Today at WPC, we continued to speak about the great partner opportunities ahead with a focus on the public sector, and how big data means big business.
In her keynote, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector Laura Ipsen announced CityNext, a global initiative to enable city leaders to integrate partner solutions on the Microsoft platform to create an environment where governments, businesses and citizens thrive.
Microsoft’s CityNext initiative empowers cities to make the most of existing investments and find the right combination of solutions, applications and programs to transform their cities. Navigant Research forecasts that the smart city technology market will grow from $6.1 billion in 2012 to $20.2 billion in 2020, generating a total revenue of $117.3 billion over the next seven years.
Of course, underpinning many of these solutions powering cities is data. Making sense of this growing information – whether it’s traffic patterns, crime rates, pollution indexes or water management scenarios – will become critical for mayors as they glean insights to best serve their citizens. Microsoft and its partners are leading the way in this regard, with dashboarding, data management and analytics solutions to best accomplish their goals.
Laura also highlighted cities that showcase deep and longterm relationships with Microsoft, partner, and city mayors to use technology to offer new and better services to its people, including Philadelphia, Barcelona and many more. You can read about it here. Our goal, together with our vast and diverse network of partners worldwide, is to enable cities to operate more efficiently and serve citizens across government departments.
On a related note, giving back to our local communities has always been important to Microsoft and to our partners and this year we are focusing on giving back more than ever before. At WPC this week, we launched the Giving Initiative, which extends the opportunity to give back to local and global communities through a variety of in-kind and monetary contributions, both pre-event and onsite in Houston.
Partners can support youth-driven community projects throughout the globe through the Partners for Good Challenge. I’d like to ask all of you to help us reach our goal of raising $100,000, and we’re excited that Microsoft YouthSpark will match all of our donations up to $100,000 total. Additionally, WPC will make a monetary donation to Pencils of Promise for every evaluation you submit while you’re here in Houston and when you get back home after the event. Hilton Worldwide has joined the initiative and will be making a monetary donation to Microsoft YouthSpark for every night booked at participating Hilton properties during WPC 2013. And Sunday, with a generous matching gift from Microsoft Youthspark, WPC made a monetary donation of $20,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston.
It’s been an amazing conference so far, and there’s more to come. Fitz and the Tantrums and Lenny Kravitz will play our partner celebration tonight and we close WPC tomorrow with regional sessions.
I’ve never been more proud of what Microsoft is bringing to market with our partners. I look forward to another exciting year ahead, and to see even more partners at next year’s WPC in….. Washington D.C.