JTC Corporation today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Arcasia Land Pte Ltd, Microsoft Singapore Pte Ltd, National Computer Systems (NCS) Pte Ltd and SESAMi.com Pte Ltd to form a joint venture. The venture will create Singapore's largest e-portal for the manufacturing industry facilitating business-to-business transactions.
The MOU will take discussions among the partners to the next stage before the joint venture agreement is finalised next month. JTC, together with Arcasia Land is expected to take the majority equity stake while Microsoft, NCS and SESAMi.com will collectively take a significant minority stake. The partners will jointly contribute S$5 million as seed capital to the joint venture company.
Speaking at the signing ceremony today, JTC CEO Ko Kheng Hwa said: "We are very happy to be able to join forces with Microsoft, NCS and SESAMi to create an e-Portal that will capitalise on the JTC Group's 7000 strong customer base in Singapore and the region. We believe the strong synergy created by our large established JTC customer community, with NCS's system integration strength, the e-commerce platform and expertise of SESAMi and the leading technologies of Microsoft, will give our e-Portal a significant competitive edge in the marketplace and bring about the venture's success."
"The joint venture company will deliver a brand new suite of services to industrialists. It will pool the economies of scale within the community together, provide convenience in transactions and operations, create new business opportunities of a networked virtual community as well as other value add services. In short, it will provide more business opportunities, reduce cycle time and lower business cost for our customers. Today's MOU is a significant milestone in JTC's efforts to create even more value for our customers through innovative solutions. It is also another example of our dare to dream, dare to try spirit where we encourage staff to innovate and take risks. We feel this experience has helped to bring some of the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley into JTC," added Mr Ko.
The e-portal is expected to go 'live' by Q2 2001 and will provide services for industries in Singapore and in the region over an Internet hub. These services include IT infrastructure and broadband connectivity to the Internet, application service providers, content tailored to individual businesses, property & estate management services, on-line business operations, and business-to-business transaction & enabling. Future plans include expanding beyond the manufacturing industry and internationally.
Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore, Saw Ken Wye said, "The Internet has revolutionised the way businesses are run. With the creation of the e-Portal, we want to help accelerate the process for businesses and industrialists to go online, to tap on the potential of the Internet. Microsoft is pleased to be part of this initiative. Our .NET strategy will enable companies to work with the information they need, no matter where they are or what device they are using."
"The partners in this MOU bring together complementary expertise and resources. Together, we will produce a leading e-business, which creates real value. The JTC Group's 7,000 customers will enjoy cost-effective solutions backed up by the proven technology and professional skills of NCS, SESAMi.com and Microsoft. With our strong capability in implementing and integrating mission-critical systems for organisations of all sizes, NCS will bring critical skills to this synergetic partnership," said Mr. Lee Kwok Cheong, Chief Executive Officer of NCS.
Managing Director of SESAMi.com, Ms. Poh Mui Hoon said: "SESAMi.com will give JTC customers, regardless of size, the ability to trade efficiently, find new suppliers, reduce costs and streamline their buying and selling processes. Their horizon of trading space will be instantly widened, as they will have online access to trading communities throughout Asia. Because of SESAMi.com's role in the Global Trading Web, they will have an instant gateway to global trading communities. SESAMi.com and JTC have great synergies in geographic reach, vertical industry focus and best-of-breed standards, companies on the e-portal will benefit from the best of the best. We're very excited to be part of this ground-breaking venture."
The idea of an e-Hub for the industry originated from a group of employees in JTC's architectural department. In line with its thrust to promote the spirit of risk taking and entrepreneurship, JTC appointed two of its staff as e-activists in August 2000 to develop the business model and seek partnerships with technology players to participate in the new venture.