Local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are urged to get onboard China’s biggest e-commerce platform, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, and take advantage of the newly launched Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) to expand their business horizon abroad.
Minister of Transport Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said via Alibaba, local SMEs could also be part of the Singles’ Day sale and promotion that is held every Nov 11.
For example, the China-based company recorded US$25 billion (RM102.88 billion) in sales during the last Singles’ Day sale, joined by as many as 60,000 international brands and merchants.
“As such, our SMEs must quickly get onboard the Alibaba platform so that we also can participate in the Singles’ Day sale next year. I am confident that it will be another sales record,” he said after launching the Ninth Pikom Leadership Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
He said that Malaysia’s e-commerce operator, Lazada, also experienced explosive growth in Malaysia and across the region, racking up RM96 million in sales via 6.5 million items ordered during the one day sales event.
On the Singles’ Day sale, Shopee has generated an increase in search interest by 71.4%, following by 11street (66.7%), Hermo (50%) and Zalora (25%).
“Based on the search interest on Nov 11, the five most popular e-commerce (platforms) in Malaysia are Lazada, Shopee, 11street, Zalora and Hermo,” Liow said.
The DFTZ that was launched early this month by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak together with Alibaba founder Jack Ma, is expected to provide 1,972 Malaysian SMEs the opportunity to sell their products online.
Liow added that the DFTZ will position Malaysia as the regional e-fulfilment hub for Asean consumers.
He said the existence of phase 1 of the DFTZ facility should be fully capitalised by local players to deliver their products to the Chinese market.
“Cainiao Network (Technology Co Ltd) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd will set up a 24ha e-fulfilment hub in phase 2 of DTFZ, slated to be operational by 2020,” he said.
The ministry has also targeted to increase air cargo volume in Kuala Lumpur International Airport up to three million tonnes by 2050, compared to the current 726,000 tonnes.
Meanwhile, at the launch, Liow also witnessed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pikom (National ICT Association of Malaysia), CyberSecurity Malaysia and Fusionex Corp Sdn Bhd to enhance information and communications technology and data security.
Fusionex MD Datuk Seri Ivan Teh said the MoU would pave the way to accelerate the rate of big data analytics in Malaysia.
He said the MoU will see both parties working together to provide training in the area and encouraging the building of data skillsets within the workforce.
The analytics solution, known as Fusionex GIANT, allows companies to have a holistic view of its business operations, understand trends, buyers behavior, and even predict outcomes.
April 10, 2018 —
FUSIONEX International Plc, a big data analytics solutions provider, believes that its new big data analytics solution can help the company to win more clients and gain market share.
The analytics solution, known as Fusionex GIANT, allows companies to have a holistic view of its business operations, understand trends, buyers behavior, and even predict outcomes. Unlike larger big data companies from the US or Europe, the company’s big data solutions are more user-friendly and easier to deploy.
“Our solutions may not be as powerful as some of our rivals’, but it has the features and characteristics that meets the needs of the chief executive officer, the chief information officer, and chief financial officer,” Fusionex founder Ivan Teh told Digital News Asia recently.
“Today, CEOs want a fast-to-deploy big data solutions, they can’t wait 18 months or more for the implementation. CIOs and CFOs want a solutions that are easy to manage, easy to use, and does not cost a lot to maintain.”
According to Teh, the new GIANT, dubbed the Fusionex GIANT 2017, is far more superior than the predecessor. He said that it is now able to make sense of trillions of data sets — making it a suitable tool for banks, stockbroking firms, hotel chains, manufacturers and others.
Like the previous version, the GIANT allows users to get key insights by just ‘drag-and-drop’. For example, dragging the company’s sales data and customers data could allow the company to find out which particular products are more popular among the young working adults.
“More importantly, the new GIANT allows user to get insights in the easiest way possible — by talking to it. The new GIANT comes with a natural language processing (NLP) capability that will perform various tasks. For example, you simply only need to tell it to show you sales number, or sales number based on region, and those data will be produced immediately,” said Teh.
“Gone are the days when you need days or weeks to generate a report.”
Penetrating the SMEs
The company also introduced its first big data analytics solutions catered to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The product, dubbed ANT, is the “mini-version” of the GIANT. It has most of the features SMEs need when comes to making sense of their data.
“For a long time, the SME market has been underserved. It also has most of the features that SMEs are looking for.
Expecting strong response
In late 2016, Fusionex invited 10 companies to take part in the pilot run of the Fusionex GIANT 2017. From the 10 companies, 8 of them have already signed up for the solution.
“Our vision has always been to create innovative technology that meets the business needs of today’s market. Innovation drives growth and we strongly believe Fusionex GIANT 2017 is the answer to an IoT driven world that is in constant need of better, faster, cost optimised and commercially-feasible technology,” said Teh.
“Analytics can help bridge the gap between business and consumer needs and we are ready to assist our customers to stand above their competition.”
Name: Visithra Manikam
Organization: Pi PR Consultancy
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fusionex is leading a consortium to provide the e-services platform, powered by Big Data technologies, for the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) – a ground-breaking initiative jointly launched between the Malaysian Government and e-commerce marketplace titan, Alibaba.
With DFTZ being the brainchild of the Malaysian government, key drivers and stakeholders include the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Royal Malaysia Customs Department, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, POS Malaysia, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), SME Corp, etc.
The DFTZ e-Services Platform is a trade facilitation platform that is integrated with other business service platforms and government service platforms, to facilitate a paperless, end-to-end and accurate data capture, data storage, data exchange and data analytics process, in respect of the high growth in internet trade activities.
The DFTZ will facilitate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and merchants to capitalize on the internet community as well as the e-marketplace via a huge borderless addressable market. At the same time, these cost benefits and efficiencies inadvertently trickle down to consumers who would stand to enjoy faster, efficient and more cost-effective products and fulfillment.
At the DFTZ launch, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak declared, “We want to be the leader in the region for global trade. We want this to be the regional hub. We want SMEs to really grow by leaps and bounds and that can happen because of DFTZ. Digital Malaysia is the fastest growing sector in our economy. It is a sector that will enjoy double digit growth, and the sky is the limit! This (the DFTZ) is the part that will provide the growth, the potential, the impetus, the catalyst for us to change, redefine regional and global trade, redefine the role of SMEs, and redefine the partnership of Malaysia and China.”
The aim of the DFTZ is to capitalize on the convergence and exponential growth of the internet economy and cross-border e-commerce activities, by facilitating cross-border trade and enabling businesses to import and export goods with a priority for e-commerce.
To achieve this goal, the DFTZ will help businesses including SMEs expedite the transportation of goods regionally. For Phase 1, the DFTZ will set aside a section of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Aeropolis for storage space and logistics facilities. This will then expand to other sites in subsequent phases.
During his keynote speech at the DFTZ launch, Alibaba Group Chairman and Founder Jack Ma commented, “I am impressed with Malaysia’s vision and speed. DFTZ and eWTP would help small businesses and individual eCommerce players benefit from global trade. Today we are witnessing that in Asia, small businesses can use digital ways to enable themselves to sell things, to buy things, to bridge moneys all across the world. Alibaba commits that we will make this thing – the first DFTZ, the first eWTP – very successful! This is not only an opportunity for Malaysia small businesses. This hub is a hope and opportunity for Asia’s young people and small businesses. It is the opportunity for Asia.”
Giving businesses access to the international market will result in a growing trend of orders and trades fueled by businesses not being confined to specific locations and time zones. The Prime Minister also highlighted that the DFTZ will create 60,000 new jobs and boost exports by SMEs to US$38 billion (MYR160 billion) by 2025.
The DFTZ is also expected to generate a huge amount of online transactions of orders, trade movements, payments, and more, coming in and going out of the country and region, hence the need for the platform to be powered by Big Data technologies.
Fusionex Ivan Teh, Fusionex Group CEO, says: “The DFTZ is a first of its kind digital hub that brings together a multitude of key parties including trade facilitation players, e-marketplace players, government agencies, logistics providers, freight forwarders, and of course, SMEs. The state-of-the-art e-Services platform is powered by, amongst others, Big Data technologies and Machine Learning that will facilitate trade and allow transactions to take place faster, more cost effectively, more reliably and more efficiently.
This visionary initiative by the Malaysian government and Alibaba will pave the way to a seamless digital trade platform that will help remove unnecessary barriers, reduce costs and minimize or avoid unnecessary delays and encumbrances. We are delighted that Fusionex’s platform will power this initiative. At Fusionex, we believe this marks the beginning of a revolutionary way to perform trade regionally and globally, at speed and at scale.” https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180122005852/en/IDC-MarketScape-Names-Fusionex-Major-Player
This article first appeared in Nearshore Americas, by Matt Kendall.
Key technology stakeholders in Colombia are driven by the huge potential of offshore outsourcing IoT, developing a growing ecosystem that is positioning the country at the vanguard of IoT development in the region.
At an estimated approximate value of US$170 billion in 2017, the global Internet of Things (IoT) market is nothing to sneeze at. This potential value is being acknowledged by IT companies in Colombia as they chase the IoT development crown in Latin America.
Colombia’s IoT market was worth US$168.3 million in 2016 and is predicted to grow to US$438 million by 2021, according to Gina Sanchez from Frost & Sullivan, who shared her insights at the Mobile World Congress in November. Taking her data into account, IoT services and IoT software reportedly made up 31.8% and 16.7% of this market, respectively, with hardware seizing almost 50% and connectivity, such as telecom providers, just 7%.
Providers, government players, and other stakeholders in the country are well aware of this potential and are part of a growing ecosystem that is positioning Colombia at the vanguard of IoT development in the region.
A Strong, Growing Ecosystem
Sebastian Vélez: “Cloud vendors have helped a lot to accelerate the adoption and maturity of IoT-related services.”
“Colombia’s IoT ecosystem has grown a lot and is constantly changing, and cloud vendors have helped a lot to accelerate the adoption and maturity of IoT-related services,” said Sebastian Vélez, Head of Technology at PSL, which is providing IoT services for US and Canadian clients in the autonomous driving, automotive efficiency, and security sectors.
The work that PSL is doing in Colombia involves gathering information from car sensors that leads to more efficient driving algorithms, insights, and analytics. The company is also working on IoT in school buses to improve routes, speed, and acceleration, as well as with and private security and police forces on video detection, face recognition, and live security alerts in the United States.
“IoT is evolving fast, but the problem is that many clients don’t yet understand the full breadth of what is requires to implement a solution,” said Jose Alejandro Betancur, Chief Innovation Officer at Intergrupo. “Last year, a lot of clients came to try and copy other IoT models they had seen, but weren’t aware that’s it’s a full hybrid service of hardware, software, and other technologies, which companies need a range of capabilities to achieve.”
Training for IoT
Echoing the sentiments of Jorge Aramburo, CEO and Founder of PSL, who was vocal about the talent issues Colombia still faces, Vélez acknowledged the ongoing challenge of finding engineers in Colombia, but said it was not too difficult to train existing staff upwards into development for IoT projects.
“IoT solutions are highly distributed systems where you have to be aware of performance, latencies, failure recovery, and many other aspects of complex distributed systems, such as an understanding of Cloud technology,” said Vélez. “We first look for strong foundations of skills within those topics, and then rely on training to teach the many specific technologies that we need to implement a solution.”
Intergrupo is another IT services provider that is seeing growth in demand for IoT. In order to get its talent ready, the company offers training boot camps every 2-3 months, also taking people out of other projects and into IoT innovation labs. Out of their 1,200 people, they now have 100 training in IoT and 20 in the innovation lab.
“The people that we choose need to be motivated to solve real problems, so they generally have deep knowledge on the basics of software development, but also bring ideas to the table to solve client issues,” said Betancur.
AZLogica, a Colombian developer of telematics, Internet of Things, and Machine to Machine solutions, approaches training across three levels.
“At the highest level are those who are already part of the IoT ecosystem, with experience in different industries, and are looking to grow as part of their own development,” said Edgar Salas, CEO of AZLogica. “At the second level are the tech geeks who have been working with us for a long time and want to grow their skills, so we engage with them with new salaries and move them into the R&D area to do so. The third are people who have been finalizing their studies at university, and want to transition to the real world, so we can mould them from an early stage to be ready for IoT development – it’s vital that they are motivated to face new challenges that IoT is creating.”
Security, Reliability, and Other Risks
For clients in any sector, security is one of the main concerns of any IoT project, as the information that can be gathered is often highly sensitive or ripe for cyberattack.
For Edgar Salas, international ISO standards have been an appropriate response to the issue of security, making it one of the few companies in the country that boasts an ISO 27000 standard, as it relates to IoT.
Edgar Salas: “It’s vital that engineers and students are motivated to face new challenges that IoT is creating.”
“This is applied to data gathering and information deployment, so clients can feel safe about who gathers the data, when it is gathered, how it is transferred, and who is allowed access,” said Salas. “You have to be very careful about how to treat the information you are gathering because most IoT scenarios that we have seen deal with private information at some point.” Intergrupo and PSL are now introducing Blockchain technology to offset some of the security challenges of IoT. While it is still early days, the tech is being used to enhance transparency and retain infallible information on previous data transmissions. But that’s not all.
“With our innovation lab, we are working on devices that don’t transmit a signal when they are not being used, so they are not always connected, just sending information when something changes,” said Betancur, highlighting an innovative approach to IoT design that Colombia is producing.
Along with security, information reliability, computing time, and latency are all the main issues associated with IoT devices, but with certain techniques it has been possible for some IoT providers in Colombia to address them.
“With any connected device, it often occurs that you don’t have the same reliability of networks and hardware that come with other services,” said Vélez. “Cloud has helped a lot with that, as well as Edge computing, which relies on the end device for computation, not a centralized service.”
Looking Ahead for Colombia IoT and software development outsourcing
In order to gain better control over their business, companies in education, health, finance, agriculture, retail, and transportation are expected to demand this type of solution the most, according to Andrés Sánchez, CEO of Identidad IoT. Even so, investment into IoT in Colombia is just 0.02%, as discovered in the company’s Innovation Index (QuISI). Compare this to China (26%) and the United States (27%), and this is very low. Even so, the country is confident in its future with the tech.
Established in 2016 for US$1.8 million, Colombia’s Center of Excellence and Appropriation in Internet of Things (CEA-IoT) is an alliance between universities, global technology companies, and local providers that seek to boost the country’s economic growth through IoT innovations.
The initiative is promoted by the Ministry of ICT, with support from the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colciencias), and is part of a strategy to keep Colombia on its trajectory as a regional leader in ICT.
Within the next ten years, CEA-IoT intends to represent the Latin American benchmark for the development of products and services based on IoT technologies, as well as being the main advisory for the Colombian government and local and national entities on the topic.
Local telco Claro, owned by Mexico’s America Movil, is also aiming to deploy 4.5G technology in Colombia this year, in order to address both narrowband and more data-intensive IoT applications.
If CEA-IoT is successful in gaining the collaboration of local telecom providers and tech companies, the country should be able to retain its IoT crown in Latin America.
“I agree that Colombia is at the forefront of IoT in the region,” said Vélez. “There are a number of communities working on it, students get to join IoT projects at the early stages, and there are plenty of IoT startups in the country. We are far from done, but I would agree that Colombia is ahead of the curve in Latin America.” https://www.pslcorp.com
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