SingTel partners with Amdocs in ambitious plan to invest in Israel R&D and startups
SingTel has just announced a partnership with Amdocs, a provider of customer experience systems and services, to open a joint development center in Israel.By Jacky Yap 04 Mar, 2013
Singapore-based telco Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) has announced that the partnership and collaboration with Amdocs saw the creation of SingTel L!feLabs @ Israel, whic his the first such collaboration in Israel by a service provider from the Asia Pacific region. This will serve as a gateway for local startups into the fastest-growing region in the world.
According to the press release, SingTel’s move into Israel is part of its strategic plan to increase investments in research and development. This is also part of its recently-established global innovation initiative, L!feLabs, to inspire and enable ideas to become reality. It aims to accelerate innovation through collaboration with strategic partners, renowned research institutes as well as eco-systems of start-ups and incubators for which Israel is so renowned.
SingTel L!feLabs @ Israel with Amdocs will focus on reaching out to the local community of entrepreneurs to develop capabilities in key areas as well as conduct proofs of concept, and the eventual commercialization of innovative technologies, products and services in the 26 countries where the SingTel Group operates.
In conjunction with the opening of the development center, SingTel is launching the L!feLabs website as a new avenue to engage startups and developers to build, test and deploy new services and solutions for the 473 million mobile customers across the Asia Pacific region served by the SingTel Group.
Three areas for new investments
In addition to the development center, SingTel will invest in three key areas in Israel:
- Investment in young Israeli start-up companies, whether through a direct investment of capital or active co-operation aimed at advancing developments and technologies that match SingTel’s future plans.
- Working with Israeli academic or research institutes by funding studies conducted by the country’s universities or working on ideas created in such institutions. The aim is to develop them into products and services which SingTel will sell across the countries it operates in.
- Working with incubators and the angel community to look for interesting business and technology ideas from Israel. SingTel’s initial focus will be on voice and facial recognition as well as technologies that enable mobile and Wi-fi networks to work more efficiently and seamlessly.
A Strong partner in innovation
Allen Lew, Chief Executive Officer of Group Digital L!fe, SingTel, stressed the need to be ahead in terms of anticipating consumer needs.
“As we move SingTel beyond just communications into becoming a multimedia digital provider, innovation is key to our transformation. Never before have we seen technology and business models changing so rapidly. To stay ahead of the market and anticipate customer needs, we have significantly expanded our investments in digital services that will help our customers discover new services, be informed, entertained or more productive.”
He noted that Israel is rich with talent, and SingTel intends to scout for new growth opportunities.
“We have been extremely satisfied with the wealth of talent in Israel. We experienced this through our recently acquired global mobile advertising company Amobee which has a technology center in Israel, as well as through our venture capital investments in two Israeli companies in the mobile Internet business. This has propelled us to open this new development center to scout for new growth engines for SingTel.”
Mr. Lew added that through the partnership, SingTel is “embedding ourselves in one of the leading innovation hubs of the world,” stressing the Singapore company’s commitment to “engaging the local innovation community.” Given this, SingTel’s financial investment in Israel will be determined according to the value of the projects. “In SingTel, we have a corporate venture fund of S$200 million. Part of this fund will also reach Israel.”
“Amdocs has been dedicated to the communications industry for over 30 years and today our 20,000 employees serve the world’s leading service providers in over 60 countries,” said Eli Gelman, chief executive officer of Amdocs Management Limited. “Opening a joint development and innovation center with a global leader such as the SingTel Group is a significant milestone in our history. It demonstrates the importance our customers place on our innovative offerings as well as our ability to accelerate and foster innovation by working together with the start-up community.”
Scouting, coaching and piloting projects
The center is a co-investment between SingTel and Amdocs and will be hosted on Amdocs’ Ra’anana campus.
SingTel and Amdocs staff at the center will work closely with SingTel business stakeholders to map the group’s growth needs, scout for relevant, innovative technologies that can fuel this growth and coach selected partners through business planning and project pilots. Successful projects will be fast-tracked onto SingTel’s business approval process to accelerate their time to market.
For the past five years, Amdocs has been methodologically fostering startup innovation, and today has 75 active start-up partner companies, innovation programs at 12 universities worldwide, and more than 20 solutions incorporating start-up technology.