Kowshik Sriman, managing director, SAP Singapore
"The future of business is mobile and mobility is an arena SMEs in Singapore are beginning to embrace," said Kowshik Sriman, managing director, SAP Singapore, at a media luncheon on Wednesday.
Kowshik, who has been with SAP for 13 years, has been watching the transition in the SME landscape here.
According to him, Singapore SMEs are not just competing with other SMEs here, they are competing with SMEs from other countries too. "In a globalised world, competition is global," he said.
According to DP Information Group's SME Development Survey 2010, 15 per cent of Singapore SMEs get 70 per cent of their business from overseas customers.
The coming together of personal phones and business applications can transform the SMEs and make them more competitive, Kowshik said, adding that SAP can help smaller companies take this technological leap.
For example, he said, SAP can imbed apps in employees' smartphones, make the app work with the backend, and still keep all data secure. In case an employee loses her phone, the app could remotely be locked or the whole phone could be locked via the app.
"This can be done in a cost-effective manner," he said. "SAP is not just for big guys. We are helping companies as small as with 10 employees in mobile technology adoption."
The other added benefit, he said, is that an SME having SAP technology will impress its bigger partners or MNCs, who most probably are already using SAP products.
Productivity for SMES
DP Information Group's survey figures bear out the connection between technology adoption and productivity for SMEs. Over 80 percent of SMEs surveyed here said they benefitted from adopting technology, said Eustace Fernansez, senior director, HR and marketing, DP Information Group, at the media luncheon.
According to Eustace, though Singapore SMEs are relatively at a stronger financial footing now, they still face budget issues when it comes to adopting technology. Most SMEs don't have defined budgets for technology.
However, change is afoot. "SMEs will be more open to technology in a couple of years," he said.
Cost is a touchy issue for SMEs, but can SMEs afford to ignore the disruptive technologies like mobility and cloud computing?
SMEs cannot take the risk of not adopting new technologies, Kawshik said. "They should look at technology as an investment, not cost," he said. He also appreciated the way the Singapore government tries to help SMEs adopt new technologies by subsiding costs or providing incentives.
To make disruptive technologies available to Singapore SMEs, SAP has launched a special strategy and is partnering with local companies to provide services in enterprise resource planning, cloud and analytics applications and services.
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