Helping SMBs Realise the Value of Digital Transformation with AWS Cloud

AWS launches a customer-centric and commitment-free programme for SMBs to accelerate digitisation. By Priscilla Chong, Country Manager of AWS Singapore

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are the engine room of the Singapore economy, forming 99% of all companies and contributing to more than 70% of the country’s total employment. SMBs need to seize the opportunities in the digital economy as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – Digital Economy Steering Group estimates that approximately 70% of new value created in the economy over the next decade will be based on digitally enabled platforms.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is committed to supporting the digitalisation of Singaporean SMBs with the power of cloud technology. Since the launch of AWS Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region in 2010, we have invested more than US $6.5 billion dollars in local infrastructure and jobs. I’m excited to share today that we are deepening our investment through the launch of AWS Lift in Singapore, a new programme developed specifically to help SMBs harness the power of the cloud. SMB customers who create an account with AWS by 31 January 2023 will receive a starter pack of AWS Credits, free training, and expert guidance over 12 months to help them start digitising on the cloud.

The AWS Cloud spans 87 Availability Zones within 27 geographic regions around the world, with over 200 services built on our world-class infrastructure. Using AWS, SMBs can improve business agility, innovate rapidly, and scale globally using our low cost, pay-as-you-go platform. Today’s announcement of AWS Lift demonstrates our support to SMBs in helping them unlocking the potential of AWS solutions to drive business results.

Breaking down barriers to technology adoption

Increasing top-line growth and cost efficiencies is a top concern for many businesses in the current economic environment, with the Asian Development Bank forecasting inflation to hit 4% in Asia in 2023. This economic slowdown affects SMBs particularly, as many are just recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Budget freezes and cuts are making it a challenge for SMBs to incur any additional cost from investing in new technology. Additionally, SMBs that have been used to the fixed capital expense (capex) model of on-premises data centres may be unfamiliar with the cost savings and flexibility of the pay-as-you-go IT consumption model.  

To alleviate IT cost concerns, AWS credits will automatically offset the AWS bill for all AWS Lift participants. With a minimum billing fee of just USD $1 and no lock-in periods or hidden fees, SMBs can try out over 200 AWS services without any financial obligations. AWS Lift rewards SMBs that increase their use of AWS services by offsetting their bill with even more AWS credits, up to a maximum of USD $83,500 over 12 months.

As SMBs experiment on AWS, they also develop the operational muscle and transforming processes to drive new revenue growth. Elite Logistics is an integrated logistics and supply chain organisation based in Singapore with operations in four regions globally. By using AWS to extend, enhance and deliver better enterprise resource planning (ERP), Elite Logistics has saved 20% in annual spend. This enabled them to grow quickly and expand their full suite of ERP to operate out of Houston, United States.

Collaborating with customers and AWS Partners on their cloud journey

SMBs often face constraints with their IT resources, including upskilling staff, which creates challenges for them to get digital projects off the ground. AWS has a customer-centric approach where our account teams engage with SMBs to understand their business and plans to digitise. These are dedicated teams to provide SMBs with a single point-of-contact from onboarding and journey with them along their cloud adoption.

Our account teams form a deep understanding of each customer’s unique challenges, and recommend specific solutions and partners to reach their digital goals. We have a panel of AWS Partner Network consultants to AWS Lift who understand the specific needs of SMBs who are new to the cloud. For example, Maxeon Solar Technologies, a Singapore-based solar panel company, faced a tight six month timeline to migrate all of its on-premises workloads. Maxeon was assisted by both AWS and AWS Partner, Blazeclan, who specialises in large scale cloud migrations, and was able to migrate all 207 servers to AWS in five months.

Beyond the dedicated support from AWS and our partners, SMBs can also connect, learn, and share with like-minded peers who are going digital in the AWS Connected Community. Exclusively created for SMBs, AWS offers free access to educational resources such as events, workshops, and a video library of case studies and digital topics, or “Ask an Expert” for a free 1:1 consultation with experts on business and technical issues, or enjoy discounts on a range of software and services curated to meet the needs of SMBs.

We know that having digitally-skilled talent is key for driving innovation. However, the training level for SMBs is not keeping up with their pace of digitalisation and is lagging behind large organisations, according to new data from the AWS APJ AlphaBeta Digital Skills Study (2022). Only 25%of SMB employers provide training support for their workers, as compared to 37% in large organisations. SMBs recognise the importance of cloud-related skills, ranking the ability to use cloud-based tools as the second most required digital skill. To address the digital skills shortage, AWS has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to develop over 500+ cloud skill courses on AWS Skill Builder for learners across all levels. AWS has trained more than 200,000 individuals with cloud skills in Singapore since 2017, and we remain committed to continuing to invest in programs to help grow and develop our digitally skilled workforce.

Enabling SMBs to unlock opportunities in the digital economy  

At AWS, we understand how the cloud can democratise access to the world’s leading technology and help SMBs supercharge their growth. We are excited about a world in which businesses are no longer limited by the size of their organisation. A world where cloud technology will help to make the dreams of business owners globally come true. We look forward to helping SMBs across Singapore on their journey to becoming the digital organisations of tomorrow.

Visit our website to get started with AWS Lift.