April 13, 2024

Accelerating the digital transformation of SMEs across the Middle East and Africa

2 min read

Orange Middle East & Africa has signed an agreement with Microsoft, through its Africa Transformation Office, aimed at offering Microsoft solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across 17 countries in Africa and the Middle East (MEA).

The collaboration aims to address the growing needs of SMEs as they undergo digital transformation, helping them thrive in the digital economy. It will focus on three key areas:

  • Driving access to key technology solutions – Orange’s distribution network in the MEA region will provide SMEs with easy access to Microsoft solutions such as Microsoft 365, Copilot, Azure and Dynamics 365. Together, the partners will also facilitate the upskilling of Microsoft experts within each country.
  • Preparing SMEs for digital adoption – Orange and Microsoft will collaborate on training, marketing and sales support programmes to enable SMEs to adopt and benefit from Microsoft Modern Work solutions.
  • Strong governance and performance monitoring – Establishing a joint steering committee will ensure the successful execution of the partnership, which will be monitored through key performance indicators.

A strong commitment to digital inclusion

Through the collaboration, Microsoft and Orange aim to support 15 000 businesses throughout 2024, with an ambition to reach 1 million SMEs by providing access to technology, tools and support to accelerate adoption. The goal is to promote digital inclusion and enable all economic players in the MEA region to benefit from the advantages of digital transformation. To this end, the initiative will also include micro-businesses and the education sector.

Jérôme Hénique, CEO of Orange MEA, states: “This collaboration with Microsoft is a significant step in our commitment to support the digital transformation of African businesses. By combining our network and Microsoft’s solutions, we can provide SMEs with the tools and guidance they need to thrive in the digital economy.”

Microsoft believes in giving SMEs tools to grow their market access to greatly add to the overall growth of economies. Over the past 30 years, the company has collaborated with strategic partners across the continent to support the growth of millions of African businesses.

Lillian Barnard, Microsoft Africa president, comments: “SMEs are the engine of economic growth in Africa. By collaborating with Orange, we can help them adopt digital technologies and unleash their full potential to create jobs, stimulate innovation and contribute to the economic development of the continent.”

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