Microsoft Portugal wants to support domestic growth through internationalisation

 In Entering Foreign Markets
Microsoft Portugal

Microsoft Portugal

Supporting internationalisation is the principal area for growth, but supporting the modernisation of companies and civil service, education, employment, citizenship and social responsibility are other areas where Microsoft wants to focus their support.

A little more than a month before the start of the new fiscal year, João Couto, director-general of Microsoft Portugal since February 2013, spoke about his vision, current and future, and the principal areas where he sees Microsoft being able to engage with national companies to develop and grow. “If these companies do not grow, neither does Microsoft,” he says. Because of this, the company is maintaining and reinforcing its commitment to the Portuguese market.

João Couto, Director General, Microsoft Portugal

João Couto, Director General, Microsoft Portugal

At the conference ‘Microsoft Get Inspired’, organised by Microsoft in partnership with BizDirect, MyPartner and Unisys, João Couto confessed that he has been slightly overwhelmed by the ‘depressive environment’ that he has found on his return to Portugal. He is now asking “what can we do for Portugal? How can we be successful in the future? We, at Microsoft, want to be part of the future in Portugal and so we are committed to helping companies and the country grow.”

While it won’t be easy, João Couto wants to promote a message of hope and optimism, empowerment and the democratisation of IT.

Microsoft guarantee to continue with their investment into Portugal, specifically in education and innovation with new technologies and equipment. Microsoft’s commitment between 2004-2012 to Portugal was €10m. Each euro injected into the Portuguese economy generated around an additional €10 into the public purse.

Internationalisation in “pole position”

To help Portuguese companies grow, Microsoft is defining four areas in which they will focus their support; modernisation of the civil service as well as national companies, internationalisation and employment, education and citizenship/corporate social responsibility.

The first area of focus will be internationalisation. Aware that government driven international strategy is weak and resources are too thinly spread, João Couto said that “there are just three ways to grow; organic growth within the country, with an increase in local demand. However, there is little local capital and it is likely that unemployment figures will rise. An alternative is an increase in external, international investment. It is possible, but even with an injection of €10b, it won’t significantly alter growth.” What is left and where Microsoft can support directly, is international growth. “We provide less than 1% of the global demand for software. We can only grow.” It is internationalisation which will be the next, albeit, difficult step for SMEs.

João Couto said that they have seen that there are some IT competencies in which local employees are lacking. To support the internationalisation process, Microsoft will:

  • Offer a cloud based support network to SMEs
  • Offer Financial support
  • Make training available that will lead to guaranteed employment
  • Deliver Professional work placements

For the other areas, such as education and modernisation of the civil service, Microsoft will be encouraging the use of the cloud as a driver towards efficiency, flexibility and scalability. Cloud services will be available as a tool for process and solutions optimisation.

João Couto concluded that “we have to take the country out of this depressive vicious circle.”

Source: Computer World

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