All Wrapped Up In KL

It’s a wrap! KL puts a wrap on 2018 with the inaugural all inclusive Malaysian Cloud & Data Centre Convention. The convention was held at The Summit 1, The Vertical at Connexion Conference & Event Centre in Bangsar South. What a cracking event to finish off the year!

With in excess of 800 delegates and 34 sponsors, the trend for these conventions by W.Media continues. Once again, a innovative approach to these conventions is proving to be a real winner drawing more and more delegates and sponsors, making it a truly broad and diverse experience.

As I have previously stated before in the Singapore convention wrap, the purpose of these conventions that W.Media convene, is to bring together likeminded people, such as yourselves, to explore, exchange, discover and interact with your peers and providers. And in so doing, provide you with information ideas and contacts to accomplish the best possible outcomes for your business or organisation whether you are a provider, consultant or an end user. The whole crux of it all is to gain knowledge. The more delegates and more sponsors that come will make this experience that much better.

The convention started off strongly with a presentation by Wan Murdani Mohamad of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) around ‘Driving Malaysia’s Digital Economy’ setting the theme for the day’s proceedings.

Following on was the first panel session being a Visionary Panel, basically around making Malaysia the ideal data centre location, what are the various barriers and how they can be addressed. This ties in with the available local talent pool, deregulation around connectivity, the ecosystem of cloud and disaster recovery providers. This whole panel session could have been broken down in to several topics and discussed all day, such is the nature of what is happening in Malaysia currently. However, there is only so much you can fit in to one day!

Although most banks recognise the benefits of Cloud, one of those barriers lies with the Central Bank of Malaysia, waiting for them to come out with clear guidelines to enable the other banks to move forward.

Connectivity has always been a huge issue and was a major topic of discussions at this convention, especially with the rise of industrial 4.0. The new Malaysian government has also effectively reduced the rates of connectivity and the newly launched JBIX has ambition to improve internet speed throughout Malaysia.

A particularly interesting comment, came from a presentation by Leon Jackson, CTO, Strateq Group in his presentation – ‘Transformation from traditional IT infrastructure to Hybrid Cloud’.

“Cloud computing has gone from the being the secret sauce of agility of start-ups and unicorns to a tool that the enterprise has come to appreciate and leverage”.

I think that particular comment really sums up how cloud is transforming today.

The discussion panel format continues strongly, and from a personal point of view, I believe that there is much to be gained by delegates in this type of open forum panel combined with taking questions from the floor moves the discussion to a different level. Theses panels have the ability to address individual concerns and queries from the floor providing a greater level of relevance.

One of the panels I thought was extremely insightful was ‘Women in Technology – Thriving In Digital Transformations, Balancing Priorities and Benefits of Diversity’. This power packed panel featured six senior executive level women from Microsoft Malaysia, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad, Asia Online Publishing Group Sdn. Bhd., China Mobile, Dell EMC and MDEC.

Why was this so pertinent?
• Firstly, we haven’t seen a panel before specifically focussing on women in the industry and at such a level.
• Secondly, there is currently a global push that has been happening for a number of years now, around equality and recognition of women in the workplace which is long overdue. (Ed. If someone is capable of doing the job, give it to them. It does not matter what gender, nationality, colour or religion they are. If you want the best, you engage the best).
• Thirdly, it is important to show that women are more than capable and are doing a great job although there are some countries and religious ideals still sadly suppressing their opportunities.

One of the great changes over the last few years in the major cities of Indonesia and Malaysia, is that women now have more opportunities and no longer face this old world attitude of suppression.

The emphasis here according to Stephanie Chiang of W.Media, is that it’s not about gender inequality or just about gender diversity. Women today have equal opportunities and using MDEC as an example, women hold the top positions of CEO and COO.

“In balancing priorities today, technology enables work anywhere, anytime – this helps them get their work done while managing their families”.

Stephanie further cites a Maybank representative commenting that she manages her priorities by always focusing on the top 3 aspects in her life – fitness, family and work.

This type of panel and exposure can help in a way to start overcoming some of these archaic obstacles. So hopefully the big cities act like a pebble in a pond – sending outward the rings of change.

Great panel and I look forward to seeing more of this at future conventions.

So, with MDEC driving the digital economy in many fronts to boost the demand for cloud and DCs this promotes more confidence for stakeholders to invest in Malaysia on the DC front. And so, with this drive for digital transformation in Malaysia, the TIME company believes that home-grown Malaysian DC operators can compete on par with global DC standards, including DCs in Singapore.

The technology bench remained as popular as ever with 15 individual short sessions throughout the day providing the opportunity for delegates to focus in on particular technologies and innovations specific to their needs and situation.

Well, that’s a wrap for KL and 2018.

Stay tuned for next year’s calendar of data centre and cloud conventions with the addition of three new annual shows in South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. In the meantime, Executive Director of W.Media, Vincent Liew will be heading up a 5 day tour to Shenzhen and Beijing with a number of select regional friends. Another great addition by W.Media.

I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

The Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2019 series will include key growth markets in SE Asia, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. W.Media will also co-organize with Korea Data Center Council (KDCC) to launch Korea Cloud & Datacenter Summit; bringing international limelight to the Korean market while localizing cloud and data center technology adoptions. For more information, visit https://w.media/events/

It’s About TIME, Malaysia Moves Forward

Malaysia is moving forward through many initiatives, some by the government and some through the corporate sector, in its drive to be a digital HUB within ASEAN. And there are a number of local and regional innovations driving Malaysia in this direction. Telecommunications is one of those areas driving development.

In a discussion with TIME, a Malaysian telecommunications provider with businesses spanning Fixed Line, Data Centres and Global Networks, here is what their team had to say.

I first asked how they saw the current data centre market and where it is heading in Malaysia compared to other ASEAN countries.

According to TIME, Malaysia is gaining traction from global players, especially content providers. With the new government, committed to transparency in both the public and private sectors, Malaysia will once again be recognised as a business friendly country.

They went on to say that there are several other factors that will help global players make the decision to move to Malaysia:

• Malaysia is a politically stable country in a safe geographic zone.
• Malaysia has a pool of tech talent that is multi-lingual.
• Malaysia has a conducive business environment supported by a Government that is pushing for digital transformation.

“With the above in place, Malaysia should place in the top 3 ASEAN countries for global players who are looking to penetrate the 600 million strong ASEAN population. Global content providers such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, AWS, and Tencent, are slowly expanding their presence in Malaysia despite having a big set up in Singapore.” they commented.

When talking about innovations and transformations, one of the TIME representatives stated that “There’s a lot of talk surrounding mobility, virtual reality and augmented reality powered by artificial intelligence.” And further commented “These technologies are also quickly becoming commonplace in the medical, automotive and logistics industries. And of course, who could ignore the chatter on blockchain and its application in crypto currencies like BitCoin.”

“There’s a lot that we can learn. Embracing these technologies will enable us to compete globally in the fields of medicine, business services, logistics etc. making the country more competitive.”

Sub-marine cable investment has been escalating over a number of years now. What are the true benefits and impact for the ASEAN community?

The TIME representatives said that more submarine cable investment in ASEAN means more capacity and more options for ASEAN to connect, both regionally and globally. Countries with a more liberalised telecommunications regime will attract more cable consortiums to land in the country resulting in more capacity and options to connect to the rest of the world.

ASEAN countries with extensive international connectivity will attract more tech giants like content providers, IoT and Artificial Intelligence players who need good connectivity and low latency to be present in the respective country.

I asked just what role and how important is telecommunication connectivity in Malaysia.

Their opinion was that for Malaysia to be able to create a more open and level playing field that attracts more international investment in infrastructure, Malaysia should start phasing in the liberalisation of its telecommunications industry thus aiding the development of a more comprehensive international network. More traffic can flow in and out of Malaysia which will eventually attract more tech giants to set up their hubs here making Malaysia the gateway to ASEAN.

To finish off this short discussion, I asked TIME to think 10 years ahead to see where Malaysia may be positioned in the telecommunication, technology and data centre space?

“Malaysia’s new Government is working hard to encourage a flow of investment into Malaysia.”

According to TIME, “With qualifiers like political stability, a conducive business environment and a pool of multi-lingual tech talent, Malaysia should be able to leapfrog to become the main ASEAN hub. The Malaysian telecommunications and technology market will be opened up to encourage heavier investment into the country. We also foresee the demand for data centre space will grow in the double digits to fulfil market demand as a result of the technology influx.”

Exciting times for Malaysia! Further plans and insights into the Malaysia cloud and data center market will be revealed at the Malaysia Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2018 on 8 November at The Vertical, Connexion Conference & Event Center, Bangsar South. Over 1200 IT and business leaders have registered, if you have not, you can still register on-site.

W.Media is ready for 2019. The Cloud and Datacenter Conventions series will be held in Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.

Email partner@w.media or call +65 3159 3210 for more information.