Telecom Italia and Microsoft Italia today signed an agreement to promote digital development at Italian small- and medium-sized enterprises through the take-up of cloud computing-based IT solutions. The agreement envisages 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 by Telecom Italia to SMEs, in order to offer a broad portfolio of IT solutions based on Telecom Italia’s cloud computing infrastructure and Microsoft’s operating systems, platforms and applications software.
The venture will enable Italian small- and medium-sized enterprises to access all of the IT solutions they need to support and develop their business activities by leveraging cloud-based technologies that make it possible to optimize services and costs without requiring heavy investments in IT infrastructure and resources.
Telecom Italia and Microsoft are starting up Prospettiva Impresa to give a new and decisive boost to SME digitization, which is acknowledged as being vital to Italian economic system growth. By working together, the two companies aim to consolidate their respective leaderships on the Italian SME IT services market, which in 2012 is estimated to be worth approximately €2.2 billion (SME+SOHO targetable market, Telecom Italia figures based on Sirmi data).
This project, which will be the largest in the field in Italy, will see the integration and leveraging of assets and know-how deployed by the two companies.
Marco Patuano, CEO of Telecom Italia, and Pietro Scott Jovane, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Italia
A leader in software platforms and corporate productivity IT tools, Microsoft has long been working to increase take-up of cloud computing as a key technology for SME growth. At present, more than 70% of developers are working on cloud environment-related products and services. Every product and service has been designed and produced to take advantage of cloud computing.
Italy’s domestic IT and telecommunications player of reference, Telecom Italia has for some time had a Nuvola Italiana cloud computing product on the market, based on unique infrastructure assets consisting of its seven domestic data centers and connectivity networks, offering specific solutions to all different target groups. As part of its SME-dedicated Impresa Semplice portfolio, the company has developed its Ospit@ cloud services to support third party-developed operating systems, platforms and applications software. These solutions are designed to offer a key role 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, leveraging standards once only available to major corporations, including the benefits of offering end-to-end service.
This leading-edge approach allows sales channel partners to take advantage of the cloud as an opportunity to further develop relations with customers, while allowing customers to seize all of the opportunities offered by information technologies to make their companies more efficient and competitive, initiating a virtuous cycle for the growth and recovery of Italy’s economic system as a whole.
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 – Information Technology Impresa Semplice, Telecom Italia’s specialist channel for distributing IT solutions to SMEs that started up successfully last year.
IT IS is a pool of IT “fiduciaries” consisting of systems analysts, consultancies and software houses that already work side-by-side with local SMEs, often as corporate IT solutions managers, playing a key role in orienting client companies towards the choice of IT solutions thanks to a trust-based relationship with companies. The joint network of commercial partners will have all of the tools it requires to offer the best available IT solutions, ensuring high levels and standards of quality, and professional support and assistance services, with the objective of simplifying all key phases of the corporate computerization and digitization process for the end-user, from solution choice to implementation and management.
Microsoft and Telecom Italia will develop an IT offering for this joint channel that is both crucial and distinctive. The companies will organize ongoing technical and commercial training programmes consisting of courses, tutorials, tests and levels of certification designed ad hoc and implemented for “fiduciaries” (additional information is available on the www.prospettivaimpresa.it site).
Pietro Scott Jovane, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Italia says: “I am very happy to be here with Telecom Italia to present Prospettiva Impresa, a venture conceived to foster SME digital development that offers high-level competencies with unprecedented widespread local coverage. 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. 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.”
Marco Patuano, CEO of Telecom Italia, stated: “We fully believe that cloud computing is an important growth factor for Italy as a nation. Telecom Italia has for some time been fostering the take-up of cloud computing, in part through its own investments in data center infrastructure, by expanding and strengthening existing infrastructure and building new centers to cater to the requirements of clients with specific local needs. Thanks to this partnership with Microsoft, small- and medium-sized enterprises, which make up a significant part of Italy’s domestic economy, now have the opportunity to access the same technological tools once available exclusively to major corporations. Through this venture, Telecom Italia intends to put its distinguishing assets, including its ICT infrastructure, cloud platforms and competencies, at the service of the information technology professionals who work every day alongside Italy’s 4.5 million SMEs, supporting them in the process of digitization.”
Milan, 4 April 2012