Singapore seeks SaaS boost to help SMBs lower costs

Country issues call for collaboration worth S$21 million (US$16.5 million) to develop "high-impact, sector-specific" software-as-a-service products to help smaller companies lower costs.

COMMUNICASIA, SINGAPORE--The government is pushing for the development of software-as-a-service solutions for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in its latest industry call for collaboration, or CFC. It is targeting to make "high-impact, sector-specific" products for SMBs to help lower their IT expenditure.

Speaking at the Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX) tradeshow here Tuesday, Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore's Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, said SMBs can benefit from the pay-per-use model.

"This CFC targets sectors where many small-and-medium-enterprises are largely manual in their core operation, such as the education, services and maritime and logistics sectors."

The CFC is worth S$21 million (US$16.5 million) and will be led by ICT regulator Infocomm Development Authority or IDA. At last year's imBx opening, a Call-for-Collaboration was also launched, aimed at developing mobility solutions for businesses. Twenty-eight projects worth S$12 million or US$9.5 million have since been awarded through this CFC.

"One year on, I am pleased to share that this has catalyzed the adoption of infocomm solutions on smart mobile devices, wireless technology and mobile networks by over 150 user companies in the retail, food & beverage, hotels and attractions sectors," said Yaacob.

In a separate interview with ZDNet Asia, Andrew Khaw, senior director for industry development group at IDA, said that the CFC aims to encourage vendors to build products for the smaller SMBs, or micro SMBs, which are companies with fewer than 10 employees.


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