SingTel partners with SAP to address cloud

24 August 2011 | Guy Matthews


Asian carrier SingTel has become the latest major global telecoms name to broaden its portfolio of enterprise cloud services though a partnership with an IT solutions vendor.

It has struck a deal with German software firm SAP whereby the two will jointly market a cloud-based business management service targeted at mid-sized companies in Singapore.

SAP’s Business One application is now hosted on SingTel’s cloud infrastructure where it gives subscribers access to various management tools, including ones for sales, logistics, inventory and CRM. Users will be able to access the application from their desktops or via internet-enabled mobile devices and a special application is also available for iPhone and iPad users.

SingTel EVP Bill Chang said the service is aimed at larger SMEs across all verticals. He reported that the carrier’s cloud customer base has risen 50% over the past year to over 150,000 users.

“By bringing together fixed, mobile and cloud technologies, we enable SMEs to run their operations seamlessly from any location, at any time and on any device they choose,” commented Chang. “This allows them to improve their productivity, increase business agility and reduce their operating costs significantly. This is the power of fixed mobile cloud convergence unleashed, and we have many more ground breaking innovations to come.”

Mark Giles, an analyst with consulting firm Ovum, has warned of the dangers of telcos attempting to take on the cloud services market without an experienced IT application partner.

“Aside from a perceived lack of brand identity in the supply of IT services, obstacles such as bringing internal network and IT teams together and enabling sales teams must be overcome,” he said

A joint branding, marketing and sales partnership with an existing IT services provider can help telcos expand their potential sales channels, he added. He said other major names such as Telstra and SFR had recently signed similar deals with IT services providers.