Singtel subsidiary NCS announces partnerships with Dell, Visa, Google Cloud unit

NCS announced seven partnerships at its inaugural forum on Sept 7.

NCS, a subsidiary of Singtel Group Z74, has announced seven partnerships with Dell Technologies, Mandiant, Visa, AI Singapore, Assurity Trusted Solutions, Globe Group (Philippines) and Singapore Institute of Directors.

The partnerships were announced at the NCS’s inaugural Impact forum on Sept 7, which brought together over 1,000 decision-makers and distinguished experts from enterprises and governments across Asia Pacific (APAC).

Ng Kuo Pin, chief executive officer of NCS, says today’s businesses and governments face complexities on many fronts, such as geopolitical tensions, technology inflexion and changing expectations of work. “To address these challenges and rise above the turbulence, there’s a need to ask the right questions, starting with what matters most to us as communities and how we can make tomorrow safer, empowered and collaborative.”

Ng, who joined NCS in February 2019 after 24 years at Accenture, adds that collaboration is the way “everyone can harness technology more confidently”. “Through our partnerships with global and leading players to harness AI, metaverse, digital trust and other technologies, clients can tap into NCS’s expanded capabilities and networks for advanced and comprehensive solutions, and together, we can better navigate the multiple complexities.”

NCS, Dell to capture growing AI spend

AI spending in APAC is expected to grow to US$49.2 billion in 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.5% from 2021 to 2026, according to a forecast by the International Data Corporation.

To address growing demand for AI spend, NCS and Dell have entered into a landmark collaboration to bring secure and localised Generative AI solutions to enterprises across APAC.

NCS says this partnership will empower businesses in Singapore, Australia and Southeast Asia to deploy AI tools at scale and securely on-premise.

Under this partnership, Dell will provide its cutting-edge full-stack technology developed jointly with Nvidia. Enterprises can engage NCS for a “quick-start” AI-acceleration bundle to jumpstart and embark on their Generative AI journey quickly, with an option to adopt a “GPU-as-a-service” offering, leveraging on Dell’s Apex Compute program.

Dell will provide the foundation for evaluation, trial and development of Generative AI solutions, while NCS will bring Generative AI consultancy and implementation services to clients.

NCS will introduce a suite of offerings including Kai Sense (an open video AI platform to automate business operations), Ins8 AI (a hyperlocal automated speech recognition solution) and NEXTgpt (an open multi-modal platform to build and test Generative AI applications).

Together, the collaboration addresses a spectrum of use cases, from sophisticated chatbots to proactive campus security video monitoring.

Ng Tian Beng, senior vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific and Japan Channel, Dell Technologies, says the company’s full-stack Generative AI solutions are built on the best of Dell infrastructure and software, “in combination with the latest Nvidia accelerators, AI software and expertise”. “This partnership stands testament to our shared commitment to reshape industries, establish trust as a fundamental requirement and ensure innovation with integrity.”

NCS and AI Singapore (AISG), the national AI programme launched by the National Research Foundation, Singapore, also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly explore and develop Generative AI Technologies and Applied AI Solutions to drive innovation, create impactful solutions and strengthen Singapore’s position in the global AI landscape.

The partners say they will work together to build stronger connections with local communities and foster sustainable growth for the industry.

Leslie Teo, senior director of AI products at AISG says NCS has extensive experience in delivering large-scale projects. “We hope this partnership will grow the local talent, foster the AI ecosystem, and place Singapore at the forefront of AI innovation on the global stage.”

Cybersecurity partnership with Google Cloud’s Mandiant

The growth of the digital economy has brought about escalating digital threats, and McKinsey & Company says damage from cyberattacks could amount to about US$10.5 trillion annually by 2025 — a 300% increase from 2015.

To mitigate these threats, NCS has partnered Mandiant, now part of Google Cloud, to deliver secure large-scale implementations with Mandiant’s “intelligence-led, multi-vendor” approach to cybersecurity.

The partnership leverages joint deep expertise to secure enterprises’ digital infrastructure with end-to-end comprehensive cybersecurity capabilities and services, specifically in the areas of cyber threat intelligence and governance, risk and compliance.

NCS and Mandiant will jointly offer a suite of industry-leading solutions and services. In addition, they will jointly conduct research and development on Generative AI for cybersecurity and explore opportunities to develop solutions for cyber risk management in the emerging AI space. NCS says this will accelerate the development of products and solutions to strengthen digital trust and enable enterprises to use AI technology more confidently.

Eric Hoh, Mandiant’s president for Japan and APAC, Google Cloud, says the combination of NCS’s technology services expertise and Mandiant’s global expertise in cybersecurity will help businesses better safeguard their digital assets and maintain trust with their customers. “Together, we are committed to providing enterprises with cutting-edge cybersecurity capabilities, helping to ensure their digital transformation journey remains secure and successful.”

NCS is also exploring a collaboration with Assurity Trusted Solutions to create a safer digital landscape by providing solutions in email security and other areas. “With its extensive reach across the partnership ecosystem, we aim to bring innovative products and services that enhance the cyber resiliency of enterprises,” says Lim Bee Kwan, CEO of Assurity Trusted Solutions.

Commercial data insights with Visa

DataSpark, an NCS subsidiary that provides geospatial mobility data, has inked a partnership with Visa to provide data insights for commercial property, retail, tourism, government and telco organisations.

Through this partnership, enterprises and governments will be able to harness the power of accurate and anonymised mobility data and depersonalised, aggregated transactional data to better meet consumers’ preferences, reduce business risks and create new opportunities, says NCS.

For example, tourism promotion agencies can use the insights to understand visitor behaviour, inclinations and spending patterns. This allows them to plan resources more effectively, develop more engaging visits through tailored messaging and optimise marketing and data-driven investment strategies for key destinations.

For retail establishments, stakeholders can use DataSpark’s powerful location analytics with Visa’s depersonalised and aggregated transactional data to not only understand and serve their customers better, but also analyse international audience consumption patterns to encourage brands to expand into new markets.

NCS and Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) have forged a transformative partnership to create a prototype for SIDgpt, a Generative AI-powered contextual search engine.

This engine will cater specifically to SID members, providing them with precise and pertinent answers in natural language format to questions relating to directorship and governance.

NCS says the collaboration seeks to enrich SID members’ learning and increase their awareness and understanding of directorship matters.

Wong Su-Yen, chair of the SID, says boards and directors must enhance their digital literacy to adeptly navigate the evolving landscape of risks and opportunities. “We are proud to harness the advanced technologies and expertise of NCS by piloting SIDgpt, a cutting-edge generative AI-powered contextual search engine for directorship and corporate governance. This collaboration empowers SID members to elevate their digital proficiency as well as experience firsthand the potential of AI in their roles as board directors.”

Finally, NCS and Globe, a leading digital platform in the Philippines with major holdings in telecommunications, fintech and healthtech, have inked an MOU that builds on their current engagement on improving Globe’s Enterprise architecture and ICT capabilities.

With NCS continuing its role as a key solution partner, Globe aims to further the digital aspirations of companies and enterprises in the Philippines.

The inaugural NCS Impact is a by-invite forum aimed at providing a platform for governments and enterprises to have conversations and exchange ideas on navigating challenges in an increasingly complex world.

Held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, the forum included close to 50 speakers from private and public organisations, such as Chengtun Mining Group, Dell Technologies, GovTech, Insurance Australia Group, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, SAP, SingPost, Temasek Holdings, xFusion and more.

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