globally, but the organisation has been limited in its ability to do things like schedule them to compete, track performance information and capture health data.
Based on Microsoft Azure, the enhanced games management system will allow for instant access to real-time update and information about athletes.
Microsoft will also provide 800 Surface tablets and 1,200 Lumia phones. These will be used to track events at next year’s World Games in Los Angeles, which Microsoft is sponsoring, helping to connect volunteers across multiple venues.
Microsoft has also committed to raising funds for the Special Olympics organisation, and will donate more than US$1 million over the next three years.
“We’re so excited. This is going to change our world,” said Janet Froetscher, chief executive officer, Special Olympics. “Our partnership with Microsoft is going to allow us to leap frog into the next universe and be able to execute on our mission in a much more powerful way. The more we can make that technology driven, the more power our movement has.”
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