Friday, December 8, 2023

Microsoft goes under the microscope as free resources are offered to SMEs

Thousands of businesses will gain access to free resources that will help them get the most of Microsoft technologies as a new pilot scheme is rolled out in Leicester and Leicestershire.

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership is working with Microsoft’s Business Support division to pilot an initiative to help SMEs to get more from digital products which can help to grow their businesses.

The pilot will ensure SMEs from all sectors have access to a variety of productivity tools as well as technical skills support.

Dozens of local businesses have already logged on to business support platforms since the
programme went live in January.

LLEP Co-Chair Andy Reed said: “Increased productivity is a pillar of our regional economic growth plan and we are using our Innovation Strategy and other activities to find new ways of helping small businesses find simple ways of working better.

“By collaborating with partners such as Microsoft, we are able to offer support to small businesses which form the vast majority of the region’s economy.”

Many small businesses will already have the required tools available but will not be aware of ways to utilise them to their full potential.

Advice will range from ways to maximise the tools offered in everyday platforms, such as Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM systems, through to more specialist complex transformation projects.

It will also include access to free Microsoft training and skilling.
SMEs can learn more about the free resources available through the:

  • Small Business Resource Centre here
  • Business Consultations here

Stewart Smith, Head of Skills and Employment at the LLEP, said: “The LLEP is delighted to make additional resources available to SMEs via our Business Gateway Growth Hub.

“With this suite of business support resources, local businesses have the opportunity to upskill in digital technologies, increase productivity and make better use of the tools at their fingertips.”

Amit Sinha, SMB and Scale CTO for Microsoft UK, said: “We have curated a business support
programme which we are excited to be piloting in Leicester and Leicestershire.

“Businesses will be able to access online courses, free one-to-one business consultations, and free access to a range of resources and expertise.”

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