New Delhi [India]: Microsoft Corporation and Accenture are teaming to help deepen the reach of entrepreneurs and startups that are focused on social impact and sustainability.
The joint initiative will provide hands-on support and technologies to social enterprises, helping them build scalable solutions and business models that can lead to more tangible and lasting benefits for a greater number of people around the world.
Microsoft and Accenture's collaboration is part of their shared vision to amplify the societal impact of emerging technology with the long-term goal of reaching a million lives globally.
Through the programme, Microsoft Research India and Accenture Labs will help social enterprise startups test and validate proofs-of-concept, conduct design thinking sessions to help them re-envision the impact of their solutions, and provide support in exploring and using Microsoft technologies.
"Startups in the social impact and sustainability space are among the world's most inspiring organisations," said Jean Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President of Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations.
"It is important that their passion for meaningful innovation and creating positive change is supported. Microsoft's collaboration with Accenture offers us an opportunity to empower these startups so they can use technology to make an even greater impact in addressing many of the world's most pressing challenges," he said.
"By empowering them, our goal is to help change the lives of a million people," said Courtois in a statement on Wednesday.
With a particular focus on the areas of agriculture, education and healthcare, the programme will initially engage with startups in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, leveraging the MSR India Centre for Societal impact through the cloud and artificial intelligence.
Paul Daugherty, Group Chief Executive at Accenture Technology and Chief Technology Officer at Accenture, said: "Our experience shows that by applying emerging technologies to critical challenges facing society, we can accelerate social transformation."
He said this collaboration is a great illustration of delivering on 'value' and 'values' -- creating tangible business and social value while aligning with people's values.
"By providing social impact entrepreneurs with direct access to the combined power of Accenture and Microsoft's technology expertise, we can help significantly improve access, equality, inclusion, education, health, sustainability and the environment," said Daugherty.
Microsoft entities in India have over 11,000 employees engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support across 11 Indian cities.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. It has 5.05 lakh people serving clients in more than 120 countries.