Last week, Telecom Italia and Microsoft signed an agreement to collaborate on cloud computing-based IT services to promote digital development for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).
The agreement includes the start up of a new project called Prospettiva Impresa, which will establish a joint sales channel within the IT IS – Information Technology Impresa Semplice – partner network dedicated to SMBs, in order to offer IT services based on Telecom Italia’s (Milan, Italy) cloud computing infrastructure and Microsoft’s (Redmond, Wash., USA) operating systems, platforms and applications software .
According to Telecom Italia, the venture will enable SMB to access all of the IT services needed to support and develop their business activities by leveraging cloud -based technologies that optimize services and costs without requiring heavy investments in IT infrastructure and resources.
By working together, the Telecom Italia and Microsoft aim to consolidate on the Italian SME IT services market, which in 2012 is estimated to be worth approximately $2.8 billion.
As part of Telecom Italia’s SME-dedicated Impresa Semplice portfolio, the company has developed a cloud service to support third party-developed operating systems, platforms and applications software. These services are designed to offer roles to sales channel partners in the management of IT resources, support to companies in how they deploy IT, and solutions customization to meet client needs, says the service provider.
The venture specifically calls for the selection and assembly of a network of IT experts specialized in Microsoft technologies and Telecom Italia’s cloud solutions, who will join IT IS, says the companies.
Microsoft and Telecom Italia will organize ongoing technical and commercial training programs consisting of courses, tutorials, tests and levels of certification designed ad hoc.
“SMEs are an essential resource for growth in Italy. Indeed, one of Microsoft’s objectives in its three-year investment plan is the digitization of 500,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises,” says Pietro Scott Jovane, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Italia. “We believe that this agreement with Telecom Italia will help achieve the goal that we have set ourselves. Prospettiva Impresa will, furthermore, allow us to add further value to the ecosystem of Microsoft’s 25,000 partners in Italy.”