SOURCE: NComputing

July 15, 2008 08:45 ET

NComputing Helps Non-Governmental Organizations Close the Digital Divide

Leading NGOs Choose NComputing to Provide Affordable Computing to Resource-Constrained Nations

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - July 15, 2008) - NComputing, the leading provider of desktop virtualization software and hardware, today announced it is working with leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide to help reduce the digital divide between developed and developing countries. The company has already deployed successful partnerships with such leading NGOs as U.S.-based Save the Children, France-based Ateliers Sans Frontieres (ASF), Bangladesh-based BRAC, Latin America-based Organization for American States (OAS), UNESCO, and India-based Azim Premji Foundation to name just a few. NComputing further announced special discounts and programs to help NGOs on every continent reach their goals for digital inclusion in emerging markets.

The impact from NGO-NComputing projects is being felt throughout the world. The OAS recently deployed NComputing systems for job training and computer skills in community centers in ten Latin American countries. Save the Children has installed NComputing virtual desktops for job training and after-school programs, recently in El Alto, a fast-growing suburb of La Paz, Bolivia.

NComputing and BRAC (the largest NGO in the world) recently collaborated with AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) in Bangladesh. Working together, the three organizations deployed learning labs to empower people in Bangladesh with tools, techniques, and training to maximize educational impact. The labs are part of the AMD's 50x15 Initiative, a global program with the goal of providing computing capabilities and Internet connectivity to 50 percent of the world's population by 2015.

Another example of NGO success is the recent deployment of NComputing virtual desktops by Ateliers Sans Frontieres (ASF) with financial assistance from the Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF). The program helps people in digitally disadvantaged African countries to get affordable access to computers so they can improve farming techniques, obtain higher crop prices, and join the knowledge economy. ASF has been so successful that demand for computers has far exceeded supply. Now, with NComputing's affordable virtual desktop solution, ASF can multiply the power of traditional PCs to many more farmers and students.

In West Africa, One Village Foundation is working with universities in Ghana to create ICT centers in rural villages. Across the continent on the Horn of Africa, UNESCO is placing NComputing-based systems for university students in Somalia.

The common thread running through all of these initiatives is NComputing's powerful virtual desktop technology, which costs as little as US$70 per seat. At such prices -- and with financial and operational aid from NGOs -- people in resource-constrained markets can finally benefit from the wealth of skills, information, and knowledge made available through PCs and the Internet.

The NComputing solution is based on a simple fact: today's PCs are so powerful that the vast majority of applications only use a small fraction of the computer's capacity. NComputing's virtualization software and hardware tap this unused capacity so that it can be simultaneously shared by multiple users. Each user's monitor, keyboard, and mouse connect to the shared PC through a small and very durable NComputing access device. The access device itself has no CPU, memory or moving parts so it is rugged, durable, and easy to deploy and maintain -- especially critical in developing nations. The NComputing software and hardware costs as little as $70 per seat. With NComputing, people and organizations around the world are maximizing their investments in PCs.

"Our goal is to provide PCs to 1,000 libraries and 15,000 non-formal primary schools all over Bangladesh," said Abdul-Muyeed Chowdhury, chairman of BRAC BDMail Network Ltd. "With NComputing's virtual desktops and the 50x15 Learning Lab model, we will be one step closer to bridging the digital divide that exists between developed countries and emerging nations, such as Bangladesh."

No other attempts at bridging the digital divide have been as successful. Low-priced laptop solutions, such as the $188 OLPC XO, carry very high hidden costs -- like maintenance and support -- that far outweigh their benefits. The NComputing solution has no such hidden costs and is supported by a global partner network that is committed to customer satisfaction. Not only is the purchase and maintenance cost of an NComputing solution lower, but the performance is far superior because standard monitors, peripherals and application software can be used. The NComputing solutions work in both the Windows and Linux environments.

"NComputing's affordable virtual desktop technology enables us to bring more computers to underdeveloped countries at a much lower cost," said Medhy Davary, director of DSF. "The virtual desktops are extremely affordable and durable, require very little maintenance, and use only one watt of electricity. This allows users in even the world's poorest countries to benefit from computer access and the Internet."

"Almost one billion users around the world who would benefit from access to computing have been unable to afford it -- until now," said Stephen Dukker, chairman and CEO of NComputing. "It is only by fundamentally changing the economics of computing that our industry can bridge the digital divide. We are going to deploy more than a million virtual desktops in the coming year and are honored to work with such prestigious NGOs to improve the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world."

"In response to increasing interest from NGOs, NComputing is developing programs to help them better leverage their skills and funds," said Ms. Lindsay Petrillose, Government Liaison for NComputing. "We offer seed units and special NGO discounts that multiply the impact of an NGO's limited funds." Interested NGOs and governmental institutions seeking NGO assistance can contact Ms. Petrillose at lpetrillose@ncomputing.com.

About NComputing, Inc.

Winner of the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Award, NComputing, Inc. was founded with the goal of making desktop computing affordable for everyone. Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, NComputing is a privately held virtualization software and hardware company. The company's patented technology drastically lowers desktop computing costs, improves manageability, and reduces both energy consumption and e-waste. For more information and NComputing, visit http://www.ncomputing.com.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Renee Deger
    GlobalFluency
    (650) 433-4153
    Email Contact

    David Rand
    NComputing, Inc.
    (650) 517-5806
    drand @ ncomputing dot com

    NGO Inquiries:
    Lindsay Petrillose
    NComputing, Inc.
    (650) 454-4991
    Email Contact