Coronavirus: These companies are providing free software to help deal with the lockdown
The outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-19, has led to various sections of the society across the globe lend their hand to mitigate the impact of this pandemic – either through financial donations, distributing food, or by providing shelter.
In such an environment, there are companies and organisations which have come forward to provide their software or the services free of charge. At a time when there is a nationwide lockdown with restrictions on the movement of people, technology has come to the rescue to provide the vital connect and also ensure that there is no disruption.
Below are some of the free initiatives by companies:
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business will offer key software services free of charge to its customers until December 31, 2020.
According to ABB, through this, many of its customers and partners will be able to keep production lines going and enable businesses to continue to function.
Among the services included are diagnostics, asset management software, and remote troubleshooting and monitoring of production lines for the delivery of important supplies.
The software that are made available free of charge include ABB Ability Connected Services and RobotStudio.
Singapore-based technology company Lark Technologies Pte said it has made its digital collaboration suite, Lark available for free in India. Lark is an all-in-one platform for collaboration that brings together a multitude of work tools, including messenger, online docs and sheets, cloud storage, calendar, and video conferencing.
The service is also extended for free to educational institutes including schools, colleges, and coaching classes across India. This enables remote working between teachers and students.
"We are committed to providing accessibility via digital collaboration tools and have begun offering Lark for free. This will enable organisations regardless of size to operate effectively with no additional cost,” said Vinay Bhartia, Lark Head, India.
Hiver, a company which provides e-mail collaboration solutions, has rolled out its free plan for organisations providing essential services. It is offering its highest-tier plan free for two months to any small organisation helping control the virus or offering essential services at this critical time – be it research institutions, grocery services, groups involved in the supply chain of protective gear, among other frontline businesses.
“These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented efforts. Our intent is to provide support where we can, and to make a positive impact in the community,” said Niraj Ranjan, Co-Founder and CEO of Hiver.
Co-founded by Niraj Ranjan and Nitesh Nandy, Hiver is based out of Bengaluru and San Jose. It has over 1,500 customers across 30 countries.
Limetray, a food tech SaaS startup, has rolled out an online ordering system to enable local grocery, meat as well as kirana shops to accept customer orders online through its platform.
According to Limetray, the use of this platform will be free for two months to help local stores tide over the challenges of COVID-19 outbreak.
Limetray Founder and CEO Akhilesh Bali said, “We are targeting to onboard more than 1000+ local grocery, meat and kirana stores to use this platform across Tier I cities across India.”
Founded in 2013, by Akhilesh Bali and Piyush Jain, it has investors such as JSW Ventures and Matrix. It has clients across the markets of India, US, UK, UAE, and South Africa.
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), in partnership with MEITY, has launched on-demand courseware on Artificial Intelligence. Part of the NASSCOM FutureSkills initiative, the course allows individuals to upskill themselves over the next few weeks.
NASSCOM FutureSkills has curated deep learning programmes for its partner ecosystem that will be available for free on the NASSCOM website for all users. The Foundational Big Data Analytics course from Digital Vidya, aligned to the industry’s recommended Foundation BDA curriculum, will also be soon made available free of cost (retail price Rs 5000). Other than that, the website will also include microlearning content on AI as quick knowledge bytes.
The Foundational Artificial Intelligence course from SkillUp Online, is aligned to the industry’s recommended Foundation AI curriculum (retail price Rs 6800), free for everyone till May 15, 2020.
NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh said, “Through NASSCOM and MeitY’s `Unlock your skills during the lockdown’ campaign, we would encourage all stakeholders to use this opportunity of working from home to upskill themselves in the skills of the future. We are confident that together we will be able to overcome this phase and emerge stronger post the crisis.”
Edited by Kanishk Singh