NCS' overseas ventures bear fruit

Singapore-based IT services vendor expects business from its overseas market to overtake domestic sales in a few years' time.

SINGAPORE--IT services provider NCS is reaping rewards from its global forays and expects its overseas business to exceed domestic sales in a few years' time.

Speaking to reporters at a media briefing here Thursday, Lum Hon Fye, chief of NCS' global business, said: "Now, we are reaping the results of all the overseas work that we have been doing, building a very strong foundation in the last few years."

The company's overseas ventures posted revenue of S$140 million (US$93.5 million) for its latest fiscal year ended Mar. 31--approximately 25 percent of the total NCS business. According to Lum, the overseas business grew by 30 percent from S$110 million (US$73.5 million) the previous year.

"In a few years' time, the overseas business in NCS might even exceed that of the Singapore business," he said. "We expect the single-digit growth to continue for the Singapore market, but [for] the overseas [market], we are looking at 30 to 40 percent over the next two years."

Lum said NCS is experiencing "strong overseas momentum" driven by Australia and China, and has also made "huge inroads" into the Middle East region.

Lum cited the example of the successful completion of the SWIFTNet Phase 2 upgrade project for more than 100 banks in China. SWIFT is an industry-wide standardized messaging services and interface software used by over 7,800 financial institutions in more than 200 countries.

According to Chong Yoke Sin, CEO of NCS, the company plans to further grow its global footprint via a two-prong approach, namely China and the Middle East region.

Responding to ZDNet Asia's query on whether the overseas experiences will benefit the Singapore government's Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) project that the company is bidding for, Chong said: "I think, definitely, experience [with technologies] such as SWIFT will beef up our strength in terms of being able to work across boundaries...key thing is that we can actually bring global standards to bear."

According to Chong, NCS has been involved in overseas projects that are similar in nature to the SOE bid. "In Hong Kong and the Middle East, we have got large implementation projects which are actually quite similar to the SOE requisite requirements," she said.

On how much the SOE project will contribute to the company's business and whether it will help NCS attain its S$1 billion goal (US$668.2 million), she said that the SOE project will be a "very substantial part" of the business. "It will be very key in helping us get to the S$1 billion mark faster," she added.

NCS is the leader of the One Team consortium that is vying for a piece of the SOE tender. One Team also includes IBM, Alcatel, Cisco Systems and Dell Computer. In March this year, NCS and IBM announced plans to team up with small and midsize businesses if they are awarded the SOE project tender.

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