For the third year in a row, Janet Bailey, associate professor of management information systems (MIS), is coaching a team of College of Business students to compete at the national or world level in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup.
In UALR’s first time to participate, Dr. Bailey had two teams make it to the U.S. National Finals in 2009. One took third place and was selected for the World Imagine Cup Suzanne Mubarak Special Award category in Egypt. In 2010, she had another team selected to represent the U.S. in the World Imagine Cup Embedded category at the World Imagine Cup in Poland. Mentoring Team Voltron this year, she is poised to give another good showing for the university. They were selected as one of five teams in the fall qualifying round to compete in the Software Design category of the U.S. National Finals April 8-11 in Redmond, Wash.
She has also been integral in the college receiving significant in-kind software contributions from Microsoft Corp., such as three this year for the MIS program. The gifts are valued at $3.5 million, the majority of which is for use of its enterprise software. Others are Azure Cloud software access and storage and Client Access Licenses. Microsoft intends to renew these licenses annually. “These gifts should not be taken lightly in the present economy and reflect the value that the executives in Microsoft see in working with the College of Business at UALR,” she said.
Additionally with Bailey’s connections to Microsoft, UALR business students have a unique opportunity to test the major innovation of cloud computing. Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform went live for industry last year. Bailey’s students were the first in the country to participate in the academic pilot Microsoft was testing. Her graduate class assisted the Azure team in testing and developing materials, and they were the only students in the country doing so.
Cloud computing is expected to have a major impact on technology innovation and jobs. IT spending is expected to grow significantly by 2013, as emerging software and cloud computing will help increase new business growth, according to a report by technology analyst firm International Data Corporation. The effect of new companies and revenues equates to a surge in new IT jobs. The report said that by 2013, jobs in IT will expand by 5.8 million worldwide. IDC expects 75,000 new businesses will be created with an annual rate of job growth at 3 percent in that span. The report cites growth in software and cloud computing as a major driver of new businesses and jobs, and expects new “in the cloud” businesses to generate $800 billion in revenues by 2013.