|By Maureen O'Gara||
|July 19, 2009 12:00 PM EDT||
SingTel, Singapore's largest phone company and a major local player in broadband Internet services, is going into the cloud business, intending to establish Singapore as a regional cloud computing hub.
It's launched Singapore's first integrated cloud computing marketplace for businesses. The SingTel Innovation Exchange is meant to accelerate the development of cloud computing services.
The company expects to attract developers and promote their services in Asia-Pacific markets.
It's collaborating with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, leading unnamed technology companies and software developers to establish Singapore as a regional cloud computing hub.
In Asia-Pac, cloud computing services are supposed to grow with a CAGR of approximately 60% in 2011 according to Springboard Research.
SingTel figures the market could grow even faster with the launch of the ultra-fast Next Generation National Broadband Network in 2012 in Singapore.
To start, SingTel has introduced Singapore's first integrated online platform for delivering business applications and services on-demand. It's called the SingTel Marketplace (mybusiness.singtel.com).
SingTel Marketplace lets companies use software services, such as HR management applications, on a monthly subscription. They get immediate activation, technical support and consolidated billing from SingTel.
By using SingTel Marketplace cloud computing solutions, such as SingTel's HR Assist HRM service, SMEs can reportedly save up to 96%.
In collaboration with IDA, IE Singapore and its partners, SingTel has launched the SingTel Innovation Exchange (SiX), which is supposed to be the most comprehensive industry partnership program to accelerate the full lifecycle development of business and consumer applications.
SingTel says it aims to attract local and global developers, commercialize their applications and promote them to more than 249 million mobile customers and millions of business customers in the region.
Software developers will have access to resources like grid computing and technical consultancy from SingTel and its partners, which should lower operational costs and shorten time-to-market.
Developers of consumer mobile applications can offer their solutions via the upcoming SingTel App Zone, an online platform for prepaid and postpaid mobile customers currently offering 1,300 applications for a range of devices, including Android-enabled handsets.
The solutions range from educational and multimedia, to communications and lifestyle.
SingTel and IE Singapore have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) memorializing their partnership.
The MOU says that IE Singapore will provide financial and other assistance through its global market connections and programs such as the International Partners (iPartners) Program.
It means "to identify promising Singapore-based software developers and pro-actively match them with potential partners and customers overseas by leveraging SingTel's connections and our global networks."
SingTel is a subsidiary of Optus, Australia's #2 carrier behind Telstra, and accounts for about two-thirds of the company's revenue.
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