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Singapore govt to help more SMEs go digital with new tech hub

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IMDA said infocomm media (ICM) suppliers on its SMEs Go Digital Programme have generated over S$2.4 million (US$1.76 million) in revenue

 

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will launch an SME Digital Tech Hub in the third quarter of this year. SMEs will be able to view advanced tech solutions in this hub. They can also approach tech consultants to learn about building tailored solutions. Specifics will be unveiled later this year.

The hub, which will be operated by the Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME), is a complement to the existing SMEs Go Digital programme, which was launched in April this year. The programme is designed to help SMEs adopt tech solutions.

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To date, over 100 SMEs have adopted 24 pre-approved solutions (out of 56 total pre-approved solutions). These project have, in turn, generated over S$2.4 million (US$1.76 million) in revenue for the infocomm media (ICM) suppliers.

“It’s an encouraging start to the SMEs Go Digital Programme…we are also continually improving the standards of the solutions offered to the SMEs in terms of cybersecurity, embedding personal data protection capabilities, [and] helping to ensure interoperability,” said Tan Kiat How, CEO of IMDA, at an industry briefing.

How said that raising standards is necessary to meet the rapid advances in technology, especially in fields such as big data, AI and cybersecurity.

All pre-approved solutions are also only valid for 1 year, after which they would have to go through a re-evaluation process. IMDA said this process allows participating SMEs to be assured that their tech solutions will meet the latest compliance standards.

The participating SMEs have seen significant tangible benefits from the integrating these tech solutions, said How. He claimed that F&B outlets registered with the SMEs Go Digital programme have seen more than 50 per cent improvement in cost expenditures, for example.

Another beneficiary from the tech solutions is Orchid hotel. It adopted a 3D IoT Platform for Smart Buildings platform developed by Asahi Security Technologies. With the ability to visual in 3D all operations of its hotel, Orchid was able to improve manpower deployment and raise the efficiency of its staff.

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Also Read: SGX-IMDA tie-up is important first step, but will not fix tech-IPO drought

“Being an SME, we are at a slight disadvantage as compared to big brands out in the market. With this solution we will be able to get more timely and accurate data that will enable us to have better time management and manpower deployment,” said Kayn Chng, Assistant General Manager, Orchid Hotel, in an official press statement.

For the ICM suppliers, partnering with IMDA have provided them with significantly more business opportunities. Toon Wee, co-founder of fleet management software SmartComm, said that SMEs Go Digital have delivered 48 clients to them in the first quarter.

But partnering with IMDA isn’t merely just for financial gains, ICM suppliers said it also boosted their branding.

“Our partnership with IMDA gives the hair salons on the ground the assurance and credibility that [our] solution is tested and validated,” said Sze Ming, Founder of hair services SaaS platform provider Gamurai.

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He emphasised that many hair salons do not understand technology, so the validation from the government helps to give them a peace of mind.

Building innovation

On a larger scale, IMDA will be working with industry players to develop Industry Digital Plans (IDP) that will be aligned with respective sectors’ Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs).

These plans will be used to ensure SMEs get the right technology at each stage of their growth and allow them to progressively acquire more advanced technologies. IMDA will focus on SMEs in the retail, food services, wholesale trade, logistics, cleaning and security, for a start.

An IMDA spokesperson also said that the agency is interested in creating new IPs for local companies and help them go global. It is currently working with other government agencies such as SPRING and SGInnovate to help these companies scale.

The post Singapore govt to help more SMEs go digital with new tech hub appeared first on e27.
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