MICROSOFT  OFFERS  RP  GOV'T  SOLUTIONS  TO  CUT  COMMUNICATION EXPENSES

MANILA
, MARCH 9, 2007
 (STAR) Software giant Microsoft Corp. has offered the government a solution for cutting down its high communication expenses through a voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP) program.

During a recent courtesy call by Microsoft executives led by senior vice president for market expansion Will Poole to President Arroyo at Malacañang, the technology was presented as an alternative means of communication for the government.

The President noted that she had already asked the National Telecommunications Commission to find alternative ways of keeping connected with both local and international communities that would cut down the cost for the government.

According to the President, the government spends almost P3 billion annually in communication expenses.

Called "One Follow Me," the program would allow the President to use her mobile phone to communicate with her Cabinet members on their landlines or even their computers using VoIP.

Unlike other VoIP-enabled services that are currently available in the market, Microsoft’s One Follow Me provides a highly secure means of communication through a private network that identifies and authenticates its users.

Since it uses VoIP, the cost for calls using the program should be substantially lower than what is being charged by the cellphone network providers.

Microsoft assured the President that it was prepared to initiate the One Follow Me service within the highest levels of government since the hardware is already in place.

The One Follow Me program is already being used by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to help cut costs on remittance fees.

Microsoft Corp. noted that the Digital Remittance feature of the One Follow Me service was launched last January 2007 and is set to offer a cost-effective way for over eight million overseas Filipino workers to communicate with their families and remit their earnings.

The facility will significantly reduce the estimated $250 million annual spending on remittance fees.

According to the firm’s executives, the Philippines is a priority market in terms of technology incubation for the One Follow Me service. – Marvin Sy


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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