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Singaporean SME UBTS wins Microsoft IT environment makeover contest

Jack Loo | Aug. 30, 2013
The logistics firm receives Windows 8 mobile devices from Lenovo and Microsoft’s Office 365 subscriptions and service support.

Singaporean logistics provider UBTS has won US$6,000 worth of products and services from Lenovo and Microsoft to modernise its IT environment in a makeover-style contest.

As the winner of the Get2Mordern SME IT Makeover Contest, UBTS will receive Windows 8 Pro ultrabooks and tablets from Lenovo, Office 365 Small Business Premium subscriptions, as well as free service support from Microsoft.

With the impending end-of-support for Windows XP and Office 2003 on 8 April 2014, Microsoft set up the Get2Modern SME IT Makeover Contest in May this year to encourage SMEs in the region to upgrade their IT environment.

According to IDC, Windows XP still makes up 11.84 percent of PCs in Singapore as of March 2013. Microsoft said this figure equates to over 717,000 PCs.

UBTS was selected based on its creative submission, where it featured a short comic strip of photos of the ageing IT systems in the company.

"Our current IT system hindered our productivity and restricted our ability to work on-the-go as many of us are often out and about. The idea of having Windows 8 devices to drive the mobility of our colleagues, as well as an upgrade to Office 365, will allow us more flexibility in how we conduct our business. The team may even reduce the investment costs in IT infrastructure as updates are now delivered seamlessly through Windows Update," said Ivonne Lestari, IT Executive, UBTS, who submitted the winning entry on behalf of the firm.

UBTS was founded in the 1960s as a transport company with just a dozen staff and several trucks. Today, the company controls a fleet of over 1,000 vehicles.

Prior to winning the competition, UBTS relied on an array of disparate IT tools such as different versions of Windows Server for its email system, Logistics Management and Containerised Traffic Systems.

The company's PCs also ran on different versions of Windows, ranging from Windows 98 to Windows 7 which added to the complexity for the IT teams to manage. Even more complicated was the company's file storage system, which relied on many external hard drives with no file-sharing or collaboration capabilities.

With the US$6,000 contest reward, UBTS will roll out an overhaul of their IT systems for its 50 office employees to help minimise redundancies and streamline IT processes across the board. The company also hopes to enhance collaboration among its workers through SharePoint and SkyDrive Pro.

Additionally, UBTS will be looking into devising new workflows that improve the automation of business processes, such as customer interaction on its website.

"The modern office requires an updated set of tools and features to optimise productivity and collaboration in a new world of work, as well as create a secure IT environment. This is what Microsoft offers with its modern operating systems and productivity solutions and services," said John Fernandes, Director, Marketing & Operations, Microsoft Singapore.

 

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