DreamMark1: Shaping Korea’s tech dreams

South Korean technology solutions provider DreamMark1 is planning to expand its operations.

As a part of this initiative, DreamMark 1 is increasing its server footprint, in excess of 400 racks and an ICT floor, for an exclusive high electric power zone this year.

Along with this expansion, it is also planning to upgrade its existing Internet Data Centre (IDC) facilities including sourcing a site and starting construction for new hyperscale level 2 IDC in 2021.

This means that DreamMark1 will make a shift towards becoming a total ICT solution platform company in 2021.

“We will provide integrated IT solutions through consulting, deployment, operations, and service management, expanding our Cloud offerings to include multi-cloud and AI solutions this year,” said Mr. Ji Chang Yu, CEO of DreamMark1.

In this era of hyper-globalization and hyper-connectivity, DreamMark1 pursues the business of a total ICT solution platform company that provides the optical network infrastructure for AI, big data, cloud, 5G service providers, and the cloud MSP for data storage, management, processing. DreamMark1 is moving forward with limitless connectivity between customers and neutral IDC’s including zero-contact solutions in the period of Fourth industrial revolution, popularly referred to as Industry 4.0.

As a first in South Korea, DreamMark1 has self-built a 57,000 km optical cable carrier neutral operator, accessible to all customers. “Based on the expertise of 56 computer centers in Korea for more than two decades, this IDC has been optimized from both technology and operational perspective,” said Mr. Ji Chang Yu.

Located in Seoul, DreamMark1 IDC has excellent access to airports, finance, and communication channels. Its customers are also the only ones who have access to it, ensuring maximum security. The Data Centre’s presence gives an option to build affordable, competitive networks in any region of choice.

Furthermore, DreamMark 1 also has plans to launch a multi-cloud hub service launch, as well as expanding its Asia-oriented network service business through Hong Kong/Japan POP configuration. It is also a Global Cloud Provider (GCP) which provides its own VPC service.  “We want to expand the 2nd IDC and DCI services as a hub in East Asia,” said Mr. Ji Chang Yu.

Running a world-class IDC

As COVID-19 wreaked havoc amongst lives and livelihoods globally, governments were forced to come up with fiscal incentives to help people navigate this situation. Recently, the South Korean government launched a range of fiscal stimulus measures. One such measure was the “Digital New Deal”, which aims to rewrite Korea- from eco-friendly automobiles to sustainable living.

This involves the Korean government’s plans to invest capital and support the creation of 903,000 jobs. With the aim to accelerate the transition towards a digital economy, investment will focus on the integration of Data, Network and AI (DNA) throughout the economy.

In line with this, through dedicated lines that connect major Data Centres with NNI investments, DreamMark1 aims to expand customers’ dedicated OP room for the convenience of operation, as a completely neutral Data Centre.

Domestic data consumption will experience high growth and domestic IP traffic is to increase about 2.5 times by 2022 compared to 4.6 exabytes per month in 2017, according to Savills Research. The 5G technology market on active commercial adoption is forecast to expand by 62 per cent annually on average during the next five years to 2025. The domestic OTT market is also expected to grow annually at an average rate of 28 per cent from 2014 to 2020. In addition, domestic cloud service spending is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 18 per cent to 2022 compared to 2018.

Additionally, according to Cisco, IP traffic in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to rise at an average annual rate of 32 per cent from 2017 to 2022, and its proportion of the worldwide total will continue to rise during the same period. Factors contributing to more data usage in Asia-Pacific include high bandwidth connectivity for smartphones and the internet, the adoption of wearable devices and the emergence of autonomous vehicles, the Cisco report said. “We can play a role as a Digital Data Hub to lead the data industry market in Asia by a surge in digital IT demand and expanding digital infrastructure construction integrated with Fourth industrial revolution technologies such as AI, cloud, network, and AR/VR, said Mr. Ji Chang Yu, CEO.

Post COVID-19, the requirement for hyperscale data centers is on the rise. Research firm Technavio, which has been monitoring the hyperscale data center market in recent research pointed out that the hyperscale data center market is poised to grow by $62.89 billion during 2020-2024, which translates to a CAGR of over 21 per cent. The surge in cloud adoption is one of the major factors driving the market. The market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will accelerate during the forecast period. Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Equinix Inc., Facebook Inc., Global Switch Holdings Ltd., Intel Corp., Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Microsoft Corp., and NVIDIA are some of the major market players.

The global Data Centre market is expected to clock significant growth on rising data traffic volumes at an average rate of 11 per cent from 2017 to 2022, according to reports. The growth of hyperscale Data Centres in terms of numbers globally has doubled from 338 in 2016 to 628 in 2021.

The efforts of companies such as DreamMark1 need to be seen from Asia’s fourth-largest economy’s efforts to continue attracting investments. South Korea is emerging as a major Data Centre market for multinational companies and it is also seen as a key position to target surrounding countries. With its highly-developed and advanced telecommunications infrastructure, South Korea will continue to attract Data Centre investment. Market research firm Gartner has forecasted robust growth in demand for South Korea’s colocation services.

Korea is a leader in 5G technology and has a well-developed ICT infrastructure, and a rapidly growing cloud services market. The term hyperscale refers to a computer architecture’s ability to scale in proportion to the increased computing demand. Scaling some part of our computer architecture typically means increasing computing ability, memory, networking infrastructure, or storage resources.

In such a scenario, hyperscale Data Centres capable of supporting global demand, can accelerate the growth of the domestic Data Centre market.

 

Feel free to visit DreamMark1’s website to know more.

 


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Malaysia and Huawei are building Southeast Asia’s first 5G cybersecurity lab

Malaysia is working with Chinese tech giant Huawei to build Southeast Asia’s first 5G cybersecurity test lab.

CyberSecurity Malaysia, an agency under the country’s Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, announced the collaboration with Huawei and local telco Celcom Axiata Berhad.

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Communications and Multimedia, said that the test lab will be a comprehensive test bed for 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) security, and offer cybersecurity services for mobile applications and hardware evaluation.

Dato Dr. Amirudin Abdul Wahab, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia, said that the collaboration between his organisation and Huawei aims to deepen the ties between both parties.

“CyberSecurity Malaysia and Huawei are developing a strategic collaboration framework in cybersecurity governance, cybersecurity talent development and on establishing cybersecurity standards and certification in Malaysia to position itself as the first regional cybersecurity center of excellence,” he continued.

Malaysia’s willingness to work with Huawei is in line with the government’s recent announcement of MyDigital, a new digital economy blueprint that aims to transform the nation into a digitally advanced, high-income nation by 2025.

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NTT Ltd to invest $180 mn in Tamil Nadu

NTT plans to invest around $180 million) in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Sharad Sanghi, CEO of NTT Ltd said that the company will use this investment to expand its Data Centre footprint in India. “We are setting up a Data Centre Park spread over 6 acres of land,” he said.

In May 2020, NTT had purchased this land in Ambattur Industrial Estate to accomodate 2 Data Centres with a combined power capacity in excess of 50 MW.  “We plan to start construction of first park in 2021,” satated Sanghi.

In September, NTT Limited had said that is planning to invest $2 billion in the next four years for building additional data centres, solar parks and investing in its undersea cable network.

The investments will go into providing co-location services, setting up of multiple solar parks, expansion into cities such as Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru and construction of the optical submarine cable, connecting Singapore, Myanmar and India. “We are increasing our footprint seeing a significant growth in demand for IT infrastructure related needs in the country,” said Sanghi.

Investments are already underway in its new undersea cable project called MIST, which stands for Myanmar Malaysia India Singapore Transit. This project is slated to be operational by third quarter of 2022.

“It will improve communications infrastructure across the Indian Ocean,” Sanghi said. MIST has total design capacity of more than 216 TeraBits per second, 12 Fibre Pair, spread over 8000 kilometers. The landing point will be at Chennai and Mumbai.

NTT Ltd’s Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure division in India currently operates with 10 data centers across 4 major cities with 1.5 million sq. ft. and over 150 MW of power capacity.

According to 451 Research, the data center market in India is growing at 23 per cent CAGR due to increased demand from global cloud providers and a proposed data sovereignty law by the Indian government, as well as other geopolitical factors.

Adani sets up Joint Venture with EdgeConneX

Adani Enterprises has set up a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) with EdgeConneX, a leading global Data Centre operator.

Adani Enterprises is the flagship company of the Adani Group and EdgeConneX operates 50 facilities in 30 markets around the world. The JV will develop and operate Data Centres throughout India, leveraging the two partners complementary expertise and capabilities.

The move is expected to address the rapidly growing need for high- quality and reliable IT infrastructure as companies increasingly adopt digital. In line with this, both organisations are committed to investing significant capital into the joint venture over the next decade to build out India’s leading green Data Centre platform, they said.

Further, this pan-Indian platform of hyperscale and hyperlocal Data Centres will largely be powered by renewable energy.

In addition to operating full scale Data Centres, AdaniConneX will also develop a portfolio of Edge Data Centres strategically located throughout India that will support the need for more proximate capacity. These Edge sites are designed and planned to easily scale with demand and become full scale Data Centre campuses.

“In Adani, we have the ideal partner in India,” said Randy Brouckman, CEO of EdgeConneX. “They possess the necessary capabilities and unique expertise in India required to build out critical digital infrastructure that can best support our customers across the entire country. We look forward to investing in the digital economy of India and meeting our customers’ needs throughout the region in collaboration with Adani.”

The partnership will leverage Adani’s expertise in full-stack energy management, renewable power and real estate development, as well as its experience in building and managing large infrastructure projects throughout India.

“One of the best manifestations of our Prime Minister’s Digital India vision is the speed with which the entire Indian population has come online and the subsequent continued exponential growth in data consumption,” said Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group. “India currently has one of world’s largest data subscriber population and to address the need for a reliable infrastructure to support Cloud, Content, Network, IoT, 5G, AI and enterprise requirements, Data Centres are a fundamental infrastructure need of a nation. The Adani Group brings to the table a unique combination of green power, real estate expertise, access to undersea cable landing stations, and several nodes across the country that will serve as edge locations. In addition to EdgeConneX’s domain expertise and cutting-edge technology in the Data Centre business, we have been very impressed with the agility they bring to the joint venture.”

The AdaniConneX JV will focus on building a network of hyperscale data centers in India, starting with the Chennai, Navi Mumbai, Noida, Vizag and Hyderabad markets. Development and construction at these sites have already begun, the company said.

Infoxchange Group to build a new hub for digital transformation

The Infoxchange Group, a not-for-profit social enterprise, is developing a new Digital Transformation Hub to help Australian not-for-profits build digital capability and resilience for a post-COVID-19 world.

In response to COVID-related technology challenge, the Infoxchange Group is leading a cross-sector partnership to assist organisations on their digital transformation journey.

The Hub will combine capacity building programs, access to technology solutions, web-based resources and tailored advice to help organisations have an even greater impact.

Infoxchange Group’s Digital Technology in the Not-for-Profit Sector 2020 report illustrates that nearly two-thirds of not-for-profit organisations are less than satisfied with the way they use technology. Only 30 percent had the technology in place to easily adapt to staff working from home during COVID-19.

“COVID-19 caused enormous disruption to the way we work. It emphasised how important it is for not-for-profits to have efficient, reliable technology in place to keep supporting communities and making the biggest impact possible,” says Infoxchange CEO David Spriggs.

“The Digital Transformation Hub will address these challenges in a one-stop-shop that will empower not-for-profits to deliver services more effectively, improve staff productivity, and better serve communities in need.”

Top technology challenges identified by not-for-profits that are set to be addressed in the Digital Transformation Hub include access to affordable and fit for-for-purpose technology solutions; lack of skilled technical resources to advise on digital technology; resources and funding to assist with the implementation of digital transformation initiatives; staff and volunteer digital skills and capability.

The Community Council of Australia (CCA) and the Charities Crisis Cabinet have recognised the urgency to build digital capacity in the sector and the need for the Digital Transformation Hub, particularly for smaller less well-resourced organisations.

“As COVID-19 has so clearly highlighted, digital capacity is the key to significantly improving the productivity and effectiveness of charities.  It is the communities we serve that miss out if we do not address the digital divide between charities,” says David Crosbie, CEO of Community Council of Australia.

Cerebral Palsy Support Network recently underwent a digital transformation journey and CEO Scott Sheppard says he understands the challenges not-for-profits face.

“Moving to the Cloud has transformed our ability to work remotely and share information securely, allowing us to communicate to and provide better support for individuals and families living with cerebral palsy,’’ Scott says.

“The new Digital Transformation Hub will empower and assist not-for-profits across Australia to undertake their own digital journey and provide even better support for their clients.’’

Digitalization has emerged as the priority for many non-profits. What follows from the transformation is the need to ramp up the digital fortress as well, as data breaches targeting charities rose recently.

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How Edge Computing will exponentially grow the China market

Over the past decades, there have been paradigm shifts from centralised to decentralised IT environments: from mainframe server to on-premise server and from mobile to cloud environments. In many ways, it seems like an electronic dance music loop.

Nowadays, the industry is continuing to see growth of Cloud computing, which experts believe will continue to lead the ICT infrastructure market. In that space, Edge Computing will become an exponentially growing market in itself, with the increasing penetration of network-related technologies and initiatives, such as 5G and IoT.

According to Reply’s new research ‘From Cloud to Edge’, edge computing will be an exponentially growing market in all “Europe-5” (Italy, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium), and “Big-5” (USA, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India) clusters’ countries due to the growing usage of 5G and IoT solutions. It is expected that Edge computing marketing would reach a value of $8294.5 million by 2025, according to Reportlinker.com.

All the industries that require the computing tasks as close to where data is originated as possible will benefit from Edge Computing. It’s time for global enterprises to design and implement architectures that leverage the best of Edge and Cloud Computing, “while ensuring privacy and cybersecurity” commented Filippo Rizzante, CTO reply.

China: 100+ Edge Projects Deployed in China Leveraging 5G and IoT Infrastructure

According to a new GSMA intelligence report ‘Edge Computing in the 5G Era: Technology and Market Developments in China’, noted that China’s leadership in edge computing is being driven by government support for new technologies and operator investments in new 5G and IoT networks. According to the ECC, there are currently more than 100 edge computing projects up and running in 40 cities in China across various sectors.

However, even as “China’s 5G numbers might look overwhelming, the quantity is well ahead of the quality.” Explained Robert Clark, a news analyst. “The real challenge in China will be in the industrial Internet.”

Though it’s still early, as networks become virtual or software-based, 5G will be the impulse for the next wave of multibillion-dollar infrastructure spending to spur innovation across many industries along with edge computing.

Take Chinese Grids’ Transformation as an example, China’s State Grid Corp (SGCC), government-backed biggest electricity distributor, has adopted a new focus for its smart grid development to build an electricity network plus IoT (E-IoT, essentially, is to deploy blockchain, AI, cloud computing, 5G, edge computing, and other digital/tech solutions upon the physical grid operation) by 2026.

Start from 2019, SGCC has already took steps to run its digital transformation. In 2020, Kou Wei, the current chairman of SGCC set off a landmark “white paper” for the e-IoT development, which set a grand vision to “establish an initial construction of the E-IoT network by 2021 and complete the E-IoT network development by 2026.” At the same year, working with Huawei and China Telecom, a largest-scale 5G-based smart power grid project in Qingdao of Shandong province was completed. Innovations in 5G telecommunication technology applications are applied e.g. DP facility suitable for 5G distribution power lines is equipped which can automatically eliminate faults of the lines within dozens of milliseconds (the one-way latency of the DP device is lowered to 8 milliseconds and the protection can last for 50 milliseconds).

SGCC has already taken further initiatives to build edge infrastructure nationwide in the next few years to advance its E-IoT network, a source who did not wish to be named told W.media.

“Creating a favourable ecosystem environment that supports technology developments and fosters innovation will ultimately determine the pace and magnitude of edge deployments in China and beyond.” explained Sihan Bo Chen, Head of Greater China, GSMA.

In the next few years, we will see more breakthroughs brought about by edge computing in BFSI, medicine, transport, industry, agriculture and the home. Edge computing gains an ‘edge’ in performance with data processing in an intelligent way as near as possible to its source that will bring practical benefits to help with the digitization of various industries.

The year of the Ox has dawned in China, named after a zodiac animal noted for its slow-but-steady approach. The description of China’s emerging 5G private network market could not be more accurate.

Pre IPO, Malaysia’s Bank Islam accelerates digital transformation

Bank Islam, which is set to become the first publicly listed Islamic Bank in Malaysia, before its IPO, has decided to accelerate its digital transformation efforts with local telco, TM One.

Both organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see TM One deploy digital solutions in cloud, big data analytics, cybersecurity, and data centers to optimise the bank’s operations.

Muazzam Mohamed, CEO of Bank Islam, said that the partnership with TM One will improve the bank’s functions and services to its customers, which are important parts of the business especially ahead of its listing.

“These solutions will intensify BIMB’s information technology (IT) infrastructure and centre for digital experience (CDX) digital banking products, by allowing new buying experience, away from the traditional banking approach,” he added.

On being selected as Bank Islam’s preferred digital partner, Ahmad Taufek, Executive Vice President and CEO of TM One, said that the company is honoured to be given the opportunity to extend its digital expertise to Bank Islam. “We are fully aware that digital transformation, data security and protection are the top priorities, especially for the banking sector,”

“This befits our role as part of TM Group, as the enabler of ‘Digital Malaysia’,” he continued. With a rapid increase in tech adoption post-COVID, countries such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the country is looking to establish itself as a digital hub in the region.

KT partners with South Korea’s Land & Housing Corporation to build data centers overseas

KT Corporation (KT), South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, has announced a partnership with the country’s Land and Housing Corporation (LH) to build internet data centers overseas.

In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both parties, KT will be installing data centers in LH’s overseas industrial facilities and offer digital transformation services to both South Korean and foreign companies.

On the other hand, KT’s Head of Global Business, Moon Sung-wook, revealed that LH will help companies in overseas industrial complexes innovate by using KT’s digital platform capabilities.

“We will develop specific digital transformation strategies according to each market, contributing to the vitalisation of industrial complexes overseas,” he added.

South Korea sets its eyes on data centers

South Korea is the latest up-and-coming player in the data center industry, with homegrown tech giants forming partnerships with both the South Korean government and foreign tech firms to grab a bigger share of not only the data center market, but also the global chipmaking market, which is integral to powering data centers.

Seoul, the capital city of the East Asian Tiger economy was also recently named as a ‘Market to Watch’ for having a 300 megawatt (MW) data center capacity.

With the world’s fastest Internet speeds, significant government investment into ICT infrastructure, and a large talent pool, South Korea is quickly gaining recognition as one of the best places in Asia to build data centers.

LH’s Head of Global Business, Lee Yong-sam, said that he hopes the collaboration will create a synergy in developing new cities and industrial complexes.

“We plan on expanding cooperation with related firms abroad to help Korean companies’ entry into foreign markets,” he continued.

KT currently owns and operates 13 data centers in South Korea, including Seoul’s largest hyperscale data center in Yongsan which opened in November 2020.

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Salesforce to launch Vaccine Cloud to better manage COVID-19 vaccinations

US-based cloud computing major Salesforce has announced that it will be launching a Vaccine Cloud to help governments and healthcare institutions better manage COVID-19 vaccinations.

Operating via an end-to-end management platform, governments, healthcare providers, and organisations are able to plan, manage, and track vaccination efforts at scale, the company said.

From recipient registration, to inventory management, to monitoring of post-vaccination results, Vaccine Cloud is able to provide better support to vaccination programmes, it added. When globally, COVID-19 had reached its peak in March last year, Salesforce came up with a COVID-19 Response Package — a solution that can be deployed quickly and at no charge for six months.

This solution granted free access to technology for emergency response teams, call centers and care management teams for health systems affected by coronavirus. It included a Pre-Configured Health Cloud Org- to help manage increased volume of health-related requests via phone and chat with an emergency response contact center solution.

Further, it included the privacy and security of data to meet internal and external compliance requirements like HIPAA in the US. Powered by Salesforce Shield, a personalized, self-service resource center to help inform HCPs, patients, members and communities and help offset the higher call volumes and a learning platform to quickly distribute the latest safety and testing protocols to enable staff and ensure certification through an on-demand, learning platform.

“The biggest challenge the world faces right now is orchestrating the distribution of billions of vaccine doses. Technology can play a critical role,” said Salesforce President and COO, Bret Taylor.

The company revealed that as of now, partners that are on board the Vaccine Cloud include global consulting firms Accenture, Deloitte, and KPMG.

The race to vaccinate the world

COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have been administered for emergency use in the US, having efficacy rates of 95 per cent and 94.1 per cent respectively when it comes to preventing the illness. At the time of writing, the Joe Biden administration has announced the purchase of 200 million more doses to vaccinate the American population.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore became the first country to start its vaccination program, administering Pfizer and BioNTech to frontline healthcare workers at the end of December last year.

Pandemic urged 89 per cent of Indian IT Leaders to protect organizational data from ransomware: new survey

Druva Inc., a India-based company specializing in cloud data protection and management, found in a survey that highlights the rising concerns among Indian businesses about data protection, the growing need to enhance resilience, and the role data agility plays in enabling organizational operations and connecting with customers. 

The company’s inaugural 2020 Value of Data Report global survey offers insights from over 1,000 IT decision makers (ITDMs) in India, the US and UK, and underpins the importance of maximizing the value of data as businesses continue to navigate an unprecedented worldwide situation. 

Of the more than 300 ITDMs surveyed in India, approximately one third (31 percent) report an increase in ransomware attacks on the organization since the pandemic began, and overall 89 percent of ITDMs being more concerned now with protecting their organizational data from ransomware than before the pandemic. However, 44 percent of organizations do not have the data they collect readily available when needed for decision making.

With data being created, stored, and shared in more ways than ever before, IT leaders in India are confronted with unprecedented challenges. The survey reveals that protecting data from outside threats, unauthorised internal access and ensuring business resiliency are becoming key priorities for organisations as they accelerate their cloud migration and digital transformation plans.

 Other key India findings: 

  • Accelerated digital transformation – 76 percent of respondents said that their digital transformation plans have accelerated due to the pandemic.
  • Expanding threat surface – since the pandemic began 42 percent reported an increase in video conferencing attacks, malware (40 percent), phishing (35 percent), user error / accidental tampering or deletion (32 percent) and insider attack (31 percent)
  • Data Recovery a concern – 67 percent reported that the time to recover data is still an issue and has increased since the pandemic  
  • Data access crucial for business survival – 25 percent reported that their company can only go 3 to 4 hours without access to data before causing serious harm to their business

“The pandemic, and possibilities of an emergence in the coming months, has forced organizations across India to re-evaluate the health of their data, potential security vulnerabilities, and their level of preparedness”, said Milind Borate, Co-founder and Chief Development Officer, Druva. “The ability to unlock the value of data, rapidly adapt to changing demands, and delight customers will increasingly be determined by their cloud strategy. Cloud data protection plays a pivotal role in this journey, and  Druva Cloud Platform is designed to help organizations accelerate their digital transformation, while ensuring data security and compliance. 

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MC Payment to list in Singapore Exchange

Mobile Credit Payment will become the first fintech company to be listed on the Singapore Exchange.

This will be done through a reverse takeover of special purpose acquisition company Artivision Technologies, it said. Artivision Technologies Limited shareholders on January 22 approved the proposed takeover at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) and expects completion of the acquisition on 18 February 2021.

Established in 2005 and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Payment Services Act 2019, MC Payment holds a major payment institution licence and is a Singapore-based, online-to-offline financial services technology company with a focus on servicing merchants in the retail, transportation and food and beverage industries.

MC Payment’s listing comes at a time when digital payments are witnessing a blowout in South Asia, as consumers increasingly have started using this channel to transact, in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic. Digital payments in ASEAN region is expected to triple to $1.5 trillion by 2030.

Currently, MC Payment has a presence in four countries – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand – with ambitions to become a regional player. MC Payment CEO, Anthony Koh is of the view that future growth avenues for the Group include penetrating new geographical markets through mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and/or franchises, as well as rolling out new value-added services for merchants.

“We’re expecting a robust growth trajectory for the Southeast Asian payments industry, following a surge in digitisation, spurred by increased access to 5G mobile technology, blockchain and AI, coupled with the rapid rise of e-commerce,” he had said.

Subsequently, Artivision will be renamed MC Payment Limited, and is set to become the first listed digital payments services firm on the SGX-ST.

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.

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.

 

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.

Awantec partners with Huawei for public sector digitalisation

Malaysia-based IT firm Awantec (formerly known as Prestariang Bhd) has collaborated with Huawei Technologies to drive digital transformation in the country’s public sector.

In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both companies, Awantec will be leveraging Huawei’s cloud and AI services to digitalise its operations, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and anything as a service (XaaS).

On the other hand, Huawei will benefit from Awantec’s extensive network of clientele in Malaysia: Awantec will be Huawei’s latest Managed Services Partner (MSP) and promote the adoption of Huawei’s products and services.

Awantec President and Group CEO, Dr Abu Hasan Ismail, said that as the Malaysian government’s trusted IT services partner, this partnership will strengthen the country’s preparedness when Malaysia embarks on its first cloud policy.

“Together with Huawei, we look forward to opening opportunities, training and building technical and competent talent teams here in Malaysia,” he said.

Huawei Malaysia CEO, Michael Yuan, added that this collaboration will serve to give Malaysia’s digital economy a significant boost.

“Cloud computing, as we know, is the backbone of digital transformation. Paired with AI, these technologies will introduce greater flexibility, agility and resilience to processes within Malaysia’s public sector,” he said.

Shinji Murakami joined Cognizant as the Head of Japan

Shinji Murakami has joined Cognizant as the Head of Japan and a member of Cognizant’s Global Growth Markets (GGM) leadership team effective Jan. 4, 2021. 

Murakami has more than 30 years’ experience leading managed services, mobile communications, business development and go-to-market strategies in the IT industry. Prior to Cognizant, he was the Managing Executive Officer of Microsoft’s Enterprise Group, where he led the sales team focused on engaging the C-suite across verticals, helping clients drive digital transformation. 

Prior to his post in Microsoft, Murakami spent 12 years at Hewlett Packard as General Manager of Enterprise Services for Japan. He has also held senior leadership roles at Softbank Telecom, IBM and DXC Technology.

Based in Tokyo, Murakami has long-time relationships with the business and technology communities in Japan. As the head of Cognizant Japan KK, Cognizant’s Japan subsidiary, he will lead the strategic expansion of Cognizant in Japan, helping customers in Japan respond to changing technology trends and market demands.

“Japan is one of the strategic markets where we have been significantly increasing our presence over the last few years,” said Ursula Morgenstern, President, Global Growth Markets, Cognizant. 

“I am pleased to welcome Shinji Murakami to drive the next wave of growth for Cognizant in this important market. I am confident that with his extensive business, technology and consulting experience, Shinji san will be able to further enhance our leading-edge advisory and delivery capabilities in Japan and help our clients further accelerate innovation.”

“I am honoured to be a part of Cognizant at a time when Japan is sharpening its focus on building a digital society,” said Murakami. 

“I look forward to helping Japanese businesses benefit from Cognizant’s leadership in enabling digital transformation while providing further momentum to our operations in Japan and providing a stronger experience to our talented employees in the country.”

Cognizant’s approximately 700 professionals in Japan serve more than 60 customers, including top insurance, life sciences, telecommunications, technology and manufacturing companies. Established in April 2008, Cognizant Japan KK has offices in Tokyo and Osaka. 

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/

Ntuple becomes first South Korean company to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators Community

Ntuple, a leader in application programming interfaces (API) and micro-services lifecycle management, became the first company from South Korea to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators’ Community, a highly selective group of the ‘most promising scale-ups driving the technological and business model innovation’.

Companies who are invited to become Global Innovators have the opportunity to engage with the public and private sector leaders and the Forum’s Platforms to help define the global agenda on key issues.

“The World Economic Forum is excited to have Ntuple join the Global Innovators Community. We look forward to engaging Ntuple in our Platform activities and showcase how the potential of API economy can help businesses adapt to digital transformation and advance digital content safety,” Cathy Li, Head of Media, Entertainment and Sports Industries at the World Economic Forum

On top of being the first company in South Korea to join the Community, Ntuple is also the first in the API economy to be welcomed.

“The API economy is experiencing phenomenal growth. Unbeknownst to most, every major economic shift of the last 25 years has had APIs at the heart of it — from e-commerce, to the cloud, and across social networks,” said Min Park, Founder and CEO of Ntuple.

Upon joining the Community, Ntuple seeks to partner with other companies to power the evolution to the API economy by connecting legacy systems with modern ones, thus reducing the need to reinvest in entirely new systems. 

“Ntuple will work with the World Economic Forum to broaden global understanding of API and micro-services, and their respective roles in advancing digital transformation, and work with private and public member organisations to promote the role of the API economy as a worldwide economic driver,” Mr. Park added.

SyncTree, Ntuple’s no-coding API solution platform, provides a secure solution for integrating and connecting legacy systems, orchestrating complex functions with inputs from multiple sources on a serverless basis, a B2B Marketplace for APIs, and a platform to develop and manage APIs and microservices, through a simple drag and drop interface. 

SyncTree not only significantly reduces the time and capital required for digital transformation journeys, but in the ever-expanding API Economy, it also provides a more practical execution by enabling a modular approach without having to affect overall system process and integrity. 

“To quantify the impact of SyncTree, for a top five national securities firm, 50% of costs related to increasing and maintaining high levels of security against cyberthreats have been reduced as they transform towards a 100% digital firm with a circular economy framework built-in. We have witnessed the same levels of efficiencies with projects carried out by the MXA Group and GOLS in Hong Kong,” commented Joe Wong, the CSO of Ntuple. 

Ntuple and SyncTree aspires to achieve high levels of diversity and inclusion to encourage greater innovation.

“For innovation and inclusion to work hand in hand, one must imagine it as an intersectionality of identities, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, class, marital status and age, and how they overlap and intersect in dynamic ways that can collectively shape and further social change on a global level. My personal principle is that we must ensure everyone who has a voice receives the fundamental right to be heard,” said Kenneth Kwok, the CIO of Ntuple.

With its membership into the Global Innovators Community, Ntuple aims to propel its growth through a triangular intersectional approach of impact in the circular economy, innovation through futureproofing cybersecurity and social inclusion.

Huawei Malaysia launches digital transformation program for local tech startups

Huawei Malaysia has teamed up with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to launch a brand new digital transformation program for tech startups in the country. 

The Huawei Spark Program, jointly presented by Huawei and MDEC’s Global Acceleration and Innovation Network Programme (GAIN) aims to incubate and accelerate the growth of tech startups in Malaysia in order to build a comprehensive tech ecosystem in the Asia-Pacific region.

“There is a rise in demand for digital solutions and deep tech innovations so MDEC’s GAIN program partnership with Huawei for the Spark Program is very timely,” commented Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of MDEC.

The programme will be powered by national telco carrier TM One through its Alpha Edge Cloud platform. The competition was launched online followed by a panel discussion featuring experts from Huawei, MDEC and TM ONE on the tech ecosystem in Malaysia.

“It will provide local tech companies with the opportunity to gain financial support, test their go-to-market strategies, and connect with mentors, among others,” Mr. Ng said.

Leveraging Huawei’s expertise in deep tech, the program will provide support to tech startups that are investing in next-generation technology, especially those focusing on 5G, AI and machine learning, analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.

Driving Digital Transformation in Malaysia

Michael Yuan, CEO of Huawei Malaysia, said that as a global leader in technology, it is Huawei’s responsibility to help local startups in their digitalisation journey and contribute to the tech ecosystem.

“Through this collaboration, I believe we will be able to create a conducive space for businesses to grow, to build a healthy ecosystem where they can thrive, and together with their innovative solutions, drive digital transformation across the country to firmly position Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN,” said Mr. Yuan.

“Innovation is borderless and when we collaborate, we flourish,” he added.

Key sectors that Huawei Spark will focus on include e-commerce, fintech, manufacturing, and smart city development.

“In today’s digital age, cloud is the backbone technology powering all other innovative technologies such as 5G, AI/Machine Learning and Analytics, IoT, and Edge Computing,” said Mohamad Rejab Sulaiman, the General Manager of Data Centre, Cloud and Internet at TM ONE.

Companies can submit their pitches during the application period between November 12 2020 and January 11 2021. The top prize includes US$125,000 worth of Cloud credits for the company to build their technology stack, one-on-one mentoring and networking opportunities with industry experts, and a chance at being immortalised in a “Hall of Fame” by being featured in advertorials published by Huawei and MDEC GAIN.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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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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Lumen launches Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (MEDR) for Asia Pacific market

Lumen (formerly known as CenturyLink) has launched its Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (MEDR) service for businesses in Asia Pacific.

The new solution aims to keep organisations secure in a time when smart, connected devices are everywhere and workforces require remote access.

Lumen MEDR uses artificial intelligence to detect and identify threats on devices, including attacks and attempts that may have bypassed measures such as antivirus software and endpoint protection. Once identified, MEDR will launch a remediation in real-time and restore devices back to its original state.

“These endpoints create a larger and more vulnerable attack surface for cybercriminals, and they are highly susceptible to exploits,” said Cheah Wai Kit, the Director of Product Management (Security) at Lumen Asia Pacific.

According to Lumen, research has shown that more than 90% of successful data breaches begin with an attack on users.

“Lumen MEDR provides the first line of defense where it matters most, starting at the endpoints,” added Mr. Cheah.

Lumen MEDR also provides 24/7 customer service support to its clients.

Cybersecurity Collaboration with IDC Secure

Alongside this, Lumen has also announced a collaboration with IT services provider IDC to launch IDC X-Secure, an interactive security assessment tool to offer guidance to businesses on issues concerning digital security.

“As enterprises continue to pursue their digital transformation initiatives, they are starting to realise their limitations in fending off cyberthreats proactively. IDC is seeing a rise in organisations partnering with a managed security services provider to combat the evolving cyberthreat landscape,” said Simon Piff, Vice President of Security Practice at IDC Asia Pacific.

According to IDC’s semi-annual security spending report, investments in security-related products and services in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) will reach US$28.2 billion by 2022, with spending on managed security services accounting for almost half of Asia Pacific’s cybersecurity market by 2023.

“As part of a robust security strategy, businesses need to have the visibility to detect and respond to attacks before they turn into breaches. This eventually reduces the time it takes to investigate, eradicate and contain incidents in their corporate environments,” added Mr. Piff.

IDC X-Secure will offer its expertise on cybersecurity’s global best practices, with peer comparisons and gap analyses to help IT professionals achieve cybersecurity requirements.

“IDC’s X-Secure dives into critical elements of businesses’ security strategy and provides IT leaders with practical scenarios and solutions to mitigate cyber risks,” concluded Mr. Piff.

Security services are also predicted to be the largest and fastest-growing segment with a value of US$6.3 billion, thanks to the rising use of managed services to fend off and respond to cyberattacks.

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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!

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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.

Register now to explore what the future holds for cloud and data centers in Indonesia at our Digital Summit

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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.

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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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