I truly believe that Europe has an immense potential to innovate. As stated by the EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be the powerhouse of the Innovation Union, as they represent more than 99% of all businesses and employ more than 90 million people in Europe.
In my work, I come across numerous examples of European SMEs that work with Microsoft products and technologies to turn ideas into IT solutions, which benefit business, the public sector and society at large. To mention a couple of examples: Bbits that developed LondonCleanStreets, an award winning free cloud based portal that helps people who live or work in London to upload photographs of community problems that require action by the local authority; as well as HRLocker.com that created a highly configurable and easy to set up cloud based HR management system.
Cloud computing is proving itself to be a crucial ingredient for the growth of these SMEs, creating a more level playing field that enables SMEs to expand rapidly, enter new markets, and offer innovative solutions. These growing SMEs will in turn stimulate further growth of the European economy.
In order to showcase the innovation power of our European partners, we have dedicated a special area on our website to them - Cloud & Interoperability Demo area, where you can view video demos of the latest European Innovations displayed in our Brussels based Cloud and Interoperability Center, opened in March 2011. The Cloud and Interoperability Center showcases cloud computing strategies and interoperable solutions for governments, businesses, and other organizations, in areas including health, education and eGovernment.
At Microsoft, we are constantly investing in European R&D, driving new software products and services, inspiring new ways of using efficient information technology solutions and contributing to long-term sustainable growth of our company, our partners, and Europe’s economy and society.
Make sure you check out our first demo video on our Cloud & Interoperability Demo Area, aimed at enhancing better and more cost-effective healthcare in Europe, - and look out for more in the coming weeks.