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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Singapore 2021 Budget: $75.3 million to support digital transformation

The Singaporean government will be injecting $75.3 million (SGD$1 billion) into the country’s tech scene to support digital transformation initiatives from enterprises in the country.

This comes as part of the country’s 2021 Annual Budget, where the government has introduced a slew of new policies to remain competitive in a post-COVID-19 economy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the launch of the Emerging Technology Programme, where the government will co-fund the costs of next-generation technology trial and adoption by enterprises. This includes 5G, AI, and trust technologies.

Next, a new Digital Leaders Programme will be in place to equip digital leaders with the necessary resources and talent to digitally transform their businesses. One such digitalisation effort is the introduction of an initiative called Chief-Technology-Officer-as-a-Service (CTOaaS), where IT professionals will act as consultants and provide digital services and solutions to businesses.

“In the coming years,  a critical part of business transformation will be in job redesign,” said Mr. Heng.

“More mature enterprises, from micro and small, to medium and large enterprises, should also invest in new and emerging technologies to sharpen their competitiveness.” he added.

These measures are in line with steps taken by developed countries to give a boost to their economies. For example, the US has already passed a first round of stimulus and is going for a second round now. According to reports, United States President Joe Biden wants Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in the coming weeks in order to get $1,400 stimulus cheques to Americans and bolster unemployment payments.

JOIN W.MEDIA AT DIGITAL WEEK

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When: 23-26 February 2021

Where: Online

The past year has seen incredible leaps forward in our embrace of digital solutions, and we think it’s time to come together and talk about it. We’re bringing together thousands of IT leaders from across Southeast Asia, covering everything from datacenter deployment to digital banking. Digital Week lets you expand your network and engage with new markets from wherever you are.

Want to learn more about ASEAN’s Cloud & IT ecosystem? Start your year off right and Register Today for Free!

DCI secures Development Approval for new Sydney data center


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

SUSE appoints former Salesforce and SAP Account Director as first Southeast Asia Managing Director for next growth frontier

SUSE, a global leader in open source solutions, has appointed Isabella Kusumawati as its Vice President and Managing Director for Southeast Asia, a recognition of the region as an important market.

Ms. Kusumawati aims to significantly increase revenue in the region in the next three years by recruiting partners and top talent to reap the benefits of untapped business opportunities in one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, despite SUSE acknowledging that Asia Pacific enterprises, large retailers, and brands are lagging in their platform strategies, putting them at a competitive risk.

“Our customers are looking for choice; they demand open technologies that help them drive their business outcomes. We are currently hiring aggressively as we look to expand the team to help our customers, communities and partners leverage open source solutions,” said Ms. Kusumawati.

In Nielsen’s What’s Next in Southeast Asia, the global measurement and data analytics company calls Southeast Asia the next growth frontier. It is an emerging market that is home to the fast-growing population with stable GDP growth and high digital connectivity, which increases the desire for more innovation in the region. 

Digital transformation is crucial for businesses to thrive and open source is playing a major role that delivers a robust foundation in the modern IT landscape, as well as cost efficiencies and innovation.

“The trend of enterprises leveraging open source technology will rise drastically like never before as it allows companies to develop an ecosystem that can advance faster innovation, enabling unprecedented scale, adaptability and additional new features supporting changing trends and customer demands,” added Ms. Kusumawati. 

Ms. Kusumawati is a senior sales leader with 17 years of experience in sales management, including new market and business development for tech companies such as Salesforce, SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. 

Phillip Miltiades, the President of SUSE Asia Pacific and Japan, said: “With the digital economy in Southeast Asia growing at a rapid pace, I am confident under Isabella’s leadership that she will be successful in building the market and growing SUSE’s business.”

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.

CIC and ZALL uses enhanced digital connectivity to launch Digital Silk Road initiative

Commodities Intelligence Centre (CIC), ZALL Smart Commerce and Singapore’s Blockchain for Trade & Connectivity Network have jointly launched a Digital Silk Road initiative.

The initiative will combine Singapore’s first blockchain-powered global physical commodities B2B e-trade platform with ZALL’s latest global digital trading platform Zallgo to help businesses in Singapore uncover new digital trade opportunities through enhanced digital connectivity.

“As digital trade becomes the new engine of global economic growth, digital connectivity becomes increasingly important for companies to expand their market footprint quickly in a safe and secure manner,” said Peter Yu, the CEO of CIC.

The new partnerships forged with the Digital Silk Road initiative and BTC Network is expected to strengthen CIC’s existing networks in the region, enabling SMEs to optimise their supply chains in cross-border trade through their ecosystem in Asia.

“CIC is well-placed to provide the necessary tools and guidance in promoting greater efficiency and transparency across global supply chains to help SMEs embrace the power of digitalisation to explore opportunities, casting their net wider, reaching out to a larger pool of reliable partners and suppliers beyond their usual reach,” added Mr. Yu.

The new initiative also aims to boost trade across the Asia Pacific region on the back of the world’s largest trade pact, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The newly established partnerships underscore the increasingly important strategic role of CIC in facilitating the expansion of regional trade and investment, as it aims to develop more than 10 winning commodities that will be popular worldwide over the next three to five years.

Earlier this month, CIC, along with five other commercial partners, launched BTC Network to drive innovation and test-bedding of blockchain solutions with multimodal global supply chain companies, digital trading platforms and technologies.

BTC Network is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) to develop a risk assessment framework for small and medium-sized enterprises to assess how blockchain can boost their business.

Since the start of the year, CIC’s platform has reported an increase of more than 20% in customers joining their platform compared to the same period last year. The company also saw a surge in online transactions with over 4,000 customers searching for trading opportunities on the platform daily.

“We have withstood the test of the pandemic and have witnessed the impact of the industrial internet economy on global trade and investment,” said Mr. Yu.

CIC has since achieved a gross merchandise volume of US$13.2 billion (S$17.6 billion), with over 5,200 registered users covering markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and China, among other countries in Asia.

With the new initiative, CIC will look to further boost China-ASEAN trading opportunities and facilitate commodities trading via enhanced digital connectivity. 

CIC is a joint venture between Singapore Exchange and Global eTrade Services.

Indosat Ooredoo partners with Ericsson to continue its digital transformation

Indosat Ooredoo, Indonesia’s largest telecommunications provider, has selected Ericsson to digitally transform its business support systems for a fully digitised customer experience.

Indosat Ooredoo will leverage Ericsson’s Digital Monetisation Platform (DMP) to boost its 5G, IoT, and digital services offerings to individual customers and enterprises.

Medhat Elhusseiny, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Indosat Ooredoo, said that with Ericsson’s DMP, Indosat Ooredoo will enable the simplification of business processes, and flexible integration of third-party services for a more enjoyable user experience.

The platform includes open APIs and micro services architecture that supports speedy integration of new channels and services. Through DevOps, business activities such as new services design, orchestration and monetisation are expected to be carried out more efficiently.

“This partnership will drive agility and innovation to continue enhancing our customer experience for both consumers and enterprises,” said Mr. Elhusseiny.

With the platform, Indosat Ooredoo will be able to reduce cost for streamlined operations, thereby increasing their competitiveness in Indonesia’s telecommunications market.

“Ericsson’s Digital Monetisation Platform will empower Indosat Ooredoo to monetise assets while meeting customer demands with new offers and enable flexibility to meet market demands,” said Jerry Soper, Country Head of Ericsson Indonesia.

Indosat Ooredoo and Ericsson have a longstanding partnership that dates back to collaborations in 2G, 3G, and 4G technology.

NTT appoints Abhijit Dubey as new Global CEO

NTT Ltd. has announced the appointment of a new Global CEO after Jason Goodall announced his retirement from the position.

Abhijit Dubey will take on the role from April 1 2021. Mr. Dubey will join NTT after serving 20 years as a Senior Partner at international management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Mr. Goodall expressed his confidence over the decision and will work with Mr. Dubey in the first half of 2021 to ensure a smooth handover.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Abhijit to the NTT family in 2021 to lead the next generation of our business. He shares our passion for the technology industry and the role that technology can play in helping make the world a better place,” he said.

With many organisations all around the world gearing up for a post-pandemic digital transformation, Mr. Dubey vows to assist employees and clients to leverage technology for good.

“NTT is privileged to be a critical technology services partner for many of the world’s leading companies and public sector organisations, with employees in over 73 countries around the world. I’m excited about the opportunity to lead this next chapter for NTT,” said Mr. Dubey.

Mr. Dubey will join NTT in February, and will be based in NTT’s headquarters in London.

“With many NTT clients accelerating their digital transformation because of the global pandemic, there has never been a more important time for the technology industry to deliver for the world. I am passionate about NTT’s purpose, strategy, and part it will play to help clients, employees and communities leverage technology for good,” he added.

After a three-month handover period, Mr. Goodall will formally retire from his role on June 30, 2021. He will remain as Board Director for NTT, as well as strategic advisor for NTT’s Venture Capital business. 

Tsunehisa Okuno, the Chairman of NTT. Ltd. thanked Mr. Goodall for his 23 years of service and looked forward to welcoming Mr. Dubey.

Seagate launches two new gaming storage products

In collaboration with PlayStation, Marvel, and Crystal Dynamics, Seagate has announced the launch of two new storage products, which will upgrade the capacity and performance of gamers’ experience. 

 

The hard drives are compatible with the PS4 and PS4 Pro systems, offering 2TB of capacity, USB 3.0 connectivity, plug-and-play functionality, and instant add-on storage.

 

Seagate has also released the only external storage device that enables users to achieve the same performance as Xbox Velocity Architecture, enabling backward compatibility across all previous versions of Xbox.

The custom storage card delivers an additional 1 TB of external storage for a streamlined gaming experience, replicating the speed and performance of the consoles’ internal SSDs and Xbox Velocity Architecture.

Microsoft partners with Singapore Government to boost employment and upskilling

Microsoft and non-profit organisation Generation are partnering with Government agencies in Singapore to upskill and open up tech jobs for Singaporeans.

Named #GetReadySG, this latest job upskilling initiative is launched as part of the Government’s SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package.

Mainly aimed at fresh graduates and mid-career Singaporeans, it will train and provide up to 1,000 in-demand tech jobs to support the local tech industry.

Microsoft and Generation will work with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), its sister organisation Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) on this initiative.

Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive of IMDA, highlighted that #GetReadySG will impart hard skills such as cloud architecture and data analytics engineering, as well as important soft skills like cross-cultural teamwork and communication.

“This will enable Singaporeans to better seize the exciting opportunities across our growing digital economy,” he said.

Generation will be in charge of devising the course structure for the programs, whereas Microsoft will make use of its wide network of partners and help candidates to secure employment after training.

Mr. Prateek Hegde, CEO of Generation Singapore and COO of Generation APAC, pointed out that while his organisation’s main commitment is to serve jobseekers in need, Generation recognises that by having access to a highly skilled talent pool, the tech industry as a whole benefits.

“We continue to hear from companies that it is difficult to find the right tech talent, while jobseekers continue to report on barriers to employment – such as lack of specific domain skills and relevant certifications. This programme is designed to effectively bridge this gap and help more Singaporeans who require such support to launch their careers in tech-enabled roles,” added Mr. Hegde.

Singapore’s future-ready preparations

Singapore has been at the forefront of introducing new tech programs on the policy level to supercharge its status as Asia’s post pandemic digital hub. In November, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the launch of Tech.Pass, a new visa that allows professionals from all around the world to come to Singapore and grow their tech business.

#GetReadySG will have two streams for eligible candidates. The first stream, a hire and train program offered by SSG, will see up to 300 Singaporeans being selected and offered paid training for nine months. They will receive training for in-demand tech skills, including full stack development, data engineering and analysis, cloud support, and DevOps practitioning.

The second stream, the mid-career pathways program, will allow mid-career job seekers to work under a structured, full-time apprenticeship with a Microsoft partner to learn the necessary tech skills. Up to 700 professionals will be selected, and a monthly allowance of $1,500 will be given. This stream is offered by Microsoft, Generation, SSG, and Temasek Polytechnic.

“What makes #GetReadySG different from other skilling programmes is that it brings together the best of what Microsoft, IMDA, SSG, DISG and Generation have to offer in terms of resources, expertise and technical knowledge,” said Mr. Kevin Wo, Managing Director of Microsoft Singapore.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for these upskilling efforts – hence it is more important than ever that we embark on this national skills initiative,” he continued.

On top of that, Microsoft will also be partnering with SSG for the latter’s Queen Bee program, an initiative that matches industry leaders with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to grow the local business ecosystem.

Mr Ong Tze Ch’in, Chief Executive of SSG, expressed delight at Microsoft’s active involvement in Singapore’s SME transformation scene.

“This [partnership] will help SMEs strengthen their capabilities and to help drive up employer participation in the development of their workforce,” he noted.

Standard Chartered Bank will also be a part of the #GetReadySG initiative to nurture a pipeline of homegrown ‘techno-bankers’ for the future.

“This is very much aligned to our commitment as a Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank in Singapore to invest for growth, continuously reskill our workforce and build a strong Singapore Core to ensure future competitiveness,” said Charlotte Thng, the Head of HR for Singapore, Australia and ASA Cluster Markets at Standard Chartered Bank.

Registration for the first stream opens in January 2021, and registration for the second stream opens in mid-December 2020.

Zoom to double Singapore data center capacity, announces new R&D center

Zoom has announced they will double their Singapore data center capacity, along with a new research and development center and a rapid mass hiring of hundreds of new engineering professionals in the country.

All of the above are set to lend further support to Zoom’s existing R&D centers in the US, India, and China, as well as its engineering headquarters in San Jose, California.

Velchamy Sankarlingam, President of Product and Engineering for Zoom, points out that Singapore’s talent pool and advanced technology infrastructure makes the Lion City ‘a perfect gateway’ to engage with the wider Asia Pacific region.

“We plan to immediately hire employees, leveraging Singapore’s highly-educated engineering talent pool. Our new R&D center and data center will play a critical role in Zoom’s continued international growth,” he said.

More good news for Singapore’s tech scene

Zoom’s announcement means more positives for Singapore. Since the pandemic, the lion city has been gearing up to attract foreign tech companies and talent to grow its tech scene.

The government has introduced a slew of job upskilling initiatives for in-demand tech jobs, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has recently announced a new visa specially for foreign tech professionals.

Zoom rise to a million-dollar IPO

Zoom was one of few firms that became a million-dollar company almost overnight due to the pandemic.

Eric Yuan’s brainchild has been around since 2011, and Zoom went public on Nasdaq in April 2019 with an IPO of $356.8 million raised.

However, with remote work becoming the norm worldwide, Zoom’s market value skyrocketed. According to Bloomberg, Zoom’s revenue almost quadrupled in one year to $777.2 million in October, a whopping 367% year-on-year increase.

“Zoom has changed the realm of what we thought was possible. We can work from anywhere rather than a fixed location. In some ways, we are more productive and fulfilled. I am thrilled that Zoom will be partnering with Singapore to set up an R&D center to explore possibilities,” he continued,” said Mr. Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

The launch of a R&D center in Singapore represents Zoom’s strategy of developing its leading communications technology in multiple locations globally. The center will play a vital role as a source of innovation for Zoom, leveraging some of Singapore’s most talented professionals.

Preparing Indonesia’s digital infrastructure for Southeast Asia’s booming digital economy

Southeast Asia has overtaken China as the leading mobile economy hotspot, with most of the growth happening in Indonesia, according to DCI Indonesia.

The region accounts for around 10% of the world’s total Internet users, with Indonesia reaching 175.4 million users, which is 64% of the country’s population, representing a growth of 20% or 29 million new users over the past two years.

As a result, Indonesia is expected to be one of the major three fastest-growing e-commerce countries globally along with India and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the archipelago’s digital economy is expected to be the largest in Southeast Asia. According to the annual e-Conomy Southeast Asia study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, Indonesia’s market value is expected to triple to US$309 billion by 2025, driven by the rise of e-commerce, ride-hailing and online gaming.

Nevertheless, DCI Indonesia believes the country needs to upgrade the underdeveloped digital infrastructure that limits the public and private sector from reaping the full benefits of this billion dollar opportunity.

To do so, investing in ICT is key, especially data center and network capabilities, as these are backbones to the successful implementation of innovative technologies.

And with the growing volumes of data, in-house or multi-tenant data center operators in Indonesia need to prepare to meet increasing expectations  for seamless digital experiences.

“There are tremendous opportunities ahead, the cloud is growing exponentially along with the booming digital economy, and they need to provide infrastructure to cater for the cloud. The advantages are undoubtedly driving demand and fueling recent growth of new hyperscale facilities in Indonesia,” said Philbert Shih, the Managing Director of Structure Research.

As internet users in the mass market and enterprises begin to use various infrastructure outsourcing models, hyperscale cloud and data centers are set to take full advantage in growing cities like Jakarta where capacity in 2025 is projected to reach 198.5 MW, with a maximum build out of 236.3 MW. 

Hyperscale will also create demand for wholesale colocation to house the supporting infrastructure and drive uptake of interconnection services to integrate and scale with cloud services.

The wholesale data center colocation portion of the market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 43.5% between now and 2025, reaching approximately 131.2 MW of capacity in five years.

DCI Indonesia built a 200MW facility spanning 85,000 square meters in Greater Jakarta last year, the first largest hyperscale campus in Indonesia, to meet future capacity needs. 

“As of today, we continue to witness strong market demand from our current customers as well as global business players looking to enter the market,” said Toto Sugiri, the CEO of DCI Indonesia.

To keep up with demand, DCI Indonesia has also completed the final stages of their newest data center, JK5, which has a current capacity of 15 MW, adding an additional 20% from current capacity built out in Indonesia.

This research and trends show Indonesia as a “hotspot” for hyperscale data center investment within the next five years, driven by the rise in cloud adoption. The entry of Google, Alibaba Cloud, and AWS into Indonesia also demonstrates a developing interest in the country as a substitute for Singapore.

As a result, Indonesia is set to be the fastest growing market for data centers in Southeast Asia, with a growth rate of 22% per annum over the next five years.

HCL Technologies enters Vietnam with plan to hire 3,000 locals

India’s HCL Technologies has announced its entry into Vietnam with its first delivery center in Hanoi.

With their local entity HCL Vietnam, the company will deliver advanced technology solutions to clients across different industries all around the world, including financial services, healthcare, infrastructure, engineering, and cybersecurity.

“We are fully prepared and committed in bringing new opportunities for both young and experienced talent, to work for a leading global technology company without having to move out of their home country,” said Sanjay Gupta, the Corporate Vice President of HCL Technologies.

HCL hopes to collaborate with local ICT and engineering institutions to foster and train local tech talent. HCL aims to hire 3,000 local university graduates and professionals over the next three years to empower the country’s tech talent pool.

“Vietnam and its skilled youth have the true potential to develop a robust IT industry, which is spearheading economic growth in the country,” added Mr. Gupta.

Vice Minister Phan Tam of Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications expressed delight at HCL’s decision to build and grow its business in the country.

“I am very confident that the kind of world-class platform and exposure this company will be providing to our talented resources through its global delivery center will help in nurturing and building skills that are very much needed in today’s digital age,” said Vice Minister Phan.

As part of kickstarting its operations in Vietnam, HCL will organise a Virtual Job Fair for fresh graduates on December 19, 2020.

“Vietnam offers a friendly business environment and its rapidly growing IT and physical infrastructure is making it a favorable destination for global multinational companies to set up their global delivery centers here,” commented Sanh Chau Pham, Ambassador of Vietnam to India.

HCL began its business operations in Vietnam in July 2020, and there is hope that more companies will be welcomed to help Vietnam emerge as an IT destination.

Got a story, opinion or more information on this article? Contact us at editor@w.media. And sign up to the W.Media Newsletter to get the latest data center, cloud and cybersecurity updates!

Preparing for an edge data center future

Our never-ending desire for faster connectivity and growing hunger for more data consumption anywhere and everywhere is increasing the demand for edge data centers.

That’s why the edge data center market is expected to exponentially increase in value by up to 23% and between US$13.5 billion and US$20 billion.

“Edge data centers are truly evolving and growing. Edge computing today is almost like what we saw with cloud eight to ten years ago,” said Steven Cheng, the Director for East Asia E-commerce and Edge Computing for International Operations at Schneider Electric.

This impressive uptake is driven by the advent and rising adoption of 5G, industrial automation, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cloud gaming and high-quality video streaming.

These technologies are vastly increasing the number of connected devices and applications requiring low latency, speedy connectivity, more data and reliable storage. To meet the demand for automation, edge data centers are deployed to enable the use of these technologies by bringing digital infrastructures and faster processing power closer to us.

“Asia is one of the regions that has been hit hardest by this year’s events, which is fueling the acceleration of lights out operations and automation where a company may now need to lay off their workforce,” said Mr. Cheng.

The Asia Pacific region is forecast to contribute a growth rate of 25% to the edge data center market by 2026.

For countries like Indonesia and the Philippines where there are a lot of islands split across the geographical regions, having local compute to monitor and process data in real-time and provide advanced technological services locally for improved customer experiences is very important for the region.

“Companies now need to start thinking about how to reallocate their investments on automation and local compute to not only save costs, but to also be well prepared for unforeseen circumstances like those we have experienced this year,” Mr. Cheng added.

Challenges at the edge

Implementing edge compute begins with installing small racks in different environments like industrial complexes, commercial buildings, or even hospitals and normal IT closets.

Bringing digital services to the edge can empower more convenience, better customer experience and smarter cities. For example, with edge computing coupled with 5G connectivity, a billboard could display emergency room waiting times of different hospitals in real-time to prevent overcrowding, which we have seen during the pandemic.

But to successfully drive edge data center deployments, businesses must consider the environments where they are building these facilities and the IT staff they have to manage them.

“To have a successful edge compute, you need to make sure that the deployments in these environments can withstand an unmanned service because you’re not going to have anybody there looking at your edge servers all the time,” advised Mr. Cheng.

However, the successful future of edge computing could be slowed down by legacy systems that are not connected to any networks or devices.

“To have those legacy systems upgraded to have connectable abilities, I think that would be the key to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution forward,” said Mr. Cheng.

With newer, distributed infrastructure, the cost of deployment, management and maintenance can be a concern for those considering edge data centers. 

To overcome these challenges, Schneider Electric has efficient edge data center solution lines to fit any environment or climate, whether it’s on the ground or in the air on a wall for smaller deployments where space might be limited in a place like Singapore. 

“At Schneider Electric, we have product lines like a 6U Micro Data Center. You can mount it on the wall with uninterruptible power supply and security monitoring all in one enclosure, so you don’t have to worry about powering or cooling the data center because it just rolls into your site,” said Mr. Cheng.

And once your deployment is completed, Schneider Electric has solutions to eliminate the challenge of maintenance, with cloud-based remote monitoring applications to lower service costs and ensure your systems keep running.

“You need to have sensors and monitoring devices. We have 3D heat maps and simulations to monitor your hotspots in the facility. If your edge data center does not have enough cooling or the power is struggling, alarms will sound on your remote monitoring system to alert you,” added Mr. Cheng.

Take for example, Leading Edge Data Centres in Australia who shared their experience of partnering with Schneider Electric at W.Media’s Edge Data Center Strategy and Solutions in Asia Pacific digital event

Leading Edge Data Centres leveraged Schneider Electric’s extensive experience to deploy Tier-3-designed, standardised, pre-assembled and fully integrated data center modules, including 75 racks featuring 5 kW per rack power density, in six sites across New South Wales.

With the help of Schneider Electric, Leading Edge Data Centres’ intention is to build a network of highly connected edge data centers to create communication hubs, bridging the gap between urban and regional areas in Australia where connectivity and low latency is lacking.

To get involved in the inevitable edge data center future, Mr. Cheng recommended a hybrid model, combining cloud computing with regional edge solutions to enable easy management close to your headquarters, and local edge solutions to ensure better and faster customer experiences for your users.

> Prepare for the edge data center future with Schneider Electric

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

Exclusive Networks Malaysia signs service agreements with HPE and Nutanix

Cybersecurity and cloud solutions company Exclusive Networks Malaysia (ENMY) has signed agreements with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Nutanix to improve the efficiency of enterprise operations in Malaysia.

Under the agreement, ENMY will officially be given the rights to distribute the complete suite of HP’s and Nutanix’s products to the public and private sectors. They include a line of hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, including Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud platform, HPE ProLiant DX Servers and HPE GreenLake with Nutanix, 

“As a one-stop shop for a complete range of innovative solutions, including security and hybrid cloud solutions, as well as professional and maintenance services, we often see first-hand the issues that aging IT infrastructures create for Malaysian enterprises,” said Yuri Zaharin, Country Manager at Exclusive Networks Malaysia.

Industries that are set to benefit from ENMY’s product offerings include the financial services industry, telecommunications, and manufacturing.

“By partnering with HPE and Nutanix, ENMY will enable enterprises to deploy their IT applications faster and reduce their overall IT costs, enabling them to thrive in Malaysia’s increasingly digital economy,” he continued.

Hyperconverged infrastructure can reduce unplanned downtime by 85% and the time spent on backups by 60%, increasing data recovery speed by 41%. The study adds that revenue could increase by 1-2% as a result of the reduction in unplanned downtime. To top it off, Hyperconverged Infrastructure can also help enterprises to reduce IT operational costs by 62%

Avinash Gowda, Country Manager for Nutanix Malaysia, said: “As more Malaysian enterprises scale for transformation in the cloud, capabilities that deliver on increased agility, flexibility and visibility will be top-of-mind.”

Chaw Kit San, Country Channel Manager for HPE Malaysia, pointed out that in 2020, distributed enterprises need secure, flexible, edge-to-cloud architectures, which can be offered by consumption-based IT and hyperconverged infrastructures.

Exclusive Networks Malaysia, HPE and Nutanix recognised the need to seal the deal after finding that organisations with legacy data centers and IT operations are facing a big challenge today, as their aging IT infrastructure is not equipped for agile and secure processing of exponentially increasing data volumes, particularly during the rising work-from-home trend.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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The Top 5 Benefits of Gas Generators for Data Centers

There is no secret that data centers are one of the biggest consumers of electricity and water with a growing target of carbon neutral advocates.

Presently, data center operators are highly reliant on diesel generators to power their facilities due to the infrastructure availability and low fuel prices. However, this is becoming increasingly exorbitant and exceedingly unsustainable.

“If you ask a data center operator, the big end users will want to become carbon neutral by 2030. Whilst natural gas gensets are not carbon neutral, they are a step towards the right direction,” said C. B. Lim, the Director of Product Development and Management at AWI-Genz Global Private Limited.

The data center industry has been growing to accommodate hyperscale cloud firms, cultivate ecosystems and fulfill new demand arising from technologies such as AI and IoT. Many tech giants and data center providers are committed to renewable energy goals, turning to greener alternatives like natural gas generators for their data centers, as they offer a number of benefits.

“I predict that green hydrogen power will be the future fuel for data center power, but you cannot just stand straight there! Infrastructure needs to be available. Hence, we see the gas genset as an intermediary solution for the foreseeable future. Natural Gas distribution networks could be used for hydrogen distribution in the future with many countries already ensuring any new expansion or replacement of natural gas networks can be used for both gas and hydrogen types,” Mr. Lim posited.

1. Reduced Carbon Footprint

Data center operators recognise that being carbon neutral plays an important role in their sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) stratagem and at the same time, enabling them to do their bit for global climate change. They also perceive that individuals and corporate customers prefer to buy products and services from environmentally conscious suppliers.

With this, more eyes are on gas generators as a practically immediate solution to reduce carbon footprints. Even with 30% reduction in carbon emission after switching to gas generators, many data centers are still using diesel generators as the primary source of power. And the demand for power and electricity is expected to rise continuously in the long run. This shows that switching to a lower carbon solution is essential as the climate clock is running out of time until the climate conditions become detrimental and irreversible.

“In a typical data center, the diesel generator set is a de-energised system. It is on standby mode, sat there doing nothing!” said Mr. Lim.

Gas generators are not meant for a one time one-for-one replacement for diesel generators. It is a commitment for operators, owners and organisations to change their mindset in order to understand the full benefits of the system and utilise them for continual operation.

“Emissions savings up to 40% as compared to a diesel genset and for utility grids dependent on region could be up to 60%,” said Mr. Lim.

“If we look at Singapore, all the electricity is created from liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants. If we put a gas power plant in a Singapore data center, we can localise the power generation,” added Mr. Lim.

In the conventional set up with diesel generators in Singapore, the utilities companies have to provide both power and transmission losses for customers. Transmission losses can go up to 15% of the usable power generated and this will result in a negative effect on a country’s overall carbon footprint.

“If you can reduce the transmission losses by producing locally, then it’s better for everyone,” advised Mr. Lim.

Towards a localised gas power generation for data centers, AWI-Genz Global recommends using a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system.

Instead of dispersing the heat from exhaust, water jacket and oil into the atmosphere as pollutants, this integrated system takes the heat and inject it into an absorption chiller that normally uses lesser electricity as compared to a normal chiller, and convert the heat into the chilled water to keep the servers cool to prevent any damages to the servers which will result in downtime.

“You’re utilising the heat from the engine to cool the data center. It is going to save you a lot of money,” said Mr. Lim.

2. Reduced Power Utilisation Effectiveness

Data center operators are constantly seeking to reduce their power utilisation effectiveness (PUE) to the highly sought after 1.0 PUE ratio.

“For PUE, what we are looking at is to reduce the transmission losses of the data center, and the majority of the losses come from the cooling system and the electrical power train driving the IT and cooling systems,” said Mr. Lim.

By using the CHP gas gensets, data center operators can also significantly reduce their PUEs.

Another key component that affects the PUE ratios is the uninterruptible power supply (UPS). UPS is commonly used for power conditioning and bridging the gap between utility and diesel generators during utility failures. A typical efficiency range of a static UPS is approximately 92% – 96% without any energy storage losses.

Looking at the power requirements of modern IT equipment (ITIC CBEMA), a UPS is typically not required.

ITIC Curve

Maintenance and overhaul play a significant role in the operating cost for gas gensets. In order to effectively utilise your assets, running the genset at their upper limit continuously is required. These fundamentals are applicable for both gas genset and hydrogen fuel cells.

“The key driver for natural gas genset is that you’re buying an asset that is used 24/7, rather than just an asset that sits in its container and does nothing,” said Mr. Lim.

Therefore, with the reduction of components needed for a natural gas-powered data center, operators can reduce the cost of equipment and space required for the facilities.

At the same time the noise emission of gas genset is approximately 20% lower than conventional diesel genset.

Switching to gas gensets in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines will be very reasonable for Data Center as there will be a potential cost saving of up to 25% as compared to countries like Singapore.

“We see Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have been very good markets because of their great distribution networks for natural gas. As for the Philippines, apart from lack of gas distribution, the low gas prices in the Philippines will still make gas gensets very attractive.” added Mr. Lim.

But you may ask, ‘What about Singapore, one of the most matured data center markets in Southeast Asia?’

Mr. Lim believes that it may be difficult to operate a data center solely using gas genset in Singapore because there are limited natural gas pipelines available in Singapore. This means that the natural gas supply has to come in tube trailers form.

“If you are looking at a natural gas-powered data center, the amount of gas needed and the storage space for the gas supply to keep the generators running would be immense. It is not feasible for Singapore data center operators to utilise natural gas gensets” said Mr. Lim.

Therefore, it will take some time for Singapore to switch from diesel genset to natural gas genset.

3. Improved Electrical Infrastructure

“In order for the data centers to shift to a cleaner energy source such as natural gas or hydrogen, I think data certification boards will need to take a look at the topologies involved and the way they accredit data centers. New technologies for powertrain will drive new distribution topologies,” said Mr. Lim.

Take for example a 2.5MW gas genset in a distributed redundant basing on “¾ topology” powering up a data center. In normal operation, each of the four gas gensets will have a max loading of 75%. If a failure occurs on one of the gas gensets, the load will transfer to the others, each of the others potentially receiving a 25% load increase.

This will result in frequency drop on the gas genset because they do not handle step load as well as diesel genset. One way to get over this would be to utilise a frequency stabiliser instead of a static UPS. Or if you like, a hybrid UPS like ONE Power Solutions, which is offered by Power Partners.

“The beauty of this hybrid UPS is that we only need a frequency stabiliser of about 600 kilowatts because we’re only looking at this 25% load transferring, and energy storage required would, in theory, need to be just 10-15 seconds. This opens up the possibilities of ultracapacitors, which are a green solution as compared to lithium batteries. With their long life of 15 years, they require no recycling at the end-of-life cycle. In a traditional data center, the UPS for this unit would need to be 2.5 MW with a 10-minute lithium-ion battery,” said Mr. Lim.

“Distributed redundant, traditional 2N solution; these don’t really work with gas gensets or hydrogen fuel cells, because you really want to maximise the kWh. So, you do not want to have all that reserve power in the stationary engine just for failure transfer,” added Mr. Lim.

AWI-Genz Global’s Active Catcher Topology for gas-powered data centers could allow generators to run up to 95% load and still have reserve set to transfer to in the event of a failure. Mr. Lim predicts static switches will play an important role in new green data centers of the future.

4. Reliability

With emerging new distribution topologies, data centers powered by gas gensets can feel assured that their facilities are going to be reliable. In a current data center, the prime source of power (the diesel genset) is de-energised until required.

“Let’s think of it like driving a car. If you keep the car running all the time, you don’t have to worry about the engine starting. As we all know 99% of diesel gensets’ failures are ‘Failure to start’. The reality with diesel gensets is when you need it the most, it is most likely to let you down”, commented by Mr. Lim.

“In a de-energised system, it is very difficult to predict a failure. But when something is continually operational, you can see small changes in the telemetry that can help predict issues before they occur, so you can be more proactive on your maintenance”, said Mr. Lim.

As a part of Air Water Group who specialise in gases and liquids, AWI-Genz Global has developed its own in-house LNG storage solutions to complement and expand the resilience of the overall gas genset. Therefore, when a problem occurs with the natural gas supply, the data center will continue to run on natural gas from mobile tube trailers.

“We want to have some storage on-site as well, so that’s one thing that is unique to i-Genz that we can put in as a part of the package”, said Mr. Lim.

5. Grid Systems Stabilisation

In countries like Vietnam and Indonesia where the national grid systems may be less reliable and less environmentally-friendly, the implementation of gas generators in data centers could help stabilise the systems.

“I think a data center itself will become a microgrid in the future where all these little microgrids can link together and help one another,” said Mr. Lim.

With the increased resilience brought by gas gensets, these engines could run in parallel with the utility to not only provide power to the data center, but also to surrounding local communities.

“When you have all these little power plants running in parallel, it means that the grid itself doesn’t have to have such a large spinning reserve,” said Mr. Lim.

And with more data centers building their own power supplies, we may see data centers with gas power that is fully off the grid, enabling them to be built almost anywhere.

“Maybe we’ll even see innovation parks coming up where the data center is really the powerhouse, and there may be some office buildings around that utilise power generated from the data center. There’s a whole separate community that could be created off the grid,” predicted by Mr. Lim.

Despite the potential cost saving and environmental benefits, there is still not much support for co-generation of power in many grid systems, and this may be a sticking point in Asia.

“That’s one thing that may need to change and will have to change when renewable energies become more popular in certain countries,” posited Mr. Lim.

The trend towards renewable energy and environmentally-friendly initiatives seems to be unstoppable at this point.

“There has to be a natural progression. The easy way to progress would be straight to hydrogen power and there are solutions that we have for hydrogen fuel cells that are built for data centers,” said Mr. Lim.

At the moment there are limited hydrogen pipelines in the world. Storing hydrogen can be used as an alternative solution. However, disasters like the Hindenburg Zeppelin, a German passenger airship that exploded in May 1937, in New Jersey, USA is bringing hydrogen into disrepute.

“People are not quite ready to accept hydrogen, and the infrastructure is not there yet. But we see there is going to be a progression from diesel to something that is less damaging to the environment, which would be natural gas”, predicted by Mr. Lim.

Nevertheless, with the benefit of safety, lower cost and low emission brought by gas generators, the prolific future of natural gas-powered data centers will be inevitable.

> Discover i-Genz’s range of Gas Gensets

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

Google Cloud hires former Cisco VP as Managing Director for Southeast Asia

Google Cloud has announced the appointment of Ruma Balasubramanian as the company’s new Managing Director for its operations in Southeast Asia.

She will be taking over the position from Tim Synan, who has been transferred to Italy for a new role as part of Google Cloud’s Global Strategic Initiatives team.

“Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Google Workspace, and industry-based AI/ML solutions are critical enablers for economic recovery and growth in Southeast Asia. As enterprises of all sizes look to digitize, modernize, and innovate, I’m thrilled to embark on this journey with Google Cloud to accelerate cloud adoption for our customers,” said Ms. Balasubramanian.

Ms. Balasubramanian joins the Google Cloud team from Cisco, where she was Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer for Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China.

During her time in Cisco, she led various digital transformation initiatives, and drove sales outcomes for APAC customers in a range of different industries including banking, manufacturing, retail, higher education, and healthcare.

Prior to Cisco, Ms. Balasubramanian was the Vice President and General Manager of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services division in Asia.

“We’ve achieved many ‘firsts’ in Southeast Asia under Tim Synan’s leadership. Ruma joins us at an exciting time as our business continues to grow from strength to strength in one of the most dynamic regions for technology adoption. We look forward to Ruma building on this strong foundation ,” said Rick Harshman, Managing Director of Google Cloud in Asia Pacific.

Google Cloud is targeting Southeast Asia with nine cloud regions in Asia Pacific, including their newest in Indonesia. Their customers include Bank BRI, GOJEK, NTUC Fairprice Co-Operative, REA Group, Reliance Health Services, Tiki Group, True Digital and Tokopedia.

Earlier this month, Google Cloud was also named one of the cloud service providers selected by GovTech to work with government agencies in Singapore.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Be a part of Indonesia’s fast-growing cloud and data center industries

The cloud and data center industries in Indonesia are expected to witness epic growth in the next five years, with investments of over US$1 billion forecast.

And with new data protection laws proposed and recent data localisation regulations, the cloud and data center industries could continue to grow further.

It is an exciting time to watch Indonesia’s growth in the digital industry, and that’s why we will be hosting our Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit on Wednesday 9 December!

We will be joined by experts from SpaceDC, Piller Power, H1 Systems, Telkom Indonesia, Telkomsigma, the Indonesia Cloud Computing Association, Northstar Group, Bank KEB Hana Indonesia, the Jakarta Post, and ZNet Technologies.

Accelerating Digital Transformation: The case for Indonesia

Data centers are the backbone of Southeast Asia’s digital economies and are poised to play a key role in the development of the ICT sector. 

As a destination for hyperscale data center investments, Indonesia has shown remarkable development in e-commerce and cloud adoption. This puts the country in a strong position to lead the region as a digital economic powerhouse.

“Indonesians are already looking to adopt digital products and services in their core business – everything from online payments to digital processing and scalability. There is a track record of growth within the Indonesian digital economy, and the 5G network will surely drive up the demand,” said Elisabeth Simatupang, the Country Manager of SpaceDC.

“This will change the way we communicate and live our lives to work around the pandemic. Consequently, the gap to meet this demand will likely widen and we find a lot of companies looking to bridge that. Alibaba, AWS and Oracle are just some of the many riding on the trend,” added Ms. Simatupang.

First up on the show, we will be joined by Ms. Simatupang to share what businesses can do to enhance the country’s digital infrastructure, create new jobs for the Indonesians in the ICT sector and support even more companies hoping to digitalise and build for the future.

“Everyone has a different opinion on digital transformation, but most would agree it is essential for business continuity in this day. Digital transformation is an opportunity for businesses to reinvigorate their sales model and processes to eliminate time consuming, ineffective, and out of date procedures that are typically costly to business.

“Especially in Indonesia, where the infrastructure for this transformation sets the country ready in a pace faster than average, this summit will be an exciting scene where we will be able to witness some of the potential opportunities in the market,” said Ms. Simatupang.

To empower the digital economy and transformation in Indonesia, SpaceDC has launched their first data center in Jakarta, offering robust connectivity to the country and wider Southeast Asia region.

The best practice for data center deployment in the face of surging demand

Demand for data centers is exponentially increasing, as 150 million Indonesians are expected to access the internet by 2023 and 20 million new social media users have been added in the last two years.

“The data center industry is changing together with the ICT industry. The change in Indonesia over the last year is rapid, and with the digitalisation efforts of the Government and better connectivity, the landscape of data centers may also change rapidly,” said Tamas Balogh, Principal Consultant and Director of H1 Systems.

Therefore, it is essential to deploy the best and most efficient data centers to meet capacity and ensure reliability.

Join us in welcoming a panel of experts, including Palaniappan Muthuraman, of Piller Power, Tamas Balogh, from H1 Systems, Gunawan Santoso, of Northstar Group, and moderator Sabarinathan Sampath, from ZNet Technologies, to explore the best practices for data center deployment and new edge computing use cases.

“With these changes many new opportunities appear, which can be addressed by new business models and new technologies. Within our panel we will discuss a few of these approaches and possible solutions,” added Mr. Balogh.

Leveraging the digital ecosystem for Indonesia’s business growth

Indonesia is experiencing massive digital transformation, from the Internet of Things and AI to data centers and cloud technology.

However, Dian Rachmawan, the Director of Wholesale and International of Telkom Indonesia, believes that the telecommunications industry is stagnating due to the overemphasis on data centers and cloud.

“The telco industry is currently stagnating and in a state of survival due to telco companies being dumb pipe providers. By learning from the past, Telkom Indonesia aims to become more than just a dumb cloud provider that only acts as a data center and provides cloud services,” said Mr. Rachmawan.

For businesses to remain competitive, they will need to rely heavily on how they manage their data and adopt advanced technologies through effective digital transformation strategies.

Telkom Indonesia is leveraging its assets to provide its Beyond Connectivity, Cloud and Commerce to more than 2,000 local startups, helping them benefit from the digital economy era and bridge the digital divide.

“Indonesia’s businesses are predominantly MSMEs, therefore they should become the primary growth engines of the Indonesian economy. By providing our service, Telkom will be able to enable the local startup community to develop unique products to help the MSMEs expand their businesses in the digital economy era,” said Mr. Rachmawan.

At the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit, Mr. Rachmawan will share all the details on how governments, startups and the MSME community can gain a competitive advantage and take part in WINDigital, a new way to win and benefit the most from the digital economy era.

Also at the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit we will take a look at navigating Indonesia’s data protection landscape, edge computing and growth opportunities for AI and IoT, how the pandemic has changed business practices, innovations and trends in Indonesia’s online marketplaces, and leveraging the digital ecosystem for Indonesia’s business growth.

> Register now for the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit on Wednesday 9 December!

We would like to send a big thank you to our Platinum Sponsors SpaceDC and Piller Power Systems, Gold Sponsor Telkom Indonesia, Silver Sponsors H1 Systems, BlomTEQ and PowerShield Limited, and our Bronze Sponsor Onion Technology, as well as all our partners for helping to bring this event to you.

Indonesian Government signs 5G deal with Huawei

Indonesia has signed a deal with Huawei to develop 5G in the country, the first agreement of its kind that the Government has entered into.

As part of a Memorandum of Understanding, a series of collaborations across multiple organisations are expected. According to NikkeiAsia, the agreement will see Huawei assisting the Indonesian government in 5G and other related tech fields, including training 100,000 professionals in next-generation tech skills, such as cloud computing.

Next, Indonesia’s second-largest telco, Indosat Ooredoo, will be assisted by Huawei with the installment of 5G infrastructure that will be powered by SRv6, the first segment routing technology of its kind in the Asia Pacific.

On top of that, the Chinese tech giant will also be working with an Indonesian Government agency in the development of AI.

Both Ericsson and Nokia have launched tests for 5G in Indonesia, but ‘Huawei equipment are 20-30% less costly, and the quality is advancing’, according to a person close to Telekomunikasi Indonesia, the state-owned telecom, who spoke to NikkeiAsia.

“With Huawei’s help, we expect to bring the level of our human resources up to international standards,” said a source close to the Indonesian presidential office to NikkeiAsia.

Huawei has been actively partnering with governments and enterprises in Southeast Asia to expand its digital footprint in the region, particularly in Indonesia and Thailand.

Huawei currently has a 5G research center, and two data centers in Thailand with a third one coming in 2021. In October, the Thai Government signed a three-year MoU with Huawei that will see the company provide tech upskill training to ICT professionals in Thailand.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

Got a story, opinion or more information on this article? Contact us at editor@w.mediaAnd sign up to the W.Media Newsletter to get the latest data center, cloud and cybersecurity updates!

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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Vietnam’s Viettel becomes first 5G carrier in the country

Viettel, Vietnam’s leading telecommunications operator, has become the first in the country to launch 5G for customers.

Viettel users in Vietnam’s Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, and Hai Ba Trung Districts in Hanoi can now enjoy high-speed 5G Internet without a SIM card upgrade.

“Similar to the previous universalisation of cell phones in Vietnam, Viettel, as Vietnam’s largest telecommunications and IT enterprise, will continue to pioneer the creation of a digital society,” said Major General Le Dang Dung, Chairman-cum-General Director of Viettel Group.

The company says that its 5G can reach up to 1.2 to 1.5 Gbps in speed, ten times faster than 4G, and is currently the fastest in Vietnam. This means that users are able to download a 90-minute movie in 30 seconds.

With 5G real-time connectivity, the technology is also expected to make an important contribution to remote medical examination, treatment and surgery in Vietnam.

“The cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure is a must for Industry 4.0,” he added.

Viettel’s 5G base transceiver stations use Non-Standalone Access (NSA) architecture, which is a technology that builds on 4G and allows operators to launch 5G early. 

Typically, when 5G is successfully trialled or rolled out, operators will then transition into Standalone Access (SA) technology.

NSA is also currently being used by major telcos in other countries, such as South Korea’s SK Telecom and KT, Verizon in the US and Vodafone in the UK.

“Viettel Group has completed the ecosystem from digital infrastructure, digital solutions, digital finance, digital content, logistics and e-commerce, so far, meeting the needs of building e-government and developing digital economy and digital society in Vietnam,” he said.

After Hanoi, Viettel’s 5G will be expanded into Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh. During the trial period, Viettel will provide unlimited 5G data free of charge.

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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Financial downturn and renewable energy are biggest concerns for Asia’s electric industry

The need to adopt renewable energy and the uncertainty of investments caused by the COVID-19 financial downturn are the two biggest concerns for Asia’s electric industry.

The Strategic Directions: Electric Industry Asia 2021 report by Black & Veatch revealed the pressure to balance affordability and the pressure to decarbonise power generation with the integrating of reliable and resilient systems.

“We see a need for more integrated solutions across generation, transmission and distribution, as well as the expansion of gas-fired generation and energy storage to improve efficiencies and resilience,” said Narsingh Chaudhary, Black & Veatch’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Asia Power Business.

Gas-fired power generation is expected to continue beyond 2035, with 66% of senior energy industry leaders seeing it as a significant component of the grid, while the more environmentally damaging coal-fired power generation is expected to play a similar role by only 18% of respondents.

“The industry expects more near-term investments reprioritised to existing assets compared to new builds or even investment deferment,” said Harry Harji, the Associate Vice President for Black & Veatch’s Management Consulting Business in Asia.

Unsurprisingly, due to its lower cost of energy, the most significant investment growth in new capacity over the next three to five years is expected in renewable energy, with land and floating solar, energy storage, offshore wind and microgrids being the most popular options.

The solar market is being spurred on by improvements in bifacial solar photovoltaic technology and advanced array configurations yielding.

As a result, we have even seen Facebook look to power its Singapore data center through solar energy from over 1,200 HDB rooftops.

“COVID-19 could serve as an important inflection point that spurs greater digitisation, remote diagnostics and monitoring, and more efficient asset management practices as a whole,” added Mr. Harji.

Nevertheless, threats to reliable grid operations and performance across Asia include slow network capacity investment, underinvestment in more reliable transmission networks, introduction of too much intermittent renewable energy, insufficient energy storage capacity, and natural disasters.

To incite change and tackle these challenges, government regulations are seen as the most influential agent by 66% of respondents as we look out to an uncertain 2021.

By Simi Kaur, Tech Reporter

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NTT combines three businesses and appoints new leader for new company in India

NTT has announced it will combine NTT India, NTT Com India and Netmagic to establish a single new operating company on January 1 2021.

The new entity will bring NTT’s technology services and solutions to an extended client base in India.

As part of the new NTT Ltd. India business, Sharad Sanghi will be appointed as its Leader.

With over 20 years of experience in developing Internet backbone infrastructure, Mr. Sanghi was previously the CEO of Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure for Netmagic in India.

“The coming together of three NTT businesses in the Indian subcontinent is a strategic move in the right direction. This reinforces our commitment to helping our clients derive greater value, while delivering business outcomes with an integrated approach to hosted infrastructure, connectivity, security and managed support,” said Mr. Sanghi.

The integration is expected to strengthen NTT’s growth plans in India, where a new hyperscale data center was recently opened in Mumbai by NTT.

“I am confident that Sharad has the leadership track record and breadth of experience that are critical to lead and transform the business with a strong focus on clients, partners and people. I wish Sharad and the India team great success as we launch the next phase of growth in one of the most important markets worldwide for NTT,” said John Lombard, NTT Ltd.’s Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer.

The new NTT Ltd. India business is set to enhance the organisation’s end-to-end ability to better serve its clients, with services including managed hybrid infrastructure and cloud services.

“Over the years, we have had the privilege of building multi-year technology partnerships with marquee clients in India With the deeper integration of our companies, reinforced with the capabilities of the largest data center and cloud infrastructure player in India, we will truly see the power of OneNTT,” said Kiran Bhagwanani, the CEO of GTM for APAC at NTT Ltd.

According to JLL, India’s data center market is expected to present a US$4.9 billion investment opportunity, following a tripling of data center capacity by 2025.

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Battling cybersecurity threats in the cloud

More and more businesses of all shapes and sizes are moving to the cloud, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but without effective cybersecurity measures in place, you could be at risk of opening the floodgates to cybercriminals stealing data, holding you to ransom and damaging your business.

With 83% of enterprise workloads expected to be in the cloud by this year, multiple studies have found cyberattacks on cloud systems are exponentially growing.

“I’m concerned with COVID-19 and rush to the cloud to rapidly scale up. They are all moving in fast, and security becomes the least of their concerns or they don’t have a budget for it at that point,” said Alex Ng, the Director of Insyghts Security.

With so many cloud migration options available, from Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and the fast-growing Infrastructure-as-a-Service, the cybersecurity threats are becoming bigger and spreading faster, and the damages to your business could become untamable.

So how can we fight back?

Your livelihood is at stake

The damaging impacts to your business from cybercriminals are very real, from financial loss to reputational damage.

It is forecast that cybercrime will cost the world in excess of US$6 trillion by next year, and this year the first death following a ransomware attack on a German hospital was recorded.

“I have had customers transfer money to cybercriminals because they claimed to be their vendor, then they ask what they can do. I told them, the only thing I can do is advise you to make a police report because it’s already too late,” said Mr. Ng.

These attacks are commonly caused by human error within an organisation through phishing attacks, poor password protection, lack of reviewing protection regimes and poor training on new systems like cloud-based infrastructures.

“The weak link in an enterprise is always the people and the system that manages the people. You can have the best system, process or training regime, but if the people don’t follow it and still click on phishing attack links, then there’s only so much you can do,” said Mr. Ng.

There are also threats that manifest over longer periods of time and zero-day threats that are exploiting software and infrastructure vulnerabilities in businesses without a strong set of good policy, practices, infrastructure, management systems and people to monitor and manage the risks.

“For security operations teams, when you move to cloud at scale, that means a lot more data in all sorts of environments like the cloud, SaaS, and IoT. The amount of data they have to handle is becoming unmanageable,” commented Mr. Ng.

This is why Mr. Ng advises businesses to look for a managed security service provider (MSSP) that is able to track insider threats and those that manifest over time with a comprehensive security monitoring service that is fast to respond to modern infrastructures like cloud and hybrid environments.

“Most providers are good at point incident like a brute force attack, but if there is an insider or an outsider that has already penetrated their enterprise environment via a vulnerability, which it sits there for weeks and slowly gathers pace, some providers may miss that,” said Mr. Ng.

Are you at risk?

Typically, medium and small sized enterprises, as opposed to larger organisations with larger budgets and bigger workforces, neglect cybersecurity measures and become open targets for cybercriminals. Approximately 43% of small businesses were the victims of data breaches.

“They tend to overlook the need to review or rearchitect how the applications or servers are deployed, secured and monitored in the cloud,” added Mr. Ng.

From an application point of view, organisations leverage cloud-native architectures like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or certain features that are part of cloud infrastructure providers like AWS or Azure.

This typically requires applications to be redeveloped when moving to the cloud, but in the haste of moving to the cloud, enterprises could risk missing out security practices or configurations like zones and access control lists that are less common in on-premise architectures.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises are already moving to cloud. Although it’s not new, there are some that still lack the understanding of how a public cloud works. Some enterprises think they are essentially secure by just moving to the cloud and forgot the shared risk model,” said Mr. Ng.

As a result, cloud-based infrastructures and applications can amplify vulnerabilities and weak controls like coding practice, identity access and privileged access management for both internal and external individuals logging into the infrastructure.

“When you move to public cloud, you may want to look into zero trust access management because so many more people can access the cloud and your data, so you want to trust no-one and control who actually has access and monitor what they do on the infrastructure,” advised Mr. Ng.

Out with the old

Failure to adhere to best practices like neglecting three tier architectures and Network-based Intrusion Prevention Systems (NIPS), a lack of access control or even simple patching regime to update your applications and internal data centers can put your business at serious risk.

Last year, Security Boulevard  found that 60% of security breaches involved unpatched vulnerabilities where a patch was available but not applied.

“We have seen customers that have servers so old and unpatched because they are so worried about the application going down. This is scary. When they move to the cloud, they should have a good patching and vulnerability management regime, as well as an incident management system and effective monitoring of cloud resources,” said Mr. Ng.

To avoid the risks from legacy infrastructures, key decision makers in an enterprise must find the motivation to upgrade the system and mindset to continuously educate, or else they will be held ransom by the application.

Mr. Ng has seen customers with old applications and unsupported servers struggle to find ways to extend support by buying additional security software to support the legacy system. However, he believes this is the wrong approach, as enterprises will ‘eventually need to move out of the application and build a new one if the budget allows’.

“The IT world keeps changing, the security world keeps changing, and the hackers are evolving. Virtual patching can buy you some time, but it is not the fix. If you don’t evolve with the flow of time, you will have problems in the future,” said Mr. Ng.

Cybersecurity teams should take some time to review the increasingly new and sophisticated risks, put forth a strategy to narrow the gap, and adopt technologies and systems to monitor these threats. The CISO or vCISO should be able to help the organisation measure their risk, balance business and cybersecurity objectives, develop a strategic plan and oversee a ISMS in place to bring the organisation eventually to the desired security maturity state.

How can we stop the cybercriminals?

Beyond the visibility, strategy and plan, and controls that need to be in place, you need good visibility on the threats on an ongoing basis. Without a good platform to perform fast analytics, enhanced with a level of artificial intelligence, the amount of data security operation center (SOC) teams will become unmanageable, leading to increased cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

To future-proof and protect your business, Mr. Ng suggests looking at MSSP with monitoring system that leverages big data, solutions using AI, and User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) to manage the exponentially growing amount of data and automate some of the work for your security team. This can bring about savings of time and resources that can be transferred back to the business.

“You need to look for one that is able to build that attack chain up and then alert the customer that this is a potential threat and not just an incident,” advised Mr. Ng.

For enterprises moving to the cloud, it is important to look for a MSSP that understands public, private and hybrid cloud environments, with connectors to SaaS and platform providers like SAP and Salesforce.

“Meaningful monitoring is crucial, but I don’t think a lot of existing providers are equipped to handle the different types of cloud services, there will be a lot of data from different cloud sources, and you need some tools to help monitor and manage the threats,” said Mr. Ng.

In recent years, other security monitoring solutions like extended detection and response (XDR), endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managed detection and response (MDR) have entered the cybersecurity scene to collect data from various digital environments and infrastructures.

“These focus on the endpoint portion and not monitoring the entire company’s data assets. Your security monitoring, EDR or XDR needs to include an integrated approach,” said Mr. Ng.

To have a successful integrated approach, you need to collect data from all systems to build a strong database of threats and potential threats in your system. For example, you need to collect contextual information from user, infra and cloud, and other data from server and endpoint, etc, to track how the threats are moving from one stage of attack to another.

“All the data necessary. If you have just part of the solution, then it would be like monitoring a data center without looking at the endpoint. It’s insufficient,” advised Mr. Ng.

Insyghts Security leverages a strong analytic platform with threat model mapped to industrial framework, such as MITRE ATT&CK, etc, as based threat modelling to track multi-stage threats that will manifest over a period of time. MITRE ATT&CK is described as a comprehensive compilation of tactics and techniques used by cyberattackers, which help security teams identify potential threats and understand how they move from different stages of attack.

To complement all this data, businesses need a dedicated security operation team to manage the day-to-day operations to respond to incidents, triage and recommend remediation and recovery options for endpoints and services.

“XDR only gives you the data. You still need people to dig it out and do some form of threat hunting to find a breach and fix it. It doesn’t just magically happen and you still need the people there. That is why an integrated approach and the people are so important,” said Mr. Ng.

Organisations reach out to Insyghts Security for their deep knowledge of traditional infrastructure, secure hosting environments and cloud services experience, particularly when businesses may not have a full security team with a lack of training.

“There are different types of MSSP and consultants. Some consultants focus mostly on information security management, and solution providers offer point solutions that don’t happen to cover the end-to-end scope to threats faced by the organisation,” said Mr. Ng.

Insyghts Security provides enterprises with end-to-end gap analysis of their security maturity, capabilities to respond to threats, propose and architect improvements, offer strategies, manage the security services and security monitoring.

“We pride ourselves by having deep knowledge and we pair this with a strong security practice and consultancy at a price point that is attractive to mid-size companies. We can definitely help large enterprises, but we pride ourselves on the mid-size companies because they are the precise companies that we think are in need because they are usually resource or cash strapped and they need a lot of care in managing their information security and cybersecurity,” added Mr. Ng.

For enterprises that may not have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Insyghts Security offers a virtual CISO to provide a pool of cybersecurity experts who help translate an organisations’ business requirements into a security need and build a strategy to improve their security practises at a fraction of the cost of a full-time CISO.

Even businesses with an internal CISO can benefit from a vCISO by receiving add-on services to help them meet their key performance indicators and feel reassured that their strategies are sound.

“The CISO can sleep in peace when they know their objectives and security is inline and there is a plan to improve them,” said Mr. Ng.

Overall, Insyghts Security aims to make cybersecurity affordable, so that businesses of all sizes can stop the cybercriminals and protect their livelihoods.

What should you do next?

You could look at cybersecurity as a three-step process. One, know what you don’t know and visibility into the weak points. Two, put in place policies, controls and solutions for what you now know is lacking. Three, have a dedicated internal or outsourced team to deliver the security practice, controls and solutions, and day-to-day operation necessary to keep threats at bay.

Just like a security guard needs to know all weak points of a building, you need to have the visibility to monitor all forms of threats in your digital environment by tracking vulnerabilities, perpetrators and insider and outsider dangers.

Would you leave your door wide open at night? Would you leave your car unlocked?

Your business now has digital infrastructures that will become more complex than ever before and need protecting with a proper strategy and a team of virtual and human security guards.

> Protect your business against threats with Insyghts Security

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Tech Data acquires tech distribution veteran Innovix to accelerate Asia Pacific expansion

Tech Data, a Fortune 500 company, is set to acquire Innovix Distribution in a move to expand their presence across Asia Pacific.

The addition of Innovix will strengthen end-to-end solution capabilities in cloud, security and endpoint offerings by Tech Data in key geographies, including Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

“This reinforces our collective focus on growth and diversification, supporting Tech Data’s plans to transform into one that defines a new standard of operational and cultural excellence in our industry,” said Jaideep Malhotra, the President of Tech Data in Asia Pacific.

In June this year, Tech Data, one of the world’s largest technology distributors, was acquired by Apollo Global Management, a leading global alternative investment manager with offices in China, India, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Innovix’s strong team of more than 500 experienced professionals have in-depth local industry knowledge that will strengthen our ability to deliver higher value to our channel partners across the region,” added Mr. Malhotra.

Innovix is a 60-year veteran in IT distribution with an expansive range of IT services, including servers, Uninterruptible Power Supplies, racks, cloud backups, threat intelligence and business continuity.

“Our focus on helping businesses accelerate growth and capitalise on digital transformation is perfectly aligned with Tech Data’s mission to connect the world with the power of technology,” said Eric van der Hoeven, the Chief Executive Officer at Innovix.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, Innovix has a network spanning 8,000 channel partners with leading brands like Cisco, Fortinet, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Lenovo, Logitech, Microsoft, Pure Storage, Samsung, Toshiba, Veeam, and Vertiv.

The acquisition of Innovix by Tech Data is expected to close in the third quarter of Tech Data’s 2021 fiscal year. It is unclear the value of the acquisition as of yet.

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Is cloud hosting right for your business?

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