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Salesforce launches new initiative to boost AI capabilities for Singapore’s SMEs

Salesforce’s new Data + AI Boost SME Programme seeks to assist 5,000 SMEs in Singapore in leveraging AI and data for growth, in collaboration with IMDA.

Salesforce has introduced its Data + AI Boost SME Programme, designed to assist 5,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore. This initiative aims to unlock the value of data and enhance the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). It aligns with Singapore's Digital Enterprise Blueprint, unveiled by the Ministry of Communications and Information.

Supporting digital transformation across industries

Revealed at Asia Tech Enterprise 2024, this programme forms part of several partner commitments supporting the blueprint, which focuses on empowering Singaporean enterprises and their workers to navigate the next phase of digital transformation. The initiative will focus on four main areas: empowering enterprises to be smarter through AI, enabling faster scaling through integrated digital solutions, enhancing cyber resilience, and equipping workers to utilise digital capabilities fully. Salesforce's commitment through this programme aims to give SMEs a competitive edge and equip their workforce with essential digital skills.

Democratising AI access by leveraging data

Findings from the National Business Survey 2023/2024 by the Singapore Business Federation indicate that AI is one of the top business trends affecting SME operations, with revenue growth being the primary focus for the year. However, the success of AI implementations largely depends on the quality and integration of the underlying data. Salesforce's AI Trust Quotient research reveals that 61% of workers in Singapore believe incomplete data can diminish their trust in AI technologies.

The Data + AI Boost SME Programme is set to tackle these issues by helping SMEs utilise their rich but often underutilised data assets, which are typically dispersed across various systems like customer relationship systems, data lakes, and legacy systems. The initiative offers personalised consultation sessions to aid businesses in identifying their specific needs and challenges, coupled with access to Salesforce's Trailhead online learning platform. This platform includes modules on ethical data use, aimed at helping employees understand and utilise generative AI responsibly.

Tailored support for sustainable business growth

The programme will provide various tools and educational resources to enable SMEs to harness AI and data effectively. This includes webinars, workshops, and events focused on Salesforce training to help businesses drive growth, improve operational efficiency, and enhance customer relationships. Participating SMEs will also benefit from complimentary one-on-one consultation sessions with Salesforce experts to explore innovative growth strategies and better understand the ethical implications of data and AI use.

Industry leaders have expressed their support for the initiative. Mr Leong Der Yao, Assistant Chief Executive, Sectoral Transformation Group, IMDA, stated: “Aligned with Singapore's Digital Enterprise Blueprint, IMDA is excited to partner with Salesforce to enable our SMEs to stay ahead of the curve. The Data + AI Boost SME programme by Salesforce will help strengthen AI adoption for the broad base of SMEs by providing them with the know-how to unlock the full potential of their data assets and providing access to resources to understand the ethical use of data and AI. We look forward to the support of industry partners to enable SMEs to leverage technology to be more competitive and scale faster in today's fast-moving digital economy.”

“SMEs are the bedrock of the Singapore economy, and need access to AI and its foundational building blocks to support their growth and competitiveness in the future. Setting up the right data foundations will put them in the best possible position to embrace AI. After all, AI tools are only as good as the data those tools are accessing and acting upon. The immediate challenge for SMEs is to ensure that their data sets are interconnected in a way that is valuable,” said Sujith Abraham, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Salesforce ASEAN.

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Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia is a news editor at Tech Edition. Her interest is in technology and startups, occasionally crunching news for gaming. Sofia enjoys playing video games, going on bike rides, and gardening when she isn't behind a keyboard.

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