Microsoft Backs Israel as ‘Silicon Valley Junior’ for InnovationApr. 13, 2013
Microsoft Corp., hurt by a slump in global PC sales, is looking to Israel for innovation from its developers and acquisitions, as well as local startups, according to the company’s top executive in the country.
“We are trying to create assets for the company, and we recognize that we are Start-Up Nation and we can provide innovation,” Yoram Yaacovi, general manager of the Microsoft (MSFT) Israel R&D Center, said in an interview in Tel Aviv, referring to the title of a book on the country’s entrepreneurial culture.
Microsoft has acquired seven companies and made four strategic investments since 1989 in Israel, where it employs 800 people, including 500 in research and development. These developers are focused on business intelligence for cloud computing, said Yaacovi. Resulting products, such as an Excel tool for the cloud that was integrated into Office 365 BI software, help give companies insight into their data.
“Business intelligence is an area of double-digit growth” for the software maker, said Yaacovi. “We in Israel do all the cloud-based business intelligence for Microsoft. We can envision business intelligence migrating to the cloud and then we will build it in Microsoft.”
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