Changi Business Park shaping up as infocomm tech hub

Was looking past some old news and saw this article on Changi reported in Mar 2014.

Changi Business Park (CBP) is turning out to be a major infocommunications technology hub after more than 20 tech companies, including IBM, Cisco and EMC, opened offices there.

Affordable rents, plenty of space and proximity to the airport are its attractions. Tech employees tend to travel frequently, and these companies also receive visitors from abroad.

Even their key clients such as DBS Bank, Citibank and other banks have located their IT and support functions there too.

IBM was the sole IT tenant when it moved from IBM Towers at Anson Road to CBP in 2001.

An IBM spokesman said: “Real estate cost was an obvious reason why the move was made.”

It has located its regional and global businesses in CBP as well.

Cisco moved in in 2012 after 19 years in the city, mainly to consolidate four offices into one regional headquarters location.

It also needed extra space because its employee strength had grown to about 1,000.

DBS set up its Asia Hub at CBP as part of its Asian plans “to invest in our physical infrastructure, signalling our commitment to growing our footprint across the region”, according to the bank’s chief operating officer for technology and operations, Mr Paul Cobban.

The Asia Hub, which opened in 2010, has more than 3,000 employees, about 40 per cent of the bank’s Singapore-based staff.

They perform technology, operations and support functions. DBS Academy, the bank’s training centre, is also at CBP.

Citibank’s CBP office has more than 4,400 employees working in areas such as technology and support. Its first building opened in 2009, and its second in 2011. Mr Adam Rahman, head of corporate affairs of Citibank Singapore, said CBP provided the space for “our long-term growth in Singapore and the region”.

Changi may seem remote, but the tech companies have made CBP more accessible to its employees by arranging for shuttle buses to MRT stations at Expo, Tanah Merah and Tampines.

EMC Singapore has its 800 employees based in CBP.

Managing director Eric Goh likened CBP to a “little city by itself” with the 2011 opening of Changi City Point shopping centre.

There are now many restaurants in the area, including Ootoya, Grandma’s, Ajisen and Soup Spoon.

Assistant manager Pang Shu Fen of Citibank’s credit control management unit described CBP as a mini Central Business District, “except that the air is fresher here, and it is less crowded, which is a plus point”.

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