ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector Laura Ipsen.
LAURA IPSEN: Good morning, everyone. It's great to be here for my first WPC. And I would like to give a special callout to our public sector partners. Where are you guys? Let's give you a clap.
Thank you so much for the work that you do. It's simply incredible and having huge impact on the way governments are working in the future. You know, three weeks ago I was in Russia, and I had a chance to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and an opportunity to speak with many of the government leaders around critical issues ranging from education, healthcare, public safety, and the environment. And they talked about the role of information technology to transform the economy.
Whether it was the Minister of Education from New Zealand to the head of the Dutch Police, the issues really aren't that much different from governments; it's really about how they do more with less, and we're helping governments in these times of austerity and budget cuts to do more with less so that they can compete around jobs and competition for innovation and investment. But I think it's also an important time that governments can do new with less, and that's really what our suite of products and technologies are doing today.
So, you know, in these times of global economic uncertainty, government leaders, whether they're heads of state or mayors, are having to make really tough choices. They're making choices about jobs. They're making choices about policies and regulations that shape the future of our industry. And I think it's a great opportunity for us to get engaged in those conversations, because what governments do today are going to have a huge impact on our business tomorrow. And by listening and learning, and working with all of our partners, we can really act on the strength that we have to have a real impact for a better tomorrow.
You know, internally it's something that we call our national plan, and our national plan initiative is something really exciting that I want to share with all of you. We've made it a priority for every Microsoft leader, our country's leads around the world, to shape a national plan to align with the national agendas of government. We have over 80 of these plans in all of these countries, and it's really about taking a coordinated and local approach to work on the top initiatives in a country. And by working together, we really believe that we can elevate the conversation with leaders, strengthen our strategic relationships, and have a positive policy and regulatory impact on the environment in which we do business.
You know, some people would say, “Hey, maybe these national plans are about philanthropy,” and I want to let you know that it goes well beyond corporate social responsibility. It's really a critical tool for all of us to secure our business health, not just for Microsoft, but for all of our partners.
The other thing that governments are really focused on, as we all know, is about economic growth. It's a top priority. And our ecosystem, I believe, is really critical and it's the engine for the future innovation and growth. We're doing two amazing things around the world, working with many of our partners; first is the Microsoft innovation centers. We have over 100 centers globally, which are really the sounding board for your great ideas and transform those ideas into fantastic products for our customers.
The other one is our BizSpark Initiative. We're working with thousands of our partners to connect software startups with incubators, investors, and even government agencies. And since 2008, we've helped over 45,000 companies in 100 countries around the world. And it means expanding access to our schools and technologies, creating mentorship programs, and building local networks. And what it really means is helping entrepreneurs get off the ground.
I noticed there was a study by Gartner that over the next five years over 90 percent of all jobs are going to have to have some sort of ITP skills. And if this is true, we're really going to have to change the way that we educate in the future, and create ubiquitous digital literacy. Our vision for education is about anytime, anywhere learning. And with 24,000 of our global education partners, we are really realizing that vision.
One of the most powerful initiatives that we have is our Partners in Learning Program. We are with all of you. We've trained over 10 million teachers in eight years, and engaged over 30,000 schools, and countless numbers of students. What's really cool about this is it's about a social network for teachers, for teachers to exchange their best ideas, whether it's in Australia, or here in Canada. And it's not just about teaching technologies, but it's about using technology to teach students in better ways.
You know, you heard yesterday that we've doubled our footprint for Office 365 for education and government. It's really exciting. But we also made a fantastically bold move; we took price off the table, and we made Office 365 free for students, teachers, and administrators. Great job. (Applause.) Thank you.
Let me tell you what that means, just in the last few days, we've won and deployed three-and-a-half million seats, and we've closed over 20 million seats. One of the really incredible deals that we had we announced at the Vatican with four-and-a-half million seats with the Catholic International Education Office. Now, what is also exciting is that we're going to move the 120 million seats of Live@edu customers onto Office 365. Great job by the team.
Now, I can't think of a better way for all of our partners and all of you to have the best education platform to attach your solutions and services, and I know as we do this we can win big in education.
Now, it's not just about education; there are other societal challenges that are really shaping the global economy. And one of the most challenging ones is around healthcare. It really is a challenge, but it's also a great opportunity. We're using our technology to transform healthcare. What we've done is to build an open source architecture called our Connected Health Framework, which enables 27,000 of our healthcare partners to grow and to create a new market and a digital market around healthcare.
One of the partners that we're working with from Portugal named Ongoing (ph) is using Azure and cloud to connect over 200 hospitals, and a million patient records. What does this mean? It means that there's new access to data, new analytics, new types of monitoring, and we're enabling the Government of Rio not just to save money on healthcare, but to significantly transform the quality of healthcare as well.
I think one of the biggest challenges with healthcare, though, is there's significant policy and regulatory issues that make it really tough in this business. I've talked with a lot of our partners, and I want to let you know that those issues around privacy, and security, around medical records, and confidential data is one area where I believe we have the best products, create the best solutions and services with our partners in healthcare.
I think a lot of us are watching events in countries like Brazil, and as we all know, Brazil is going to host both the World Cup and the Olympics. So public safety is a huge issue for the country. Now, having traveled there, I think transportation is another critical one, getting around that they're going to have to deal with. We're working with a great partner there called Adento (ph) using cutting edge security solutions around situational awareness, location-based mobile solutions and visual recognition solutions using Kinect. It's just a fantastic way to demonstrate how Kinect is transforming not just how we're doing gaming, but education, security, and many other areas.
And the impact of this for our partners is the solution has been so compelling that we built it as a permanent demo in one of our Microsoft innovation centers. What does that mean for our partners? It means great exposure. It means that they're able to influence governments in different ways. And it's meant a transformation and increased business for their long-term potential.
So, why is Microsoft and our ecosystem the best partners for government? I think fundamentally it's about our business model. Our model is about putting people first. While other industry players put people and their information to work for them, at Microsoft we put our technology to work for people. It's really the foundation for which we go to market, and I think it's one of the most sustainable ways that we ensure a healthy and robust ecosystem for our partners to grow and become successful.
And we all know there's a lot of competition. But, I think our business model is the one that's going to win. It's about investing in people, innovation, and intellectual property. We invest over $9 billion in R&D annually. That's more than any other company in the world, and it means that we're building the best product for our customers, enabling you to build the best solutions and services to deploy around the world.
In contrast, there's two other business models. One is the Amazon model, which is a low-cost retail model, and the other one is the ad-sponsored model Google. Those models aren't around putting people first. We believe that our business model is best for our customers, our partners, and it's truly going to drive the future of innovation and long-term sustainable growth.
I'm not here to be the product expert, but I can tell you one of the biggest differentiators that we have is around privacy and security of our product. We've made these issues a top priority at Microsoft for all of our products. We've made it a priority to comply with government regulations where others, quite frankly, don't. Whether it's the EU Model Clause, building to ISO 20001, written notification for breech, these are the issues that we pay attention to, because it makes a difference for all of you as our partners and our customers.
At the end of the day, we're not reading Hotmail to target ads; we're not using e-mail and business documents in Office 365 to target and sell to advertisers either. But, what we do do is offer the best-in-class privacy protection with Internet Explorer. And what I think is really exciting is in IE 10 and Windows 8 we're going to have the first and only browser with Do Not Track privacy protection turned on by default.
You know, while we may live in uncertain times, in particular in the economy, one thing is really certain; we're embarking on a new era here at Microsoft, and together we can help entire countries achieve their goals. And if we do it right, I think we can have a real impact for a better tomorrow, not only globally, but locally. And I think it also means that we can have great wins with all of our partners together. Let me show you a little bit more of what I'm talking about.
I want to thank all the partners that participated in that video and made a real difference. Now, I know that we're a company of action items, so I wanted to share if you're sitting there thinking about the national plan and what partners can do; there are really three things that you can do. First, engage with your local Microsoft team for details on their national plan and the opportunities that you have to connect with all of them. Quite frankly, if they don't have a plan, please give me a call personally.
Second, make your cause Microsoft's cause. We have a great software donation program that matches donations to nonprofits that are empowering youth. So, please participate in that program. I know you've had a lot of information on that. Finally, let's tell our story together by leveraging our marketing and PR and events, so that we can highlight your great solutions and services. I believe that together we can make a real impact for a better tomorrow.