In an effort to boost Indo-US trade ties, software major Microsoft was working with small and medium businesses in the city and across the State to make them globally competitive by ensuring that they complied with new US laws governing information technology.
This was revealed at an event organised by the Indo-American Chamber Of Commerce (IACC) in the city on Monday. The focus was now on creating awareness about the new US laws, which have been backed by 39 States to prevent usage of illegal or stolen IT, according to Prateek Mehta, Microsoft’s director of small medium business and Anil Varghese, the company’s regional director-south.
“We have tied up with various chambers including the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) to create awareness about the law,” Varghese said.
He said that Microsoft would be offering free services under the Software Asset Management (SAM) programme, which incorporated a set of proven processes and procedures for managing and optimising the organisation’s IT assets.
“We focused on Chennai as it is a big market for small and medium businesses that do business with multiple manufacturing clusters,” Varghese said.
“On an annual basis, the SAM programme has 1,000 plus customers of which, 30 per cent are from the south,” he detailed.
Earlier, addressing the gathering, US Consul General in Chennai Jennifer A McIntyre said that the United States wanted to help India have a strong system of intellectual property protection, especially in IT.
“As the US is the second largest exports market for Indian manufacturers, it is important that Indian manufacturers consider aspects of software compliance,” she said. She said that the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) strengthened the investment climate to attract and retain innovative companies and creative artists that were the engines of economic growth.
A report of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated that trade in counterfeit and pirated goods across national borders may have totaled around $200 bn, McIntyre said.