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Microsoft collaborates with Enterprise Singapore, AI Singapore, and the Infocomm Media Development Authority to accelerate AI transformation for SMEs with AI Pinnacle Program

PRNewswire May 21, 2024
  • Second wave of Microsoft’s AI Pinnacle Program to empower SMEs to scale AI adoption and transformation
  • New initiative with Enterprise Singapore and AI Singapore to catalyze Microsoft Copilot adoption among SMEs to bolster productivity
  • New initiative with IMDA to enable all SMEs to build generative AI capabilities

SINGAPORE, May 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft today announced the launch of the second wave of the Microsoft AI Pinnacle Program, with new initiatives aimed at enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to scale adoption of AI-powered solutions that will have transformative impact on their businesses and sectors.

Left to right: Mr. Kiren Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority; Mr. Laurence Liew, Director, AI Innovation, AI Singapore; Ms. Andrea Della Mattea, President, Microsoft ASEAN; Mr. Gan Kim Yong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry; Ms. Lee Hui Li, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore; Mr. Soh Leng Wan, Assistant Managing Director (Manufacturing), Enterprise Singapore

As part of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed today, Microsoft, Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) and AI Singapore (AISG) will work together to help SMEs boost productivity by utilizing Microsoft Copilot – with the goal of empowering more than 1,000 SMEs over the next two years to tap the benefits of AI innovation for their business.

Microsoft and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) signed a new Memorandum of Intent (MOI) to help SMEs and technology vendors leverage generative AI (GenAI). For digitally mature Singapore enterprises, this collaboration will enable them to strengthen their capabilities in GenAI and to develop and deploy customized GenAI solutions, with more than 200 digitally mature Singapore SMEs to benefit over the next two years as a start. Microsoft and IMDA will also uplift tech providers in enabling their solutions with AI capabilities that would help scale AI adoption amongst SMEs.

Both the MOU and MOI were signed with the partners in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Gan Kim Yong.

Microsoft and LinkedIn’s 2024 Work Trend Index revealed that knowledge workers in Singapore are ahead of their global peers when it comes to the use of AI, with close to nine in 10 (88%) in Singapore already using AI at work, compared to 75% globally. While 83% of Singaporean leaders believe their company needs to adopt AI to stay competitive, 68% of leaders worry their organization’s leadership lacks a plan and vision to implement it.

“Against this backdrop, Microsoft is committed to supporting organizations of all sizes to drive transformation with AI through the AI Pinnacle Program. We are excited to be collaborating with Enterprise Singapore, AI Singapore, and IMDA, to expand the program’s focus on enabling SMEs of varying levels of digital maturity to adopt and embrace AI technology to achieve productivity gains and tangible business impact,” said Ms. Lee Hui Li, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore. “In doing so, we want to create an ecosystem where leaders are empowered to develop an AI strategy and roadmap for their organization, and employees are equipped with the skills, tools, and technology to thrive in the era of AI.”  

Accelerating AI transformation for SMEs with EnterpriseSG and AISG

Jointly administered by Microsoft, EnterpriseSG and AISG, the Microsoft Copilot for SMEs program will support SMEs to deepen their AI capabilities by accelerating the adoption of Microsoft Copilot across key business functions such as HR, finance, sales, and marketing. As an everyday AI companion for work, Microsoft Copilot helps to streamline processes, enhances productivity, and enables employees to focus on higher-value tasks – ultimately driving greater efficiency and better business outcomes for SMEs, which are often faced with limited IT and corporate resources.

Through the program, EnterpriseSG will defray 50% of the Microsoft Copilot license costs for eligible businesses for a 12-month usage period to support their adoption of the solution. Beyond catalyzing the adoption of this AI-powered productivity tool, the program will also leverage Microsoft’s partner ecosystem to provide additional training support and resources for SMEs to implement Copilot across different business processes effectively. In addition, Microsoft and EnterpriseSG will work with AISG to support capability building and educate SMEs on responsible AI use beyond Microsoft Copilot. More information can be found at: https://go.gov.sg/microsoft-copilot  

“AI technologies can help many resource-strapped SMEs to do more with less. This is why Enterprise Singapore continues to expand our range of resources, including the rollout of the latest Microsoft Copilot for SMEs program, to help more local firms acquire new AI capabilities to enhance productivity and boost business outcomes. We will continue partnering with partners like Microsoft, to spur AI adoption and development among SMEs so that they can uplift competitiveness and better scale up their businesses,” said Mr. Soh Leng Wan, Assistant Managing Director (Manufacturing), Enterprise Singapore.  

Empowering both enterprises and tech providers leverage generative AI

Microsoft’s collaboration with IMDA will uplift the AI capabilities of digitally mature local enterprises in Singapore. As part of IMDA’s GenAI x Digital Leaders initiative, Microsoft will conduct technology discovery workshops and provide tech advisory that will cater to specific business needs of enterprises. IMDA will provide funding support to eligible enterprises to develop and deploy their GenAI solutions. Companies can also access Microsoft’s network of tech partners and tools such as Azure OpenAI and Copilot, as well as get tech advice during the project implementation phase.

To accelerate the adoption of AI among local SMEs, Microsoft and IMDA will support the tech vendors under IMDA’s SMEs Go Digital programme to integrate their solutions with AI capabilities. This will enable SMEs access to more AI solutions to boost productivity across business functions, foster product and service innovation, and deliver superior customer experiences.

“Aligned with Singapore’s National AI Strategy 2.0, IMDA is excited to continue working with technology giants such as Microsoft to enable our local enterprises and ICT sector level up with AI. This partnership with Microsoft will look to enhance the pre-approved solutions under the SMEs Go Digital programme with GenAI to help scale the adoption of GenAI among SMEs. For our more digitally mature Singapore enterprises, this partnership will help them to navigate the complexities of GenAI and deepen their in-house digital capabilities, so as to develop new and exciting products and services, and be more competitive in the global market,” said Mr Leong Der Yao, Assistant Chief Executive, Sectoral Transformation Group, IMDA.

The latest announcement builds on MOUs that Microsoft recently signed with SkillsFuture Singapore and NTUC LearningHub to equip SMEs with the skills and expertise needed to harness AI solutions, enabling them to transform and seize new opportunities. Microsoft’s collaboration with SkillsFuture Singapore will benefit 2,000 SMEs over three years, while the collaboration with NTUC LearningHub will train up to 100,000 of its members in AI skills to enhance their AI literacy.

In addition, Microsoft has partnered IMDA to equip tech professionals with AI skills through the Information & Communications (I&C) Jobs Transformation Map (JTM) Training Partners to build the tech workforce’s capabilities to develop and deploy AI-enabled digital solutions. Under the collaboration, IMDA’s Training Partner NTUC LearningHub offers Microsoft certification courses in Azure AI. These courses help trainees master the fundamentals of AI technology, build awareness of common AI workloads, and identify relevant Azure services to support them. As of December 2023, the JTM Training Partners collectively offer around 200 AI-related courses and have trained about 1,600 individuals to be confident AI users.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) creates platforms and tools powered by AI to deliver innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers. The technology company is committed to making AI available broadly and doing so responsibly, with a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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