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HP-PSB seeks to e-enable SMEs

HP and PSB is offering a foundation programme designed to build an awareness of IT and its benefits to an organization. It is targeted primarily at SMEs who have yet to e-enable themselves.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today between Hewlett Packard (HP) and Singapore's Productivity and Standards Board (PSB) is set to kick start a flexible training package designed to e-enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Moving from an instructor-centric to a more student-centric approach, there will be more options in the learning programme to give SMEs more flexibility in choosing the education programme that is most suited to their needs.

Called e-Growing Enterprise Net-enabling (e-Gen) education, this collaboration between HP and PSB will give an added boost to Singapore's SME 21 plan which seeks to promote the use of IT and e-commerce among SMEs.

According to Mr Loh Kok Choy, PSB's divisional director of the local enterprise division, e-enablement is defined as "the capability to conduct transactions over the Internet" and that merely putting up a website with a catalog is not enough.

In line with PSB's aim of e-enabling one in three SMEs by the year 2003, a foundation programme has been designed to build an awareness of IT and its benefits to an organization among SMEs who have yet to e-enable themselves. This is a half day interactive seminar meant for CEOs and senior executives and is slated to be conducted on the 13th of December.

The next level involves three options:

  • Infusion for e-GEN education revolves around a fixed curriculum and would eventually lead to a certification endorsed by HP and PSB's Institute for Productivity Training.

    The course fee is S$1,600 and applicants are expected to complete the course within 6-7 weeks.

  • Training on Demand for e-Gen education gives the participant more flexibility to pick and choose the modules that he needs.

    The course fee is S$1,500 and participants are expected to complete the course within 8 weeks. The individual training pacs are priced at S$100 per pac.

  • Implementation mentoring for e-Gen education offers options for more hand-holding where an avenue for on-site mentoring and consultation services will be made available. SMEs can also choose to outsource their IT needs through this scheme.

More information about the courses available can be found at these sites http://www.psb.gov.sg and http://www.hp.com.sg/hpeducation.

This programme is supported by the Skills Development Fund (SDF) which will support up to 80% of the course fee under its Critical Skills Programme. In addition, SMEs planning to start e-commerce projects can seek help from PSB's Local Enterprise Technical Assistance Scheme (Letas) to help defray their costs.