Big data, SMBs form EMC's main focus for Singapore

Storage giant's plans to open its big data analytics lab and up partner collaborations to engage the local small and midsize businesses are in line with the Singapore government's priorities for 2013.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor
EMC plans to open its big data analytics lab and increase partner collaborations to engage local small and midsize businesses, in line with Singapore government's 2013 priorities.

SINGAPORE--EMC will be aligning its key business activities in Singapore with local market needs and government priorities, such as the opening of its Big Data Analytics Lab and enhancing its partner engagements to better serve the small and midsize business (SMB) community.

Eric Goh, managing director of EMC Singapore, said in a briefing Tuesday it plans to launch the Big Data Analytics Lab in June this year. The new center will be equipped with the necessary infrastructure, including servers, storage and software, and it will serve as a testbed destination for companies looking to deploy big data initiatives, he said.

EMC will also provide interested parties access to early-stage, developmental software which may not be available in the market yet, Goh revealed. This would be the storage company's second such lab, with the first situated in the United States.

The launch of the Big Data Analytics Lab is in line with the Singapore government's focus to support data analytics, which was outlined in its latest Budget 2013 announcement made last month, the executive noted. The government said then it plans to support the industry segment by developing a pool of 2,500 analytics professionals over the next five years.

"As the amount of data grows by 7,600 petabytes a data, data analytics has gained traction and can help businesses become more efficient in terms of predicting trends and innovation," he said.

Goh also pointed to the three-year collaboration it inked with Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) last November to launch Centers of Attachment to grow the local analytics talent pool. Under this collaboration, workshops and classroom training sessions will be delivered over a period of two months to develop cloud computing architects and data scientists, he said.

The first batch of participants will kickstart the program in April this year, Goh said, but declined to comment on how much EMC is investing in the abovementioned initiatives.

Increasing SMB engagements
Besides data analytics, EMC also plans to increase its activities in the SMB space. Goh noted that while the storage giant traditionally focused on the high-end storage market for enterprises, it would like to extend its attention to the small and midsize business community in the year ahead.

For instance, it will be working with its channel partners to develop storage products to meet this market segment's needs as well as help them benefit from some of the government's latest tax and benefit programs, he said.

The government's move to enhance its Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme provides a good incentive for companies to invest in IT.

Singapore's deputy PM and finance minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, announced that businesses spending a minimum of S$5,000 in PIC activities in a year will receive a one-for-one cash bonus capped at S$15,000 per year. This will for the next two years of assessment, and paid over and above existing PIC benefits, he added.

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