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Microsoft Roadshow Malta focuses on IT and Business Communities

The annual Microsoft Roadshow 2001 seminar held last week at the Crowne Plaza in Sliema was a significant departure from earlier editions of the initiative. This year the Roadshow addressed the synergies between IT development, investment and business objectives, by including dedicated tracks for the IT (OpenDoor) as well as business communities (Microsoft Business Forum). In Malta, the OpenDoor Seminar was held last Monday, with the Microsoft Business Forum (MBF) the following day.
The Roadshow, which is being held in partnership with Hewlett Packard and Avaya Communication, kicked off on 20 August in Pakistan and traveled to Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai, Kuwait and Lebanon before arriving in Malta. From Malta it has now moved on to Cyprus, and then on to Abu Dhabi and finally Oman. The Roadshow is also being supported by Emirates Airlines.
"The IT industry in the region is constantly evolving and is mapping better and better with any company’s business objectives", said Charbel Fakhoury, Regional Manager, Microsoft East Mediterranean. "We are therefore structuring our Roadshow series in a way that addresses specific needs and specific communities. OpenDoor will focus on updating IT professionals and developers on the latest in Microsoft technologies while the Microsoft Business Forum, on the other hand, shows business decision makers how their companies can benefit from Microsoft and its partners’ technology solutions."
"OpenDoor has been the longest running and largest seminar program in the Middle East and the East Mediterranean region for several years now and has helped many businesses around the region build cutting edge IT solutions as well as make better informed IT investment decisions," said Simon Ransom, Microsoft’s Community Development Manager.
"We are now extending this concept to include a business forum in each country that will present a sound business value proposition to decision makers, especially those of small and medium sized businesses - the primary drivers of the region’s economy."
At OpenDoor, hosted specifically for IT professionals, Microsoft and its partners presented updates on Windows XP, the latest version of the Windows operating system that was launched internationally in October. OpenDoor included multiple sessions looking at various levels and aspects of security - security on desktop applications, security while browsing or creating applications for the Internet as well as security for companies while staying connected to the Internet.
Sessions also focussed on Microsoft’s Internet Security & Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 and other members of the .NET Enterprise Server family including Visual Studio .NET that is slated for release soon. The OpenDoor developer track will lay emphasis on Office XP web components in developing applications for the .NET future.
The MBF, which is hosted for business decisions makers, included sessions on business productivity and project management, decision support systems and information for mobile workers. "The forum is an opportunity for business decision makers in the region to better understand the clear business advantages that can be gained through the implementation of technology," added Ransom.
"MBF is a non-technical event that draws clear connections between business objectives such as productivity, profit maximisation, market expansion, return on investment, etc. and technology adoption". More information can be obtained at:

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt