Microsoft Reinforces Commitment of “Public Cloud for Public Good”, Pledges another Support to Earth Net Foundation through Microsoft Azure

 |   Thornthawat Thongnab

The partnership is aimed to enhance accuracy, reduce costs and time of coffee crop yield to certification process, while preserving the 20,000-Rai watershed forest.

Bangkok, 12 June 2017 – Microsoft Thailand has recently granted Microsoft Azure, the global trusted and secured Cloud technology, to Earth Net Foundation’s Organic Coffee for Sustainable Forest project. To reinforce the Microsoft Philanthropies Technology for Good Initiative In partnership with Betimes Solutions Company, Microsoft developed Internal Control System, a cloud-based application, built on Microsoft Azure App Service that digitizes the Foundation’s data collection and inspection process. The Cloud-based app shortens data collection and processing time from four to one month, 75% decrease, and allows the staff to focus on inspection system management and increased productivity.

Recently, the government has embraced technology and recognized its potential to transform the country on its way to stability, prosperity, and sustainability. Reducing social inequality and ensuring that socially vulnerable groups like farmers, people in remote areas, the elders, and the disabled to receive equal opportunities, is one of the objectives outlined by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society[1] which can be achieved with the help of technology like cloud, that easily provides the necessary digital and technological skills and tools to those in need.

“Increasing capacity of agricultural business and equipping people working in agricultural sector with necessary technologies is one of our top priorities to drive growth for our country. We strongly believe that going digital is the way that can enhance productivity for farmers and community enterprises. Said Mrs. Vunnaporn Devahastin na Ayutthaya, Secretary General, National Digital Economy and Society Commission. “We are confident that Microsoft Cloud Services, including those already implemented by non-profit organizations like Thailand’s Friends of the Art Foundation (FOTAF), Population and Community Development Association (PDA), Change Fusion and Earth Net Foundation, will improve agricultural management and lead to intelligent agricultural system which increase Thailand’s competitiveness in the global market.

“Earth Net Foundation received Internal Control System (ICS) application built on Microsoft Azure for the inspection of process and product of Organic Coffee for Sustainable Forest project. With this collaboration, we forecast that ICS application will enable our staff to inspect coffee yield, process, product of the farm, collect and analyze data much faster, from 4 to 1 month, saving 75% of their time. The foundation also collaborated with Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and 350 families of farmers in 9 villages to rehabilitate and conserve the forests covering an area of more than 8,000 Rai in 3 watershed forest in Khun Chae National Park and Kok River with organic coffee agroforestry practices. Data access through cloud-based technologies allow our organization achieve a lot more with less costs, while also equipping the staff and farmers with technological skills and allow them to farm in a sustainable and safeguarding their economic livelihood for long term.” said Mr. Theerasit Amornsaensuk, Vice President, Earth Net Foundation.

“We are not only utilizing technology but we aim to create innovative development among the staff, farmers and community leaders and integrate their capabilities for better product quality. When coffee yield is accurately inspected using cloud-based application which results in better management, higher customer satisfaction and more market value, the more it means for everyone to successfully conserves the forests. Technology is an important part of our lives, but there are still many things we need to do to ensure everyone has equal access to it, especially those working in remote areas like watersheds of Chiang Rai. I believe that Microsoft’s commitment to Public Cloud for Public Good is a tangible and practical implementation of the power of technology.” added Mr. Theerasit.

Mr. Dhanawat Suthumpun, General Manager, Microsoft Thailand said, “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every people and organization to achieve more. To carry out this mission, we must make sure that the benefits of technology are accessible to every group of people in every location. Microsoft ‘Public Cloud for Public Good’ will create productivity, protect and inspire technology users to leverage the Microsoft Azure intelligent cloud for development of Thailand in the growing global market.”

Throughout the past 23 years in Thailand, Microsoft has demonstrated continuous commitment to Thailand and its people. The company has always strived to bridge the inequality gap and have partnered with a number of non-profit organizations and businesses by giving them the power of Cloud that will ensure every person in the country has equal access to technologies.

Microsoft Thailand has donated software more than $2 million or 70 million baht to over 430 nonprofit organizations in the country. Furthermore, the company provides technology training for these organizations free of charge to empower them to be more productive in helping underprivileged people under their care.

“I think Cloud has the potential to empower every person in every society. For instance, ICS application is designed to work off-line where data will be collected in smartphone or tablet and then transferred onto a database on the cloud when online, using hybrid Cloud technology which involves private cloud and public cloud on Microsoft Azure. This reduces costs in IT infrastructure, as a result we see a spike in productivity and less paperwork. Furthermore, besides organic coffee production ICS application can be applied in other organic farming as well.” said Mr. Sondthaya Sudhamasapa, Business Development Director, Betimes Solutions.

Internal Control System (ICS) application will add 3 values to organic farming process;

  • Heighten productivity through digitized data collection with Cloud technology – staff can securely key data directly into a smartphone or tablet when they are online and offline. They can then transfer the data to Microsoft Azure Public Cloud which results in accurate database which can be shared for collaboration from the beginning until the end of organic farming process.
  • Save time and reduce costs in inspection process – With a digitized data reporting system on Microsoft’s SQL Database and Microsoft Power BI which analyses and report data in Dashboard and GIS, Executives and team can access and evaluate the data and develop audit reports for standard quality certification faster, resulted in quicker audit and certification.
  • In the future, the Foundation plans to go beyond meeting certification standards, using Microsoft’s IoT Hub Technologies with real-time data to help optimize the crop yield. Staff will be able to monitor, manage and react to environmental condition in the farm in real-time. This helps farmers to optimize their yield and sustainably produce high quality organic coffee beans.

[1] Digital Thailand 4.0 Policy