Bahrain’s cooperation with leading organisations in the information and communication technology (ICT) field, including Microsoft, has played a pivotal role in achieving national goals and backing digital transformation, said an expert.

The renewal of the strategic partnership with Microsoft would contribute to facilitating the country’s transition to the digital era, and would enhance efforts to maintain the continuity of providing services with the same efficiency and quality while improving economic growth and the lives of citizens and residents in Bahrain, said Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, Chief Executive of Bahrain’s Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA).

“Bahrain is a pioneer in digital transformation in the Middle East and North Africa region. The kingdom is always an early adopter of advanced technology and cloud computing services. This supported government’s work and enhanced its quality and outputs, enabling it to leverage the many advantages provided by technology, and provided a wide scope to support the kingdom’s efforts at digital transformation and business development in various fields,” he told a workshop organised by iGA and Microsoft on the latest innovations with the participation of Chief Information Officers and managers representing various government agencies in Bahrain.

New capabilities

“This event is an important opportunity to showcase the new capabilities that will be achieved through this partnership,” he said.

The workshop is in line with the recent renewal of the strategic partnership between the government of Bahrain, represented by iGA, and Microsoft to support national efforts and accelerate the pace of digital transformation in the kingdom.

During the event, Al Qaed shared the details of the partnership between Bahrain government and Microsoft. “These will contribute, through the easy and smooth use of technology to improving services through the use of information technology, as well as providing a package of training programme,” he said. “Workshops for employees of government agencies will also help to refine and develop national competencies working in the technology sector in the government.”

Unprecedented potential

Sheikh Saif bin Hilal Al Hosani, General Manager of Microsoft Bahrain and Oman, said: “Microsoft has always been devoted, in the context of its well-established relationship with the government of Bahrain, to fulfil its commitments in promoting the kingdom’s use of advanced technologies and stimulating the launch of innovative initiatives and projects.

“The step to renew the partnership comes in line with these endeavours, as we realise that advanced technologies such as cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things provide unprecedented potential and open new horizons for economic growth and the provision of advanced services. We look forward to fulfilling our duty in this partnership to support the government to take advantage of these opportunities.”

During the workshop, iGA reviewed the details of the contract with Microsoft, where it clarified the procurement mechanism and best practices that ensure the full benefit of the benefits that the contract brings to government agencies.

End Point Manager

In addition to highlighting its team's efforts and support to ensure business continuity and maximum benefit from the services provided, the authority also reviewed its experience with the End Point Manager (Intune) cloud computing service, which is presents the best leading practices in managing users' devices from computers and smartphones to work the necessary updates and improvements to operating systems and applications.

This, in turn, contributes to raising the level of protection and security, saving entities time and effort.

Moreover, Microsoft reviewed its leading cloud services such as Azure, Azure Marketplace and Power Platform, which would support the government of Bahrain in providing its citizens with services, modernising infrastructure, and enhancing cloud computing security and compliance standards. The company also made recommendations on best measures and practices to improve the digital experience and reinvent the way services are delivered to citizens and residents.

80,000 licences for employees

The agreement includes more than 80,000 licences for employees of government agencies, in addition to providing second and third level technical support throughout the day and many workshops.

The agreement also includes activating cloud computing services within the Microsoft 365 software package, as well as creating a platform for each party that includes virtual applications and programs that facilitate the flow of operations and raise the level of data security.

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