Microsoft has awarded Los Angeles-based International Medical Corps one of two first prizes in its pioneering “Develop Without Borders Challenge”. Geared toward helping philanthropic organizations function more efficiently, the competition challenged software developers to come up with technology solutions to address business problems using 2007 Microsoft Office software. The solution designed for International Medical Corps by Solien Technology was selected from hundreds of proposals submitted for non-profit organizations around the globe. The prize money will be used to create a system to help International Medical Corps’ human resources department streamline international recruitment, which will expedite the process of identifying qualified employees and deploying them to the field for emergency responses.
“I am grateful for Microsoft’s recognition of International Medical Corps’ work,” said Nancy Aossey, President & CEO. “A humanitarian organization like International Medical Corps can’t operate on donations of medicine and supplies alone. This technology will go a long way toward improving our hiring process so we can respond to emergencies as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
The $25,000 prize—one of four awarded by Microsoft to charities from as far away as Brazil and Australia¬–includes $2,000 worth of hardware, $6,000 worth of software, and $17,000 worth of IT services to implement the software solution. Using a Microsoft application called SharePoint Server 2007, California-based Solien Technology is building an online portal similar to an intranet site that will be accessible to recruiters and hiring managers all over the world, so they can easily share information about potential employees. “Because we’re a large global organization, people are working in different time zones, which makes communicating about job applicants via email and phone complicated,” said Bill Hyde, International Medical Corps’ Director of Operations and Knowledge Management, who oversees international recruiting. “This system will create a central repository of information, where recruiters can review application materials, from interview notes to background checks, helping us in the critical task of finding good personnel and deploying them to the field as quickly as possible.”
“When we designed the contest, we wanted to make sure that any proposed solutions would have real, positive impact on the non-profit organizations,” said Jay Paulus, Director of the Microsoft Office Platform Marketing team. “We could see right away that the solution would allow International Medical Corps to get its volunteers out into the field faster—and that means faster help for people in need.”