Singapore SMBs can now run Microsoft Copilot at a discounted price

Microsoft Copilot logo in magnifying glass

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Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Singapore can now operate Copilot for Microsoft 365 at half the usual price, as the country rolls out various initiatives to drive artificial intelligence (AI) adoption among local organizations.

Under the program, government agency Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) will bear 50% of the licensing costs for Microsoft’s AI (GenAI) tool for a 12-month subscription period. Each SMB will be able to purchase up to 50 licenses at a subsidized rate, with EnterpriseSG aiming to fund more than 1,000 small businesses through the adoption program.

Also: How Microsoft’s new AI Copilot features can transform projects and teamwork

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is now costs $30 per user per month with an annual subscription fee of $360.

SMBs will have until November 20 to Register for the program and need to meet certain criteria: They must have no more than 200 employees and must be a locally registered company operating in Singapore.

The SMB program was developed in conjunction with another government agency — AI Singapore (AISG) — and also includes customized training workshops to SMB instructions in their Copilot implementation to increase productivity. Businesses can further leverage AISG’s series of training programs and workshops to gain knowledge about other AI applications.

In addition, EnterpriseSG will provide additional support for SMBs that are ready for “more complex AI integration” or need tailored AI applications, instead of off-the-shelf services.

The government agency has introduced an “Applied AI” program, in which the Institute of Higher Education will work with SMBs to establish AI problem statements and build custom AI applications. The aim is to help these businesses identify specific pain points and develop AI implementation strategies and roadmaps.

Here, EnterpriseSG will provide a 50% subsidy to offset some of the associated costs for SMBs who want to develop and deploy these customized AI tools.

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According to EnterpriseSG, the program will launch next month with Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic, both of which can tap into their technical expertise and industry experience in AI. The agency aims to facilitate more than 100 SMBs to participate in the program and hopes to gradually connect with more institutes of higher learning.

Initiatives are part of Singapore’s efforts aim to help local companies access AI application and develop relevant capacities so they can improve operational efficiency and drive business growth, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said at the launch on Tuesday.

EnterpriseSG and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) earlier this year launched the GenAI sandbox to provide SMBs with “ready-to-use” tools for customer engagement, marketing and sales , including chatbots and content creation tools. Since launch, more than 140 SMBs have integrated these applications into their operations, EnterpriseSG said.

Also: Microsoft’s newly announced Copilot+ PC will compete with Apple’s MacBook M3

IMDA on Tuesday also announced an expanded partnership with Microsoft to help organizations further along their digital journey identify use cases and deploy their own custom GenAI applications Surname.

As part of IMDA’s GenAI x Digital Leaders programme, the initiative is aimed at larger and more digitally mature businesses looking to build their internal digital capabilities and harness GenAI to enhance High productivity.

The government agency will partner with Microsoft to organize workshops to help these organizations better understand GenAI and identify use cases. These workshops will be conducted over the next two years and include direct instruction on prototyping and scoping custom GenAI use cases.

The program aims to reach at least 200 businesses, with participating companies being provided access to Microsoft’s partner network and GenAI tools, including Azure OpenAI and Copilot.

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Microsoft in March said it was partnering with SkillsFuture Singapore to equip 2,000 SMBs in three years with AI mining knowledge tools. The software provider also revealed plans to train up to 100,000 National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) members in basic AI skills and partner with the Adult Learning Institute to integrate AI into educational curricula. education, with plans to jointly develop and test AI tools and methods to enhance the learning experience.

“For most companies [and] For most SMBs, you don’t need to know how to write code, how to deploy code, and how to use AI solutions. You just want to use the apps without any hassle,” said Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of Communications and Information and Ministry of National Development.

Tan, who was speaking at a luncheon organized by IMDA and Microsoft, said Singapore hopes to address this issue through partnerships with industry companies and initiatives, such as SME Go Digital. The SMB program includes a list of pre-approved digital tools, 20% of which are currently AI-enabled, he said, adding that the ultimate goal is for all The solutions on the list are all AI-powered.

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