Emirates Academy Hosts Microsoft Vice President

Orlando Ayala, Microsoft Vice President for Worldwide sales and marketing, visited The Emirates Academy to have a look at the high-end Intranet Portal available on campus and to spend time with students.

Dubai, June 29th, 2002: Mr. Orlando Ayala, Microsoft’s Group Vice President Worldwide Sales recently visited The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management on an official trip to Dubai. During his visit, Mr. Ayala met with students and visited the unique high-end Intranet Portal available on campus. The Emirates Academy is one of the first educational institutes in the world to implement Microsoft’s SharePoint Portal Server.

The high-end Intranet Portal available on campus at The Emirates Academy is a unique set up that provides faculty, staff and students with instant access to all information needed for teaching and learning, wherever they are on campus, or in the World. The smart system notifies users by e-mail or SMS of important events taking place on campus such as changes in class schedules, courses and grades postings.

Students at The Emirates Academy are provided with Hewlett Packard (HP) Omnibook laptops, which are connected through a broadband wireless network covering most of the campus including the student accommodation, pool area and clubhouse. Through secure connections over the Internet all information technology and networked resources are available via the high-end Intranet Portal. Services include e-mail, student administration, course documents, announcements, discussions, and online classes or components of classes. In addition, most of the campus library’s resources are available online and students can browse through extensive databases of articles from general business and industry specific publications.

Reema Pereira, Systems Developer for The Emirates Academy said: “The main advantage of using Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server in the educational environment is the availability to integrate several business applications and learning tools into one portal, while maintaining a user friendly environment.”


After a presentation of the Intranet Portal to Orlando Ayala, students had the opportunity to address questions to him.

A wide range of information technology facilities and services are available to students at The Emirates Academy, from custom- made computer labs to multi media PC’s with the latest web development, graphical design and video editing software to high-speed wireless connection to the school’s network and Internet (2Mbit). The information technology facilities and services provided at The Emirates Academy are designed to make the student’s life as efficient, effective and convenient as possible and therefore the integration of facilities and services is all important.

Students have a virtual phone and fax number that follows them everywhere they go, whether they are on campus in Dubai or Lausanne, Switzerland or doing their internship anywhere in the world. They are being provided with one single ID card that gives them access to their dormitories as well as to other student areas on campus. The same card also serves as a library ID card and as a charge card for food and beverage or other purchases on campus.

About Orlando Ayala:
Mr. Orlando Ayala is a member of Microsoft`s Business Leadership Team, a group that shares responsibility with Steve Ballmer, Microsoft`s President and Chief Executive Officer, for broad strategic and business planning for the entire company.

Ayala serves as group vice president of Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Services. The Worldwide Sales groups provide leadership on strategies, policies and programmes that integrate the activities of Microsoft`s sales and service partners with the needs of Microsoft customers throughout the world: enterprise customers, small and medium organizations, educational institutions, application developers and consumers. In addition, all three of Microsoft`s major business regions report to Ayala—the regions include North America, South America, Brazil, the South Pacific, Europe, Middle East, India, Africa and Asia. Ayala manages Microsoft Product Support Services. He also oversees the Network Solutions Group, which is responsible for sales and licensing of telcos, ISPs and network equipment providers. Prior to this role, Ayala served as senior vice president for the South Pacific and Americas Region.