SingTel Makes Good Progress, But Questions Over IT Services Capabilities Remain

At an analyst briefing in Singapore on November 7, newly minted SingTel Group Enterprise CEO, Bill Chang, laid out his vision on how the group’s reorganization aims to build the foundation for SingTel to become the largest ICT services provider in Asia Pacific in an ambitious five years.

For Sourcing and Vendor Management professionals, here’s a quick summary:

  • SingTel Group Enterprise: SingTel Business Group, NCS, Enterprise Data and Managed Services (EDMS) and Optus Business (including Alphawest) are now one entity as of 1 Nov 2012.
  • Converged capabilities: This organizational transformation converges SingTel’s Telco and IT service competencies for a one-stop ICT experience and simplifies delivery capabilities to enable large-scale global deployments. In a nutshell: SingTel is aiming to create a repeatable and more scalable product set.

Some of the flagship new services showcased at the briefing included Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS), Electronic Bandwidth on Demand (eBOD), Global WiFi Roaming Service, and an SME portal called myBusiness.

What It Means For Sourcing and Vendor Management Professionals

SingTel’s ICT Services push is commendable, and it has seriously invested in this space over the past few years. Bringing the disparate units under one group is a good move, as it simplifies account management across Singapore, Australia, and SingTel’s Global teams.

However, more prioritization across its portfolio is needed as SingTel is currently attempting to cover a very broad market landscape. In the future, we believe the company would be well-served by eliminating some service categories or geographies where it is too extended. We recommend that you assess SingTel’s capabilities based on these Forrester assessments:

Shortlist for sourcing:

 

Singapore

A formidable telco and IT service player in the country

Network

Core strength remains in delivering high quality telecom network services across the region

Government and public sector

A key provider to many government contracts, including Singapore government cloud and the Education ministry

ISVs

A new growth sector where they have partnered with Progress Software in the PaaS segment. However, we’re unclear about SingTel’s capability to attract ISVs, who have other established regional players to work with.

SMB

A strong player to SMBs – introduced an SMB portal to help them start their cloud journey (SaaS and procurement of other services)

Needs further evaluation:

 

Outside Singapore – IT services

Some wins in Australia, China, and Hong Kong, but elsewhere, it remains spotty. The Group is up against IT services firms (e.g., IBM, Fujitsu, NEC, TCS) and other telcos (e.g., NTT, Tata Communications, Orange Business Services, Verizon).

Consulting and SI

A lot is asked of NCS and Alphawest; their strengths lie in Singapore and Australia at this point. The Smart Cities solution (SURF) is a promising IP-based offering, but questions remain over how SingTel will be able to scale it outside of Singapore, what their IP creation processes are, as well as where they are investing in terms of partnership development.

M2M

Another new growth sector, but gaps exist in investment road map and execution. Apart from painting scenarios on use cases, we’re unclear about how they are developing capabilities in this space, compared to Verizon, which recently bought Hughes Telematics to further their M2M ambitions in the region.

SingTel Group Enterprise should be part of your regional evaluation list for telco and IT services in the areas highlighted above, but you’ll need to ask hard questions about capabilities and delivery in newer areas such as applications.

We’ll continue to update these developments in the following quarters as SingTel’s enterprise plans flesh out. Meanwhile, we believe it has continued to make progress in its efforts to streamline and drive towards an applications- and services-led future.