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Encouraging SMEs in Singapore to leverage SaaS for productivity

Nurdianah Md Nur | July 17, 2014
With SingTel's myBusiness platform, SMEs in the republic can easily subscribe to and access apps to meet their IT needs.

SingTel myBusiness webpage screenshot
Screenshot of SingTel's myBusiness platform

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should leverage software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to improve their productivity because such solutions allow them to focus on their core business instead of IT issues, said Andrew Lim, managing director of SingTel's business group.

Since SaaS solutions are cloud-based and work on a pay-per-use model, they enable SMEs to reduce their capital expenditure, thus freeing more funds for operational expenses. According to Lim, SMEs in Singapore that are leveraging SaaS solutions can potentially enjoy cost savings of up to 96 percent.

To help more SMEs benefit from SaaS, local telco SingTel has launched myBusiness, a platform that aggregates and host SaaS apps catered for SMEs. Since most of the apps were developed by local IT SMEs, they would be more likely better accommodate the needs of SMEs, said Lim.

With myBusiness, users will only need to login once to access all the apps that they have subscribed to. Users with administrator status will also be able to easily make changes to access rights of other employees, if needed, via the portal.

myBusiness currently offers apps from six categories: office communications, finance and accounting, human resource, sales and marketing, IT support, and supply chain management.

One app that is currently available on the platform is the Tao of Shop marketing solution. Designed to help retailers effectively embrace omnichannel retailing, the solution allows SMEs to update their various digital channels - be it social media, websites or mobile apps - from one source, said Adrian Teo, founder and CEO of Tao of Shop. He added that SMEs may also use the solution to easily create an eCommerce platform for mobile and web, which comes with inventory and order management functions as well as built-in payment features. SMEs will thus be able to save time and effort needed to update their digital channels and inventory with the solution.

Lim said SingTel hopes that myBusiness will help SMEs adopt ICT solutions that meet the criteria of the Singapore government's S$500 million (US$400 million) ICT for Productivity and Growth (IPG) programme.

Set to be launched in the third quarter of this year, the IPG programme is a three-year plan that aims to increase the uptake of current and new ICT solutions by SMEs, and to boost their broadband connection speeds. According to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the programme will see the government covering 70 percent of the cost of the ICT solutions presently available under the iSprint scheme, and 80 percent of the cost of new solutions. It will also subsidise 50 percent of the cost of SMEs' fibre broadband subscription plans and will provide support for them to implement Wireless@SG at their premises.  


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