Microsoft – doing their part during a time of crisis
We have seen many of our Top Employers doing their part to help society at large during this time of crisis. A great example is Microsoft who is helping with this challenge by offering its Healthcare Bot service powered by Microsoft Azure to organisations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response to help screen patients for potential infection and care.
In January, they announced the launch of AI for Health, an initiative to advance the health of people and communities around the world. This five-year commitment was created to empower non-profits, researchers and organisations with AI and data science tools.
Following the COVID-19 crisis, they are mobilising their AI for Health initiative to focus on helping those on the front lines of research of COVID-19 and are dedicating $20 million to this specific effort. Microsoft’s focusing their efforts in specific areas where they think data, analysis and the skills of their data scientists can have the biggest impact.
People around the world rely on digital tools that enable collaboration, creation, and connection. Whether people are getting together for remote work or distance learning, they have seen Microsoft Teams become an essential tool.
Microsoft is making Teams available free, for six months to as many people as possible, whether they are individuals or working for a business that is not currently licensed for Teams, with the aim of supporting public health and safety by keeping teams connected while they work apart. Furthermore, Teams is included in Office 365 Education, which is a free version of Office 365 that is available to all educational institutions that want to set up teachers, students, and administrators on Teams.
In addition, their employees have expressed widespread interest in helping respond to the urgent community needs created by the pandemic. Beyond the many steps the company is taking directly, they have provided employees with ideas and resources for both small and big things they can do to make a difference, from donating money to various relief efforts and organisations, to volunteering their time via Microsoft’s virtual hackathon or giving blood, for example. Ultimately, they are putting into action the mission and values that underscore all that Microsoft does.