India’s largest iron-ore miner goes digital with SAP

India’s state-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), the country’s largest iron-ore producer, has implemented a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution from software company SAP.

This means that NMDC’s end-to-end business processes will be consolidated under the ERP, leading to an improvement in operational efficiency.

As such, various business areas and departments in the NMDC, including Production, Procurement, Finance, and Human Resources Management will be scaled with increased administrative ease. This will lead to an overall improvement in customer satisfaction, according to company executives.

“NMDC has always been at the forefront in enhancing economic & social values and simultaneously focusing on optimum utilisation of resources by adopting latest technological initiatives. The ERP will place NMDC in a different league in the mining sector,” said Sumit Deb, Chief Managing Director of NMDC.

Amitava Mukherjee, Director of Finance at NMDC, pointed out that the organisation’s decision to integrate illustrates NMDC’s commitment to upholding company transparency and preparing for future digital initiatives.

The Indian mining industry has been a laggard when it comes to using tech and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for Digital India, effort are on to embrace digital holistically.

The country’s mining sector is expected to see a flurry of action this new year with the central government’s approvals for pending mining reforms, expected in January itself and efforts continuing to bolster overall mineral output.

The reforms will pave the way for auctioning of at least 500 mineral blocks, Mines Secretary Anil Kumar Jain told PTI and emphasised that calendar year 2021 will be a “bridge year between the past and the future”.Among mining companies, NMDC is expected to stand out with 91 per cent year-on-year growth in EBITDA or Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation and Amortisation, according to Edelweiss Research.

Cognizant to acquire Servian, an Australian data and analytics consulting firm

Cognizant will acquire Servian, a Sydney-based, private enterprise transformation consultancy specializing in data analytics, artificial intelligence, digital services, experience design and cloud.

Servian is Cognizant’s 10th digital-focused acquisition announced since January 2020, showing Cognizant’s strategy to accelerate capabilities and growth in priority areas of data and artificial intelligence, digital engineering, cloud, and Internet of Things across the globe, the company said.  Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Cognizant expects the acquisition of Servian to expand its integrated, end-to-end digital transformation capabilities in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) to help clients move to the cloud, build digital products and services, unlock value from data, modernize enterprise applications, and achieve operational efficiency.

“Enterprises in Australia and New Zealand are at an inflexion point in their digital adoption,” said Jane Livesey, CEO, Cognizant Australia and New Zealand. “Cognizant’s extensive digital expertise combined with Servian’s strengths as the premier technology partner in the region will open up the full power of digital transformation for our Australasian clients. We look forward to welcoming Servian’s talented digital-native professionals to Cognizant.”

“Enabling clients to leverage their data assets for accelerating business transformation and driving competitive advantage is at the heart of our success,” said Tony Nicol, Founder and CEO, Servian. “We share Cognizant’s passion for innovation powered by digital technologies. With Cognizant’s deep industry expertise and global scale, we will be able to apply our strengths in strategic advisory, engineering delivery, and managed services across an even broader spectrum of challenges and opportunities presented by the digital economy.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory clearance and other closing conditions.

Mindset launches India Subsidiary

Minnesota headquartered Mindset, a global leader in the delivery of UX and experience-driven software and solutions built for the SAP platform, announced its Indian subsidiary, Mindset Experience India Private Limited. 

This move is a part of Mindset’s ongoing vision of building increasingly strong SAP capabilities in the region, the company said in a statement. The Mindset in India team will be located in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

“Our expansion to India will help Mindset in achieving three key objectives,” said Mindset CEO, Gavin Quinn. “First it will provide greater global scale to our growing SAP S/4HANA practice. Next, it allows us to build a comprehensive world-class team in India that will provide end-to-end capabilities rather than simply being an offshore implementation and delivery wing. Finally, it will position us to better expand our business capabilities for our Asia Pacific customers.”

The India subsidiary will be led by Parvathy Sankar who has joined Mindset as the Managing Director (APJ) and Vice President of Product Strategy for Mindset. 

Parvathy Sankar, an MBA from IMD International Switzerland and an alumnus of NIT Trichy, joined Mindset in August 2020 following 21 plus years of experience across India, Germany, and Belgium. In her sixteen and half years at SAP, she led several strategic projects in various roles across R&D, HR, Solution and Product Management. Most recently, she was Senior Director for Strategic Projects in SAP S/4HANA Product Management and Co-innovation heading strategic projects in Product Management. Leveraging her broad experience in the SAP world, Parvathy will ensure successful growth of Mindset’s portfolio, with Mindset subsidiary in India as one of its key vehicles.

“After months of laying the groundwork it is very exciting to finally welcome our teams and share the news of the start of Mindset operations in India,” added Parvathy Sankar. “We start with a strong team that we plan to quadruple over the midterm. It’s a testimony to Mindset’s culture that all employees from our long term partner, Quality Ideas CyberTech Private Limited will join us as we start our journey in India. The Mindset team in India will be a seamless part of US Headquarters focusing on driving the value-add products of Mindset. We will, from India, bring Mindset’s state-of-art philosophy of design-centric and experience-based solutions to SAP customers around the world.”

An SAP Partner, Mindset is one of the leaders in innovation and design-centric enablement utilizing the next generation of the SAP development platform. Mindset is the provider of choice for leading organizations that rely on SAP to drive their businesses. Mindset’s solutions include Design, Custom Development, Implementation Services, Strategic Services and Managed Services utilizing SAP’s S/4HANA, Cloud, Fiori, IoT, EWM and Mobile platforms. Mindset’s Software Solutions include the Mindset App Analyzer for Fiori, Mindset’s TM Driver, and Mindset SafeTransport.  The company also provides SAP Experts for the full spectrum of SAP products.

Since 2010, Mindset has helped leading global organizations to leverage user experience (UX) and advanced development to meet today’s emerging business demands.

Reserve Bank of India launches Digital Payments Index

In what could be a first of its kind initiative, India’s banking regulatory body Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a composite Digital Payments Index (DPI) to capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country.

The RBI-DPI comprises 5 broad parameters that enable measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments in the country over different time periods.

These parameters are

(1) Payment Enablers – which carry a 25% weightage

(2) Payment Infrastructure – Demand-side factors, which carry a 10% weightage

(3) Payment Infrastructure – Supply-side factors, which carry a 15% weightage

(4) Payment Performance, which carry a 45% weightage and

(5) Consumer Centricity, which carry a 5% weightage

Each of these parameters have sub-parameters which, in turn, consist of various other measurable indicators.

The RBI-DPI has been constructed with March 2018 as the base period. What this means is that DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100. The DPI for March 2019 and March 2020 work out to 153.47 and 207.84 respectively, indicating appreciable growth. Going forward, RBI-DPI shall be published on RBI’s website on a semi-annual basis from March 2021 onwards with a lag of 4 months.

This development needs to be seen in the backdrop of a surge in digital payments adoption post the Indian government’s demonetisation push in 2016. A recent KPMG report in August 2020 pointed out that going forward card payments will rise significantly mainly driven by contactless transactions, as a result of COVID-19. Further mobile wallets, payment gateway transactions and online bill payments through Bharat Bill Payments (BBPS) will rise significantly. For October, bill payments jumped 58 per cent to 23.7 million with almost $533 million worth of transactions digitally.

Further, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) saw a massive increase in adoption. It has almost doubled in 2020 both in terms of volume and value. UPI saw its growth being driven by larger adoption of digital payments across categories, along with its usage in QR code-based payments. Further the launch of UPI 2.0 has helped open up new use cases on the platform and has managed to set itself up as a default P2P payment mode.

You can glean more insights on Digital Payments during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. https://w.media/digital-events/

PLDT to install two fiber landing stations in 2021

Philippine conglomerate PLDT has announced plans to install two cable landing stations to increase network connectivity in the country.

The company will be executing the project via its telecommunications subsidiary, Smart Communications. 

Exact locations of the new cable landing stations have not been confirmed, but PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan assured that his company is making significant investments in the sector.

“I think that’s something a single fixed broadband operator cannot do. We can do that because we are using fiber, not only for fiber-to-the-home, but also for mobile and for enterprise customers,” Mr. Panglinan said.

PLDT already has three cable landing stations and at least two more are set for next year. These are intended to improve Smart’s wireless networks like LTE and 5G, as well as connections to their data centers.

The ongoing expansion work will eventually extend PLDT’s fiber footprint by 81,000 km, which will be 31,000km more than the amount in 2020, and 50,000km more than the amount in 2021.

PLDT’s efforts to connect more Filipinos

Aside from the new cable landing stations, earlier this month PLDT and Smart revealed their goal to increase broadband links in the Philippines from 72,000 links to 100,000 links a month.

According to local media reports, PLDT and Smart currently have the most extensive and advanced digital networks in the country, with a total of 395,000 kilometers in coverage. 

The new cable landing station will thus add to the conglomerate’s sizable network reach, providing greater connectivity for Philippine citizens.

“5G without fiber will not work, and therefore we have a high synergy between the various networks. In the last couple of years, we have deployed the strategy called ‘follow the fiber.’ Wherever there is fiber, we can connect any business, fiber-to-the-home, fiber-to-the-enterprise and fiber-to-the-base-station,” added Panglinan. 

PLDT and Smart are also part of a network of 16 international cable systems, including the recently announced high-performance submarine cable by international consortium Asia Direct Cable.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Mitratel and Pos Properti to develop digital infrastructure in Indonesia

Telecommunications company Mitratel and property management consultant Pos Properti have partnered to further develop digital infrastructure like ICT and IoT in Indonesia.

In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the state-owned enterprises, Miratel and Pos Properti will also work to support 5G readiness in the country.

“The signing of this memorandum of understanding opens the initiation of mutually beneficial strategic cooperation by utilising the potential, expertise and facilities owned by Mitratel and Pos Properti for infrastructure development and communication technology services in an effort to support 5G readiness in Indonesia,” said Teddy Hartoko, President and Director of Mitratel. 

The collaboration will include a feasibility study for the deployment of these technologies.

Indonesia’s digital transformation potential

As an emerging market in Southeast Asia, Indonesian corporations have been actively pursuing digital transformation strategies and partnerships to unlock the region’s tech potential. Huawei’s and Microsoft’s collaboration with the government are latest examples of international tech giants working to push the country towards greater digitalisation.

Mitratel currently has more than 22,000 cell towers in the country, and possesses expertise in important areas in IoT, including disaster management and smart monitoring. The collaboration is expected to benefit different industries that both companies are involved in, including businesses in economic, financial, legal, and operational sectors.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Mitsubishi to build 1,400 MW power plant in Thailand

Japan’s Mitsubishi Power has signed a 25-year, full turnkey contract with Thailand’s Hin Kong Power to construct a 1,400 MW power plant.

A subsidiary of Japan’s famous Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Power will provide two gas turbines for Kin Hong’s power plant, which is a natural gas-fired turbine combined cycle (GTCC) facility.

This agreement will be of immense benefit to Thailand. As an emerging tech market, the construction of power plants means more electricity generated, and more electricity means more capacity to power a wide array of technology solutions.

Kin Hong’s power plant will be built approximately 100 kilometres west of Thailand’s capital city Bangkok. As a GTCC facility, the power plant will generate the cleanest and most efficient source of energy among systems that use fossil fuels. 

The plant will also reuse excess gas from the turbines to drive the steam turbine, producing electricity in the process. So, compared to conventional coal-fired thermal power plants, CO2 emissions can be reduced by 70%, providing an annual reduction of seven million tonnes of CO2 from the 1,400 MW of generating capacity.

The power generated will then be sold directly to the state’s Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

Commercial operations of both gas turbines are projected to begin in March 2024 and January 2025 respectively. Mitsubishi Power will also provide maintenance support for the gas turbines for the next 25 years.

This is not the only time Mitsubishi Power has worked with Hin Kong Power’s parent company RATCH Group and Gulf Energy Development, two major independent power producers in Thailand. 

Including this project, Mitsubishi Power will have supplied a total of 22 gas turbines for the two companies, totalling over 15,000 MW of power generation capacity. The track record established between Mitsubishi Power and these two companies led to this current contract.

Thailand is one of few Southeast Asian nations that show strong growth potential in data center and cloud industries. In September, it was predicted that the cloud computing industry will create 24,000 new jobs in the country by 2024.

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NTT looks to the cloud to digitally transform businesses in Thailand

NTT has announced its business direction to deliver cloud services to help businesses in Thailand accelerate their digital transformation.

The global technology services provider will implement its Digital Solution, Managed Service, and Intelligent Cybersecurity as part of its key strategy to penetrate the Thailand market along with a new Client Experience Center to showcase their innovations from across the world.

“It’s now a crucial time for digital transformation and we see that technology is a crucial part to help businesses achieve the goal, differentiate themselves from competitors, and develop in-depth information to generate higher incomes and profits,” said Sutas Kongdumrongkiat, the CEO for NTT in Thailand.

NTT predicts the cloud market in Thailand shows high potential, as demand and growth continues in the country, giving the country the opportunity to leapfrog more mature economies due to improvements in connectivity and data center risk.

“We think from now on, the use of the cloud in Thailand will grow higher. And it is expected that the total market value of the cloud in Thailand will continue to grow,” added Mr. Kongdumrongkiat.

And NTT might be right as the Government approved a US$146.6 million state cloud, AWS has expanded their services in the country and cloud computing may generate more than 24,000 jobs in Thailand.

The solutions NTT will aim to provide Thailand with data center interconnectivity across the world through their SD-WAN solution, a cloud system to ensure stable and fast connections and a cybersecurity system to remain safe from cyberthreats and compliant in protecting data.

NTT’s new 393 square meter Client Experience Center located on 17th Floor, Column Tower in Bangkok will also showcase innovations, including advanced digital technology used in the Tour de France, a Robotic Process Automation system, and Realwear – the wearable voice operated Android computer.

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NTT looks to the cloud to digitally transform businesses in Thailand

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Vietnam’s TPBank says goodbye to legacy technology to become digital-first with Backbase

Vietnam’s Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) has joined forces to accelerate their digital transformation and say goodbye to their legacy banking systems with the help of Backbase.

Backbase, a Netherlands-based digital banking software provider, transitioned TPBank to an omni-channel digital platform, enabling agility and scalability for the next generation of digital banking where a cashless society could be made possible.

“Technology is the critical driver in transforming our bank and ensuring we stay ahead of the competition in the next digital banking revolution,” said Nguyen Hung, the CEO of TPBank.

The birth of a digital bank in nine months

The bank transformed its decade-old mobile and Internet banking system in nine months, migrating nearly three million customers to the new platform.

“Now more so than ever, banks need to respond swiftly to greater customer expectations while implementing digital transformation with minimal disruptions to remain competitive in the current marketplace,” said Riddhi Dutta, the Regional Head for ASEAN and India at Backbase.

Backbase’s digital banking architecture runs either on-premise, in a Platform-as-a-Service setup or fully cloud native.

“Legacy channels and outdated core systems are cumbersome and one of the factors which hinders banks from scaling at a pace that keeps up with evolving customer demands,” added Mr. Dutta.

Thanks to their work with Backbase, TPBank saw success in its digital transformation efforts by being recognised as the ‘Best Digital Bank’ at the The Asian Banker Vietnam Country Awards 2020.

Elsewhere in the banking industry, India’s largest bank introduced digitally transformed their payment system to 440 million customers using ACI architecture and DBS Bank in Singapore joined forces with AWS to digitally transform 3,000 staff with AI training.

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Image credit: TPBank

Is cloud hosting right for your business?

Hosting websites and applications on the cloud is becoming a popular choice for businesses, as it is believed to offer greater flexibility and speed in scalability as well as reliable uptime to keep your services live even if a server goes down.

But is it right for your business? Register now and join industry experts and peers for our Inside Asia digital event to get the answers!

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

> View all W.Media digital events

India’s largest bank introduces digitally transformed payment system to 440 million customers using ACI architecture

India’s largest bank, the State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced a new payment system to its 440 million customers.

The bank adopted ACI Worldwide’s open service-oriented, cloud-based architecture to enable SBI’s network of over 58,000 ATMs in acquiring Visa, Mastercard and RuPay cards. 

On top of that, ATM networks can now manage ATM and point-of-sale authorisations.

“Size need not restrict adaptability and agility, which will be critical to meeting more than 440 million customers’ needs in the years ahead while staying ahead of security and regulatory requirements,” said Kaushik Roy, the Vice President and South Asia Country Leader of ACI Worldwide.

With 22,000 branches in India and a presence in 32 countries around the world, one would expect the migration process to be challenging, but Dhananjay Tambe, the Deputy Managing Director and CIO for the State Bank of India said it was seamless with minimised risk, downtime and impact for customers.

The SBI sees over 30 million transactions per day. Such an upgrade would thus enable the processing of higher transaction volumes.

To achieve this, ACI collaborated closely with SBI, implementing code consolidation and technology upgrades using public cloud or through ACI’s private cloud.

In addition to payment infrastructure upgrades, SBI will also be mitigating fraud and tightening its payment protection with ACI’s fraud management solution for debit cards, mobile banking, internet banking, pre-paid and UPI payments.

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What does the future hold for India’s data center market?

The need for data centers in India is growing exponentially, as data consumption by half a billion digital users is reaching unprecedented levels.

But how can you tap into this exciting market? And what is the best practice for data center operators and cloud service providers in the country?

Stay tuned for more fascinating webinars taking a deep dive into the data center and cloud markets in India!

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NTT helps 1,000 employees at Indonesia’s WOM Finance move to the cloud with Google’s G Suite

Indonesia’s Wahana Ottomitra Multiartha (WOM Finance) has successfully migrated to Google’s cloud-native platform G Suites with the help of NTT.

The global technology services provider NTT helped more than 1,000 employees at the Jakarta-based financial services provider move from their legacy mail server to G Suite within a month to accelerate their access to intelligent cloud-based apps. This signals the company’s commitment to implementing digital transformation in the workplace. 

“By going digital, we can make faster decisions in a safe and secure manner that will translate into better customer experience,” said Anthony Y. Panggabean, Director of WOM Finance.

Prior to the transition, WOM Finance’s daily operations were restricted by a mail server that was unable to handle scaling up to meet growing business demands. The lack of a centralised communications platform also meant that correspondence between employees were carried out independently “without explicit IT department approval”.

With Google G Suites being introduced to the workplace, WOM Finance’s business activities are now condensed in a single platform. 

Felix Priscellius, IT Division Head for WOM Finance, said they have experienced cost savings, less downtime and greater security, enabling them to scale up as quickly as the business grows.

In a time where remote and mobile-first working environments are more common than ever, WOM Finance’s digital transformation is a prime example of how cloud-based technologies are being adopted at a rapid pace with the help of cloud-based experts.

“We are truly excited about empowering WOM Finance on their workplace transformation journey to discover more dynamic ways to collaborate securely,” said Hendra Lesmana, the CEO for NTT Indonesia Solutions.

NTT has made many strides this year to expand their digital footprint and strengthen their cloud strategies through partnerships with Megaport and Microsoft.

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Explore the latest for cloud and data centers in Indonesia

Indonesia is an exciting emerging market in the cloud and data center industry, with advancements happening all the time.

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Is India ready for a hybrid cloud future?

Multinational tech company IBM published its September report on hybrid cloud market in India, revealing that the country’s businesses are ready to embrace hybrid cloud driven growth. 

IBM projects that spending on cloud systems in India will increase by 49% in 2023. But currently only 20% of organisations have moved their workloads to the cloud, despite 90% of global companies adopting a form of the technology.

What is hybrid cloud?

Hybrid cloud is essentially a combination of public cloud and private cloud systems, allowing data to be shared between them. Using a hybrid cloud system accelerates key business operations by harnessing data for improved decision making, enhanced process automation and higher cost efficiency.

IBM estimates that the value derived from using a full hybrid and multicloud platform delivers 2.5 times more than a single platform and vendor approach, but only 29% of businesses in India take advantage of a multicloud strategy.

While businesses in India still fall behind in hybrid cloud adoption compared to international standards, the tech giant’s report predicts the size of the Indian market will come to prove in time the importance of turning to cloud management platforms for increased governance and efficiency.

One of the biggest challenges of digitally transforming operations is achieving buy-in from stakeholders and ensuring employees have ample skills to transition to the new technology. But IBM found that 51% of respondents in India understand the business and IT benefits of switching to a multicloud strategy, which might explain why a predicted average of six hybrid cloud platforms will be used by businesses in India by 2023.

Who’s adopting hybrid cloud?

Top companies in India, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Godrej Group and even Century Cement are leading the transformation to hybrid cloud. 

Airtel, one of India’s largest telecommunication services, is currently building a new network cloud to maximise capacity and minimise capital expenses by onboarding services faster with seamless integration with current systems. 

Vodafone Idea’s new hybrid cloud platform allows the company to deliver core network functions and implement edge computing technologies for its 300 million telecommunication subscribers at a breakthrough speed.

Indian conglomerate, Godrej Group, leveraged hybrid multicloud solutions to build a future-ready IT infrastructure, resulting in a 10% reduction of total cost of ownership and 100% increase in disaster recovery coverage.

Even cement shipping company Century Cement adopted cloud technology to connect their electronic billing processes with government systems, saving 60% more time on paperless processing and management as well as reduced operating costs.

What’s next for hybrid cloud?

The next chapter of the cloud is expected to see a shift of core business operations, optimising everything from supply chains to sales, with more investment in hybrid multicloud platforms on the way.

IBM’s advice to Indian businesses consists of five steps. First, businesses should strategise by understanding how digitally transforming to the cloud aligns with their wider operating models.

Next, the task is to design your transformation journey by understanding and coordinating the different cloud platforms available, including public cloud, private cloud and traditional IT environments.

Third, is the matter of moving to a hybrid cloud platform. IBM recommends using containers and unified open platforms to decouple the rate and pace of transformation from specific deployment models or constraints.

After the much anticipated move, it’s time to build a multicloud orchestration platform used to control costs, address security concerns and skill gaps in an organisation. It is important during the build phase to combine data and applications when building multicloud solutions.

Finally, once you have your solutions, it is important for your business to constantly manage and assess the platform with regard to cost, optimisation and regulations.

To achieve a competitive advantage, businesses have to start prioritising operations that can be moved to cloud, then migrate said skills and optimise continuously.

Aligning businesses activities with cloud platforms is the business model of the near future. Indian firms have the drive to prepare for the transition, and should do so in order to keep up with a global market reshaped by COVID-19.

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What does the future hold for India’s data center market?

The need for data centers in India is growing exponentially, as data consumption by half a billion digital users is reaching unprecedented levels.

But how can you tap into this exciting market? And what is the best practice for data center operators and cloud service providers in the country?

Stay tuned for more fascinating webinars taking a deep dive into the data center and cloud markets in India!

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Singapore University of Social Sciences moves to the cloud with Ellucian and Fujitsu Asia

Teaching the next generation of students in a digitally connected world is giving rise to the technological transformation of educational institutions, including the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) who has decided to move to the cloud with the help of Ellucian and Fujitsu Asia.

As the University continues to grow locally and regionally in Southeast Asia, SUSS will adopt Ellucian Banner Cloud, a powerful Enterprise Resource Planning solution designed for higher education.

“Our priority continues to deliver student-centered learning experiences that will empower our graduates to be purposeful global citizens and serve society,” said Gary Teo, the Director of Campus IT Services at Singapore University of Social Sciences.

Digital transformation is at the core of SUSS’ mission to deliver world-class student experiences and operational excellence.

“The cloud can serve as a force multiplier to achieve the goals of today’s educational institutions, improving institutional productivity while mitigating potential data risks from academic processes,” said Uno Motohiko, the President of Fujitsu Asia.

The Ellucian Banner Cloud enables SUSS to securely manage all human resources, finance, and student information processes as well as gaining stronger data-driven insights.

“We are thrilled to welcome SUSS as our first customer in Singapore and look forward to supporting their journey to the cloud,” said Darren Hunt, Ellucian’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director EMEA and APAC.

Before moving to the cloud, SUSS relied on homegrown, on-premise platforms, requiring significant administrative and IT overhead to maintain.

“Across the board, institutions are simply outgrowing their homegrown solutions,” said Ellucian President and CEO, Laura Ipsen.

To ensure a seamless transition, Fujitsu localised the Ellucian Banner Cloud solution to meet the needs of SUSS by integrating backend systems with local government agency services applications and implementing Application Managed Services by Fujitsu’s IT specialists in student management systems to relieve the University of the burden to manage the cloud solution.

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Explore the latest for cloud and data centers in Singapore

Singapore has one of the most dominant tech industries in Asia, with advancements happening almost daily.

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Indosat Ooredoo innovates to support Indonesia during pandemic

A few months ago, Indonesia became the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Southeast Asia.

As the Government continues to battle the pandemic, one of the country’s main telecommunications companies, Indosat Ooredoo, prioritised innovating hybrid cloud products and upgrading Internet bandwidth to put Indonesia back in motion even during lockdown.

As Indonesia began to adapt to new habits during the ‘new normal’, Indosat Ooredoo took a supportive role to accelerate technologies, including big data, smart cities and video conferencing to resurrect Indonesia’s economy.

Back to School for Indonesia

To support the Indonesian government’s Distance Learning (PJJ) program, the telco upgraded its existing bandwidth activity by 20% to provide 56 universities better access to intellectual property from more than 200 tertiary institutions in Indonesia.

“Indosat Ooredoo decided to make a contribution in developing our nation through education. We are committed to supporting the government to strengthen the ecosystem of online learning,” said Director & Chief Operating Officer Indosat Ooredoo, Vikram Sinha.

The telco introduced a series of mobile packages to primary school, high school and university students, with a main package offering 30GB of data for a single Indonesian Rupiah, which converts to an astounding US$0.000068.

The Director General of Higher Education, Professor Nizam, thanked Indosat Ooredoo for their contribution to Indonesia’s education sector: “We highly appreciate the concern and the effort Indosat Ooredoo has taken to help college students by providing affordable internet packages.”

With these affordable data packages, it is almost certain that data consumption will continue to rise in the country, requiring reliable digital infrastructures to manage this. To support this demand, tech giants and data center players like Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, SpaceDC and NTT are making moves into the country.

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Is cloud hosting right for your business?

Hosting websites and applications on the cloud is becoming a popular choice for businesses, as it is believed to offer greater flexibility and speed in scalability as well as reliable uptime to keep your services live even if a server goes down.

But is it right for your business? Register now and join industry experts and peers for our Inside Asia digital event to get the answers!

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Vietnam Government keeps pushing forward digital transformation with Viettel and FPT partnerships

The Vietnam Government continues to push forward with their digital transformation efforts, empowered by partnerships with Viettel and FPT.

As part of their Made-in-Vietnam initiatives, the military-run telecoms group launched an artificial intelligence platform known as the Viettel AI Open Platform.

The platform will provide technologies and organisations using AI with help to automate, optimise and efficiently operate, focusing on areas like speech processing, natural language processing and computer vision.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Thanh Hung, described the Industry 4.0 technology as the heart of digital transformation, which is fundamentally changing production around the world.

Nguyen Manh Quy, the Director of Viettel Cyberspace Centre, announced the platform will be free for individuals and businesses that registered during its application development phase to strengthen research cooperation and boost the national digital transformation programme.

Speeding up digital transformation with homegrown blockchain

Early last month, Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications also launched akaChain, an enterprise blockchain platform developed by FPT Software, a leading IT firm in the country.

The platform is one of few Made-in-Vietnam initiatives hand-picked by the Government to accelerate their digital transformation efforts in the public and private sectors.

“As COVID-19 looms large, it is more important than ever to take their business online,” said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hung.

Despite the common association with cryptocurrency, akaChain platform is expected to help businesses speed up their transformation processes through blockchain applications like electronic Know Your Customer, credit scoring, loyalty programs and traceability.

“From retail, supply chain, to financial services, blockchain applications have moved beyond cryptocurrencies,” said Tran Dang Hoa, FPT Software’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Establised in 2018, the platform is built on Hyperledger Fabric, which acts as the foundation for developing applications with transparency and ease – a demand of digital businesses requiring speed to market.

“We are excited to be part of the national digital transformation program and help the Vietnamese Government to build early foundations for a digital economy, digital society, and e-Government,” Mr. Tran added.

FPT Software is now working on another solution to develop Digital IDs based on the akaChain platform to enable easier and faster ways to prove one’s identity, which is becoming increasingly important for contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Uncover the importance of interconnectivity with W.Media

Interconnectivity in data centers has accelerated, as the need for connected devices and digital transformation is rapidly rising.

For a region like Asia Pacific that is rapidly going digital, data center providers are working hard to design connected platforms that enable global teams to collaborate with less downtime and latency.

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Philippines telecom market powers through in spite of COVID-19

In April, W.Media reported that due to COVID-19, the Philippines’ newest telecom company, DITO Telecommunity, was forced to delay its launch due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The fixed-line market in the Philippines is said to be underdeveloped with low penetration in the broadband market due to low investment in digital infrastructure and rapid development of mobile technologies. 

But today, the Philippines could still see a silver lining in spite of difficult circumstances, as interest in improving digital infrastructures and building new data centers is rising. 

Two of the largest telecom companies, PDLT and Globe Telecom, are making continual moves to upgrade existing infrastructure.

PDLT will continue to accelerate its network modernisation program, shifting from copper to fibre, and their subsidiary Smart Communications teamed up with Google to deploy Wi-Fi hubs across the country. 

Smart and Globe have also pledged to participate in network sharing with DITO, signalling a willingness to speed up network rollouts like 5G and break up the long-standing duopoly held by PDLT and Globe.

DITO’s entrance to the Filipino market held similar ambitions, which is why it is also predicted that market competition in the country is expected to intensify from 2021, less than four months away.

In other exciting news, a new subsea cable, JUPITER, that links the Philippines with Japan and the U.S. has gained approval from the U.S. government and will be completed by 2021.

However, the pandemic crisis has left its mark on the telecom industry, with supply chains halted and job cuts slowing down construction of infrastructures, postponing the rollout of 5G and halting consumer demand for services. 

As to how Filipino consumers would respond to market competition, a reduced but steady and positive growth is predicted. This is because COVID-19 has proven that access to general communication is crucial to live life under the ‘new normal’ where technology is needed to support home-working.

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Uncover the importance of interconnectivity with W.Media

Interconnectivity in data centers has accelerated, as the need for connected devices and digital transformation is rapidly rising.

For a region like Asia Pacific that is rapidly going digital, data center providers are working hard to design connected platforms that enable global teams to collaborate with less downtime and latency.

Register now for our ‘Interconnecting into the Future’ digital event to discover how interconnectivity can help you reach your digital transformation desires.

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India’s Tech Mahindra disrupts digital transformation with new Intelligent Cloud platform

Tech Mahindra, a leading digital transformation service provider in India, announced the launch of a new intelligent cloud operations and subscription management platform.

iCOPS aims to improve corporate efficiency by leveraging artificial intelligence for IT operations and analytics with data security and cost optimisation, simplifying existing cloud operations for global enterprises.

Vivek Gupta, Vice President and Head of Global Cloud Services at Tech Mahindra, said iCOPS will ‘help global enterprises move towards a zero-touch cloud operations model while ensuring complete security and transparency in operations’.

The iCOPS platform will be merged with Tech Mahindra’s existing infrastructure operations platform TACTiX,  NetOps.ai and mPAC 3.0, a hybrid and multi-cloud management platform. This combination demonstrates the company’s commitment in creating a centralised IT system to improve business efficiency.

iCOPS will have four key focus areas: tech optimisation (‘TechOps’) to enable zero downtime, security optimisation (‘SecOps’) for zero vulnerability, development optimisation (‘DevOps’) for Zero manual interventions and finance optimisation (‘FinOps’), enabling continuous cost management. 

All four areas aim to streamline diverse cloud operations and reduce spending via said streamlining.

Besides cloud computing, Tech Mahindra is also focused on developing next-generation technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to disrupt and enable digital transformation.

This comes at a time when India is making rapid advances in becoming a digital society, as tech giants and global players in the scene are entering the country to be a part of a US$4.9 billion opportunity, including Schneider Electric, Equinix, NTT and Legrand Data Center Solutions.

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What does the future hold for India’s data center market?

The need for data centers in India is growing exponentially, as data consumption by half a billion digital users is reaching unprecedented levels.

But how can you tap into this exciting market? And what is the best practice for data center operators and cloud service providers in the country?

Stay tuned for more fascinating webinars taking a deep dive into the data center and cloud markets in India!

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South Korea’s Data Dam project to fuel digital economy through new cloud flagships and advanced data centers

In the midst of another COVID-19 surge, the South Korean Government kicked off the national ‘Data Dam’ project to help the country’s digital economy adapt to a post-pandemic world.

Shared through 5G networks, the project will collect and process information from public and private sectors to create useful data and stimulate new technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

Overcoming great depressions

The Data Dam, named after the Hoover Dam that helped the United States overcome the Great Depression, will target seven key business areas for support.

Elementary, middle and high school students in South Korea endured a rocky learning experience for most of 2020 due to the pandemic, switching back and forth between on-campus learning to online classes. Seeing the unfortunate effects on students’ wellbeing, the education sector will be a core focus of Data Dam.

Under the project, content materials for online courses will be expanded and digitised. The overall education infrastructure will be improved to create an offline/online integrated learning environment.

“Initially, it was expected that the latest project could create some 24,000 jobs, but companies that picked for the educational AI project alone said they need to hire at least 28,000, which will push up the overall employment figures”, the Ministry of Science and ICT said.

The educational AI initiative is considered a centerpiece of the Data Dam project, with an anticipated 1,250 projects to be developed, thousands of jobs created and US$240 million allocated to make it happen.

On top of this, the project will focus on boosting the digital economy through the creation of cloud flagships and building big data platforms and setting up advanced data centers.

A total of 4,739 companies and institutions have forwarded ideas to implement the data, with 2,100 projects being supported in the first year alone.

The Data Dam will be rolled out as part of the Government’s Digital New Deal plan announced in July.

Inside the Digital New Deal

Technology has helped South Korea effectively combat the pandemic, and now President Moon Jae-In’s government wants to further develop it to benefit the rest of the country through the Digital New Deal.

The Digital New Deal is a five-year blueprint by the South Korean government to spearhead the country’s smooth transition into the realm of 5G and artificial intelligence. 

The Deal hopes to achieve twelve goals in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in the country, including the integration of 5G and AI into all sectors, the digitalisation of the education sector, the expansion of smart cities and improving digital access in rural and disadvantaged areas.

The Moon government will be spending an estimated US$68.6 billion by 2025 on the new deal to create almost one million jobs in the country.

To spur digital transformation and cooperation with fellow APAC countries during these unprecedented and uncertain times, Korea has also adopted a knowledge sharing initiative to emphasise the important role of data-based policies and development of digital solutions through ICT and emerging technologies.

The initiative agreed by the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group, consisting of APAC nations as well as the USA, Canada, Russia and countries in South America, will look to share best practice solutions and strengthen cooperation in the Asia Pacific region and international community to facilitate digital transition to address global challenges.

Enabled by initiatives like these, South Korea boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world as well as one of the world’s fastest internet speeds. As the government combines and refines the status of South Korea as one of the four Asian Tigers, the New Deal will look to give the country the boost it needs to remain a digital powerhouse.

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Image Credit: Korea.net

Explore the state of South Korea’s cloud and data center market with W.Media

As one of the most innovative countries in the world, South Korea has exciting cloud and data center markets. But will the country continue to be a shining star in the next five years?

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Cloud computing to create 24,000 New Jobs in Thailand by 2024

Thailand, a new and rising player in the cloud computing industry, will see more than 24,000 new jobs by 2024.

This is thanks to cloud-based software company, Salesforce, which was one of several tech firms that enjoyed tremendous success during the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

A recent addition to the 2019 Salesforce Economic Impact White Paper projected US$1.6 billion in new business revenue by 2024. 

With COVID-19 forcing businesses around the world to shift to cloud services and remote working, its predictions are coming true, as one of Salesforce’s ecosystems in Thailand is feeling the positive economic impacts.

“The Salesforce ecosystem is capable of generating business and job growth, even during a pandemic,” said Sujith Abraham, the SVP and General Manager for ASEAN at Salesforce.

Spending on public cloud softwares in Thailand is expected to increase from US$299 million in 2020 to US$579 million in 2024. Assuming that this trend continues, cloud services are predicted to grow faster than general information technology, with nearly 50% of global cloud software spending tied to digital transformation.

Source: IDC white paper sponsored by Salesforce, The Salesforce Economy in Thailand: 24,260 Jobs, $1.6 Billion in New Business Revenue from 2018 to 2024 (May 2020)
Source: IDC white paper, The Salesforce Economy in Thailand. 24,260 Jobs, $1.6 Billion in New Business Revenue from 2018 to 2024 (May 2020)

On top of the 24,260 new local jobs within the Salesforce and partner ecosystem, another 33,570 indirect jobs will be created through supply and distribution chains serving Salesforce customers. This number illustrates the impressive scale of a network effect by cloud computing firms in the country.

“Because we’re all working remotely, our solution,and our partner ecosystem, answers the need for digital transformation and is essential for our customers as they continue to deepen relationships, and ready for their place, in the post-pandemic economy,” added Mr. Abraham.

Building the workforce of the future in Thailand

To make sure that Thailand continues to be on track for exponential growth, Salesforce states that there is still a lot that local business could do. Alongside increased spending on cloud computing services, introducing new products and providing more pleasant customer experiences, are two main goals that should be worked on.

First, Thailand needs to nurture a workforce that is ready to support digital transformation efforts. The World Economic Forum predicts a significant shift, with no less than 54% of all employees requiring re-skilling or up-skilling to prevent talent shortages and mass unemployment. This is especially important now that the global pandemic has fast tracked digital transformations and caused countless retrenchments. 

“The pandemic ensures cloud computing spend will increase in ASEAN and beyond. And, we know job growth in the region is dependent on a skilled workforce,” said William Sim, the VP of  Salesforce’s Trailhead Academy for APAC.

Secondly, entrepreneurs and innovators in Thailand should identify the goldmine of opportunity for inventing revolutionary cloud-based applications, as forecasts show significant returns from investment in cloud computing by 2024. Yet, only 5% of the total IT spend in Thailand will be on public cloud computing, meaning there is a wealth of opportunities for almost ‘unlimited cloud computing growth’.

If all is achieved, Thailand’s cloud computing market could propel the country into becoming a key provider of tech services in Southeast Asia.

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Explore the state of Thailand’s cloud and data center market with W.Media

With 61% of Thailand’s gross domestic product expected to be digitalised by 2022, join the W.Media Thailand Cloud and Datacenter Digital Summit to find out how you can be a part of the country’s digital future by maximising opportunities amid the technological advancements taking place.

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Malaysia to shut down 3G by 2021, but national 5G plan may be delayed until 2022

The Malaysian Government has announced a National Digital Infrastructure Plan (JENDELA) that will put an end to 3G networks in Malaysia and prepare the country for its transition to 5G.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stated the decision to eliminate 3G networks is to “strengthen the coverage of 4G networks [in Malaysia], as well as establishing a solid foundation for 5G”. This will be completed stage-by-stage until the end of 2021.

The Malaysian Government has currently rolled out phase one of JENDELA. Goals to be achieved under phase one include expanding 4G broadband coverage from 91.8% to 96.9% in populated areas, and increasing broadband speed from 25Mbps to 35Mbps.

Phase two of JENDELA will focus on the East Malaysia states of Sabah and Sarawak, where internet coverage is significantly lower than states in West Malaysia. Under the plan, Sabah and Sarawak will be the biggest beneficiaries: existing communication towers will be upgraded and hundreds of new communication transmitters will be installed.

Shortly after the Prime Minister’s announcement, Communications and Multimedia Minister, Saifuddin Abdullah, unveiled an Industrial Revolution 4.0 digital road map outlining the details of phase two. Said road map is scheduled to be released in mid-September.

However, a report by research firm CGS-CIMB revealed that 5G in Malaysia is expected to be deferred to 2022 due to ‘existing uncertainties in terms of how and over what timeframe [phase two] is to be achieved’ as well as the need to prioritise optimising speed and coverage of 4G networks.

Despite the delay, this marks the beginning of an exciting turn for Malaysia’s digital economy. Malaysia’s promise to switch off 3G and welcome 5G indicates a strong commitment to assist Malaysians in overcoming the demands of working from home in the midst of a pandemic. 

The rise of 5G in Malaysia could also mean a boom in cloud services, as applications may be more accessible by users across the country, which is only more good news to the country’s fast-growing digital economy.

5G may also enable more edge data center technologies by bringing lower latency, higher reliability and faster data processing that is closer to the user. This is particularly important, as Malaysia looks to be moving closer to the edge, with new projects announced by Bitglass, GDC and Vertiv this year.

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Edge data centers are on the rise, driven by Industry 4.0 technology and Internet adoption. But which edge data center solutions are right for your business?

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Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play form partnership with PTT to digitally transform Thailand

Plug and Play Tech Center, the world’s largest corporate innovation platform, has announced a strategic partnership with PTT Public Company Limited to digitally transform Thailand.

Under PTT’s Powering Thailand’s Transformation initiative, the partnership will create an international Innovation Ecosystem to enable PTT to become more than just a manufacturer and distributor as a state-owned oil and gas company.

“The collaboration provides a great opportunity for PTT to increase its innovative potential and help see more substantial results by learning from Plug and Play and its corporate partners worldwide,” said Worawat Pitayasiri, the Senior Executive Vice President for Innovation and Digital at PTT.

Plug and Play, headquartered in Silicon Valley, is an early investor in tech giants like Google, PayPal and Dropbox.

“This will help drive PTT to make strides alongside other innovative companies on the global stage and lead Thailand to advance to an international level,” added Mr. Pitayasiri.

Through the partnership, PTT will look to attract potential partners at large global firms and tech startups through Plug and Play’s accelerator platform and partnership channels, providing direct contact to tech companies.

“We are delighted that PTT will be collaborating with Plug and Play under the Smart City Program,” said Shawn Dehpanah, the Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Innovation for APAC at Plug and Play.

The Smart City Program will bring together leading corporations from various industries, including energy and sustainability, real estate, mobility, IoT and digital health. These collaborations will help provide solutions for PTT’s innovation strategy, which range from battery storage technologies, renewable energy, new mobility, and pushing Thailand towards Industry 4.0.

By working with Plug and Play, PTT will be able to obtain data from different startups and tech firms to extend the company’s S-curve with its ExpresSo team and empower innovation.

PTT ExpresSo has three blueprints to digitally transform energy, mobility and industry.

Their New Energy blueprint involves building businesses with alternative energy for sustainability and security by adopting technology for effective maintenance of solar cells, for example. 

The New Mobility angle focuses on improving domestic transport systems to reduce pollution for better quality of life for people, including battery production for electric cars. 

And the New Industry concept looks to drive Thailand’s capacity to compete under Industry 4.0 management and maintain national economic security such as artificial intelligence systems for factories.

This partnership continues PTT’s venture into digital transformation, as PTTEP, a national petroleum exploration and production subsidiary of PTT, awarded American multinational corporation, Halliburton, with a digital transformation contract to design and implement a series of projects last week.

Uncover the importance of interconnectivity with W.Media

Interconnectivity in data centers has accelerated, as the need for connected devices and digital transformation is rapidly rising.

For a region like Asia Pacific that is rapidly going digital, data center providers are working hard to design connected platforms that enable global teams to collaborate with less downtime and latency.

Register now for our ‘Interconnecting into the Future’ digital event to discover how interconnectivity can help you reach your digital transformation desires.

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> View W.Media’s eclectic mix of digital events

PLDT and Philippine Air Force team up to train ‘cyber warriors’ against security threats

PLDT, a major telecommunications company in the Philippines, has signed an agreement with the Philippine Air Force to provide cybersecurity training for their ‘cyber warriors’.

Along with subsidiaries, ePLDT and Smart Communications, PLDT Group will enhance the military service’s cyber operations by upgrading the security of their digital infrastructures using ePLDT’s Security Operation Center, which provides the Philippine Air Force with their own dashboard to monitor cybersecurity operations.

“We are one with the government in ensuring that our country is safe from cyber threats,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT chair and CEO.

The training will take place through lectures and hands-on management and operation sessions, working side-by-side with PLDT’s cybersecurity team.

This agreement is the latest in a line of efforts by PLDT to improve the country’s cybersecurity following the launch of a Cybersecurity Council chaired by Mr. Pangilinan to protect enterprises in the infrastructure and telecommunications space from the rising tide of cyber threats.

A first by a Philippine conglomerate, the Council complies with the Data Privacy Act and Cybercrime Prevention Act in the Philippines, requiring companies to safeguard customer data.

The Council is composed of representatives from Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Maynilad Water Services, Manila Electric, Philex Mining, Makati Medical Center, MediaQuest Holdings, Metropac Movers, PLDT Global, MVP Rewards and Keralty Philippines.

PLDT and Smart Communications also became involved in the Asian Institute of Management’s Cybersecurity Executive Course to help organisations manage cyber threats and build cyber-resilient infrastructures.

Securing smooth work-from-home arrangements during the pandemic

This week, PLDT’s information and communications technology arm, ePLDT, introduced a new cloud service to provide a simplified and secure platform to remotely manage desktops and cloud applications during work-from-home arrangements.

The Virtual Desktop solution aims to provide employees with secure access to corporate data and applications authorised by the company.

“Our aim at ePLDT is to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation, especially today as they navigate through the pandemic,” said Jovy Hernandez, the President and CEO of ePLDT.

The Virtual Desktop uses Microsoft Azure to deliver the security and simplified management promised by the cloud service.

“Our focus throughout this unprecedented time has been on making sure our customers, partners and communities around the world remain connected, productive and secure,” said Andres Ortola, the Country General Manager of Microsoft Philippines.

ePLDT has currently deployed 1,000 units of their Virtual Desktop solution within the PLDT group to allow a smooth and secure work-from-home arrangement.

What is the weak link in your cybersecurity strategy?

Southeast Asia is becoming a prime target for cybercriminals, with rapidly growing digitalisation and interconnectivity in the region.

But who or what is the weakest link in your cybersecurity chain making your business vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Register now to find out how you can protect your business and data from the growing threat of cybercriminals on Thursday 24 September.

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Vietnam sets aggressive digital transformation ambitions to become global powerhouse

With the entire ASEAN region hit hard by the global pandemic, the Vietnam Government has set aggressive digital transformation ambitions to become a global powerhouse.

The Ministry of Information and Communications introduced eight core programs for the next five years.

“The ICT industry can create a pair of wings for the country to fly. One wing is digital technology and the other is communication,” said Minister Nguyen Manh Hung, adding that if a country wants to develop and make breakthroughs, it needs spiritual strength.

The core programs look to transform Vietnam’s postal system and telecommunications infrastructure to promote the country’s digital economy. This will include deploying 5G, having one smartphone per person, one fiber-optic line per household as well as cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence, digital identity platforms and the Internet of Things for industries.

To drive this innovation, Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Information and Communications has signed an agreement with the US Trade and Development Agency to provide technical assistance for the building of a smart city operations center. 

With a total investment of more than US$1.4 million, this center is among four pillars in a master plan to transform Vietnam’s southern economic hub, which will act as the ‘brain’ of a smart city to collect and analyse real-time data and information to help decision-makers govern, plan, and shape the future development of the city.

The core programs will also focus on transforming Vietnam’s e-government to a digital government where all activities will be performed digitally and create more interaction between the Vietnamese population and the state. To achieve this, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc urged ministries to have 30% of their online public services reach level 4 by the end of this year.

Public service level 4 allows users to fill in and send application forms to committees entirely online, however many ministries and localities have less than 10% of their public services online.

The Ministry of Information and Communications proposed increasing local budget spending on information and technology from the current rate of 0.3% to at least 1% to promote the e-Government.

The said transformation efforts are to be promoted by all as ‘a revolution of the whole nation’ and will go hand in hand with the protection of digital sovereignty by its people and the media.

As digital transformation projects can expose vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers and threat actors, the Government intends to turn Vietnam into a cybersecurity powerhouse by mastering the ecosystem of cybersecurity products.

As of 2019, Vietnam ranked 50th in the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) global cybersecurity index rankings, rising sharply from 100 in 2017.

‘Make in Vietnam’ to boost digital ambitions

Included in the Ministry’s core programs is the ‘Make in Vietnam’ initiative, which aims to promote the domestic ICT industry where digital products are birthed in the country.

There are currently 50,000 technology businesses in Vietnam, with many solutions being produced by young enterprises and experts. And the country has big ambitions to double this number to 100,000 by 2030, which will account for 20% of the GDP.

Last year, the total revenue of the whole ICT industry was estimated at nearly US$135 billion, more than double compared to 2015. The sector also contributed over US$4.3 billion to the state budget.

In a draft strategy by the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Government has set ambitions to be placed in the top two countries in ASEAN and within the top 50 in the world for technology and innovation by 2030.

The Ministry said hitting these targets would be challenging, given the country’s heavy dependence for core technology on foreign countries, the low added value of IT products and limited innovation capacity and competitiveness, together with increasing competition from international IT companies.

To overcome these challenges, the first solution is to improve the legal framework to create a favourable environment for digital technology companies. The country will also focus on strengthening research and development capacity, developing a robust market for digital technology companies, and building a data industry and digital technology ecosystem.

The second solution is to work with other nations in the ASEAN region to bounce back strongly from the pandemic using digital technologies. For example, Vietnam is seeking experience from Indonesia in digitalisation and how to enact relevant policies.

“With its great potential in IT, Vietnam is sharing experiences and also learning lessons from other regional nations to develop itself into a veritable digital economy and the ASEAN into a big digital economy. This will help the ASEAN address emerging challenges,” said an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Vietnam’s efforts to develop a pro-business e-government and a digital economy have received applause from the international community, especially amid a surge in the pandemic hurting economic growth.

Uncover the importance of interconnectivity with W.Media

Interconnectivity in data centers has accelerated, as the need for connected devices and digital transformation is rapidly rising.

For a region like Asia Pacific that is rapidly going digital, data center providers are working hard to design connected platforms that enable global teams to collaborate with less downtime and latency.

Register now for our ‘Interconnecting into the Future’ digital event to discover how interconnectivity can help you reach your digital transformation desires.

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Dramatic surge set for edge computing market, driven by industrial enterprise adoption

The multi-access edge computing market is set to grow at an incredible annual rate of 157.4%, generating US$7.23 billion by 2024, which dwarfs the 2019 revenue of US$64.1 million.

The edge computing solution from operators in wireless networks is expected to be utilised by 90% of industrial enterprises in the next three years, predicts Frost & Sullivan.

“The recent launch of the 5G technology coupled with MEC brings computing power close to customers and also allows the emergence of new applications and experiences for them,” said Renato Pasquini, the Research Director for Information & Communication Technologies at Frost & Sullivan.

While only being in its nascent stage, edge computing offers shorter latencies by being close to where the data originates, which also provides robust security, responsive data collection and lower operating costs.

This is particularly important in a world where industrial industries are becoming increasingly hyper-connected with growing adoption of the Internet of Things, smart factories, remote monitoring solutions, autonomous robotics and vehicles.

The demand for edge computing is also growing, as data-driven organisations and governments increasingly require significant streams of data for real-time analytics.

“Going forward, 5G and multi-access edge computing are an opportunity for telecom operators to launch innovative offerings and enable an ecosystem to flourish in the business-to-business segment of telecom service providers using the platform,” added Mr. Pasquini.

Within the multi-access edge computing ecosystem, software edge applications promises the highest annual growth, followed by telecom operators, infrastructure-as-a-service providers, and edge data center colocation services.

However, Frost & Sullivan identified a number of challenges restricting the growth of the market, including an underdeveloped ecosystem in different verticals, limiting the number of solutions and applications available.

The implementation of multi-access edge computing also requires heavy initial capital investment and lacks standardisation, which currently limits the number of cities that can adopt this technology.

How can you tap into the edge computing market?

The multi-access edge computing market is expected to drive new revenue-generating use cases, particularly for telcos in the application of 5G wireless technology, despite delays in the rollout of networks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To tap into this lucrative market, Frost & Sullivan made a number of suggestions. Telecom operators, for example, should work on solutions and services to meet requirements for connected and autonomous cars, which could include advancements in 5G technology.

In order to make this a reality, telecom operators are advised to partner with cloud providers and organisations like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud that work with artificial intelligence and machine learning to design autonomous cars and drone delivery. 

System integrators could also tap into 5G by providing end-to-end solutions, which the research firm noted would be a significant value addition for enterprises, as 5G requires specialised skill sets.

By combining 5G with new specialised hardware-based mobile edge computing technologies like edge routers and data centers, these solutions can meet the market’s streaming media needs, as telecom operators must address the rising consumption of high-definition video streaming on mobiles.

Frost & Sullivan urged companies in the space to capitalise on the innovation opportunities utilising 5G and multi-access edge computing, including augmented reality, virtual reality, ultra-high-definition streaming and cloud gaming.

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Edge data centers are on the rise, driven by Industry 4.0 technology and Internet adoption. But which edge data center solutions are right for your business?

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Indonesia to build Government Cloud as part of digital transformation efforts

Indonesia is set to build a Government Cloud platform as part of the state’s digital transformation plans, announced the Director General of Information & Communication Technology Applications, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan.

The Government has taken French and South Korean foreign loans and/or grants to build two data centers and a government network, CNN Indonesia reported.

“We are discussing whether two is enough. There may be three, but this has not been decided yet,” said Mr. Pangerapan.

During a video conference on Tuesday, it was revealed there are 2,700 data centers and server rooms, but only 3% were declared eligible as data centers, while the rest are simply minimalist server rooms.

“Without good network technology, we are very vulnerable to attack. That’s why we will design a Government network,” said Mr. Pangerapan.

The data centers constructed by the Government will be connected to existing facilities at the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, the Registration of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Finance.

“We will operate the data centers later to become a connected Government Cloud service,” added Mr. Pangerapan.

The data center and Indonesia Government Cloud will be managed by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in the form of a Technical Implementing Unit and a Center for Electronic-Based Government System Infrastructure (SPBE).

Is cloud hosting right for your business?

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India’s TVS Automobile Solutions to develop ‘platform of platforms’ with Google Cloud

TVS Automobile Solutions, a leader in India’s automotive aftermarket, has partnered with Google Cloud to develop a ‘platform of platforms’ tailored to empower small entrepreneurs.

The initiative hopes to bring vehicle owners, retailers, garages and insurance companies into one digital ecosystem to provide service, automotive parts and roadside assistance.

“We can bring 30,000-40,000 small fragmented businesses … on our digital platform, thereby scaling up their businesses, generating new demand and managing services,” said G Srinivasa Raghavan, the Managing Director of TVS Automobile Solutions.

TVS Automobile Solutions, which is part of the $8.5 billion TVS Group, will offer a range of solutions, including connected vehicles, diagnostics and predictive service management and part replacement on the cloud to its 20,000+ retailers, 15,000 garages and over two million independent vehicle owners.

“We could provide on-demand, at-home, on-premise or any service requirement with an agreed turnover time for our customers,” said Mr. Raghavan.

The digitally transformed, ‘one-of-a-kind’ platform will deploy Industry 4.0 technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning to execute the said services.

“Besides placing requirements on the platform, retailers can search, pick and choose across one million parts provided and suggested by TVS ASL,” said Mr. Raghavan.

Mr. Raghavan believed the initiative will be seen as an accelerator in digitising the global aftermarket landscape.

As part of the partnership with Google Cloud, TVS ASL has migrated their data center infrastructures and public cloud deployments onto the tech giant’s platform.

“TVS ASL is unlocking the potential of its business data at scale using machine learning to automate and optimise it’s supply chain, and leveraging managed services so they can focus on their engineering effort on IT-led business initiatives that will pave the path for a strong digital future,” said Karan Bajwa, the Managing Director of Google Cloud India.

The aftermarket industry in India is estimated by TVS Automobile Solutions to be worth US$10 billion and grew at an annual rate of 10% in the last five years. The automotive aftermarket player expects the new digital platform will help them grow their market share of 4% to 10% by 2023.

The first phase of TVS ASL’s ‘platform of platforms’ is expected to be implemented in October.

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NETS and Singtel partner to transform digital payments using AWS cloud

NETS has announced plans to transform digital payment experiences by partnering with Singtel and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

As Singapore slowly opens up following the pandemic lockdown, allowing general travel to Brunei and New Zealand, the collaboration will enable Singaporeans to make purchases at more retail outlets whilst abroad in Asia Pacific using the Network for Electronic Transfers.

“NETS will be well-positioned to facilitate cross-border commerce by integrating ASEAN+ travel corridors whilst making payments simple and easy for consumers,” said Lawrence Chan, the CEO of NETS Group.

Foreign visitors in Singapore will also be able to make seamless payments using NETS’ merchants in the country using overseas e-wallets and services.

“The initiative will spur cross-border digital payment growth for overseas payments partners, particularly micro merchants, and help them leverage this to expand their market beyond domestic borders,” added Mr. Chan.

The Network for Electronic Transfers will leverage AWS’ cloud computing platform and Singtel’s ConnectPlus Managed Network to accelerate its expansion across Southeast Asia.

“Our ConnectPlus Managed Network will enable NETS to dynamically allocate enterprise resources across multiple locations, optimising network performance and operational efficiency to offer secure, swift and reliable cross-border financial transactions,” said Lim Seng Kong, the Managing Director for Singtel Enterprise Business and Group Enterprise at Singtel.

The cloud gateway service offered by Singtel will enable NETS to deploy and manage its virtual private clouds, while AWS cloud services are expected to provide NETS with quick and locatised connectivity for potential partners to access their cross-border payment services.

“We look forward to collaborating with NETS to innovate new services faster, maintain operational excellence, and provide secure and seamless payment services to customers around Southeast Asia,” said Conor McNamara, the Managing Director of ASEAN at AWS.

NETS will take advantage of AWS’ database, containers, serverless storage and security.

The collaboration between NETS, Singtel and AWS will look to tap into Southeast Asia’s unbanked population, which is forecast to be worth US$1 trillion by 2025. This population will need more access to digital financial services, as the region becomes more tech-savvy and more expectant of convenient and accessible digital services.

Image Credit: Yahoo News Singapore

Is cloud hosting right for your business?

Hosting websites and applications on the cloud is becoming a popular choice for businesses, as it is believed to offer greater flexibility and speed in scalability as well as reliable uptime to keep your services live even if a server goes down.

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NETS and Singtel partner to transform digital payments using AWS cloud

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Halliburton awarded digital transformation project by Thailand’s PTTEP

Halliburton has successfully been awarded a digital transformation contract by Thailand’s state-owned petroleum exploration and production company, PTTEP.

The American multinational corporation will design and implement a series of projects as part of PTTEP’s Advanced Production Excellence (APEX) Initiative.

The APEX Initiative will look to improve operational efficiency and production in four offshore fields, including Arthit, Greater Bongkot South, Greater Bongkot North and the Myanmar Zawtika Field.

“Effectively leveraging and implementing digital technologies improves efficiency to increase production, reduce operating expenses and maximize the value of the operator’s portfolio,” said Mr. Nagaraj Srinivasan, the Senior Vice President of Landmark and Halliburton Digital Solutions.

Landmark is a Halliburton business line that provides Exploration and Production professionals with software-driven lifecycle insights using open architecture, hybrid cloud environments and digital twin.

Landmark will deploy its DecisionSpace Production Suite using cloud computing technology to store data rather than onboard the offshore fields. Their DecisionSpace Enterprise Platform will integrate Honeywell Forge, a powerful analytics software solution providing real-time data and visual intelligence, so PTTEP can implement more productive and efficient work processes.

“We look forward to collaborating with Honeywell to support PTTEP on its digital transformation journey,” added Mr. Srinivasan.

The software solutions are designed to use advanced physics and data science-based models to manage offshore wells and points of delivery. A multitude of operations will also be optimised using the solution, including short-term production planning, flow assurance and sand production monitoring and control, condensate stabilisation and fuel gas optimisation.

The financial terms of the deal between Halliburton, one of the world’s largest oil field service companies, and PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) were not disclosed.

In February 2020, Halliburton was awarded a digital transformation contract with Pertamina, the largest Indonesian oil and gas company, using Landmark’s hybrid cloud offering.

Uncover the importance of interconnectivity with W.Media

Interconnectivity in data centers has accelerated, as the need for connected devices and digital transformation is rapidly rising.

For a region like Asia Pacific that is rapidly going digital, data center providers are working hard to design connected platforms that enable global teams to collaborate with less downtime and latency.

Register now for our ‘Interconnecting into the Future’ digital event to discover how interconnectivity can help you reach your digital transformation desires.

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> View W.Media’s eclectic mix of digital events

Toyota and Amazon Web Services partner to build cloud-based mobility services

Toyota and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced they are expanding their global collaboration to build a cloud-based platform.

Japan’s automotive manufacturer and Amazon’s cloud computing unit will develop Toyota’s Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) for the next generation of data-driven mobility services in their cloud-connected vehicles.

“Connectivity drives all of the processes of development, production, sales and service in the automotive business,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, the Chief Information and Security Officer as well as Chief Production Officer at Toyota Motor Corporation.

The collaboration with AWS will extend to Toyota’s entire enterprise, building a foundation for streamlined, secure data sharing and accelerate its move to Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) mobility technologies.

“Expanding our agreement with AWS to strengthen our vehicle data platform will be a major advantage for CASE activities within Toyota,” added Mr. Tomoyama.

The new platform will enable Toyota to collect data from connected vehicles to influence design and development as well as new services like behavior-based insurance, maintenance notifications, and ride or car sharing.

“Toyota is able to innovate quickly across its enterprise and continue to lead the automotive industry in delivering the quality of experiences that customers expect,” said Andy Jassy, the CEO of AWS.

The deal by AWS marks the e-commerce giant’s newest move into the transportation industry following last month’s partnership announcement with Volkswagen to build cloud platforms where business customers can buy and sell industrial applications.

AWS is also partnered up with automotive suppliers and providers like Aptiv, Panasonic Corp. Nvidia Corp., Uber and Avis.

Explore how edge data centers are driving future innovations

The advent of Industry 4.0 technologies like artificial intelligence, 5G and the Internet of Things is bringing increasing the number of connected devices and new innovations in autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality in retail and entertainment, and robotics for manufacturing and healthcare.

But to enable lower latency for vastly more connected devices, edge data centers are needed to bring IT resources closer to the user.

Register now to explore how we can work together to tap into the potential of edge data centers to transform your business.

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Optimising data centers in the digital age with OCP

Optimised data centers with open infrastructures are becoming ever more crucial to meet increasing demands of cloud service providers, telcos and enterprises in the digital age.

As data volumes rise, older data centers are not always equipped to implement newer styles of hardware or designed to efficiently handle fully loaded and fully equipped racks.

On W.Media’s third Tech Talk, Steve Helvie, the VP of Channel at the Open Compute Project Foundation, revealed they are seeing an increase in density per rack across various markets. This shows the increasing demand on data centers and the types of workloads people are starting to run.

“Even public sectors are starting to ask more about the types of GPUs they may be able to run,” said Mr. Helvie.

This increase in density creates issues around the types of facilities where these racks can be deployed. And these new types of hardware also brings concerns for power efficiency to the rack.

OCP addressed these issues by recently developing the OCP Ready™ Facility Recognition Program. This includes a set of guidelines and a site assessment test to identify optimised data centers capable of handling, understanding and supporting OCP racks and infrastructure.

“End customers are looking for those facilities that understand OCP and can rely on local support at that facility and know that they can grow in that facility,” said Mr. Helvie.

OCP is now in their third version of their Open Compute Rack, which will be the most comprehensive and converged rack architecture, as a lot of OCP members, including Facebook, Google and Microsoft have come together on this version. The newest version of the rack covers density issues as well as the new wave of architecture.

“The main goal of the OCP Community is reducing investment operation cost, reducing energy consumption, and most importantly, sharing ideas and know-how,” said Resul Altinkilic, Project Manager of Global Key Accounts for IT at Rittal, a Platinum OCP member.

But why should you choose open hardware? This was an important question Rittal asked to their customers and partners. The top three answers given were cost reduction, power efficiency and standardisation.

“When you use one specification and you have the flexibility to buy the same rack or hardware under the same specifications, it is standardisation. With power efficiency, you don’t have to transition from AC to DC,” said Mr. Altinkilic.

Singapore-based data center provider, SpaceDC, became the first data center in Asia to achieve the OCP Ready™ certification by demonstrating its ability to create highly efficient, optimised data centers and meet OCP guidelines.

SpaceDC proved to OCP that their JAK2 facility in Indonesia was capable of accommodating racks weighing 500kg and allowing end-users to smoothly deploy fully populated OCP Racks without delay.

Busbars and fan walls are used throughout their data centers to enable configuration of racks to high densities and remove the need for maintenance staff to enter the data center for electrical or mechanical services, said Darren Hawkins, the Founder and CEO of SpaceDC.

These moves by tech giants, hardware solution developers and data center providers to join OCP’s Community has started to show us why the OCP hardware market is forecasted as a US$10 billion industry.

> Watch ‘A Look Inside an OCP Optimised Data Center in Asia Pacific’ on demand

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