Hello Partners!

Did you know that approximately 1 million people move to a city every week? As cities grow, the demand for technology grows with them. Rapid urbanization has created a $100B ICT market opportunity to offer software, hardware/devices, and services to cities. Microsoft CityNext is a partner-led initiative with specific services and offerings that help city governments and their various departments determine the right technology approach to solve their problems. It’s a people-first approach to increase innovation in cities that helps city governments become more globally competitive.
Microsoft CityNext was launched at WPC 2013, and the momentum is growing. Right now at Smart City Expo in Barcelona, people from all over the world are discussing how to take advantage of the new opportunities in urban environments. Cities are driving huge innovation, and Microsoft partners are primed to win in this sphere.
One example of a city that is leading in productivity and capacity is Barcelona—its reputation for innovation endures in part because of recent partner solutions to modernize the city’s technology. Microsoft partners Atos, Bismart, Seidor, and Spenta provided solutions to increase efficiency and scalability and reduce costs. Seidor and Microsoft Services supported the city’s migration to Windows 8, and Atos focused on mobility solutions with MyCity, which provides service and transportation apps available on Windows Phones and tablets. Spenta, a BI and Open Data strategy partner, and Bismart, 2013 Microsoft Business Intelligence Partner of the Year, helped upgrade Barcelona’s IT systems and developed a cloud-based business intelligence solution to support economic development.
With cities growing and resources shrinking, innovation and partnership are increasingly important to help cities grow their technological capabilities in a sustainable way. Joel Cherkis, Microsoft Worldwide General Manager of Government, advocates doing “new with less” and uses Frankfurt, Germany as an example of a city taking advantage of scarce resources to drive innovative solutions. By streamlining their data systems, Frankfurt has created an e-government that lets city employees interact with “one city” rather than multiple confusing data centers. This, along with building a new data center and consolidating their IT infrastructure, is expected to reduce citywide software costs by 40 to 50 percent and exemplifies the Microsoft CityNext approach of providing solutions that make sense from all sides.
Partners who sell solutions that integrate Microsoft technologies and services to cities might already be eligible to become a part of Microsoft CityNext. If you engage before February 28, 2014 you will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes where you have an opportunity to win an all-access pass to WPC 2014. Learn more about how you can take advantage of the growing opportunity in cities by visiting Microsoft CityNext on MPN.
What’s next for your city? Follow @microsoft_gov on Twitter to find out. Discover more possibilities at WPC 2014, where we will celebrate the progress Microsoft CityNext has made in the year since its launch. Join in and join me at WPC. Register today for WPC in Washington, D.C. July 13-17.