Photo - Tzu Chi Centre -Jing-Si Hall, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur - to be completed end-2013
International charity The Tzu Chi Foundation has installed a comprehensive stack of Microsoft technology to help it streamline its humanitarian efforts, said the Malaysian non-governmental organisation.
The non-governmental organisation (NGO), which has special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council, employs 500 permanent staff and operates through 40 offices in the country with 20,000 volunteers to deliver a range of medical, educational, welfare and humanitarian initiatives.
Tzu Chi ('Compassionate Relief') KL-Selangor Branch deputy chief executive officer Sio Kee Hong said: "When members of the public called and asked for help, we used to need some time to gather our resources and information. Sometimes, this took up to three hours. However, since we deployed Microsoft's suite of solutions, we work faster. Now we typically respond within the hour."
Before the Microsoft implementation, Tzu Chi used a mix of open source and proprietary software for its communications and IT infrastructure, said Sio. However, documents were often produced in incompatible formats across multiple desktop versions and software products, which caused a slowdown of work among volunteers.
Sio Kee Hong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Tzu Chi KL-Selangor Branch.
He said that early this year, Tzu Chi opted for a special licensing arrangement that allowed for software donations to charitable organisations, standardised its entire infrastructure on an up-to-date Microsoft stack, which included Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Active Directory and Windows Server.
"We chose Microsoft because all our permanent staff are familiar with Microsoft products, and the products are supported by Microsoft," said Sio. "Also, IT specialists with Microsoft skills are relatively easy to find. This is essential if we want to improve reliability, and build and integrate tools ourselves."
The NGO's staff adapted positively to the new IT, he said. "We found everyone adapted very quickly, and I observe that everyone gets their work done more quickly. Greater efficiency means we provide much better services to the community."
Microsoft Malaysia managing director, Carlos Lacerda, said: "Stories like this continue to encourage all of us at Microsoft - to realise how the power of our technology can help transform and improve the lives Malaysians. We are delighted to have helped The Tzu Chi Foundation in Malaysia improve their ability to provide humanitarian aid and relief to those who really need it. This is yet another clear example of how we can help partner with others to transform Malaysia together."
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