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4 October 2005 - Keynote Speech By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At Weave Seminar 2005, Marina Mandarin.

Keynote Speech By Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore At Weave Seminar 2005 on 4 October 2005, Marina Mandarin.


Distinguished Guests,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends from the industry,

Good morning. Thank you for taking the time off to attend this seminar.


1. Back in May 2003, IDA launched the WEAVE programme with the aim of promoting Web Services over a period of three years, as a key engine of growth for the ICT sector. The three strategic thrusts of the programme are, to seed intellectual capital, leverage Singapore as a living lab and to ensure the development of enabling infrastructure.

2. The key targets under this programme are: Firstly, to drive S$120 million investments in the development of Web Services; secondly, to train and certify 600 professionals in Web Services; and last but not least, to encourage at least 20% of companies in Singapore to adopt Web Services

Good Progress on WEAVE Programme

3. I am happy to report that since then, we are on well on track to achieving these targets. To date, a total of S$70 million has been invested in 52 Web Services projects spanning different economic sectors from finance and transport, to leisure and entertainment. In terms of capability development, we have far exceeded our target with more than 2,800 professionals trained in Web Services know-how. More than 20% of these have attained certification through formal CITREP or ITA-endorsed courses. In addition, at least 290 new jobs have been created as a direct result of the WEAVE programme.

4. Furthermore, the projected revenue from supported Web Services projects is expected to be more than S$450 million over a period of three years. And business adoption rates for Web Services currently stand at 14%, up from 8% in 2003.

Business Benefits of Adopting Web Services

5. Over the last few years, companies that have implemented Web Services have experienced not only cost savings, but also increased revenue and enhanced customer service. We also see that the use of Web Services is increasingly moving from a company-centric to a partner - centric or B2B focus. According to IDA's Infocomm Usage in Business survey, there has been a 100% increase in large enterprise adoption of Web Services here in Singapore. These companies use Web Services solutions for a variety of reasons, be it to provide real-time information, integrate business processes or improve customer service management.

6. In fact, more and more businesses are seeing the benefits of adopting Web Services. IDC estimated that the total worldwide spending on Web Services software was US$2.3 billion in 2004, more than double that from the previous year. This amount is expected to continue to increase dramatically over the next five years, reaching approximately US$14.9 billion by 2009. (Source: IDC - "Worldwide Web Services Software 2005-2009 Forecast: Let the Races Begin" (#33418), May 2005.)

7. Today, you will hear from transport companies like SIA and PSA; from a local financial giant, OCBC; and from the government sector, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). They will share with you, why they had decided to use Web Services and the direct benefits that they have enjoyed arising from this decision. These are keystone organisations in their sectors. Their use of Web Services helps to spur the adoption of Web Services by their partners and suppliers. I will leave it to them to share with you the details of their experience in Web Services implementation.

8. Aside from these organisations, I thought I'd also highlight to you two other companies, Y3 Technologies and Borneo Motors, who have achieved similar success in Web Services implementation.

9. Y3 Technologies is a home-grown supply chain solutions provider. They offer Web Services components that can be easily integrated with legacy systems and at maintenance costs of between 50% - 70% lower than conventional solutions. Y3 has also incorporated Web Services in their solution offerings and these have benefited user companies - both large and small. Their Virtual Hub Engine, for instance, has helped Motorola consolidate their various physical hubs across Asia into a single hosted platform that pulls information from its supply chain partners. This has enabled Motorola to reduce their inventory holdings from US$80 million to less than US$10 million.

10. Another of Y3's Web Services solution is the Y-Route Optimiser. Jointly developed with A*STAR, this solution helps smaller logistic companies to better plan and optimise deliveries for multiple customers. With this solution, logistic SMEs can experience a 30% - 50% cost savings, resulting from being able to fulfil more orders from a single trip. Furthermore, the Y-Route Optimiser is built and delivered on an ASP model, and SMEs can just simply subscribe to the service from Y3, without the need to purchase and install it in-house. Today, 5 logistics companies are using this system, and Y3 is currently in the process of exporting this to overseas markets.

11. The case of Borneo Motors is that from an end-user standpoint. Borneo Motors wanted to revamp their information management system because they needed a more efficient and effective way to share parts and pricing information received from Toyota Japan, with their local customers and workshops. Borneo Motors' previous process was time consuming and tedious as it meant converting parts priced in Japanese Yen to Singapore dollars for individual requests. Using Web Services, Borneo Motors was able to implement a B2B integration with the backend of six of their service branches and three of their mid-sized customers, while at the same time catering to less IT-sophisticated partners via a portal interface. As a result, Borneo Motors was able to cut down processing time for the sale of car parts by 30% and increased revenue by 10%.

Responding to Future Needs

12. As part of our efforts to further the adoption of Web Services, IDA facilitated collaborations between SiTF Web Services Chapter and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) in the setting up of the NYP-SiTF SOA Centre. This vendor-neutral centre will be the first of its kind in the region. The SOA Centre, hosted at NYP, will provide Web Services Interoperability testing for our locally-based IT solution providers or companies who are interested in implementing solutions built on multiple platforms. The centre will provide a facility to test the interoperability of Web Services applications between different platforms such as .NET and the different implementations of the J2EE specification.

13. Having such a testing centre in Singapore, will not only encourage local solutions providers to conduct more rigorous integration testing between their products and the product suites of IT MNCs, it will also mean that testing costs can and will be a lot lower. These objectives are aligned with WEAVE's programme goal of developing enabling infrastructure, where interoperability is one of the main and current issues for Web Services.

14. Still on the subject of enabling infrastructure, Singapore is also the first Asian country to co-chair an OASIS Technical Committee. OASIS is an international consortium that is leading the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. The OASIS Framework for Web Services Implementation Technical Committee - endeavours to provide guidance to the creation of re-usable Web Services components as well as implementation of Web Services-enabled applications. The aim of the specifications is to help companies develop and implement Web Services applications quickly and cost-effectively. The specifications have been submitted to OASIS, and it is currently undergoing public review.

15. Besides adoption, IDA will also continue to develop the manpower capabilities in Web Services. IDA worked with the National Infocomm Competency Centre (NICC) and the XMLOne User Group, to develop the Web Services Professional Certification. This certification was launched last year and will certify Web Services professionals' technical capabilities in solution architecting, as well as their competency to deal with security and interoperability issues in project deployment. The initiative aims to equip Web Services professionals with the skills and competencies to analyse business requirements and translate them into the technical components to make up complete business solutions. Through this, we hope to encourage more pervasive development and implementation of Web Services in the industry. The first batch of 11 graduates completed their examinations earlier in April this year and will be receiving their certificates later this morning.

Conclusion - Call to Action

16. In conclusion, I am happy to see that Web Services are taking off. Web Services is not just about the technology. Its value lies in it being applied to bring economic benefits to businesses and government agencies. From the two examples I quoted earlier and what you will also hear from the speakers today, it is clear that Web Services can and has enable business in many ways. IDA has also compiled in a booklet, various case studies and a list of Web Services developers to help you embark on your own Web Services journey. I hope you will find it useful.

17. Finally, I would like to draw an analogy about the benefits of Web Services from something that the late Bruce Lee once said. He said, "The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be." Web Service can help you achieve your business goals faster and with less effort. If you have not done so, it is time you too, consider implementing it.

18. On this note, thank you for being a wonderful audience and I wish you all a fruitful seminar. Thank you.