Southeast Asian firms more aware of cyber hygiene: Palo Alto study says

Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, are becoming more aware of the importance of cybersecurity and protection from cyber threats, a survey by a technology corporation revealed.

Surung Sinamo, Country Manager of Palo Alto Networks Indonesia who conducted the report, said in an online forum on Wednesday: “They (countries) are becoming more aware of the importance of preventing and thwarting cyber attacks that can potentially disrupt businesses, as we have seen in the last few years.”

Conducted from 6 to 15 Feb, 2020, right before the spread of coronavirus widened, the survey involved 400 leaders of tech companies from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore.

Palo Alto believes the survey’s findings remain relevant amid the pandemic as more work is being done virtually.

“There are a lot of virtual meetings, companies have accelerated their need (for such meetings) to ensure that their businesses and workers are protected,” Sinamo said.

Of the 100 companies surveyed by Palo Alto in Indonesia, 4 out of 5, or 84% businesses, had increased their budget for cybersecurity in 2020, higher than the average in the region, with 73% of the companies reporting higher cybersecurity budgets.

Almost half of the 84% companies that responded said they allocated most of their total tech budget for cybersecurity, with 71 % saying they increased the budget as cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated.

Furthermore, 70% of the respondents said that cyber attacks had increased, and 69% felt the need to boost their security capacities, including through automation.

76 % of the respondents saw solutions such as antiviruses and anti-malware as important aspects of cybersecurity, while 61% said they had also invested in cloud-based servers, even higher than the global trend (link to W.media article).

Meanwhile, 56 % of the Indonesian companies used software-defined wide area network security and 51% opted for firewalls.

The growing awareness of cybersecurity was also reflected in measures to review standard operational procedure policies annually. These were carried out by 92% of the respondents.

However, 44% reported they were still not confident about their cybersecurity despite that the majority has increased their security investment.

This suggested a demand for more reliable security options among Southeast Asian firms.

How China’s Data Center Industry is likely to shape up in 2021

The year 2021 could be termed as a “Year of Renewal”. The world is still in chaos with continuing uncertainties, while at the same time rapidly accelerating and transforming.

As a distinct growth pole of global economy, China’s rapid recovery from the Covid-19 has been commendable. Since the last two decades, it has benefited from fast economic growth, the country has stood out in the developing world for its unique strengths in its market size, diversity and vitality.

Moreover, with the renewed emphasis on infrastructure in its Five-Year Plan and long-term strategy as well as the new policies boosted to empower the digital economy, new infrastructure development and significant increase in demand for data center is being seen on the ground. Case in point- the undersea data center in Zhuhai.

New Infrastructure Push

Fueled by a surge in demand for local demand for digitalization of business and consumer environment, the construction of new infrastructure including 5G and data centers has developed into a strategy, which enables it to meet the twin urgent goals of increasing employment and preparing for new changes in the global economy.

At the 2020 National People’s Congress, the CCP first emphasizes a digital infrastructure public spending programme. Now, building ‘new infrastructure’ has already become a top development priority for China. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, China has witnessed the potential of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing.

Several tech giants in China have announced plans to scale up their data centers. Following China’s ‘new infrastructure’ initiative, Chinese internet giant Tencent revealed its $70 billion investment on key sectors over the next five years towards making advances in cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) while Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba announced to invest $28.7 billion into its cloud and data center infrastructure over the next three years. Also, Baidu, the leading search engine in China, has planned to set up 5 million servers in the next 10 years.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) it is!

The National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NDRC) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) jointly issued the ‘Notice Concerning Work in Relation to Advancing Infrastructure Real Estate Investment Trust Trials’ in April, with an aim to channelise personal savings and private capital into infrastructure projects.

Then in August, NDRC announced that it had recently issued the ‘Notice Concerning Effectively Performing Infrastructure REIT Trial Project Application Work’, which indicates that the Chinese government will give priority to “national key strategic” infrastructure projects when receiving applications for REIT trials, as well as “encourage the undertaking of trials for new forms of infrastructure.”

The Notice further indicates that “national key strategic” infrastructure projects will include those associated with regional development plans for the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji) area, Xiong’an New Area in Hebei province, the Yangtze River Delta, the Greater Bay Area, and the Hainan Free Trade Port. (Referring to 3rd ‘word of the year’)

As per this new initiative, China expedites infrastructure REITs so that fresh capital could be converted into investment capital in the long term while reducing leverage. Dozens of companies have begun preparing for launching publicly tradable REITs since the trial released. However, the applications are still under consideration as the requirements are very strict.

In the next three to five years, such products are likely to provide about 6 trillion Yuan (around $900 billion) in financial support for China’s infrastructure construction, thus further improving the speed and efficiency of China’s infrastructure build out.

New Area

This is closely linked to new development and is being framed in new ways. ‘New Area’ has rocketed to ubiquity, especially when we consider the site selection. Government influence may steer investors’s location preferences here in China.

To promote urbanization and industrialization, and now digitalization, many new areas and zones have been established to concentrate investments and the labor force as well as resources within designated region with more flexible management systems.

For example, Xiong’an New Area, in Hebei province, was announced to be a National New Area as the “Millennium Plan, National Event” by the State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. It has become the third new special zone with “national significance” after Shenzhen SEZ and Shanghai Pudong New Area while the other two have already driven the rapid development of the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta respectively. Xiong’an New Area connects the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road with the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area, so as to drive the development of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei economic triangle in Northern China.

Currently, China is speeding up its digital transformation of economy with a plan to build industrial ‘big data’ centers nationwide, enabling massive amounts of information to be used for developing more efficient industries. Supported by government, construction of data center is boosted in these regions such as the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji) area, Xiong’an New Area, the Yangtze River Delta, the Greater Bay Area, and the Hainan Free Trade Port.

Power Usage Efficiency (PUE)

The word ‘PUE’ never loses its power. The availability and cost of electricity are important factors influencing data center site selection in China. The energy consumption quota of data centers must be approved by governmental agencies including National Economy and Information Commission and National Development and Reform Commission.

Electricity resources in coastal areas and tier I cities are restricted as local electricity generation is insufficient to meet consumption, meaning that obtaining approval for large energy consuming businesses can be problematic.

In order to ensure effective control of energy consumption, improving energy efficiency in major energy fields and accelerating the application of energy-saving and low-carbonizing technologies have become the main goals and tasks of local government during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.

China’s Tier-1 cities, with their high concentrations of data centers and infrastructure, have been first to act, guided by the central government’s 13th Five Year Plan targets for energy use and intensity. Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen have already applied strict PUE rules when approving new data centers, pushing the sector towards greener operations with higher energy efficiency.

Although Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and other coastal areas are the major data center markets in the country, areas like Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Guizhou pop up to be players under central policy support. National-level big data and data center pilot projects sprout up in these renewables-rich provinces for they offer ample electricity supply and cheap tariffs. Local governments in these areas also offer discounts for electricity consumption by data centers, which can further reduce operating costs.

Built-to-suit Data Center

Data center investment continues to rise in China with growing interest. Larger population bases, more social media activity, data protection and cyber security legislation forcing users to switch to onshore data centers. Does it mean that to invest in this market never fail? Of course not. The consensus of ‘Customer-centric’ is being embraced by players in China market.

As a part of this, ‘built-to-suit’ data center was developed. Customizing a data center, ‘built-to-suit’, is a much different, more challenging undertaking for a certain type of business buyer, or even specific client.

Different from before, one-size-fits-all data center solutions are no longer a priority at a larger scale. More data center service providers are looking to be in tune with clients from pre-development and align with their expectations.

At the same time, built-to-suit also provides a cost transparency and speed to market. As it is specifically designed to fit the clients’ every need, built-to-suit data center can meet the goals with best practices. In 2020, Dictionary.com selected “Unprecedented” as the word of the year. In 2021, it could be “Transformation”.

For more insights on China, do check out our digital event China Datacenter Market Insights happening on March 5!

WhatsApp pushes privacy policy deadline to May 15

WhatsApp has pushed back its new privacy policy deadline to May 15, after it came under intense pressure from users.

The deadline was for accepting the tweak to its terms of service, involving sharing data with Facebook servers. Instead, Facebook in a blog said that it would go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.

“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15, ” it said.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp users received a notification that it was preparing a new privacy policy and terms, and it reserved the right to share some user data with the Facebook app.

This sparked a global outrage and resulted in people moving to alternative apps such as Telegram and Signal. Telegram in a notification said that since the last few days around 25 million new users  joined the platform.

“WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook, it said. With these updates, none of that is changing. Instead, the update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it added.

“There is a need for stronger, comprehensive legislation and propels the privacy-conscious users to address the legal vacuum left unattended otherwise. In view of the fast-evolving online commercial industry, it is imperative to establish an Authority that helps identify and penalize offenders so as to materialize Privacy in letter and spirit and save it from being left as a half-baked promise,” stated Sonam Chandwani, the Managing Partner at KS Legal & Associates.

Although WhatsApp attempted to assure sophisticated and secure data sharing practices with Facebook with no impact on private communication across the world, the privacy update allows Whatsapp businesses to choose to receive secure hosting services from Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp.

“However, the recent notification has led to a severe loss of confidence in Whatsapp by its loyal users. Further, the privacy laws in India are lacking in the fight against rising data breaches and cyber attacks in an increasingly digitized business space amidst the pandemic,” said Chandwani.

Huawei launches Smart PV solution

Huawei FusionSolar, the Smart PV solution from Huawei has launched an integrated system for residential solar energy solution.
This announcement was made at its launch event in Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2020, Huawei delivered a total capacity of 4.3 GW inverters in Vietnam. To further develop the market, Huawei FusionSolar launches a new range of products for a complete integrated system for Vietnamese homeowners including Smart Energy Controller SUN2000-2-5KTL-L1 and SUN2000-5-10KTL-M1, ESS (Energy Storage System) LUNA2000-5/10/15-S0 and Smart PV Optimizer SUN2000-450W-P.

Alen Zhang, Sales Director of Huawei FusionSolar Vietnam said: “With 30 years of expertise in digital information technology, we’ve incorporated many latest ICT technologies for optimal power generation, in building the foundation for solar to become the main energy source. Vietnam is a country with high solar power potential and we look forward to contributing towards greater adoption of solar energy among Vietnamese families with Huawei FusionSolar solutions”.

When it comes to residential PV rooftop systems, residential installers are usually expected to provide homeowners with a robust, cost-effective, self-consumption system that remains highly efficient, flexible and easy to install, and comes with smart applications and reliable customer service. Huawei’s new range of products has been developed to focus on delivering three main benefits: optimal electricity cost, active safety and better experience.

Optimal Electricity Cost
PV energy generated by solar panels meets the electricity demand of homes in the daytime, and the surplus energy generated is used to charge batteries, which then discharges to meet peak electricity consumption in the night time. In this way, residential PV systems could achieve high self-consumption levels and this is where Huawei’s residential intelligent battery Smart String ESS LUNA2000-5/10/15-S0 could truly shine. Each battery pack has a built-in energy optimizer and supports independent charge and discharge management.

The AI-Powered Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) proactively mitigate fire risk with rapid shutdown technologies achieving zero voltage on the rooftop and zero arc risks for dual-layer protection. Huawei is the first in the industry to integrate the AI algorithm into AFCI, enabling three unique features: accurate arc fault detection via local neural network algorithm, speedy arc fault protection by inverter shutdown in 0.5s which is far below 2.5s which is stipulated in UL1699B, and pinpointing arc fault positioning, saving 80 per cent onsite troubleshooting time and cost.

The FusionSolar inverter portfolio consists of single-phase (Smart Energy Controller SUN2000-2-5KTL-L1) and three-phase (Smart Energy Controller SUN2000-5-10KTL-M1) products, both are compatible with Huawei’s SUN2000-450W-P power optimizer.

The Smart PV Management System, available in both web portal and mobile application, provides real-time energy flow and energy balance readings, and PV panel-level performance management.

ATMs at Japan’s Lawson Bank to accept SBI Remit’s international money transfer

International remittance services provider SBI Remit Corporation and Lawson Bank, said that ATMs at Japan’s Lawson Bank will accept SBI Remit’s international money transfer service.

SBI Remit is the largest money transfer provider in Japan with over 10 billion Japanese yen monthly, with 90 per cent of its customers being foreigners living in Japan, the company said in a statement.

Through the partnership with Lawson Bank, its customers can use the “Remit Card” to make international money transfers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and at more than 13,400 Lawson Bank ATMs, according to SBI Holdings.

The ATMs are located in Lawson convenience stores throughout Japan and offer an international money transfer service that allows customers to send money to more than 220 countries and regions around the world in as little as 10 minutes.”

SBI Remit can be used to send money to students abroad, to send living expenses to family members, or to send money to a local agent if users do not have a bank account abroad.

In a letter published on Ripplenet, SBI remit’s customers would be enabled to benefit from Lawson’s ATM network without even holding an account with the bank. The users are just required to have SBI’s “remit card” to utilize Lawson’s quality remittance services through its 13,400 ATMs.

The Lawson bank offers its services in 220 countries so, Bank’s scope will also enable customers to make transactions all over the world at any time or day of the week including on public holidays as well. The network only takes 10 minutes to perform the transaction no matter how far the two dealing parties are.

Ripple partners with Malaysia’s Mobile Money and Bangladesh’s bKash for remittance

Ripple has signed a deal with Malaysia’s Mobile Money and Bangladesh’s bKash to power a wallet-to-wallet remittance corridor between the two countries.

As a part of the deal, this wallet-to-wallet remittance corridor will use RippleNet, Ripple’s Distributed Ledger Technology-based global payments network, to enable Mobile Money and bKash to offer wallet-to-wallet transactions. Mutual Trust Bank will work as the local banking partner in Bangladesh to perform the remittance settlement, according to company executives.

Kamal Quadir, CEO, bKash, said: “This partnership will bring great convenience to both the recipients and senders, and contribute further to our national economy by encouraging inward foreign remittance flow through legal channels.”

Navin Gupta, MD, South Asia and Mena, Ripple, said: “As Ripple is bolstering our presence in South Asia, we are excited to contribute to the infrastructure of the region to transform the way cross-border payments are executed.”

Bangladesh has the third largest remittance flows in South Asia, with Malaysia ranking as one of the top five sources of remittances for the country.

Countries such as Bangladesh and India have a large number of people working abroad and often remit a significant amount of their earnings back home. This market used to be dominated by the likes of Western Union and others.

In December 2020, Federal Bank entered into a tie-up with OrbitRemit Limited, a money transfer company, to facilitate money transfer from New Zealand to India. OrbitRemit Limited, a leading full-service provider based out of New Zealand, has its presence in other countries like Australia & UK, currently providing remittance services to around 39 countries worldwide.

Nilufer Mullanfiroze, Senior Vice President and  Country Head –
Deposits, Cards and Unsecured Lending, Federal Bank had said that Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and small businesses in New Zealand will now enjoy a modern, low cost, fast, easy and more reliable
way of transferring money to India. Federal Bank currently processes more than 17 per cent of the personal inward remittances into India.”

Lincode partners with Global Automotive Alliance

India-based Lincode has entered into partnership with Global Automotive Alliance, Switzerland to form an ecosystem that promotes and empowers Smart  Automotive Manufacturing.

The automotive industry is witnessing a bullish trend in adopting smart manufacturing. The industry is making large investments in smart technologies such as AI, Industrial IoT, Automation, Big data, 5G, amongst others, to streamline and scale-up the automotive manufacturing process for higher efficiency and production capacity.

By the end of 2022, automotive manufacturers expect that 24% of their plants will be smart factories and 49% of automakers have already invested more than $250 million in smart factories. However, few automotive manufacturers have translated this enthusiasm into real progress – 42% of smart factory initiatives are struggling and the digital maturity of their manufacturing operations is below par.

The Indian automotive sector has seen growth in its sales and increased adoption of critical manufacturing technologies is an important driving factor. It has led to delivering a best-in-class quality of products that are made available to the market in tandem with the demand due to better production capacity.

Rajesh Iyengar, CEO, Lincode said: “The automotive industry has shown an impressive adoption of manufacturing technologies. The manufacturers are not hesitant to deploy technology or a solution that they know will bring them high ROI. For instance, our AI-backed visual inspection solution has made the inspection of the production lines much more efficient than the traditional vision systems. The manufacturers have seen a drastic difference with our solution. They see that microscopic surface defects were detected with the highest precision and accuracy within the established time cycles and now we have seen an ever-growing demand amongst the automotive manufacturers. I certainly believe the industry is now more than ready to invest in manufacturing technologies. The future of smart automotive manufacturing is very promising.”

Ralf Mueller, Managing Director, Global Automotive Alliance: “Digitalization and continuing pressure in the automotive industry with regards to quality, efficiency, and product/process-optimization are a daily challenge to OEMs, System Suppliers, and component manufacturers. All players along the supply chain are aware of the necessity to identify suitable smart manufacturing (industry 4.0) tools, however, in many cases the global overview, in-house knowledge, experiences, and internal resources are limited to successfully scout, develop & implement tailored solutions in the own facilities. This is why GAA has selected a group of unique smart manufacturing (industry 4.0) innovation providers that can be accessed by the automotive industry as part of the “GAA Smart Manufacturing Toolbox. Lincode, as a smart manufacturing solution provider, offering a unique Visual Inspection Technology with Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence was chosen by the GAA specialists to cover the visual inspection tasks & challenges of the industry.”

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

Philippine Air Force to build cybersecurity center in new deal with local tycoon

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be building a new cybersecurity center with funding from local tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan.

Pangilinan, President and CEO of Philippine conglomerate PLDT Group, will be building the MVP Cybersecurity Center for Excellence to enhance the PAF’s ability to counter cyberattacks.

This new facility can also be seen as part of the Philippine government’s digitalisation effort. PAF spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Aristides Galang, said that the center will house PAF’s other security departments, including the security operations center, the network operations center, and PAF’s cyber range.

Pangilinan’s PLDT Group is the parent company of Smart Telecommunications, one of the two largest telecommunications service providers in the country.

“We are one with the government in ensuring that our country is safe from cyber threats. We look forward to more engagements with the Philippine Air Force and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on this front,” said Pangilinan.

This is not the first collaboration between PAF and PLDT. In August 2020, both parties signed an agreement that saw PLDT’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) provide cybersecurity training to military officers in the PAF.

Chindata Group releases 2030 carbon-neutral roadmap

Asia’s leading hyperscale data center solution provider Chindata Group published its roadmap to be carbon neutral for all its next-generation hyper-scale data centers in China with its 100% renewable energy solution by 2030, 30 years sooner than China’s 2060 carbon-neutral pledge.

This is part of Chindata Group’s strategy to invest in clean energy with an installed capacity of no less than 2GW by 2030. Recently, the company has already signed renewable energy contracts with local governments, such as Datong and Zhangjiakou of China, totaling 1300 MW of installed capacity.

With accelerated digital transformation, there is a growing demand for carrier-neutral hyperscale data infrastructure, which allows interconnection between multiple telecommunication carriers and/or colocation providers. 

As a result, data centers will require a huge local energy supply. Data center provider thus becomes crucial in helping help tech companies and their users across the world to achieve carbon neutrality. 

As the first-of-its-kind company in China to launch the 2030 carbon neutrality roadmap, Chindata Group says it is committed to work together with partners to progress toward a sustainable future.

While catering to clients’ computing power needs, Chindata Group locate most of its hyperscale data centers in regions with rich wind and solar resources, making it possible to tap local surplus sustainable energy. In 2019 alone, Chindata Group has achieved a portfolio renewable energy mix of 37%.

The second solution is to minimize energy use. Thanks to advances in green technology in green building, IT equipment, and cooling system, in 2019, Chindata Group’s data centers use approximately 27.5% less energy than the global industry average, an equivalent of 173,087 tons of carbon dioxide emissions reduction,  according to Uptime Institute. 

Sustainability has been the buzzword for data centers construction and management in recent years. With Southeast Asia being the key drivers of data center growth, it remains to be seen how players from this region embrace sustainability.

RBI sets up a Working Group to study cyber issues around digital lending

Indian banking regulator RBI has set up a Working Group (WG) to study all aspects of digital lending activities such as data security, privacy, confidentiality and consumer protection.

Recent spurt and popularity of online lending platforms/ mobile lending apps, especially concerning digital lending has raised certain serious concerns which have wider systemic implications. Against this backdrop, a Working Group (WG) is being set up to study all aspects of digital lending activities in the regulated financial sector as well as by unregulated players so that an appropriate regulatory approach can be put in place, RBI said in a notification.

Digital lending has the potential to make access to financial products and services more fair, efficient and inclusive. From a peripheral supporting role a few years ago, FinTech led innovation is now at the core of the design, pricing and delivery of financial products and services. While penetration of digital methods in the financial sector is a welcome development, the benefits and certain downside risks are often interwoven in such endeavours. A balanced approach needs to be followed so that the regulatory framework supports innovation while ensuring data security, privacy, confidentiality and consumer protection.

The Working Group (WG) will consist of both internal and external members. Internal members include  Jayant Kumar Dash, Executive Director, RBI (Chairman),  Ajay Kumar Choudhary, Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Supervision, RBI;  P. Vasudevan, Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, RBI and Manoranjan Mishra, Chief General Manager, Department of Regulation, RBI (Member Secretary).  External memberswill consist of  Rahul Sasi, Cyber Security Expert & Founder of CloudSEK and  Vikram Mehta, former associate of Monexo Fintech.

The Working Group (WG) will have the task to:

  • Evaluate digital lending activities and assess the penetration and standards of outsourced digital lending activities in RBI regulated entities;
  • Identify risks posed by unregulated digital lending to financial stability, regulated entities and consumers;
  • Suggest regulatory changes,to promote orderly growth of digital lending;
  • Recommend measures, for expansion of specific regulatory or statutory perimeter and suggest the role of various regulatory and government agencies;
  • Recommend a robust Fair Practices Code for digital lending players, in-sourced or outsourced;
  • Suggest measures for enhanced Consumer Protection; and
  • Recommend measures for robust data governance, data privacy and data security standards for deployment of digital lending services.

RBI has given the Group three months to submit its report . You can glean more insights on cyber security during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. https://w.media/digital-events/

Thailand’s WHA Infonite and MFEC ink data center deal

Thailand-based logistics, industrial estates, and utilities company WHA Infonite and IT services company MFEC Public Company Limited (MFEC) have signed a data center agreement, in a move that would benefit the data center ecosystem in the country.

As part of the deal, MFEC will be renting rack spaces in WHA’s Premium Data Center’s Security Operating Center (SOC). WHA, in turn, will be providing data center solutions to MFEC.

MFEC is specialising in network computing and e-business, serving mainly large enterprise customers and industry leaders.

This agreement will allow MFEC to expand its business further and offer maximum security to its customers.

“We are very pleased to start this partnership with MFEC,” said Mr. Kraitos Ongchaisak, Chief Executive Officer of WHA Infonite.

Ongchaisak pointed out that the company’s Tier III premium data center is the perfect match for MFEC’s specific requirements. The data centers are equipped with their own generators, UPS, cooling and fire suppression systems, and renewable energy sources.

“In today’s digital era, data is one of the most valuable resources for any business. Continuous and safe access to digital infrastructure is almost as important as access to electricity and other utilities,” said Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, WHA Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer.

“With this agreement, we are glad to contribute to MFEC’s business expansion through the use of WHA’s world-class data centers,” she added.

The data center ecosystem is seeing a surge post the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses around the world are accelerating their digitalisation efforts. This can be attributed to social distancing norms and restrictions on travel.

Global data center fire detection and suppression market to grow at 4.5% CAGR during 2019-2025: Arizton

In 2020, calamities unarguably stole the spotlight. With every calamity, there seems to be business opportunities. One such area is fire detection and suppression. The global data center fire detection and suppression market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% during the period 2019−2025, reports Arizton, a market research company.

Around $2 billion investments will be made on fire suppression systems during 2019-2025, the report added. Gaseous fire suppression systems dominate with few operators preferring water-mist suppression systems, as per Arizton’s report.

Among fire detection systems, intelligent detectors are becoming more popular due to lower false alarm chances. Around $750 million will be invested in fire detection and suppression systems across data centers in APAC during 2020-2025, according to the report.

Data center operators also prefer cross-zone detection when adopting a spot smoke detection system. Cross zone detection depends upon the activation of two alarms before subsequent action, such as the opening of a pre-action valve or clean agent discharge. This strategy also minimizes the potential for an unwarranted discharge of a fire suppression system, according to Arizton.

North America dominated the global data center fire detection and suppression systems market for other space and building level. US-based colocation and cloud service providers are building more data centers, boosting the investment in other space/building level fire & safety systems.

Key drivers for the market include the high demand for edge data centers, increased innovations in fire suppression systems, colocation investments boosting fire & safety infrastructure procurement, growth in hyperscale data center.

In addition, the increase in data center outage due to fire-based incidents reinforces the importance of procuring fire-based suppression systems by operator’s data centers. The market will continue to grow through the development of data center facilities worldwide.

The dependency of business over data center and internet exchange points has grown over the years with the demand for internet-based services increasing.

Thus, any type of unusual incidence such as fire can also lead to IT equipment damage and failure of services, which costs much higher than implementing a fire suppression system.

Hoplite Technology, launches a privacy-by-default anti-phishing solution 

With an inherent emphasis in “privacy-by-default”, Hoplite Technology, a cybersecurity SaaS developer, launched a free tool named Anti-Phishing Bot (APBot), a cloud-based solution that uses email sender’s behaviours and community crowdsourcing to protect vulnerable everyday-users from phishing attacks.

A phishing email is a form of cyberattacks where cybercriminals impersonate a trusted party to gain access to sensitive information. Due to the lack of ways to verify the identity of the senders, everyday users without technical training will often find it difficult to distinguish a phishing attack as the red flags are hidden in different parts of an email.

To protect users’ privacy, APBot follows the “privacy-by-default” principle to detect email frauds based on the sender’s behaviour, such as email delivery path, and network profile without reading the email content.

Unlike many anti-phishing solutions are designed for IT Administrators with cybersecurity knowledge, APBot is accessible for everyday users: users can detect and report a phishing email with one click; at the same time, similar emails will be flagged within the APBot community, and through this ecosystem, the detection accuracy of the AI-assisted tool is expected to improve, the company said.

“Traditionally, identifying phishing emails requires training and network knowledge, but APBot has simplified the process. We believe senior citizens and students who are more vulnerable to social engineering will benefit from the protections offered by APBot,” said Antony Ma, Founder at Hoplite Technology and Chairman of Cloud Security Alliance Hong Kong and Macau Chapter

The ease of use is one of the advantages of using APBot which does not require the users to have any relevant training and can be integrated with popular email tools, such as Gmail, Office 365 and Hotmail, as an add-on without software installation.

China unveils underwater data center in Zhuhai

China has unveiled the country’s first underwater data center project in the Guangdong Province of Zhuhai.

According to Chinese state media China News Service (CNS), the underwater data center project is led by maritime technology company Beijing Highlander. The data center, containing racks of servers, will be sealed in an airtight vessel and will be submerged near a port in Zhuhai.

Xu Tan, Vice President of Beijing Highlander, told CNS that a large data center with an annual economic volume that exceeds $46 billion (300 billion yuan) is vital to building new infrastructure in the country. As such, it is scientifically the most effective to power data centers via underwater resources in offshore waters, Xu said.

Beijing Highlander also revealed that it plans to carry out and build more underwater data center projects over the next five years across the Greater China region, including the Yangtze River Delta, the Hainan Free Trade Port, and Guangong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

Underwater DC wave

This development comes on the heels of a September announcement by Microsoft, which were along these lines. Microsoft’s Project Natick team deployed the Northern Isles datacenter 117 feet deep to the seafloor in spring 2018. Since then, team members tested and monitored the performance and reliability of the datacenter’s servers.

The team hypothesized that a sealed container on the ocean floor could provide ways to improve the overall reliability of data centers. On land, corrosion from oxygen and humidity, temperature fluctuations and bumps and jostles from people who replace broken components are all variables that can contribute to equipment failure.

The Northern Isles deployment confirmed their hypothesis, which could have implications for data centers on land, in the future.

Lessons learned from Project Natick also are informing Microsoft’s data center sustainability strategy around energy, waste and water, said Ben Cutler, a project manager in Microsoft’s Special Projects research group who leads Project Natick.

What’s more, he added, the proven reliability of underwater data centers has prompted discussions with a Microsoft team in Azure that’s looking to serve customers who need to deploy and operate tactical and critical data centers anywhere in the world.

“We are populating the globe with edge devices, large and small,” said William Chappell, vice president of mission systems for Azure in a blog piece. “To learn how to make data centers reliable enough not to need human touch is a dream of ours.”

Modular data center market to double by 2025: Research and Markets

The worldwide modular data center market is expected to grow significantly from $18 billion in 2020 to $37.8 bilion by 2025, as per latest research from Research and Markets.

This growth will be driven by continued demand from all-in-one modules segment and translates to a 15.4 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

Modular data centers are manufactured by integrating prefabricated modules that are built inside a factory and shipped to the client site where they assembled, deployed, and commissioned. These data centers are highly scalable and energy-efficient and can be rapidly deployed to meet the clients current and near-term needs.

All-in-one modules segment to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The all-in-one module is a highly integrated containerized data center facility used in enterprise data management, oil exploration, and disaster relief. It is a temporary module usually implemented in cases, wherein data center mobility is a concern, as it comprises modules with cooling, power, and IT systems built inside a single container.

These containerized modules are both portable and energy-efficient and provide an on-site, ready-to-deploy solution, which reduces the installation cost and time. They also enable scalability and flexibility to the IT infrastructure to adjust to the design and size for future deployments.

This advantage of the all-in-one module, wherein organizations can implement scale-out infrastructure is expected to fuel the market for modular data centers.

Further, the APAC region is expected to grow at the highest rate, according to Research and Markets.

APAC to drive growth

With many major developing countries in this region, APAC is expected to contribute significantly to the modular data center market during the forecast period.

More mature markets, including India, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are also projected to witness mushrooming of new modular data centers in the coming years, the report pointed out.

The rapid growth of social media and the gaming sector in the APAC region has further increased the demand for explicitly scalable architecture that is capable of handling complex operations, which can be met by the effective deployment of modular data center solutions, the report said.

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.

Thailand’s Economic Corridor will be the first to launch 5G in Southeast Asia

Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), will become the first special economic region in Southeast Asia to offer 5G telecommunications connectivity.

EEC Secretary General, Dr. Kanit Sangsubhan, revealed in a recent interview that 5G signals are already in place in the region, and the government is working with companies and local residents to develop the best 5G solutions.

“Half the area of the EEC will be covered by 5G by February 2021,” explained Dr. Kanit. The fifth generation wireless technology of 5G comes with higher speeds, lower latency and the ability to connect an unimaginable number of devices.

The EEC, stretching through South and East Bangkok, is a 13,000 square kilometer hub that is home to some of the largest global suppliers of tech products and services.

Developed in 2018, the EEC is responsible for accelerating Thailand’s digital economy strategy, known as Thailand 4.0, and aims to propel the country into developed nation status by 2035.

After 5G, the Thai government and private investors will then be spending $3.3 billion (100 billion baht) to construct a 220-kilometer high-speed train connecting the EEC with Bangkok’s two airports, Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport.

In February 2020, both Advanced Wireless Network and True Move H Universal Communication won 2600-megahertz in a 5G spectrum license auction. By February 2021, the companies are required to provide 5G network coverage for at least 50% of the Eastern Economic Corridor which includes the provinces Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong.

Deputy secretary general Sutisak Tantayotin told The Bangkok Post that the launch of 5G enabled headsets and compatible smartphones like the iPhone 12 also pushed the commission to speed things up.

“We found the combined 5G network roll-out by AWN and TUC covers more than 70 per cent of the EEC area,” he added.

In December, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, or NBTC, said that they are ahead of schedule for the 5G rollout. This move also needs to be seen in the backdrop of Thailand ranking fourth globally, when it comes to losing out on tourism revenue, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ho Chi Minh City sets up cybercrime division

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s largest city, has just announced the establishment of a new police division to combat cybercrime in the country.

The new division for cybersecurity and high-tech crime will be run by the Ho Chi Minh City Police Department.

According to Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the Municipal People’s Committee, the creation of this department is to ensure cyber safety in Ho Chi Minh as part of the government’s efforts to build a smart city.

Assigned to lead the department is Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen The Lam, who is also Deputy Chief of Staff for the Ho Chi Minh Police.

Cybersecurity in Vietnam

Vietnam is one of several countries in Southeast Asia that is actively working to tackle rising cases of cybercrime. In 2020, the country recorded 5,168 cases of cyberattacks.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications’ National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has been at the forefront of patrolling the cyberspace and removing malware. In December, Vietnam reported 315 cases of cyberattacks, but this figure was a 54.48 percent decrease from the previous month of November.

In October 2020, the NCSC also launched a real-time malware review site to monitor cyberthreat activity across Vietnam.

Vietnam’s top telco gives itself a makeover to attract young consumers

Vietnam’s leading telecommunications provider, Viettel, plans to rid itself of its ‘trustworthy but old-fashioned’ image in a bid to attract the attention of the young Vietnamese consumers.

As part of a major rebranding effort, the mobile carrier will be expanding its range of products and services, and start selling next-generation digital services, such as cloud computing and cybersecurity packages.

Viettel’s years-old orange and green logo has been replaced with a brand new, striking red icon that also symbolises the colour of Vietnam’s national flag.

According to Mr. Le Dang Dung, Acting President and General Director of Viettel Group, the launch of a new identity shows Viettel’s commitment to maintaining itself as the country’s pioneering and leading digital services provider.

The company’s slogan, originally “Say it your way”, is now “Your way”. The first two words have been truncated for a shorter slogan that conveys flexibility.

On top of that, Viettel will also be expanding its businesses into six tech-related sectors: digital infrastructure, solutions, content, financial services, cybersecurity, and research and development.

Founded in 1989 and owned by the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence, Viettel currently serves four out of ten Vietnamese consumers. Besides Vietnam, Viettel also provides mobile services in 11 countries including neighbouring Cambodia and Myanmar, and Haiti, Peru and Tanzania.

Vietnam’s telco boom

The Vietnamese telecommunications market is a booming market with huge opportunities for local and foreign investors, amid a competitive environment and a positive economic outlook with an average growth of 6-8% GDP expected between 2020 and 2025. With already strong mobile phone penetration and emerging fixed broadband take-up in households, future growth is likely to remain solid despite an aging population over the long term.

Idem Est Research forecasts that mobile subscriptions will continue to grow in the 2019-25 period and fixed broadband subscribers will also continue to grow and increase its household penetration over the same period.

Mobile revenue is growing faster than mobile subscription numbers leading to ARPU growth as the market transitions from 2G & 3G to 4G mobile data services.

Idem Est Research expects the overall telecoms market to grow through to 2025 after a marked slow down in 2018 and 2019 due to legacy 2G voice & SMS revenue pressure partially offset by mobile data growth.

Mobile Subscribers and Revenue


In early 2020, the mobile subscriptions market just passed a tipping point with 3G and 4G subscribers exceeding 2G mobile subscriptions for the first time. Mobile network operators are facing competitive pressure with the market shifting from legacy prepaid voice and SMS to data-centric usage increasingly becoming the sole offering differentiator.

Further, the Capex to GDP ratio remained relatively stable between 2014 and 2018 but has been sliding in 2019 and is expected to remain at the same level through to 2025. Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone invested in line with revenue growth maintaining a stable Capex to Sales Ratio.

Cloud4C collaborates with Citrix for VDI Solutions

Cloud4C, a leading Cloud Managed Services provider, has partnered with Citrix to offer Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service for enterprises to leverage security and mobile workforce capabilities.

With expanding teams and remote working on the rise, the collaboration between Cloud4C and Citrix will help enterprises to seamlessly deploy Citrix’s Virtual Apps and desktops to any device across the workforce with ease and zero disruption. Cloud4C’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions aims to enhance productivity and improve performance, with efficiency, security, and scalability, the company said. Providing secure, remote work is the core value proposition of the VDI solution and this has become more relevant due to the need for employees to work securely from home due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Cloud4C provides end-to-end VDI solutions, including managed services and managed security services. Cloud4C provides skilled Citrix experts who simplify implementation, reduce deployment time, and help in leveraging the full benefits of virtualized desktops.
Sridhar Pinnapureddy, Founder and CEO, Cloud4C said, “We are happy to collaborate with Citrix to offer a hybrid Citrix VDI solutions which help enterprises with high-definition consistent VDI experience on any device, boosting productivity even on unreliable connections, fast and secure access to applications and data, easy scaling up to support temporary workers working from anywhere, easy access to data-intensive applications, and reduced IT costs. At Cloud4C, we are equipped with multiple certified resources for Citrix, Windows, Security, and public cloud platform.”

The collaboration between Cloud4C and Citrix will help enterprises solve major challenges with Cloud4C taking end to end ownership. As part of a wide range of Hybrid VDI solutions, Cloud4C takes care of the implementation, licensing, infrastructure and end-to-end managed services.

This collaboration will also provide a lot of other benefits to enterprises, such as quick provisioning of desktops based on the requirement, easy connect over the internet or via MPLS link, Hosted Shared Delivery or VDI mode of Virtual Desktop and Integration with existing Active Directory/New AD. Apart from these services, the customers can leverage single window managed service and easy integration with other cloud services like Office 365.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of solutions to enable people to work from home and keep business-critical services going. Now more than ever, it is crucial to support businesses and their distributed workforce to get work done efficiently, unlocking their full potential, without putting their employees nor security requirements on risk,” said Ravindra Kelkar, Area Vice President, Indian Subcontinent, Citrix.

Cloud4C has 4,000 customers in 25 countries and 52 locations including 60 of the Fortune 500 Global multinationals. It provides cloud (public, private, hybrid) and community cloud services (Banking Community Cloud, SAP Community Cloud), cloud migration on public cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, end to end cloud managed services, disaster recovery services, managed security services and helps businesses comply with stringent data sovereignty laws in respective countries.

How Alibaba leveraged AI during 11.11 Shopping Festival in 2020

Hangzhou is known as “Paradise on Earth”, Home of Silk”, “Tea Capital”, “Town of Fish and Rice”, amongst others. Of late, Hangzhou has achieved global fame as the headquarters of Alibaba Group, a tech giant, which is competing with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Google. With sobriquets the city has earned over 5000 years or more, it is now is ushering in a new tech-fuelled revolution, with Alibaba’s help.

The technology grandiose can be seen from Alibaba’s annual 11-day festival from November 1 to 11 last year, when the tech major has its annual global shopping festival. Despite China’s standoff with the US in the background, which has had some ripple effect on Chinese companies, Alibaba rolled out some cutting-edge technologies in its annual shopping festival.

Alibaba’s real-time computing platform, powered by Apache Flink, processed data streams totaling 4 billion items per second during peak time, a 60 per cent surge when compared to 2.5 billion last year. Additionally, MaxCompute, Alibaba’s proprietary data warehousing platform, handled up to 1.7 exabytes of data a day during the festival, which is the equivalent of processing 230 high-res photos of each of the 7 billion people in the world. Keeping in mind the kind of scalability and high performance required, no downtime was reported throughout this year’s extended festival period, Alibaba said.

“We were very proud to support 800 million consumers and 250,000 brands during the world’s largest shopping festival,” said Li Cheng, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group. “From the robust digital infrastructure supporting zero downtime operation, to cloud-native offerings for developers’ efficiencies and consumer-facing applications for creating some of smoothest engagement experiences, Alibaba’s technologies have once again passed the toughest tests with flying colors.”

In the year of a pandemic, revenue numbers continued to be strong. This year’s sales generated $74.1 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) during the shopping festival. This, Alibaba continued to reiterate, was due to its Cloud infrastructure upgrades. For example, after midnight on November 11, just 26 seconds after shopping began, peak orders hit 583,000 per second – 1,400 times peak volume at the festival’s debut 12 years ago on November 11, 2009.

Tech ahoy!

The tech giant also leveraged cloud-native databases, including PolarDB, AnalyticDB and Lindorm, Alibaba Cloud enabled 11.11 to run smoothly even during peak periods. PolarDB set a new record with 140 million queries per second during peak time at 11.11, a 60% increase from last year, it said. AnalyticDB, Alibaba Cloud’s self-developed cloud native data warehouse, processed up to 7.7 trillion lines of real-time data, equaling 15 times the data contained in the UK Web Archive at the British Library. In addition, PolarDB-X and AnalyticDB helped China Post to deal with more than 100 million orders during 11.11, with about 100,000 China Post users checking their parcels’ real-time status online.

Also, this year, ‘Livestreaming’ took center stage, which saw thousands of livestreams broadcast on Taobao Live. Leveraging Alibaba Cloud’s narrow-bandwidth and high-definition video solutions, such as its Real-time Streaming (RTS) technology to reduce latency to less than one second (approximately 75% lower than the industry average), the smooth livestreaming experience with dynamic interactions is also proven to be effective in boosting sales, said Alibaba.

By leveraging Alibaba DAMO Academy’s (DAMO) latest multi-module technology – including Natural Language Processing (NLP), image recognition, Text-to-Speech (TTS) and cloud rendering – Taobao Live launched its virtual anchor service for merchants. Virtual anchors can explain product details, respond to some inquiries and even play games with the audience during livestreaming sessions, while the human anchors are on break resting (usually from midnight to early morning).

AliExpress, Alibaba’s global retail marketplace, unveiled the world’s first real-time livestreaming translation feature on an e-commerce platform powered by DAMO’s speech model, supporting simultaneous translation from Chinese to English, Russian, Spanish and French. During the shopping festival, over 70% of the AliExpress merchants leveraged this translation capability, which can also reduce inaudibility in noisy livestreaming environments and even understand accented speech. Eight million global viewers watched over 9,000 livestreams on AliExpress during the festival.

Virtual tours with 3D visuals were available on Taobao to sell big-ticket items like houses and furniture. Underpinned by machine learning technologies like Graph Neural Networks (GNN), Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), 3D shape analysis and knowledge graphs, Alibaba offered a 3D modeling design platform for brands, reducing the time for model creation from three hours to 10 seconds. Merchants leveraged the technology to create over 100,000 showrooms with virtual 3D products that was experienced by 60 million consumers during the festival.

Alibaba Cloud also supported one of the world’s largest container clusters, enabling the upscaling to one million containers in an hour. The optimal elasticity and scheduling capacity enabled by the cutting-edge cloud-native technologies led to an 80% reduction of computing resources for every 10,000 transactions conducted compared to four years ago.

Digital infrastructure with hyper-scale data centers made 11.11 greener

Alibaba used state-of-the-art green technologies – including liquid cooling and wind energy – at its five hyper-scale data centers to ensure the most environmentally-friendly operation during 11.11. For instance, the hyperscale data center in Hangzhou has one of the world’s largest server clusters submerged in a specialised liquid coolant, which quickly chills the IT hardware. This reduces energy consumption by over 70%, while its Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) approaches the ideal target of 1.0. Compared to traditional data centers, the Hangzhou hyperscale data center can save up to 70 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is sufficient to power over 16,000 households in the United Kingdom in a year].

Core systems on cloud-native technologies

In 2019’s annual festival, Alibaba Group migrated 100% of its core systems onto Alibaba Cloud, the world’s third largest cloud service provider. The global technology leader continued to push and challenge the technological limits with its cloud-native innovation, which has yielded double the efficiency of scalable application delivery.Compare these numbers to what retailers in the US and Europe did and one can gauge the wide chasm when it comes to tech.

Perhaps, retailers in the west could look towards the East going forward.

NTT partners with GSPARX to build a low carbon future

Technology services major NTT Limited, has partnered with GSPARX, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), in an effort to increase its consumption of renewable energy.
TNB focuses on offering renewable energy solutions that can support a common low carbon future. The agreement will see GSPARX install a solar power panel system within NTT’s data center campus, for its administrative buildings, to support NTT’s power requirements. NTT said in a statement that its long-term environmental sustainability goals are in line with the Malaysian government’s vision to seek eco-friendly power sources such as solar energy.
Starting with an initial 1020-kilowatts peak capacity, NTT targets to expand up to a 6 Megawatt (MW) capacity through future phases of the project. “We are proud to be partnering with NTT in line with their aspirations for finding sustainable solutions to the social, economic and environmental challenges of our times. Not only is shifting to solar energy an environmentally friendly move, it is also important for global companies like NTT to have an alternate energy source to spur future business growth. Through GSPARX, TNB is here to offer high quality solar solutions that comply with international standards so that partners like NTT are able to enjoy renewable energy and realize their sustainability goals,” said Datuk Ir. Megat Jalaluddin Bin Megat Hassan, the Chief Retail Officer of TNB.
GSPARX will also build sheltered car parks which are equipped with solar panels at designated locations within NTT Cyberjaya’s premise.
Construction is expected to commence in Q1 2021, and the solar installations will be fully operational by Q3 of 2021, NTT said. Further, NTT expects to reduce its carbon footprint by up to 921 metric tons per year in line with its green initiative to promote the generation and utilization of sustainable energy. Eventually, it will expand to operate at a larger scale, further reducing the company’s carbon footprint, NTT said.

“NTT is one of 17 UN Global Goals Business Avengers, with a focus on sustainable cities and communities. We believe that technology holds the key to solving some of the world’s biggest problems. We’re constantly finding ways to use technology to minimize the impact of disruption on the world’s cities and communities. Therefore, the partnership with TNB is a crucial component of attaining this goal and ensuring that we create a more sustainable future for all,” comments Png Kim Meng, CEO – ASEAN at NTT Ltd.
The collaboration will see NTT decrease its fossil fuel consumption, thus reducing the carbon footprint of its business operations. Typically, a reduction in carbon footprint entails switching to sustainable and clean energy, consuming less electricity and favoring more energy saving measures. This decreases the amount of fossil fuels used to generate electricity thus limiting overall carbon emissions.

In this case, 921 metric tons is translated to approximately 199 cars taken off the road or 15,234 trees grown. In the long run, these numbers will be multiplied. Currently, electricity accounts for a significant share of NTT’s overall CO2 emissions. This is especially relevant in Malaysia where NTT continues to expand its Data Center business.

“Our shift to solar power brings us a step closer towards addressing corporate environmental sustainability concerns to reduce carbon footprint and CO2 emission. With additional solar capacity, NTT will be ready to respond to growing demands of its campus’ administrative needs that are powered by solar energy. We are proud to be the first global foreign ICT company to collaborate with TNB on this green project. We are very excited as this initiative has come in a very timely manner, as the new Cyberjaya 5 Data Center is scheduled to be available early this year,” said Henrick Choo, CEO – Malaysia at NTT Ltd.
This partnership with GSPARX and TNB is a welcome collaboration as the world continues to embrace greener electricity generation. NTT remains firmly committed to building a low carbon future through the use of solar energy. We will continue to pioneer remarkable new ways to drive sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges., added Choo.

Recently, HSBC installed 750 solar panels in its Hong Kong data center facility as part of its strategy to reduce carbon emissions.

You can deep dive into data centers and its various dynamics during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. Do check it out at https://w.media/digital-events/

E2E Networks Joins Hands With K-Tech Center of Excellence for Data Science & AI

National Stock Exchange-listed cloud provider E2E Networks has partnered with KTech CoE Data Science & AI Government of Karnataka (GoK) – powered by NASSCOM, to foster disruptive innovation by creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem and create quality human capital to meet the AI talent requirements.

NASSCOM is a not-for-profit industry association in India, is the apex body for the $180 billion dollar Indian IT BPM industry.

 

The partnership comes at a time when the world is fighting a pandemic, and cloud-based technology is taking massive leaps to help the economy. KTech CoE DS & AI has a great role to play as an evangelist and driver of AI enabled growth; Its vision is “to harness the potential of AI for augmenting the state’s and so the country’s innovation ecosystem and create multiplier impact on economy, industry and society “

The partnership will be beneficial for both the parties. E2E Networks will get access to KTech CoE DS&AI accelerated companies, and this will help them accelerate AI Innovation in India. It will also reap the direct benefits of the joint activities conducted by KTech CoE DS&AI.

For KTech CoE DS&AI accelerated MSMEs and Innovators, there will be an exclusive discount, which will also gain access to latest NVIDIA GPUs via cloud servers from E2E at highly affordable prices to run their artificial intelligence loads, which includes high-performance computing, machine learning, deep learning and data science workloads.

The tie-up shall provide a leg up to enable deep research benefiting various industries as well as the Government so that everyone can benefit. KTech CoE DS&AI, since its inception, has been driving the acceleration the adoption of AI solutions by user enterprises and public sector by creating toolkits, processes, and frameworks. It enables convergence of technological advancements and industry developments with deploy worthy Data Science and AI Innovations. Also develop skills to ensure talent pipeline to meet the growing requirements for AI professionals.

E2E Networks offers the latest GPUs – NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU, NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPU, and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000. When combined with NVIDIA virtual GPU (vGPU) solutions for Quadro workstations, creative and technical professionals are able to work from anywhere, including their home offices, and run compute and graphics-intensive applications for CAD, digital content creation, simulation, and rendering.

“The biggest impediment faced by AI MSMEs and Innovators today is access to AI processing capability and flexible scaling of capacity. This is very capital intensive and hard to come by for AI Startups working on tight budgets. Through this tie-up, we are simply enabling what our MSMEs and Innovators asked for. Not only will it help our network of Data Science & AI companies to focus on Innovation rather than CapEx, but also help them accelerate their speed of AI innovation. The pandemic has ushered in an era where working remotely is the new normal. We think this is how the MSME and corporate world will function over the next few decades, and the transformation needs an OpEx model for AI processing needs,” said Krishna Prabu, Technical Director, Ktech CoE DS&AI.

“Our collaboration with KTech CoE DS&AI allows us to play a significant role in helping KTech CoE DS&AI incubated startups and members run their AI/ML training/inference, data science, Natural Language Processing (NLP), computer vision, and professional graphics workstation workloads,” said Tarun Dua CEO of E2E Networks.

TAC Security to foray into other markets outside India

TAC Security, an Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) empanelled information security organisation, is taking it’s new dark web threat intelligence solution, ESOF-DarkSec, to markets abroad.
This is an effort to address the growing demand for Cyber Security solutions and also add impetus to TAC Security’s global expansion plans . ESOF-DarkSec will be rolled out, to begin with in the North American market where it has a strong footprint and in the African market where it commenced operations. The company is further expanding operations in the Australian and European markets as well.

ESOF-DarkSec helps enterprises detect, measure, and identify the type of data available on the dark web about their companies.   “Data confidentiality has always been an issue for enterprise security teams, and the recent increases in the dark web exposure cases are intimidating for both governments and organizations. Cybersecurity threats are becoming more sophisticated with every passing day, and even more so during the COVID-19 outbreak where spear-phishing is being used as a tool to access critical data. We hope that the product will help inform business entities about the vulnerabilities of their infrastructure so they can secure their endpoints and networks against potential threats.” Chris Fisher, Chief Marketing Officer, TAC Security.

The launch is aligned with the rising number of data leaks on the dark web, which jeopardize sensitive information of government, businesses, and individuals alike. This cloud-based solution helps find the size, nature, and recent update (if any) of the leaked data on the darknet. ESOF-DarkSec also provides a dark web organization risk score on a scale from 0 to 10, so security teams can know the risk to the organization on available data in the dark web from and take action to mitigate the risk. The solution is available as a subscription plan in three tiers: Basic, Platinum, and Premium, with different price points based on deeper periodic scans.

Trishneet Arora, Founder and CEO of TAC Security said, “Data is the biggest asset for any entity in the current landscape. As much as it gives precious insights into enhancing customer experience, any unauthorized access to it can cause severe damage to personal, enterprise-level, or even national integrity, depending upon the nature of data. It is very difficult to get this data down once it enters the dark web. Knowing the extent of the dark web threat is pivotal as it enables an organization to analyze and limit the damages by taking preventive measures.”

TAC Security protects Banks and Financial Institutions, governments’ organisations, Fortune 500 companies, leading enterprises data around the world. TAC Security manages 5 million vulnerabilities through its Artificial intelligence (AI) based Vulnerability Management Platform ESOF. The company is also responsible for End to End Security Assessment of 200 UPI based Mobile Application for NPCI, an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.

You can deep dive into cyber security and its various dynamics during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. Do check it out at https://w.media/digital-events/

DCI secures Development Approval for new Sydney data center


DCI has got an approval for its latest Asia Pacific data centre development in Sydney, Australia.

DCI is a fully owned portfolio company of Brookfield Asset Management, a leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $550 billion in assets under management across infrastructure, real estate, renewable power, private equity and credit.

This A$400 million (SGD $410 million) facility, named SYD02, will be a new purpose-built project, specifically designed for hyperscale cloud, content and managed service providers, DCI said.

The 36-megawatt (MW) facility is scheduled for service readiness in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will be located in Eastern Creek, a suburb in close proximity to Sydney’s key data centres and connectivity hubs, thereby enabling direct and low latency access to Sydney, the company added.

DCI expects the facility will also set industry-leading benchmarks for water and energy efficiency, utilising new cooling technologies and higher average power densities.

The Tier 3 data center aims to secure public and private cloud demand at the site, with strong physical security.

Investments in data centers are seeing a surge post the pandemic, especially in the Asia Pacific region. In April 2020, global investment banking firm Macquarie acquired an 88% stake in Sydney-based AirTrunk for $3 billion, and the company simultaneously opened data centers in Hong Kong and Singapore, with a new hyperscale data center in Tokyo coming in late 2021. Additionally, Digital Realty Trust Inc bought InterXion Holding NV for $8.8 billion.

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.

Digital forensics market to reach $5203.3 million by 2026 

The global digital forensics market size is projected to reach $5203.3 million by 2026, according to research by Valuates Reports.

In 2020, this market was estimated to hit USD 4741.2 million, at a CAGR of 9%, with North America and Asia Pacific regions being the key growth contributors, during the period 2021-2026, according to Valuates research. 

Digital forensics is a technique which includes recovery and interpretation of data found in digital devices for use in a court of law. The digital forensic investigation comprises three stages which includes the acquisition of exhibits, investigation, and reporting. 

Increasing cybercrimes and innovation in digital forensic research show an increasing trend for the digital forensics market in the near future.

The major factors driving the growth of the Digital forensics market size are stringent government regulations, massive use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and the increasing instances of cyber-attacks on enterprises. As a result, businesses and organisations found it crucial to implement digital forensic technologies and services to recover data lost in an unusual event or attack, the report said.

Trends influencing the digital forensics market size

An increase in the use of IoT devices is expected to drive the growth of the digital forensics market size. The prevalence of IoT devices, such as smart transport, vehicle communication, autonomous vehicles and smart homes, has made themselves vulnerable to cyberattacks, the report said.

North America is expected to hold the largest digital forensic market share during the forecast period. 

Another cybersecurity vulnerability also drives the digital forensics market: cryptocurrencies, which is subjected to cyber-attacks on financial gains, geographic rivalry, interpersonal rivalry, and reputation defacement, the report added. 

An effective digital forensic solution is necessary to regenerate sensitive data that may have been lost during cryptocurrency storage or trade. 

Another key application of digital forensics lies in private and criminal investigations. Factors such as increasing Internet penetration, the use of electronic devices and smart devices, among others, have contributed to a spike in cyberattacks across the globe. 

The rising severity of cyberattacks is expected to further fuel the demand for digital forensic market size. Many companies in the region have embraced cloud technologies to streamline work processes. In addition, the rapid penetration of mobile devices, such as smartphones, and laptops, to support business continuity has further accelerated the frequency of cyberattacks in the region.

The North American digital forensics market’s main growth driver is the widespread adherence to data enforcement regulations by all businesses and the rapid introduction of cloud computing.  Asia Pacific region is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period due to increasing instances of cybercrimes, the report said.

 

Malaysia’s Time dotCom cashes in on cloud computing, buys 60% stake in local firm

TIME dotCom Berhad, one of Malaysia’s leading internet service providers, have revealed that it is investing in the tech potential of a homegrown cloud computing provider.

The company has acquired a 60% stake, or $14.5 million (RM58.7 million), in AVM Cloud Sdn Bhd, a private cloud computing company to drive its business.

As Malaysia continues to battle COVID-19, remote work has gradually become the new norm in the country. Therefore, surging demand for data storage, greater connectivity, and other internet services can only be handled by cloud technology.

With the acquisition, TIME said that cloud computing is now the latest pillar of its business.

“We believe we’ve found the right partners in AVM, considering their comprehensive product suite and customer base,” said TIME commander-in-chief Afzal Abdul Rahim.

Meanwhile, AVM CEO David Chan said that TIME’s decision has given AVM the opportunity to scale and grow its existing products and services, and expand the company’s footprint for its regional cloud business.

As for the remaining 40% stake, TIME said that AVM has acquired the rest via local cloud computing company Integrated Global Solutions Sdn Bhd (IGS), making IGS its wholly-owned subsidiary.

There has been significant growth in the adoption of cloud for high-performance computing. At present, nearly 25% of enterprises are using cloud high-performance computing, and the number tends to increase rapidly over the forecast period.

Globally, half of the enterprises ae evaluating the usage statistics of cloud technology for positive values and higher efficiency.

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.

Tencent invests $279 million in AI chip startup

Tech giant Tencent has invested a staggering $279 million (1.8 billion yuan) into an artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor chips manufacturing company in China.

Enflame Technology, headquartered in Shanghai, has received funding from Tencent and several other investors including China’s state-owned conglomerate group CITIC, and investment firms China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and Primavera.

Tencent’s investment will allow it to segue into the booming semiconductor chip industry, which is currently dominated by NVIDIA, AMD, and most recently, Intel after its acquisition of US chipmaker Xilinx.

This move by the Chinese tech company is also expected to contribute to China’s plan to become more self-reliant in the technology sector after numerous tech-related bans by the US, such as TikTok and Huawei’s 5G development.

Founded in 1998, Tencent is best known for messaging app WeChat and multiplayer video game League of Legends. The company reported $5.88 billion in profit in the third quarter of 2020, a 29% year-on-year increase.

This is Tencent’s fourth time injecting funds into Enflame Technology, which was founded in 2018.

Semiconductor chips produced by companies such as Enflame Technology are becoming more important to the global tech market, because these chips are capable of processing large amounts of data which are used to train AI models and power data centers.

AI technology is taking over

Technological developments, increase in demand for Big Data and analytics, and increased digitisation across all sectors are factors fuelling the growth of the global AI hardware market.

The onset of COVID-19 has fuelled utility & adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) hardware, due to its ability to screen, track and predict the present and future patients affected by coronavirus infection.  According to the NewVantage Partners, the number of companies that invest over $500 million annually in big data increased to 21.1% in 2019 from 12.7% in 2018, indicating the importance of AI and Big Data across organizations, hence propelling industry growth.

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific market is anticipated to experience robust growth over 2020-2027, owing to increasing investment in AI technology by different end-use industries, and rising demand for big data and analytics in the region.