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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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.

Malaysian companies boosted private cloud investments: Nutanix survey

Nutanix, a leader in a private cloud, hybrid and multicloud computing today announced the findings of the Malaysian edition of its third annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) Report. In mid-2020, U.K. researcher Vanson Bourne surveyed 3,400 IT decision-makers around the world to measure the state of global enterprise cloud deployments and adoption plans.

This report is supplemental to the global Third Annual Enterprise Cloud Index master report and focuses on cloud deployment and planning trends in Malaysia.  It highlights key data points gleaned from IT professionals in Malaysia and how they compare to enterprise cloud experiences and plans in both the Asia Pacific (APJ) region and around the world.

The findings point to a digital transformation within the industry, with Malaysia reporting the greatest increase in private cloud as a result of COVID-19. 58 percent of Malaysian respondents reported that COVID-19 caused them to increase their investment in private cloud, outpacing the global average (37%) and their peers in APJ countries (44%).

The pandemic also forced many respondents to strengthen public cloud infrastructure to quickly accommodate large numbers of at-home workers. A total of 67% of Malaysian respondents said they had boosted public cloud usage and 51% said they had increased hybrid cloud usage.

The key findings from the report include:

Hybrid cloud is the ideal IT operating model for the vast majority of respondents in Malaysia and elsewhere. Nearly all respondents from Malaysia (96%) identified hybrid cloud as the ideal infrastructure for their organizations, outpacing those in the APJ region (90%) and in the global response pool (87%). Malaysian respondents run slightly more hybrid clouds than average today with 14% penetration, which they intend to grow to 57% penetration in five years.

Malaysian respondents are particularly bullish about expanding their public multicloud environments. They expect to grow public multicloud use by 6% in five years—the only infrastructure growth area cited by Malaysian respondents other than hybrid cloud. In the next year, they expect to increase their use of two public clouds from 25% to 39% and their use of three public clouds from 13% to 22%. However, they expect their use of more than three public cloud services to remain static at just 5% during that time.

Cost isn’t a primary driver behind IT infrastructure change in Malaysia. The motive for modernizing IT infrastructures mentioned most often in Malaysia is to increase flexibility to meet business needs (74%). From there, three goals tie for second place as inspiring change, with 63% of respondents from Malaysia selecting each of the following factors: 1) gaining better control of IT resource usage, 2) increasing the speed of meeting business needs, and 3) better supporting customers. By contrast, cost savings was cited by just 29% of respondents from Malaysia.

The global pandemic has raised IT’s profile and accelerated cloud adoption. 88 percent of respondents in Malaysia said that COVID-19 has caused IT to be viewed more strategically in their organizations. In addition, 67% of Malaysian respondents said they’ve increased their investments in public cloud, 58% said they’ve increased investments in private cloud, and 51% said they’ve upped their hybrid cloud investments as a direct result of the pandemic.

Despite being slightly behind the curve with private cloud adoption, Malaysian IT pros report above-average progress with hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). More than half (59%) say they’ve deployed HCI or are in the process of deploying it in their data centers, compared to 50% of global respondents. The relevance of HCI is that it creates a foundation for private cloud by virtualizing and integrating data center computer storage, and networking devices in standard, off-the-shelf server hardware. Private clouds built upon this foundation ultimately merge with public cloud infrastructure services into the hybrid cloud setup that most ECI respondents say is the ideal infrastructure they’re working toward.

During the media briefing, Avinash Gowda, Country Manager of Nutanix Malaysia said that with business recovery on the horizon, companies in Malaysia see cloud adoption as a top priority, as revealed in the ECI report.

“COVID-19 has significantly accelerated digital transformation across industries. With digitization as the new business reality, Malaysia’s businesses will look to make strategic investments in technology that will accelerate business recovery and enable them to scale for innovation and growth.”

“Businesses need to look to maximizing outcomes from their investments in IT infrastructure — to ensure their cloud strategies are financially sound, and future-proof,” said Avinash.

Reportlinker’s findings show that Malaysia’s data center market will grow at a CAGR of 8% from 2020 – 2025, reaching $800 million SGD by 2025.

The market for cloud computing in Malaysia is not as mature as Singapore. However, due to land shortage in Singapore and lower cost, Malaysia might attract more and more investments in data centers, according to ReportLinker.

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Malaysia Pharma selects Oracle Cloud for vaccines distribution

Pharmaniaga Berhad (Pharmaniaga, a Malaysian integrated pharmaceutical group, has selected Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing (SCM) to improve logistics processes in preparation for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Malaysia.

With Oracle Cloud SCM, Pharmaniaga hopes to automate planning and execution processes and gain real-time shipment insights to improve its logistics operation’s efficiency and security, the company said in a statement.

The largest integrated pharmaceutical group in Malaysia, Pharmaniaga needed a cloud-based logistics platform to automate manual processes and improve the traceability and security of its cold chain services.

“We’ve been delivering vaccines to health facilities in Malaysia for more than 25 years and have strong cold chain infrastructure, but we needed to reduce manual processes to meet the monumental challenge of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. With Oracle Cloud SCM’s logistics and IoT applications, we will be better positioned to efficiently and safely deliver the COVID-19 vaccine across Malaysia,” said Abdul Malik Mohamed, Director of Logistics & Distribution, Pharmaniaga Berhad.

Implementing Oracle Transportation Management can enable Pharmaniaga to automate logistics planning and execution and improve efficiency. At the same time, Oracle IoT Intelligent Applications can help monitor cargo temperature and vehicle routes to validate the quality of products and enhance security.

“Unprecedented demand for the COVID-19 vaccine will create cold chain complexity unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said Jasbir Singh, vice president, Software as a Service (SaaS), Oracle Malaysia. “Streamlining logistics processes and enhancing shipment tracking with Oracle Cloud SCM can enable Pharmaniaga to rise to this challenge and scale its operations to support the immunisation of Malaysia’s 32 million residents.”

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Malaysia’s Celcom partners with Microsoft for cloud solution offering

Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom), one of Malaysia’s largest telecommunications service providers, has partnered with Microsoft to introduce a brand new cloud service offering for enterprises in Malaysia.

The Celcom Cloud suite focuses on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, and combines features for applications, infrastructure, data storage, software network, security, and a seamless deployment experience for businesses to scale their operations efficiently.

Idham Nawawi, CEO of Celcom, said that the collaboration with Microsoft will further elevate the company’s status as a trusted digital solutions provider for businesses of all sizes in Malaysia.

“From smaller brick and mortar businesses to larger enterprises, Celcom will always strive towards providing a ‘win-win-win’ situation, creating a sustainable digital ecosystem and benefit the rakyat (people) and country,” he added.

Celcom’s new Cloud Suite offering also comes at a time where digital transformation to a cloud-based infrastructure is crucial to running and maintaining a successful business, especially in a post-pandemic world.

A study by Microsoft and market research firm IDC revealed that 77% of business decision makers in Malaysia say that innovation is now a ‘must’ for them to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities in the market.

“Having the right digital partners to facilitate digital transformation is crucial, and together with Celcom we look forward to accelerating the digital transformation of Malaysian organisations, leveraging the synergetic relationship between the tech and telco industries,” said K. Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.

This new solution will be offered alongside Celcom’s other flagship digital kit, Celcom Business Suite.

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.

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.

Malaysia set for exciting digital growth with KIDEX’s first data center investment

Malaysia is about to witness exciting growth in the data industry once Kulai Iskandar Data Exchange’s (KIDEX) first data center comes online in the first quarter of 2021.

Developed by TPM Technopark, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johor Corporation (JCorp), with ideation and planning supported by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), KIDEX spans across 745 acres of land and is designed to attract the development of data centers in Johor.

The data center is a built-to-suit facility for a leading technology company, which will spread across six acres and will feature at least Tier III specifications.

“The completion of the facility will be a great catalyst to the growth of the data industry in the high-growth Iskandar region of Johor as well as a boost for KIDEX to become a regional data hub,” said Wan Murdani Mohammad, the Director of the Digital Infrastructure Services Division at MDEC.

Despite the international travel ban due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MDEC and TPM Technopark have increased promotional activities to attract developers from APAC who are seeking to expand or have a foothold in the region.

After welcoming their first data center investment, KIDEX has received strong investment interest from local and overseas data center developers as well as data center support services, equipment testing facilities and renewable energy generation plants to provide alternative power supplies to complement the existing 600MW capacity at the JCorp owned KIDEX.

“We strive to position KIDEX as an alternative data center hub to complement the existing data hub in Singapore, presenting KIDEX as the best option for data center players seeking to establish large scale or cost-competitive operations in the region,” added Mr. Mohammad.

According to JCorp, KIDEX is expected to attract a total of US$4.2 billion (RM17.5 billion) worth of investments from data center developers and support services as well as segments related to the data industry, including the Internet of Things, cloud computing, data storage, virtual and augmented reality, e-commerce, banking, artificial intelligence and software engineering.

What makes KIDEX an attractive place for investment?

Strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, with global connectivity, close proximity to Senai International Airport and dark fiber availability linked to nearby Singapore, KIDEX offers an opportunity for the local and international digital economy to grow.

For data center developers, KIDEX presents an attractive location, offering competitive land prices and ample land availability, which is particularly important at a time when neighbouring Singapore has a moratorium on new data center builds and sparser land availability.

TPM Technopark has developed KIDEX to feature closely located high, stable, redundant and abundant power of up to 600MW provided through dual sources of transmission, as well as a redundant water supply, rainwater catchment banks, and a planned independent natural gas and chilled water co-generation plant able to generate up to an additional 240MW of power.

KIDEX is designed to distribute 17 Million Liters Per Day (MLD) of potable water. To date two on-site elevated water tanks have been built and are able to supply a total of 10 MLD. Additional water supply can easily be made available upon an increase in demand from investors.

And as data center sustainability becomes more crucial to attract customers, data centers at KIDEX can leverage a planned solar power field and a water recycling plant for efficient power and cooling.

The Data Exchange also has main and service roads for easy access, inspiring green landscaping, high-tech security systems to keep data centers safe, and ‘Plug and Play’ capabilities for speedy deployment.

All this enables KIDEX to have infrastructure and utilities that will cater for Tier III data centers at a competitive cost.

“Data center developers and operators investing in KIDEX will enjoy higher return on investment on their projects due to the lower project investment cost and daily operational cost incurred,” said JCorp.

As for attracting customers to data centers, KIDEX is located at the center of a larger 7,290 acres of land development in Sedenak that will feature industries, retails and residences built to the theme of Industry 4.0, promoting the adoption of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, including cyber-physical systems, IoT, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and smart factories.

The wider land development is also set to welcome investors from the logistics, electrical and electronic, and medical industries to Sedenak.

Looking beyond KIDEX, Malaysia has a good track record for being safe from natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, which could damage a data center.

How will KIDEX benefit Southeast Asian society?

Malaysia’s data center market has also received exceptional support from the Malaysian Government through its agency, MDEC and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), who provides data center investors with support and incentives to grow the country as the leading regional hub for data center services.

“KIDEX spearheads the best that Malaysia has to offer to potential investors in the region,” said Mr. Mohammad.

KIDEX is one initiative of many that is developed to realise the physical development agenda of the Smart City Iskandar Malaysia (BPIM) project, which focuses on smart governance, smart people, smart mobility, smart environment, smart economy and smart living.

Its robust and stable data network infrastructure is expected to benefit the Government, businesses and the people in the Iskandar Malaysia economic corridor.

“KIDEX will not only help transform Iskandar Malaysia to become a metropolis of international standing, but it will also help realise the Digital Johor agenda at the State level, as well as the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan at the National level,” said JCorp.

On top of this, the KIDEX development will create 1,600 jobs in Malaysia, including 400 high-skilled IT, Mechanical and Electrical positions, 200 semi-skilled jobs in server and networking, and 1,000 jobs in support labour. And to assist the employees, KIDEX will spur the demand of 16,000 new houses to be built in the Sedenak area.

“KIDEX shall positively drive the vision of the Government towards Industry 4.0, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, smart factory manufacturing, e-commerce and many more, supporting the digitalisation of industries and the community in the Southeast Asia region,” said JCorp.

Overall, KIDEX signals Malaysia’s commitment to the global data center and digital communities, demonstrating that the country understands the needs and requirements of the data industry.

With rising demand for new data center developments and new projects in Malaysia from the likes of NTT, Vertiv, AIMS Data Centre, G3 Global and PCCW, the country is ready to be a reliable and competitive data hub to serve the exciting digitalisation of Southeast Asia.

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

Malaysia’s GDEX selects Nutanix for cloud-powered digital transformation

Malaysian logistics company GD Express (GDEX) has selected Nutanix Hybrid Cloud to lead its e-commerce digital transformation.

GDEX will scale Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud Platform to keep up with Malaysia’s growing e-commerce industry, which is predicted to contribute US$41.05 billion (RM170 billion) to the post-pandemic economy this year.

“As Malaysia’s digital economy continues to advance, a new generation of digital consumers have emerged and driven the growth of E-commerce,” said Avinash Gowda, Malaysia Country Manager for Nutanix.

To date, GDEX has migrated its core applications for governing shipments to Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud Platform, and has since put in place three Nutanix Clusters, Nutanix’s hybrid cloud infrastructure.

“The logistics industry is fast changing, and the pandemic has made the business landscape even more challenging to navigate. As a customer-focused and technology-driven company, we partnered with Nutanix to ensure that we are always ready to adapt to changes in customer and market demands,” said Teong Teck Lean, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of GDEX.

Before adopting Nutanix, GDEX was already managing up to 180,000 consignments a day, which its legacy infrastructure could not support, especially with their vision to scale even more.

“We would not have achieved this success if we continued with our legacy infrastructure. The cost of scaling and management would have eaten into our margins, but with Nutanix, we are able to sustain and scale our operations to consistently meet customer and market demands,” said Charles Ong, Special Project Advisor at GDEX.

GDEX’s IT team will now be using Nutanix AOS and Nutanix Prism Pro, Nutanix’s enterprise management softwares, to manage server, storage and networking resources.

“E-commerce is both a great business opportunity and a great IT challenge for logistics companies such as ours. Nutanix’ platform is incredibly elastic, enabling us to scale quickly and efficiently, without compromising our service and costs,” added Mr. Ong.

Nutanix’ platform enabled GDEX to scale in minutes to accommodate large order spikes for key E-commerce events such as Singles Day, resulting in an approximately 100% increase in GDEX’ overall business revenues.

GDEX was established in 1997 in Malaysia to provide express delivery services for domestic and international markets. Today, GDEX operates a network of 425 stations, comprising 99 branches, 64 agents, 11 lodge-in centres and 251 reseller agencies across Malaysia and Singapore. It has a fleet of 1277 trucks and vans and over 4,500 employees across its operations.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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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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Malaysia’s Digi Telecommunications teams up with Boku to protect mobile users against cyberthreats

Malaysia’s Digi Telecommunications has teamed up with UK mobile payments and identity solutions provider Boku to protect users against cyberthreats.

Digi is the first mobile service provider in Malaysia to partner with Boku to launch mobile identity products that proactively protect its customers from cyber-hacks, account takeover attacks, SIM swap attacks, and other forms of digital fraud.

“We have in place stringent policies and procedures to ensure that our customers are safe and secure using any application online, including applying a broad set of data protection practices to safeguard their identities and prevent digital fraud such as account takeover,” said Praveen Rajan, Chief Marketing Officer of Digi.

As more companies continue to realise the necessity of advanced multi-factor authentication solutions in the wake of increased incidences of digital fraud and cyberattacks, there is a growing demand for mobile identity authentication services in Malaysia.

Digital service providers and their users are also increasingly being targeted by fraudsters who seek to extract money or other forms of stored value from accounts.

“This partnership with Boku is another layer of safety enabling our customers to have a seamless and worry-free online experience,” added Mr. Rajan.

Digi will integrate two of Boku’s services into its mobile number operations. The Phone Number Verification (Authenticate) service will request the user to verify their phone number directly on the device via its built-in wireless network connectivity. 

Next, the Reassigned Number (Detect) service will allow a merchant to check if a mobile number has been reassigned or recycled by the telecom service provider to another user.

Commenting on the partnership, Stuart Neal, Chief Business Officer for Identity at Boku, said: “We are honoured to partner with Digi to introduce a safer and more seamless digital world for mobile users in Malaysia. Extending our capabilities into Malaysia is a major milestone as we continue to expand globally.”

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Microsoft Malaysia teams with MDEC and MaGIC for Highway to a 100 Unicorns

After announcing the launch of their Highway to a 100 Unicorns in Asia Pacific, Microsoft Malaysia has teamed with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) to strengthen the nation’s startup ecosystem.

Successful startups will stand to gain from an intensive year-long mentorship program, access to enterprise clients as well as engagement opportunities with Microsoft experts and industry leaders.

“Malaysia has a vibrant startup ecosystem, and they play a vital role in our economy as innovators, disruptors and first-movers. We are excited to be partnering with MDEC and MaGIC to introduce the ‘Highway to a 100 Unicorns’ initiative in Malaysia,” said K Raman, the Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.

Eligible startups will gain access to focused workshops on business and technology, as well as monthly knowledge-sharing webinars with the global startup community.

Our local startups can potentially become tomorrow’s unicorns, helping to shape our economic recovery and resilience, and build a stronger long-term future in Malaysia,” added Mr. Raman.

Kuala Lumpur has been recognised as the 11th emerging startup ecosystem in the world by Startup Genome, adding to confidence that Malaysia is primed to be the preferred ‘land and expand’ base for the best innovators and tech startups regionally.

“The commitment of corporations such as Microsoft will further strengthen international investor confidence by bringing in the wealth of market knowledge, resources and a vast network of clients,” said Surina Shukri, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC.

To be considered, startups will first have to submit an application for Emerge X competitions in their countries. Business-to-business startups must have a product-market fit and revenue generating with at least three to four clients. Business-to-customer startups should have a large customer base with upwards of 100,000 customers, and are revenue generating.

The top finalists from Malaysia will be announced in November, joining other shortlisted innovators and entrepreneurs from 16 other Asia Pacific countries, including Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“While we have witnessed steady growth over the years, the entire ecosystem has been challenged to innovate and accelerate its growth at a much faster pace in recent times,” said Dzuleira Abu Bakar, the Chief Executive Officer of MaGIC.

Finalists will benefit from a year-long mentorship with technical and business deep dives, a Founder Bootcamp over three days, access to enterprise clients globally through Microsoft’s unique co-sell program as well as opportunities to interact with Microsoft experts and industry stalwarts.

“This initiative presents an exciting opportunity for our local innovators and founders to scale and move beyond our borders, through global collaborations, as well as industry-led mentorship and guidance,” added Ms. Abu Bakar.

The Highway to a 100 Unicorns programme was first launched by Microsoft for Startups in India, where only 56 startups were selected from six states, which have over 15,000 startups.

Following the success, the program has been extended to Asia Pacific, to discover and nurture the region’s technology startups with a high potential to become truly global enterprises in the future.

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Explore Malaysia’s future in tech with an epic digital summit

Malaysia stands at the precipice of a vibrant digital future, with investments from tech giants like Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Microsoft and NTT as well as cloud-first government initiatives leading the way.

And with US$5.1 billion earmarked for Malaysia’s National Fiberisation & Connectivity Plan along with OLL and NEC’s MIST submarine cable system connecting the country major cities in Southeast Asia, it is inevitable that data centers, cloud and 5G will be part of Malaysia’s future in tech.

In the first of five W.Media Digital Summits, we will explore Malaysia’s position in the global technology scene and the innovations taking place to challenge neighboring mature markets like Singapore.

For example, you can discover new technologies on Open Compute (OCP) Solutions, including air-cooled, liquid cooling and immersion technologies on DC12v & DC48v platforms, which are helping to make efficient data centers more accessible to emerging markets in Southeast Asia where humid climates add unique challenges.

Explore Malaysia’s digital transformation journey

In a whistle-stop tour of Malaysia’s digital transformation journey, we will be joined by Wan Murdani Mohamad, the Director of Enabling Ecosystem Division at Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

As an expert in driving, advocating and facilitating the progression of digital enablers in Malaysia, Mr. Mohamad will discuss how Malaysia has achieved four million new digital consumers in just the past two years.

And with his involvement in the rollout of Malaysia’s cybercities like Cyberjaya, Mr. Mohamad will explore the future of tech hubs as more and more devices come online.

Digital optimisation in Malaysia

As more businesses are digitalised, it is crucial to optimise operations to increase customer engagement, reduce IT incidents and enable the free flow of information. 

In our second pre-show interview, JS Wong, the Founder and CEO of TalariaX, will take us through the characteristics of an optimised enterprise and innovations available to help them grow further.

“In this new normal, IT management teams need to accelerate their digital transformation to complement overall business strategy. One area is using omni-channel messaging to enhance the IT incident management and automation to increase the IT uptime for the whole organisation,” said Mr. Wong

In this session, Mr. Wong will dive into the details of using omni-channel messaging.

Accelerating Cloud Adoption: The case of Malaysia

The cloud computing market in Malaysia is expected to be worth US$3.7 billion by 2024, as the Government has been active in encouraging cloud adoption by creating a data exchange hub for ministries, plans for smart cities and a digital identity platform known as MyIdentity.

Malaysia has also seen improvements in energy sustainability, data center risk and connectivity, which could encourage more cloud adoption and investment by tech giants and startups. 

However, there is still more that Malaysia could do to accelerate cloud adoption. According to the Asia Cloud Computing Association, the country ranked 8th out of 14 countries in the APAC region due to restrictions caused by the regulatory environment, privacy laws and intellectual property protection.

In a fascinating presentation, Wan Murdani Mohamad will join us to explore what can be done to accelerate more cloud adoption in Malaysia.

“Learn about Malaysia’s cloud-first strategy and the cloud adoption journey of key economic sectors in embracing digital transformation,” said Wan Murdani Mohamad the Director of Enabling Ecosystem Division at MDEC.

Leading Digital Transformation through Enterprise Architecture in the Cloud Era

With Malaysia’s overall IT spending forecast to be approximately US$11 billion this year and 55% of CEOs in Malaysia acknowledging the need to digitally transform, it is becoming even more important to consider how to drive digital transformation plans.

This involves considering the challenges and the gaps in an enterprise’s capabilities. Aaron Tan Dani, the Founder and Chairman of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) will share his expert insights into the processes C-suite members of staff should implement to implement a successful digital transformation plan.

Pivot to Cloud and the Central Importance of Cybersecurity & Risk Assessment

Cloud adoption is a growing trend in Southeast Asia, but as more businesses digitally transform to the cloud, more cybersecurity vulnerabilities may be exposed.

We will be joined by Sina Manavi, the Senior Security Manager at Group AIA, to explore the central importance of securing your digital infrastructure and risk assessment.

How can Malaysia do better in their cybersecurity efforts?

Incidents of cybercrime are rising at an alarming rate in Malaysia and the Southeast Asia region with organisations seeing more cyberattacks in the past year.

Cybercriminals in Malaysia exploiting the fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. CyberSecurity Malaysia identified a spike in cyber attacks during the first phase of the Movement Control Order imposed by the Malaysian Government.

So how can Malaysia do better in their cybersecurity efforts?

We’ll be joined by Alvin Teoh the manager for Cybersecurity and Enabling Ecosystems at MDEC, Peter Leong, an expert Technology Program Director in the financial sector, Alvin Rodrigues, the Field Chief Security Officer at InfoBlox, and Fong Choong Fook, the CEO of LGMS to explore this matter.

Promoting innovation by migrating from on-prem to the cloud

In this thought leadership presentation by Yew Jin Kang, the Group Chief Technology Officer at Star Media Group Berhad, we will take a look at the evolution of data centers as well as the challenges of storing your data on-premise.

And in recent years, we are seeing many organisations move to the cloud for the increased scalability benefits and cost flexibility. But what skills do you need to manage this migration?

Yew Jin Kang will share his personal experiences in migrating data to the cloud and the advantages he has gained.

Data Centers at the Crossroads: Transformational Strategies

As the technology industry continues to advance in Malaysia, we will explore how data center operators can keep up with the growing trends in cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning, where even more data consumption is inevitable.

“Digital Infrastructure continues to play an important role in many parts of the world, including the APAC region. It is no doubt that there is a rise in the demand of good people in the data center space. We want to partner with Malaysia data center employers, to focus in their HR function, so as to attract, reward and retain their talent,” said Julie Tan of HR Exchange.

During an epic panel discussion on this topic, we will be joined by Ong Chin Seong, the Secretary of the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Association of Malaysia, Tan Tze Meng, the Head of Data Cloud Department of the Enabling Ecosystem Division at MDEC, Mohamad Rejab Bin Sulaiman, the GM Data Center at TM One, Rhys Cole, the General Manager for APAC at PowerShield and James Rix, the Associate Director of Arcadis UK.

All this and more at the Malaysia Cloud and Datacenter Digital Summit

And if that wasn’t enough, we’ll also have a thought leadership presentation from Sabarinathan Sampath, the Senior Vice President and COO of ZNet Technologies, to share his expert insights on the Malaysia cloud and data center scene.

And we’ll also be joined by the team at Insyghts Security for their specialist cybersecurity perspectives.

> Register now for the action-packed Malaysia Cloud and Datacenter Digital Summit

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, Open Computing Singapore, HR Exchange, Insyghts Security, and Securonix. Our Silver Sponsors: BLOMTEQ Solutions and PowerShield. And our Bronze Sponsors: TalariaX and Onion Technology.

Also a big shout out to all our Media and Industry Partners: Daily Host News, Data Storage Asean, ITUpdate, ISACA, IASA, the FinTech Association of Malaysia, the eBusiness Association of Malaysia, LGMS, the Asia Cloud Computing Association, the Malaysian Society for Engineering & Technology, OPEN-TEC, iCIO Community, APTIKNAS, and PIKOM.

Get in touch at partner@w.media for more information on sponsorships and partnerships.

Is your country a Digital Riser? ESCP study reveals surprising results

While countries like the USA and Sweden may be losing their position as digital champions, the Philippines and Singapore have both been labelled a digital riser that is capable of taking on the competitive technology landscape.

The European Center for Digital Competitiveness found that mature digital hubs are facing new and dynamic competition from around the world.

“We are in the middle of a digital revolution that is very likely being accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Professor Philip Meissner of the European Center for Digital Competitiveness by ESCP Business School in Berlin.

The ESCP’s Digital Riser Report 2020 revealed that the Philippines was one of the top Digital Risers in the world due to the country showing strong digital transformation results encouraged by Government policies like the Innovate Start-up Act and Start-up Venture Fund.

Amongst the other top risers in Asia include South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.

Digital Riser Rankings for East Asia and the Pacific
Digital Riser Rankings for East Asia and the Pacific

The rankings were by two dimensions: ecosystem and mindset. The ecosystem dimension includes venture capital availability, cost and time to start a business, the ease of hiring foreign labour, and the skillset of graduates. While the mindset dimension focuses on digital skills among active populations, attitudes to entrepreneurial risk, workforce diversity, mobile broadband subscriptions, and companies embracing disruptive ideas.

Dropping in the rankings were India, Vietnam and New Zealand, which declined in the ecosystem dimension, despite their digital aspirations and future-forward plans.

The report also shed light on the two global digital superpowers, namely the United States and China. Analysis found that China has gained in digital competitiveness while the United States lost strength over the last three years. 

What makes a Digital Riser?

Top Digital Risers share one thing in common. They have displayed a deliberate and comprehensive government programme with top-level support around digitalisation and entrepreneurship. 

“The way that governments manage and navigate this transition will significantly determine how competitive and prosperous their countries will be in the decades ahead,” said Professor Meissner.

Interestingly, country size is not a limiting factor. The report saw countries of all sizes enhancing their digital competitiveness in the short to medium term by taking effective measures like emphasising the importance of digital education, encouraging entrepreneurship and making huge investments in digitalisation.

Digital Riser Rankings for South Asia
Digital Riser Rankings for South Asia

“While the top Digital Risers come in very different sizes and have their unique economic histories, there’s a lot that governments can learn from them,” said Dr Christian Poensgen from the ESCP.

Breaking down the commonalities in top Digital Risers, Dr Poensgen identified that they tend to emphasise the importance of digital education like Indonesia’s institutions that seek to build a strong tech talent pool in which the Government invested US$7.7 million to provide certifications to 20,000 digital talents.

Next, he identified that huge investments in digitalisation are common, as countries like Thailand announced a  $570m venture fund for startups in ten supported industries, including digital, next generation cars and smart electronics.

And finally, a digital riser shows commitment to entrepreneurship, with many following the example of China’s government, which has made it a focal point of the ‘Chinese Dream’.

The Digital Riser Report was published for the first time this year, and will now be distributed annually, so it will be interesting to see if any of the countries that ranked low this year will rise up in 2021.

Got a story, opinion or more information on this article? Contact us at editor@w.media.
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Explore the latest for cloud and data centers in Malaysia

Malaysia is an exciting emerging market in the cloud and data center industry, but how can you tap into this lucrative market?

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

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

> View all W.Media digital events

Microsoft awards Enfrasys for digital transformation efforts in Malaysia during pandemic

When Malaysia enforced a month-long Movement Control Order in June, many enterprises were hit hard, but tech company Enfrasys Consulting was one of the few that prospered.

As Malaysians began to work remotely by the time the country entered lockdown, problems arose. Businesses needed to upgrade existing softwares, and organisations that were underprepared became vulnerable to cybercrime.

This is where Enfrasys stepped in. During the MCO, the company worked closely with organisations under Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance and in the financial services industry. 

As a partner of Microsoft, Enfrasys introduced clients to new tools such as Windows Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Azure Advanced Threat Protection and Microsoft Cloud App Security that provided efficiency and security in the workplace. 

In recognition of their digital transformation efforts and their outstanding year-on-year business growth of 138.6%, Microsoft awarded Enfrasys with the title of Microsoft Partner of the Year for Malaysia.

“Winning the Microsoft Partner of the Year award for Malaysia is an incredible accomplishment for us, and we remain committed as always, to empowering Malaysian businesses and accelerating digitalization in the country,” said Beh Chor How, Managing Director of Enfrasys.

Enfrasys also made commendable progress in cloud computing and automation.The homegrown tech company in Malaysia introduced Azure CycleCloud and Azure Arc to promote hybrid cloud, boost the scalability of data servers and enhance computational power.

“These partners go above and beyond, delivering timely solutions that solve the complex challenges that businesses around the world face,” said Gavriella Schuster, the Corporate Vice President for One Commercial Partner at Microsoft.

This is the second time that Enfrasys has been awarded Partner of the Year. The first was in 2018.

Got a story, opinion or more information on this article? Contact us at editor@w.media.
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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

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

> View all W.Media digital events

Microsoft awards Enfrasys for digital transformation efforts in Malaysia during pandemic

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Jie Yee Ong

Tech Reporter, W.Media

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Criminals exploit on-premise and cloud servers using cryptocurrency mining software

Your on-premise and cloud servers could be compromised by criminals using cryptocurrency mining software.

While your servers are sitting idle, criminals may be monetising your assets whilst plotting larger money-making schemes like extracting valuable data, selling server access for further abuse or preparing dangerous ransomware attacks.

“The cybercriminal underground boasts a sophisticated range of infrastructure offerings to support monetisation campaigns of all types,” said Bob McArdle, Director of Forward-Looking Threat Research for Trend Micro.

Criminals use several methods to gain access to servers, including the exploitation of vulnerabilities in server software, brute-force attacks, stealing logins and deploying malware through phishing attacks. 

These compromised assets are then sold on online portals, the dark web, social media marketplaces and underground forums.

“A good rule of thumb is that whatever is most exposed is most likely to be exploited,” added Mr. McArdle.

As rising adoption of cloud computing continues, businesses should be aware that cloud servers are particularly vulnerable to being attacked by criminals, as they may be lacking sophisticated protection when compared to on-premise equivalents.

A recent report by Trend Micro suggested that, while cryptomining may be innocuous in causing disruption, if you find cryptocurrency mining activity on your servers, this should place your IT security teams on red alert. These servers should then be flagged for immediate remediation and investigation.

Criminals also target websites and content management systems hosted on servers that often run outdated software. Cybercriminals can use covert and difficult-to-detect methods to exploit compromised websites by placing content on a webpage or reselling websites to be used as landing pages for phishing attacks.

Billions of threats blocked during the COVID-19 pandemic

From the start of 2020, cybercriminals shifted their attention to taking advantage of the uncertainty, public fear and unfamiliar remote working environment for many.

In just six months, Trend Micro, a leader in cloud security, blocked a total of 27.8 billion cyber threats, with 8.8 million being COVID-19 pandemic-related and 92% originating from spam and phishing campaigns via email.

“The pandemic has dominated all of our lives during the first half of 2020, but it’s not slowing down the cybercriminals,” said Goh Chee Hoh, the Managing Director for Trend Micro Malaysia and Nascent Countries.

In Malaysia alone, almost 118 million email threats and 2.5 million malware attacks were detected. Amongst these threats, ransomware was a constant factor, as Trend Micro saw a 36% increase in the number of ransomware families compared to 2019.

“IT leaders must continue to adapt their cybersecurity strategies to account for increased threats to their new normal,” suggested Mr. Goh.

To strengthen your cybersecurity strategies in a world of increased remote working, rapid adoption of cloud computing and looming new threats, IT security teams should protect remote endpoints, cloud systems, user credentials and VPN systems.

Humans are often considered the weakest link of cybersecurity chains, so Mr. Goh also recommends refreshing training courses that turn newly dispersed workforces into effective first lines of defence.

Malaysia has started to show signs of improvement in the war against cybercriminals, as startups, homegrown talent and the Government have begun implementing new initiatives and solutions to battle the threats.

Got a story, opinion or more information on this article? Contact us at editor@w.media.
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What is the weak link in your cybersecurity strategy?

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

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

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

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

> View all W.Media digital events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got a story, opinion or more information on this article? Contact us at editor@w.media.
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Discover how to tap into the edge data center market with W.Media

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

Register now to discover how your business can build new innovations with the help of edge data center technology on Thursday 19 November!

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

> View all W.Media digital events

Microsoft’s Malaysia data center is 40% complete

Microsoft’s Malaysia data center is 40% complete, the state government has announced.

The data center based in Kulai district is expected to stimulate the economy through new investments and provide job opportunities in Johor state.

“The data center will attract Microsoft network companies to come to Johor to invest here … that is the advantage of developing the data center,” said Hasni Mohammad, the eighteenth Menteri Besar (Head of Government) of Johor.

It was also revealed that the state government had received interest from an unnamed Japanese company to build a data center in Johor.

“Many parties have contacted the state government, that want to explore new sectors for investment … this is because Johor is unique and has many potentials to be developed,” said Hasni during the launch of Johor Fights Against Dengue 2020 campaign.

Hasni was confident that the people of Johor will be able to make full use of the Internet and digitalisation opportunities available as a result of Microsoft’s project to make Johor a successful state.

Make cloud-first happen in Malaysia

Adopting and migrating to cloud technologies is becoming a top priority for many organisations in Malaysia.

The Government has been active in encouraging cloud adoption by creating a data exchange hub for ministries and plans for smart cities. As a result, the cloud computing market in the country is expected to be worth US$3.7 billion by 2024, growing at a rate of 13% per year.

Register now to discover how you can be a part of Malaysia’s cloud-first future on Tuesday 25 August!

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

Microsoft’s Malaysia data center is 40% complete

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Stuart Crowley

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OLL and NEC to build MIST cable across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and India

Orient Link (OLL) and NEC Corporation have signed an agreement to build a MIST submarine cable system to directly connect Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and India.

The system will span 8,100 kilometers and will deliver more than 216 terabits per second.

“Globally, India and Southeast Asia are among the world’s fastest-growing economies,” said Yoshio Sato, the CEO of OLL.

The Asia region has experienced accelerated digital investment driven by data center growth, mobile penetration, 5G expansion and the rise of cloud services.

“I am very pleased to announce the launch of MIST, providing a truly connected India to our clients around the world, delivering high-quality, low-latency networks to the people in India as the nation charges forward with its digital transformation roadmap,” added Mr. Sato.

Data consumption by half a billion digital users is reaching unprecedented levels and cloud adoption is surging in India, contributing to an increasing amount of data traffic across submarine cables and demand for interconnected data centers.

“Not only will MIST respond to the growing demands for data center interconnectivity across countries in the Southeast Asia region, but it ultimately allows for OLL to grow its offering and expand into India and beyond,”

OLL, a strategic joint venture company led by NTT Group, hopes the new system will further enhance and contribute to communications network expansions from Asia to improve network redundancy, ensure highly reliable communications and expand onward connectivity options in the Bay of Bengal.

NEC, a Japan-based multinational IT and electronics company with extensive experience in implementing submarine cable systems, was selected by OLL as their supply partner.

“We are honored to be selected as the supplier for MIST together with our local affiliate in India,” said Atsushi Kuwahara, the General Manager of NEC’s Submarine Network Division.

Together with their India affiliate, NEC Technologies India Private Ltd, Mr. Kuwahara hopes to fully capitalise on their regional expertise in Southeast Asia and India to ensure the successful completion of the submarine cable in the third quarter of 2022.

Back in June, Asia Direct Cable (ADC) and NEC announced the construction of another high-performance submarine cable that would connect China (Hong Kong and Guangdong province), Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam by the fourth quarter of 2022.

ADC is a global consortium of leading communications and technology companies, including CAT, China Telecom, China Unicom, PLDT Inc., Singtel, SoftBank Corp., Tata Communications and Viettel.

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!

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

NTT Global Data Centers to expand into India, Indonesia and Malaysia

NTT Ltd. has announced plans to expand its Global Data Centers division in nine locations, including India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Japan’s largest telecommunications company and one of the world’s largest data center providers will provide over 400 megawatts of IT load across all nine markets upon completion of the new data centers.

“Organizations today demand an ever-expanding global platform to reach their growing digital business objectives,” said Masaaki Moribayashi, the Senior Executive Vice President of Services for NTT Ltd.

NTT selected locations to support interconnected ecosystems around ‘the world’s most important business and government hubs’.

“Our data centers will include the latest data center technology for security, reliability and energy efficiency,” added Mr. Moribayashi.

All nine new data centers will be set up for clients to use renewable energy if they choose, as NTT has committed to investing in a sustainable future for the planet.

“We are pleased to leverage our deep construction expertise and the strength of our capital resources to extend our line of data center facilities – with more to come,” said Ryuichi Matsuo, the Executive Vice President for NTT’s Global Data Centers division.

When will NTT’s new data centers go live?

One of the first of NTT’s nine data centers to be completed will be in Mumbai, India, which is expected to go live by this quarter. The Mumbai 7 Data Center will offer a 25MW IT load and will be the third facility in NTT’s Chandivali campus.

Also this quarter, NTT will open data centers in London and Tokyo as well as Oregon and Virginia in the United States.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, NTT aims to open its fifth data center in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. The new Cyberjaya 5 Data Center will have a 5.6MW critical IT load, designed to meet the requirements of hyperscalers and high-end enterprises.

The telecommunications giant also plans to go live with new facilities in Munich, Germany and Chicago, USA.

Finally, in the first half of 2021, NTT will go live with Indonesia’s largest data center known as Indonesia Jakarta 3 Data Center. The new campus in Bekasi, Indonesia will be capable of 45MW of critical IT load once fully developed.

“By increasing our global footprint during this pandemic, we can support our clients as their demand increases for reliable, robust cloud services, cloud communications, digital entertainment and new technology such as artificial intelligence,” said Mr. Matsuo.

In 2019, NTT created their new Global Data Centers division, combining subsidiaries, including e-shelter, Gyron, NetMagic, DPA, Nexcenter and RagingWire.

The nine new data centers by NTT will add to their current 500,000 square metres of colocation space across 160 data centers located in more than 20 countries and regions.

Earlier this month, NTT also announced the launch of a new Private Cloud for Enterprise service in Hong Kong and Singapore today to be a core component of their Intelligent Data Center and hybrid cloud capabilities.

Take a deep dive into Japan’s cloud and data center market

Japan has an exciting future ahead in the cloud and data center space. The cloud services market is forecasted to be worth US$6 billion this year and many colocation data center providers have invested heavily in the country, including NTT, Equinix, Digital Realty and more.

But what does the future hold for the markets in Japan?

Register for free to discover how you can tap into Japan’s bright future at our next Market Briefing on Thursday 5 November.

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

Malaysia’s Green Packet looks to raise $23m through private placement to fund cloud business

Green Packet has announced plans to raise between US$14.9 million (RM62.51 million) and US$23 million (RM98.94 million) to fund their cloud business.

The Malaysia-based telecommunications provider revealed in a statement it would issue 120.21 million new shares, or just under 11% of its current share capital, at RM0.52 sen per share.

From the proceeds raised, Green Packet will use US$596,587 (RM2.5 million) for daily operations of its cloud business. The remaining US$22.9 million will be used to buy the necessary IT infrastructure.

Green Packet also expects to invest approximately US$19 million (RM80 million) in the first year of their cloud business venture and US$47.7 million (RM200 million) in the following four years.

“It is a big advantage for Green Packet to diversify into cloud computing business as this gives us an upper hand to offer better and comprehensive solutions to our customers,” said Puan Chan Cheong, the Group Managing Director and CEO of Green Packet.

The cloud computing business will be a key strategic pillar of Green Packet’s overall play in the digital and technology ecosystem to enable the creation of a digital nation in Malaysia and further afield.

Green Packet intends to focus on providing services like Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for its customers.

“In the coming years, the adoption of cloud computing will experience rapid growth across various industries especially with the convergence of next generation technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and internet-of-things,” added Mr. Cheong.

Green Packet received approval from shareholders to diversify their offerings by including cloud computing services during their Extraordinary General Meeting in July 2020.

Make cloud-first happen in Malaysia

Adopting and migrating to cloud technologies is becoming a top priority for many organisations in Malaysia.

The Government has been active in encouraging cloud adoption by creating a data exchange hub for ministries and plans for smart cities. As a result, the cloud computing market in the country is expected to be worth US$3.7 billion by 2024, growing at a rate of 13% per year.

Register now to discover how you can be a part of Malaysia’s cloud-first future on Tuesday 25 August!

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

SK Holdings pays $300m for 8.9% in data center operator Chindata Group

South Korea’s SK Holdings has reportedly paid US$300 million for an 8.9% share in the world’s first hyperscale data center operator Chindata Group.

The deal valued the data center provider, which was acquired by Bain Capital in 2019, at US$3.1 billion.

SK Holdings, the parent company of SK Group, owns six data centers in South Korea, while Chindata Group has multiple interconnected large-scale campuses serving global clients in China.

After merging with Bridge Data Centres last year, Chindata Group is also expanding into Malaysia with two hyperscale data centers in Cyberjaya and a new facility in the financial and telecom hub of Mumbai, India.

Chindata Group’s vision is to power its next-generation hyperscale data centers using 100% renewable energy.

“We diligently develop our hyperscale data centers at strategic locations where energy, connectivity and clients’ business demands intersect. In this way, we could help customers realize their business strategy together with the long-term goal of ‘go green’,” said Alex Ju, the Founder and CEO of Chindata Group.

Chindata Group was ranked in first place by Greenpeace in their Clean Cloud 2020 report and achieved the Hyperscale Innovation award at the DataCloud Awards 2019.

“We are dedicated to providing more cost-effective and resilient data center services for human development, and empowering emerging countries,” added Mr. Ju.

The acquisition between SK Holdings and Chindata Group is expected to close the third quarter of 2020.

What is the state of green data centers in Asia?

Data center operators are trending towards the implementation of green data center solutions. But not all countries in Asia may be adopting sustainable technologies at the same pace.

Register for free today to explore how the state of green data centers in South Korea compare to the rest of Asia.

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

TM to become Malaysia’s first end-to-end Cloud AI Infrastructure Service Provider with Huawei agreement

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) has signed an agreement with Huawei to expand its cloud services and provide Malaysia with its first end-to-end cloud artificial intelligence infrastructure.

The TM Cloud α (Cloud Alpha) services are set to enable the next generation of innovation for its public sector and enterprise customers.

“TM is the only local player with its own state-of-the-art core data centers and cloud infrastructure with full data residency, locality and sovereignty in Malaysia and subjected to regulations in Malaysia,” said Dato’ Noor Kamarul, the Group Chief Executive Officer for TM.

Malaysia’s national telecommunications infrastructure provider will leverage Huawei’s cloud technology to offer cloud, AI and cybersecurity for their operations, spanning Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service.

“This collaboration with Huawei Malaysia is another milestone for TM ONE. We now have full cloud capability as a core offering from TM ONE to capture growth in Malaysia,” said Ahmad Taufek, the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of TM ONE.

The industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27% in the next five years, according to Mr. Taufek.

Digitalising Malaysia

The Cloud α solution is expected to fast-track digital transformation in Malaysia by introducing more smart services, big data innovations and the Internet of Things innovations.

Michael Yuen, the Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Malaysia, said: “I am confident we can develop a holistic ICT infrastructure together in line with the government’s move to spur Malaysia’s digital economy growth.”

The memorandum of agreement signed by TM ONE and Huawei acted as a commitment by the two companies to develop cloud and AI talent as well as drive foreign cloud and data transactions back to Malaysia.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Deputy Minister, Zahidi Zainul Abidin, said the agreement would boost Malaysia’s economic recovery and digital economy during the pandemic, which has demonstrated the need to rapidly adopt new technologies.

He added: “Malaysia will now focus on economic growth and towards reaping the full benefits of the Industrial Revolution 4.0. Therefore, today’s MoA is a step in the right direction.”

TM ONE’s Cloud α solutions was launched in April of this year, providing a foundation that enables blockchain, chatbot, data analytics and robotic process automation innovations, while remaining compliant with regulatory requirements like Bank Negara Malaysia’s Risk Management in Technology (RMiT).

Along with their Huawei agreement, TM ONE also welcomed the recent expansion of AWS into Malaysia with the availability of their Outposts.

“It will help us in our mission to enable the Malaysian public sector and enterprises to be more agile, while delivering better and more comprehensive services to end customers. This is in line with TM Group’s commitment in enabling Digital Malaysia,” said Mr. Taufek.

The enterprise and public sector business solutions arm of Telecommunications Company Telekom Malaysia Berhad found AWS Outposts to be an important part of TM ONE Cloud Alpha’s hybrid cloud strategy.

Image credit: TM ONE

Looking to move to the cloud?

Cloud infrastructures are becoming more readily available, and you may be looking to migrate your data for optimum operational efficiency and digital transformation.

But you might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and questions: Will this enable my digital transformation plans? Will my data be secure? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how you can migrate your data effectively.

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

Malaysia’s AIMS starts constructing flagship Tier III data center in Cyberjaya

Malaysia-based data center operator AIMS has started construction on a flagship Tier III data center in Cyberjaya.

The facility will offer 240,000 square feet of white space and a scalable power capacity of up to 50MW.

“The new facility will open Malaysia up to more connections and the prospect of establishing itself as a regional data center hub,” said Chiew Kok Hin, the Chief Executive Officer of AIMS Data Centre.

The interconnected data center provider aims to enable businesses to set up their IT infrastructure with more ease and reduce reliance on third parties located outside of Malaysia.

Mr. Hin added Malaysia is strategically located in Southeast Asia with domestic and international connectivity, ease of access and relatively low cost of entry.

The new data center known as AIMS @ Cyberjaya will act as a satellite site for the Malaysia Internet Exchange, for which AIMS is the ‘anchor site handling traffic for over 88 peers and networks with international connectivity’.

The facility will cater to hyperscalers and enterprises with high processing needs and strict security requirements by providing enhanced security measures, including ten levels of security, biometric systems and anti-tailgating mantraps.

In a press release by AIMS, the data center provider said the facility is able to ‘maximise cooling efficiency and has solid power management capabilities’ through a N+1 dedicated generator and chiller plant as well as an N+2 computer room air handler.

As cloud adoption increases across Southeast Asia, the Malaysia-based facility will offer direct access to AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, bypassing public Internet for better latency and enhanced security.

The new data center will be equipped with Uptime Institute Tier III and Green Building Index accreditations as well as Risk Management in Technology guidelines compliance issued by Bank Negara Malaysia, ensuring reliability and resiliency.

Located in Cyberjaya, AIMS’ new data center is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020, contributing to the town’s aspiration of becoming the ‘Silicon Valley of Malaysia’.

This will add to AIMS’ growing portfolio of data centers across Southeast Asia, with two more facilities expected to be coming soon in Vietnam.

Image credit: AIMS

Which data center is the best for your needs?

There is an overwhelming amount of choice when selecting the best data center for your needs. You may be asking questions about location, security, migration capabilities and sustainability.

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how to choose the best data center for your needs.

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

AWS expands Asia presence, making Outposts available in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand

Amazon Web Services has expanded its presence in Asia by launching AWS Outposts in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, enabling businesses to gain greater native access to AWS services.

Customers can use the Outposts to help them with large projects requiring low latency access to on-premises systems as well as local data processing and storage.

“With AWS Outposts, our customers can benefit from the accelerated pace of innovation in the cloud, while securely storing and processing sensitive data on-premises,” said Conor McNamara, the Managing Director of ASEAN at AWS.

The Outposts enable businesses to work with the AWS Partner Network, assisting application migration to AWS.

“As AWS Outposts is fully managed by AWS, our customers can also focus on their end users, and driving innovation that differentiates their businesses, while leaving the responsibility of managing the infrastructure to us,” added Mr. McNamara.

Empowering hybrid cloud solutions

A number of businesses have celebrated the launch of AWS Outposts in Asia, which empower hybrid cloud solutions and transform customer user experience.

Our customers will benefit from AWS’s rapid pace of innovation in cloud infrastructure services while being able to store and process data on-premises,” said Mr. Ahmad Taufek Omar, the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of TM ONE.

The enterprise and public sector business solutions arm of Telecommunications Company Telekom Malaysia Berhad found AWS Outposts to be an important part of TM ONE Cloud Alpha’s hybrid cloud strategy.

“It will help us in our mission to enable the Malaysian public sector and enterprises to be more agile, while delivering better and more comprehensive services to end customers. This is in line with TM Group’s commitment in enabling Digital Malaysia,” said Mr. Omar.

Outposts enable customers to run services like Elastic Compute Cloud, which allows users to reduce demand on physical servers by running virtual servers as if they were in the cloud.

“Incorporating hybrid cloud will address the need for data residency and edge computing, all accessed through our leading next generation converged network. Our goal is to accelerate cloud adoption and digital transformation journeys for businesses,” said Claire Featherstone, the Head of Maxis Technology Practices and Maxis Cloud Centre of Excellence, a leading Malaysia-based communications provider.

AWS Outposts are replicas of hardware infrastructure, services and API that run in Amazon data centers. With the availability of Outposts, customers can connect to the nearest AWS Regions in Asia, including Singapore.

InfoFabrica, a Singapore-based IT hybrid cloud consulting and managed services company, welcomed the announcement.

“Many of our enterprise customers look for hybrid cloud solutions that will allow them to move workloads and data seamlessly between on-premises assets and the AWS cloud,” said Mr. Li Wen Chi, Managing Director of InfoFabrica Pte Ltd.

The general availability in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand follows the launch of AWS Outposts in Singapore and Indonesia earlier this year.

Image credit: Amazon Web Services

Looking to migrate your data to the cloud?

As more data center options become available throughout the world, you may be looking to migrate your data for optimum operational efficiency and digital transformation.

You might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and questions you may have: Will this enable my digital transformation plans? Will my data be secure? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how you can migrate your data effectively.

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

Alibaba Cloud and Xiamen University Malaysia look to enhance cloud skills

Students and staff of Xiamen University Malaysia will have their cloud computing skills enhanced after signing a partnership with Alibaba Cloud.

The data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group announced on May 20 that the University’s cloud computing curriculum will be delivered through the Alibaba Cloud Academic Empowerment Program.

Jordy Cao, the General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Malaysia, said: “As more businesses embark on digital transformation, the demand for IT and cloud professionals is expected to rise exponentially.”

The memorandum of understanding signed by both parties aims to empower more students to stay ahead so they can boost their career prospects in the digital economy. Students will be able to receive a certification from Alibaba Cloud after the completion of the education program.

The President of Xiamen University Malaysia, Professor Wang Ruifang, said: “We aim to nurture high-quality IT talent capable of contributing to the digital transformation of Malaysia, China and the broader region.”

The University currently has 11 ICT labs with industry-leading software and 1,011 are enrolled in three ICT-related bachelor’s degree programs, including Computer Science and Technology, Software Engineering, and Digital Media Technology.

The university will soon kick start a Bachelor of Engineering in Artificial Intelligence and a new Data Science program.

A dozen universities have also joined Alibaba Cloud Academy’s virtual learning community on DingTalk to benefit from certified online training.

The cloud provider launched a US$30 million Anti-COVID-19 SME Enablement Program to accelerate cloud adoption and provide much-needed relief during the pandemic. Alibaba Cloud also opened their first local data center in Malaysia in 2017 and is the largest public cloud service provider in Asia Pacific.