Alibaba Cloud has entered an agreement with the Singapore Management University (SMU) to up-skill more than 1,000 working professionals in Singapore through a series of courses.
The SMU-Alibaba Series is the first continuing education program for AIbaba Cloud outside of its home market, China.
Specifically, the program will be offered through the professional training arm of SMU, SMU Academy, and will begin from March 2019.
“As Singapore’s Smart Nation becomes a reality, we will require Smart Citizens to lead the way,” said Leon Chen, country manager of Singapore and Indonesia at Alibaba Cloud. “Our partnership with SMU aims to help equip local businesses with the right tools and technology to propel Singapore onward.
"We hope to provide actionable advice through a blend of success stories and our holistic approach to technology to help create a future-ready Singapore."
From March 2019, seven courses will be offered, which include big data analytics and applications in business, essentials of cloud computing, Internet of Things: technology and applications, smart retail and marketing, smart finance, smart manufacturing, and smart logistics.
All of these course will be offered as part of the SkillsFuture Series of training programmes to help drive training in eight priority and emerging skill areas. More courses will be offered in the future.
Once participants complete a course, they will receive a joint certificate by the SMU Academy and Alibaba Cloud.
Furthermore, courses under the SMU-Alibaba Series will be funded by SkillsFuture Singapore, with 70 per cent of the course fee subsidy for Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents, and 90 per cent course fee subsidy for Singapore Citizens aged 40 and above, and for SMEs who send their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents) for the training.
“We are honoured to partner Alibaba Cloud in such a first-ever initiative,” said Dr Lim Lai Cheng, executive director, SMU Academy. “This collaboration leverages Alibaba’s cutting edge technologies and leading industrial knowledge; as well as SMU’s thought leadership, academic rigour and outreach.
“I am confident that the courses on offer will benefit many professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills in emerging tech areas, and companies which are keen to use digital and smart technologies to transform their business models.
“Following the completion of their face-to-face training, we hope to encourage participants to continue learning and sharing through the use of Alibaba’s online platforms. Over time, we hope to build a strong online learning community among Singaporeans and SMEs."
Crafted to empower SMEs, the series of courses aims to equip businesses with the right competencies and capabilities to navigate rapid technological disruptions and fast-evolving consumer behaviour today.
Furthermore, Alibaba Cloud scientists will conduct the courses, focusing on leveraging real-world case studies to provide actionable insights into applicable technologies and strategies for business leaders to succeed in this challenging environment.
The courses will cover the latest trends and digital strategies across a range of industries, including retail, finance, logistics and manufacturing, to bring participants up to speed on the adoption of emerging technologies such as cloud computing, AI and blockchain within their respective fields, as more companies move towards smart business models.
SMU on the other hand will leverage its faculty expertise to help develop cases of successful technological adoption by local companies, which in turn will be used as teaching resource for the SMU-Alibaba Series.
In the future, SMU and Alibaba Cloud plan to expand the series to include a mentorship programme to help participating SMEs to implement tech-enabled strategies for their businesses.
This investment by Alibaba Cloud to bring its professional development expertise to Singapore, its first location outside of China, is testament to the importance of Singapore and the wider ASEAN region.
However, the tech giant understands that to continue to grow across the ASEAN region it will need to work closely with partners, hence the launch of the ASEAN Partner Alliance Programme, designed to drive market growth through the channel.
The initiative aims to develop an ecosystem compromising of service providers, system integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs) and start-ups.
In addition to alliance vendors, the program also aims to recruit 150 solution partners by mid-2019, backed up by the training of 600 sales and technology personnel.