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October 6, 1997


Microsoft School for Software Technology in Hyderabad

Microsoft has signed an agreement with Andhra Pradesh government to establish the 'Microsoft School for Software Technology' as part of the Indian Institute of Information Technology coming up on a sprawling 62-acre campus at Gachibowli in the state capital of Hyderabad.

Microsoft also signed a memorandum of understanding with Andhra Pradesh Technology Services for 'strategic technology alliance'.

Both the agreements were signed in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief
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Minister N Chandrababu Naidu by Sanjay Parthasarathy, regional director India sub-continent region, on behalf of Microsoft with R Chandrashekhar, secretary, Department of Information Technology and Dr Prashant Mahapatra, managing director APTS.

It is expected to be India's and South Asia's leading competency centre for software, systems and application engineering skills and would start functioning from January.

The school would offer credit courses to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students of IIIT. In the first phase, short-term, one-month courses would be offered on applications, network and systems administration and medium-term courses on software engineering and enterprise architecture and design.

In due course, MSST would also develop non-classroom based learning solutions including technology based training, CBTs and distance learning using Web-based technologies. In this second phase of programmes delivery, the school would additionally take up research and consultancy projects besides focusing on programmes for fostering excellence in government. The state government would provide the necessary infrastructure to Microsoft through IIIT.

Under the MoU, Microsoft and APTS would actively work towards leveraging mutual strengths for the benefit of Andhra Pradesh government bodies. As a technology partner, APTS would actively consult, develop and execute systems integration projects using Microsoft technologies wherever appropriate. On its part, Microsoft would provide training and skills, transfer and exposure of APTS products and consulting expertise to markets outside the state.

As part of the MoUs, a Microsoft Excellence Centre would be set up for demonstrating technology and bench marking. APTS would also get up a Web site, hosting information on its activities and related project information, Microsoft has agreed to commence its activities by assisting APTS in implementing pilot projects. It would oversee their implementation under the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider agreement to be signed separately.

Addressing a press conference after the agreement was signed, Naidu said the Microsoft's proposal to set up its school in Hyderabad would go a long way in producing "quality manpower" in the state.

Reiterating his government's resolve to give a big thrust to information technology, he said the video conferencing facility between the state capital and all the collectorates in the state would be operational from January.

Parthasarathy said one of the priority goals of his company is to assist India in becoming a software superpower. "We have taken several steps to make this happen," he claimed.

The two important areas through which this could be materialised are to lay the foundation for good education and work closely with local software industries to create intellectual property assets, he said.

He said the proposed centre of excellence is aimed at transferring technology. Microsoft is to make available the Windows source code.

Referring to the request for setting up the software development centre in Hyderabad, he said, Microsoft has not set up a development centre outside the United States so far. "It is a fundamental decision."


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