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Microsoft launches first Experience Center worldwide for Asia Pacific in Singapore
Posted on 13-Nov-2019 13:08 | Filed under: News

Microsoft launches first Experience Center worldwide for Asia Pacific in Singapore

Microsoft has also reimagined the future of work by creating a blueprint for productivity, efficiency, accessibility, flexibility and collaboration for organizations in the region.


In a world where we can expect more than 40 billion devices generating nearly 80 zettabytes (ZB) of data by 2025, organizations and industries will need to quickly adopt new technologies and build technological capabilities that will enable them to flourish in an innovation-led, cloud first, artificial intelligence focused future.


That is the impetus to create a comprehensive and immersive technology experience for businesses in Asia Pacific, to help them immediately visualize, learn and adopt innovations for their digital and cultural transformation journeys. Located within the new regional headquarters for Microsoft at Frasers Tower in Singapore, The Experience Center Asia showcases a confluence of technology and partners, to empower every organization in every industry to digitalize, disrupt, innovate and transform.


"We believe every company will become a software company as digital transformation and tech intensity becomes pervasive in every organization. The Experience Center Asia allows businesses in Asia Pacific to learn about the urgency with which they need to embrace this transformation, and explore our extensive portfolio of industry solutions which showcase what's immediately available and possible by partnering with Microsoft," said Andrea Della Mattea, President for Microsoft in Asia Pacific.


"Our new regional headquarters is a representation of future workplaces. We provide organizations in the region with a real, working model of what the future of work looks like, based on a foundation of cloud computing, data analytics, artificial intelligence and a culture of transformation. I'm excited about going into the office, where our colleagues reinforce our mission every single day by creating a culture of safety, wellness, sustainability, accessibility and comradery," continued Andrea.


The practices within The Experience Center Asia are:


- The Experience Zone, which showcases immersive demonstrations and current implementations across industry sectors. A team of specialists can take visitors on a customized journey through these experiences that allows them to experience firsthand relevant technology solutions that are unique to their businesses and enables them to envision the art of what's possible
- The Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) that provides facility-based technical engagements, enabling customers to focus on their decision process. MTCs bring together the right resources to help customers close deals faster and expand deal size, while increasing customer satisfaction,
- The Cybersecurity Center that showcases Microsoft's threat intelligence analytics, creates awareness about rising cybercrime threats, and increases the understanding of trusted digital platforms and cloud computing,
- The Innovation Factory - where through ideation and hackathons innovative ideas come to life.


"Situated in the heart of Asia Pacific, Singapore is the regional headquarters for many multinational companies, has a powerful ecosystem of entrepreneurs and is an international event destination for industry leading experts along with our strategic partners - the value of having Microsoft's first Experience Center worldwide in Singapore is to provide organizations with immediate access to a curated experience of innovations and experiences with Microsoft leaders and technology.  Microsoft has always been at the forefront of offering a large portfolio of experiences for our customers, many of whom have been to our Executive Briefing Center in Seattle and are looking for a similar experience close to their business to accelerate time to value," said Rebecca Hick, Director, Microsoft Experience Center Asia.


Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing regions for Microsoft and a priority, given the multitude of opportunities to empower countries, industries and communities with digitalization. Microsoft has created a blueprint for organizations to adopt the culture, physical spaces and technologies for a future-ready workplace.


Spread across 12,500 sq. meters and six floors, the new Microsoft office brings 1,400 people together in an environment that allows the digital and physical worlds to exist in harmony. Artificial intelligence enabled cameras allow frictionless access to maintain secure spaces. Employees have seamless movement between the six floors, efficiency driven IT support with Smart Lockers and IT vending machines that streamline the process and complement Microsoft's IT service desk. A common request from employees was for an instant replacement for IT peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, headsets, cables and more. The smart vending machine automates the distribution of such products. A quick swipe of the employee badge will log the product, providing convenient inventory tracking.


Employees and staff use Smart Building CampusLink, an application that is fully integrated with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office 365, taking navigation to the next level by enabling employees to find directions, room occupancy and book facilities in real-time. Built on Azure App Services and powered by Azure Data Lake and Office 365 Graph API, Microsoft's regional headquarters in Asia Pacific is the first Microsoft office outside of Redmond, Washington to implement the Smart Building CampusLink.


Employees played a crucial role in planning for the move to Frasers Towers, from choosing furniture, artwork and other interior design elements to voting for the brand of coffee in the pantries and submitting their photographs to display on a wall. Employees have dedicated quiet corners for focused work, phone booths, a large communal dining area on L10 with a café, barista and wide variety of food options for everyone. Multiple seating styles cater to different ways of working, from standing desks to huddle rooms to open collaborative team spaces.


Microsoft celebrates the diverse cultures in Singapore and the region, with murals by a local artist, May Lim and peranakan-inspired design across the office. Equally, Microsoft has ensured that the new office is inclusive by making it accessible for everyone, regardless of how they communicate, see, hear, or move. Microsoft follows a  global standard of accessibility for every Microsoft office and in Singapore, they comply to comply to the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore 'Accessibility code in the built environment (2013).


All meeting rooms and common use spaces have identifiers in Braille; floor layouts, pantry and kitchens items are optimized for movement and carefully planned for ease of use for wheelchair users; meetings can be started with one touch; height adjustable tables cater to employee preferences; and way finder screens, badge scanning points and identifier cameras enabled by artificial intelligence are height agnostic. Gender neutral bathrooms and inclusivity spaces have reinforced Microsoft's commitment to provide a workplace where everyone can feel safe in being their authentic selves.


Microsoft donated the legacy office furniture, carpets and audio-visual equipment to the Base of Pyramid Hub (BoP Hub). Started by Jack Sim, it is a Singapore-based non-profit business accelerator platform that aims to create an efficient marketplace for communities at the base of the pyramid. Their vision is to break the cycle of poverty by enabling entrepreneurs, connecting partners and providing mentoring and resources. It also acts as the gateway for business ventures, technologists and manufacturers to access markets in the region and is a co-working space.


"It was amazing to see first-hand Microsoft's culture at play. Every person I met wanted to help our mission to end global poverty. It started when I met a staff from Microsoft Hyderabad, who connected me to his colleagues in Singapore, who in turn introduced me to their team in Redmond. Here in Singapore, Microsoft gave us enough seats to fill up our entire new BoP Hub of 65,000 sq ft. They paid for transportation and brought more than 100 employee volunteers to lay the carpet and fix the furniture. We are now ready to host at least 50 start-ups and social enterprises for the first year," said Jack Sim, Founder of Bottom of the Pyramid.


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