Software giant Microsoft has strengthened its links with Aston Pride - the Government-funded ten-year regeneration initiative tasked with bringing sustainable regeneration to Aston - in a move it believes will help bring economic benefits to the area.
The US behemoth has already held initial discussions on how it can involve itself in the programme.
The exploratory talks involved Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International.
Paris-based Mr Courtois met a number of local business and community leaders during a flying visit to Birmingham.
The discussions included Simon Topham, the new president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and owner and manager of world famous Acme Whistles based in Hockley.
"We want to find out if Microsoft as an IT enabler could potentially assist the Aston Pride initiative," said Mr Courtois, the man in charge of Microsoft's worldwide operations outside of the US and Canada.
"Birmingham is one of our biggest IT centres in the UK - in fact 20 per cent of our partners work in this area, which is a very rich eco-system in terms of the skills and diversity of software vendors, services, companies, systems integrators and so on," he added.
"We want to find out if our company can contribute in terms of education, in terms of inclusion and in terms of economic development.
"Those are some of the themes we have been discussing at a high level. But I must say these discussions are still at a very early stage."
He added: "This will be a long journey but we have shared together a common view on a framework, or a way to go, about the project we have, where Microsoft could more naturally fit in to the picture.
"Clearly, from what I could learn from today's meeting, in Aston we are looking at a very diverse community in terms of nationalities - people from Bangladesh, the Caribbean, from African countries, India and others.
"There is a pretty high level of unemployment and in terms of social and economic development, there are not many opportunities here. It looks like it is more of a reception area, than necessarily a place where people will stay and stick around.
"At the same time there have been a number of ideas and projects using IT, in particular the wireless network being put in place in part of the city.
"What we discussed is really about how we can enable a number of opportunities for the people in that community and what it is that makes sense."
The first dimension, said Mr Courtois, was education.
"But education is not just in the schools," he stressed.
"We have a very big investment - we call it Partners in Learning - which is a broad initiative across 90 countries in primary and secondary education. It is about partnering, not just with software for students, but also software for teachers, providing very easy to use tools for teachers to build their own curriculum.
"It is about the way the teachers get to use the technology to interact with the students, and with the kids' communities and then actually also with the parents' communities.
He continued: "In many ways we could extend this dimension to other places. For example, community centres, where people, including women, could get educated, say in basic health, or find job opportunities.
"And we may want to use some of the content in the local language to make sure there is a multi-lingual, a multicultural, experience. The key thing is to get people engaged, get them to come and make a first connection, then hit them with some relevant content."
Mr Courtois believes the second dimension is to use technology to create information channels - virtual networks - between ethnic communities in the UK and their home countries to improve communication links.
"The third dimension, which we talked about quite a bit about today, is employment and entrepreneurship," he said.
"How do you create not just the appetite, how do you put in place all the different mechanisms, the different building blocks needed, to help out the people who would actually like to open a small business?
"We have a very big partnership in the US with what they call the National Urban League, working also with the US Employment Agency, to basically build a curriculum - a combination of all the things you need to create a business - embedding IT as a tool and as a discipline to get your business up and running."
The fourth dimension, said Mr Courtois, takes in business eco-systems.
"As a company we are building the foundation, the software platform, for a lot of small, medium and big software companies to build solutions.
"Many IT professionals will be working on our platform of tools. It means we have a responsibility, not just to sustain our business, but to work with those partners to equip them with the knowledge they need.
"To do that we have put in place some different initiatives. One is called the IT Academy - and in Birmingham we probably have around nine of these academies.
"How can we bring that closer to Aston Pride? How can we create an online emarketplace where some of the individuals going through this curriculum can connect to some real job opportunities?
"The easy bit is discussing all this. The hard part is making it happen. Our teams have to come back, rationalise some of those ideas and put in place a plan which I think might happen by the beginning of next year," he said.