Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Chief Executive Officer Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Speech - Launch of 'On Demand @ Singapore', IBM Place II, Changi Business Park

Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Chief Executive Officer
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Speech - Launch of 'On Demand @ Singapore', IBM Place II, Changi Business Park
Singapore, 12 May 2004

Good Morning
Mr Frank Kern, President, IBM Asia Pacific
Mr Satish Khatu, General Manager, IBM ASEAN and South Asia
Ms Patricia Yim, Managing Director, IBM Singapore
Ladies and Gentlemen


1. I am delighted to be here this morning on the happy occasion of the opening of IBM Place. IBM is an old friend of the Singapore Infocomm Industry. IBM's contributions go back 50 years, with landmark projects such as the setting up of the Institute of System Science in 1981, in partnership with NUS and the then National Computer Board (NCB). This initiative helped to seed the development of a core pool of IT manpower to drive Singapore's national computerisation efforts. IBM was also a key partner in the development of TradeNet launched in 1989, as well as in the set up of the Asia Pacific Logistics Centre in 1996, making Singapore the regional distribution hub for hard disk drives.

2. Today's opening of your new office here in Changi is testimony to IBM's continued commitment to Singapore. In addition to housing IBM's Singapore office, this building also brings together IBM's Asia Pacific Technology group and Worldwide HQ for Procurement Production Operations and Outsourced Supply Chain, bringing the total floor area in Changi Business Park from 138,000 square feet to 241,000 square feet. I understand that this state of the art building is custom-made for IBM with wireless LAN and Voice over IP facilities.

3. IBM has been a good partner with IDA in helping to develop Singapore's Infocomm Sector. IBM has been IDA's Infocomm Local Industry Upgrading Programme (iLIUP) partner since August 2001, and to date IBM has worked with 24 local iLIUP partners and helped them develop seven new products. In addition, we jointly launched the S$22 million Open Computing Centre (OCC) in September of 2002, which included a Web Services Innovation Zone in Nanyang Polytechnic and a Linux Integration Zone (LIZ) housed here in Changi.

4. This partnership with IBM has created a ladder of projects, each one leading to the next. But as the renown scientist Thomas Huxley once said: "The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher." And it is that next rung in the ladder that we wish to announce together today - Bringing on demand capabilities to Singapore.

"On Demand"

5. Staying agile and competitive remains a constant challenge for businesses, non-profit organisations and even Governments. Fortunately, the intelligent integration of IT with business, can help organisations meet this challenge better. IBM has chosen to use the on demand concept to deliver the benefits of Infocomm technologies for our Infocomm industry, professionals and users.

6. For IBM, "on demand" has come to represent both a need to understand business needs better and the adoption of open standards when delivering IT-enabled business solutions.

7. IDA would like our Infocomm companies and professionals to be equipped with the capabilities to deliver on this "on demand" vision.

On Demand @ Singapore

8. I am therefore very pleased to announce that IBM and IDA will be launching a three-year collaboration which we have called "on demand @ Singapore".

9. IDA and IBM will jointly invest S$40 million in the on demand @ Singapore collaboration over the next three years. This investment will enable companies to grow in three key areas.

10. Firstly, manpower development. With the on demand strategy moving away from simply implementing technology towards a business model centric approach, the Infocomm professional must transform himself from a mere technical support person to a trusted business partner. We are working with IBM to distil its in-house knowledge and capabilities to create training programmes that can benefit the industry at large. IBM will be conducting a newly developed 5-day CITREP-endorsed course in sales and marketing later in June, and we are in discussions to broaden this arrangement into other areas such as vertical industry-domain expertise and knowledge.

11. This partnership also extends into IDA's recently launched National Infocomm Scholarships for promising undergraduates, in the form of attachments to IBM overseas offices and R&D labs, where they will be trained to move up the business value chain where specialised and advanced technical and business related skills are required.

12. Secondly, Innovation Development. The Open Computing Centre (OCC) is a key element in this as it will allow companies to pilot their systems before their commercial launch. It will equip our local independent software vendors and systems integrators with on demand capabilities such as Linux, Web Services and Grid Computing. For instance, we currently have 38 local companies and more than 2000 professionals that have benefited from the Linux and Web Services nodes of the OCC. These local Infocomm companies include FriarTuck, whose scheduling solution was used by NASA for their recent Mars Exploration mission, and Gridnode, a promising software company whose solutions are being adopted by leading manufacturing companies in Singapore.

13. The third node of the OCC, the S$8 million Grid Innovation Zone at NUS, was launched in March this year to build capabilities and jumpstart the commercialisation of Grid computing in Singapore. It will "grid enable" at least six local Infocomm companies and conduct at least eight vertical industry pilots to demonstrate the market viability of grid computing.

14. Thirdly, Market Development. This will be done through partnership programmes such as the iLIUP and the Overseas Development Programme (ODP). IBM will expand its iLIUP portfolio to a total of 30 local companies over the next three years.

15. At this juncture, I am very glad to announce a newly-inked ODP partnership with IBM. The ODP was launched last year with the aim to allow our local companies to leverage on our MNCs and major companies' customer bases to gain inroads in overseas markets. This partnership will help 10 to 15 local companies gain export revenues of some S$15 million over the next three years.

16. As a start, it will be an excellent means in which local companies can leverage on the marketing channels of IBM when they go to China. IBM will be working closely with our Singapore Solution Centre in Shanghai launched last month to provide a venue for local companies to showcase their products and offerings, and to access Chinese companies.

17. The potential revenues that can be generated from this collaboration can be significant. They include S$15 million of export revenue from ODP as well as S$9 million through product and market development through iLIUP for local partners. In addition, revenue can also be expected from the companies that work with the various competency centres under the OCC.

18. I hope that the on demand @ Singapore collaboration will pave the way for even deeper and stronger collaboration between IBM and IDA. Even as Singapore seeks to develop its local Infocomm companies, it continues to welcome global leaders like IBM to invest here and to help build capabilities of the local Infocomm cluster.


19. Let today be the start of another 50 years of partnership between IBM and Singapore. We are glad you have found a nice new home here in Changi. We hope you will continue to expand your business in Singapore and the region, and to deepen your pool of expertise here.

20. Thank you.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023