S'pore center to address work productivity issues

Together with eight partners, Microsoft will pump US$587,500 over three years into a new facility to help enterprises and government bodies enhance business productivity.

SINGAPORE--Microsoft and eight partner companies will invest S$1 million (US$587,500) over the next three years in a new Business Productivity Center (BPC) in the island-state.

The center will offer customized solutions to multinational corporations, as well as large and medium-sized local organizations, to help them meet their business needs and increase business productivity, according to Barney Lau, managing director of Microsoft Singapore.

Microsoft aims to address areas such as information overload, teamwork and collaboration, document management, employee communication, retention of human assets and business connectivity, Lau said at the launch of the center.

"We hope to engage our customers and find out what their key pain points are… then work with our team of partners to develop the solutions," said Lau.

The new BPC is the third such center in Asia, after Thailand and Malaysia. Similar centers can be found in Australia and New Zealand.

The BPC targets to reach around 200 customer organizations within the next 12 months, said Lau. Although the center is likely to serve mostly Singapore-based companies, Lau pointed out that it can also cater to companies that are located in countries that do not have a BPC, such as Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

The launch of the Microsoft BPC was welcomed by Chan Yeng Kit, CEO of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, who addressed the audience via a "live" online video broadcast. Chan noted that the new center helps businesses in Singapore and the region to adopt technology, as well as provide a platform for local companies to showcase their solutions.

Singapore companies ChassAsia and Heuristix Lab, which offer IT solutions and education software respectively, are among those partnering Microsoft in the effort. The other partners are IT services vendor atQuest, Avanade, Hewlett-Packard, data-mining company Integral Solutions, Intel, and OutlookSoft, which provides corporate performance management solutions.

One organization that has benefited from enhanced workflow collaboration is Singapore insurer NTUC Income. The company implemented a paperless solution this year, enabling its insurance agents to fill up and submit e-application forms complete with clients' signatures.