MICROSOFT CEO SAYS INNOVATION THE KEY TO BUSINESS SUCCESS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
Sydney, Australia – 25, May 2007 – Microsoft Corporation Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer today urged the Australian business community to embrace innovation as a core competitive weapon in today’s global economy.
As part of a busy two-day Australian schedule, Mr Ballmer addressed business leaders at a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Sydney. His whirlwind tour of Australia included, among others, meetings with Prime Minister John Howard, leader of the opposition, Kevin Rudd, a range of other ministers and shadow ministers, various state governments, federal and state CIOs and executives at leading banks.
Mr Ballmer’s visit was punctuated yesterday by the signing of a Defence partnership agreement with Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence, Mr Peter Lindsay MP which was attended by other high ranking Defence Department personnel. The partnership agreement reaffirmed both parties’ commitments to collaborate on matters of national defence and in so doing keep the Australian Defence Force at the forefront of technological innovation.
At the AmCham luncheon, attended by more than 400 business executives, Mr Ballmer shifted his focus from national defence to economic growth and urged Australians to work together to allow greater access to, and education in, information and communications technologies (ICT) and services. Adding that in doing so, business reaps the benefits of new ideas and processes that can add significantly to a company’s bottom line.
Mr Ballmer stressed how ICT has brought significant changes in the way people go about their daily lives and become a powerful factor in business.
“Today the right technology can enable businesses to unleash the full creativity and productivity of their most important asset: their people,” Mr Ballmer said. “Technology that is powerful, integrated and easy to use – these are the keys to making a business truly people ready. Governments and business leaders that embrace technology and innovation will be far more competitive in today’s global marketplace,” continued Mr Ballmer.
Microsoft expects to see great changes in the next 10 years, particularly from the free flow of media content delivered over IP networks and the next generations of phones and ultra mobile devices.
“We see exciting opportunities to deliver incredible value to our customers, enabling them to stay connected through their PCs, mobile phones, interactive TVs, entertainment devices and online Web-based services,” Mr Ballmer said.
Mr Ballmer also discussed the growing need for ICT literacy and access, which can lead to stronger social cohesion and development, and allow individuals to maximize their creative potential.
“When we talk about our mission as a company, we talk about helping people and businesses throughout the world realise their potential,” said Mr Ballmer. “Opportunities abound for technology to drive positive social and economic change. As leaders and concerned citizens, we in the ICT industry must strive to help everyone participate fully in the information economy,” he added.
In addition to business benefits, Mr Ballmer highlighted several segments of Australian society which can still use assistance, such as people on low incomes, those without tertiary education, Australians of indigenous heritage and senior citizens. He encouraged the use of innovation and technology to create new economic and business opportunities for these groups. Microsoft is committed to contributing significantly to making the region more globally competitive. Through industry and government partnerships, Microsoft facilitates a number of programs to further innovation and education. Among these are Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential efforts, which use technology, training and partnerships to transform education, foster local innovation, and enable jobs and opportunities to sustain a continuous cycle of social and economic growth for the estimated 5 billion people who are not yet realizing the benefits of technology.
According to Mr Charles Blunt, National Director, American Chamber of Commerce, the event was a huge success: “Mr Ballmer really made an impact during his presentation. In particular, business executives were impressed by the hands-on approach taken by Microsoft to include more citizens in the digital space, and the significant time, effort and resources the company is putting towards research and development.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.