Enabling a better, smarter Singapore Next: Local startups harness the power of technology and innovation to build a Smart Nation

 |   Singapore News Center

Since Singapore unveiled its plan to become the world’s first Smart Nation in June 2014, startups have been cast into the limelight as one of the key driving forces for the nation’s future economy. From making workplaces safer and more efficient, to empowering businesses with data-driven insights for more anticipatory decision-making, startups in Singapore are now leading the charge with technological innovations that are transforming various industries.

Just last month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made a trip to Singapore to underscore the role that startups can play in realising Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. During his keynote address at the Microsoft Developer Day event held at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Satya noted that local developers can play a key role in enabling a better, smarter Singapore Next, by harnessing technology to the fullest to improve the lives of citizens, create more opportunities, and build stronger communities.

Here’s a look at how three startups are working with Microsoft to harness the power of technology and innovation, to transform the transport, building & environment, and marine and oil & gas industries.

Driving vehicle fleet efficiency in the transport industry



Overdrive, part of Microsoft’s BizSpark programme, is a local startup that is currently making waves in the transport industry. Leveraging the power of Microsoft’s enterprise cloud platform, Azure, Overdrive custom-built a mobile Internet of Things (IoT) platform that is able to collect information such as vehicle location, vehicle health, drivers’ performance and more from vehicle fleets, to provide real-time updates and actionable insights for car rental companies and school bus operators to optimise the efficiency of their fleet.

With the Overdrive platform, business owners in the transport industry will be able to make better sense of the complex data sets collected, to improve their businesses and management of operations. They will also be empowered to prevent problems such as low battery or extensive usage situations from occurring, as the Overdrive platform can provide pre-emptive alerts when there is a need for vehicle maintenance, saving business owners time and money by eliminating the need to provide replacement vehicles during such situations.

Powering sustainable outcomes for the building and environment industry



S3 Innovate, part of Microsoft’s BizSpark Plus programme, is a local startup that is transforming the way organisations manage building operations by providing foresight for smarter planning and operations.

By creating solutions that connect building data from various sensors and sources to the cloud, S3 Innovate is able to offer building owners an integrated view of building health and operational efficiency, helping optimise the performance of modern buildings for greater sustainability.

As a leading provider of green solutions in the market, S3 Innovate recently implemented a pilot solution for the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), connecting the chillers of their commercial buildings to the Microsoft cloud with the aim of maintaining chiller efficiency and preventing unnecessary wastage of energy. When fully deployed across the island, this solution could help organisations reduce their energy consumption significantly, translating into tangible cost savings for organisations.

Enabling efficient manpower management in the marine and oil & gas industries



Astoria Solutions is long-time partner of Microsoft, and one of the first ISV partners in Singapore and Southeast Asia to adopt Azure. By leveraging the power of the Microsoft cloud, Astoria has created a series of solutions to help clients in the marine and oil & gas industries increase revenue, raise efficiency and improve workplace safety.

One such example is their AstorTime solution, which is commonly used by companies in the marine and oil & gas industries to track the attendance and performance of large numbers of workers on the ground. This cloud-based solution provides a quick and convenient way of managing a large and diverse workforce, paving the way for companies in these industries to manage their workers more effectively, reducing time taken for paperwork and increasing operational visibility.

Overdrive, S3 Innovate and Astoria are also among the 50 IT partners that Microsoft is working with to accelerate the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Singapore, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to build the intelligent cloud to power a better, smarter Singapore. By providing tools, such as deeper access to the Azure IOT Suite technical roadmap, and support to help partners expand their IoT capabilities and skillsets, this will enable partners to build applications that harness untapped data for actionable insights that can help organisations reimagine their businesses in a connected world to make Singapore’s Smart Nation vision a reality.

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