By K. Raman, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia,
As we navigate through the nation’s recovery and resiliency phase, we know that things will not be “normal” for the foreseeable future. But despite the uncertainties, we know that the organisations that can survive and thrive will be those empowered with the right technology to respond to the circumstances as they evolve, and equipped with the skills and resources they need to innovate and collaborate.
In recent months, businesses and organisations have significantly increased their investment in technology to keep pace with the digital era. We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation within two months – such is the pace in which our economy has transformed.
At the heart of this transformation our partners, including our independent software vendors (ISV), have played a critical role in helping our customers become more agile and resilient in these unprecedented times. As our CEO Satya Nadella highlighted at Inspire 2020, our partners are the digital first responders supporting those on the frontlines of this pandemic and its reverberating effects across industries, helping businesses maintain continuity.
Creating Opportunities with ISVs in Malaysia
As we continue to bring advanced cloud-based technologies to Malaysia, we are proud to have a vibrant ISV ecosystem bringing our technologies to their customers. They are an important extension of Microsoft. Our ISVs develop, market and sell their own software based on Microsoft’s platform to address the digital needs of customers and industries, especially within the business-to-business (b2b) space.
A few key examples of ISVs that Microsoft Malaysia has partnered with are Ticket2U, Visual Solutions and Zeoniq. Their work exemplifies innovation and collaboration, driving their customers’ success through the adoption of new technologies.
Ticket2U is the leading online ticketing and event management platform in Malaysia. In 2019 alone, the company managed more than 5,000 entertainment and sporting events, including seminars and shows. But with the pandemic and subsequent implementation of the movement control order (MCO), all outdoor and large events came to a halt. With their main source of revenue affected, Ticket2U needed to pivot their strategies to maintain business continuity.
Their work with Zoo Negara illustrates this strategy shift. Zoo Negara required public support and funding to sustain their operations and protect the animals. In response, Ticket2U reached out to its partners and launched Zoo Negara’s Adopt an Animal program, allowing people to donate and adopt an animal through a quick and safe platform built on Azure. This platform also allowed donors to instantly receive a certificate of adoption, further incentivizing people to consider funding the zoo.
The donation drive for Zoo Negara was a huge success, jumping from 3 figures to 7 figures thanks to the new platform. Ticket2U recognised that other organisations were facing similar struggles, and the company extended the donation drive to other NGOs and community events, empowering these NGOs to receive much-needed funding from the public to continue doing work for the community.
This initiative illuminates the value of not just technology, but also the way it can be leveraged to bring good to society at large. For Ticket2U, it also functioned as a springboard to explore new solutions, including a people-tracking and thermal scanning software with facial recognition features powered by Azure Cognitive Services.
Microsoft also partnered with Visual Solutions to similarly deliver innovative solutions that empower them and their clients to pivot in the new normal. Visual Solutions is a human capital management system provider, encompassing administrative, self-service and strategic functional areas of human resources (HR). Remote working is the new norm so Visual Solutions has been rapidly enhancing and extending its cloud-based offerings to accommodate the evolving nature of modern workplaces.
Visual Solutions had developed new solutions which are SaaS-based hosted on Azure to help organizations digitalise their HR functions. Visual Solutions unveiled an easy-to-use payroll system specifically to help SMEs reduce the manual work involved when processing payroll. Offered for free during the MCO period, it helped organizations quickly migrate their work to the cloud. Additionally, Visual Solutions also developed an anti-buddy punching system which aims to ensure that no more than 1 person enters the work premises at any given time. This system requires only 1 access card and comes equipped with essential security features including staff monitoring, temperature checking, geofencing and GPS tracking.
All these solutions helped their businesses in Malaysia enhance the capabilities of their HR segments by replacing laborious manual work with efficient digital management processes. This ensured business continuity and allowed for a smoother transition to remote working during the MCO period.
Another fine example of our work with ISVs in Malaysia is Zeoniq. Experts in point-of-sale solutions for retail and F&B sectors, Zeoniq’s services were ideal for many brick-and-mortar stores prior to the MCO. But following the MCO, many businesses started migrating online, which in turn required Zeoniq to adapt their solutions to cater to the changing business environment of their customers.
With online orders on the rise, Zeoniq integrated their system with multiple delivery providers, including GoGet, Lalamove, Mr Speedy and Zeek, to increase the efficiency of last-mile delivery and reduce the resources required to coordinate logistics. Zeoniq also consolidated their system with third-party food ordering platforms such as GrabFood and FoodPanda to streamline operations. The introduction of a self-ordering system also made it easier for customers to make orders via their phones without needing menus nor waiters. As all these solutions leverage Azure and are based on a cloud-native design, Zeoniq had the ability to scale their offerings at any given moment to meet their customer demands.
Zeoniq continues to play a key role in supporting the digital transformation needs of the Malaysian retail sector as they migrate their business operations to the cloud. Their work ensures that the nation’s economy can continue to operate digitally, even in times of crisis – ensuring the sustainability of our nation’s economy.
We are proud to partner with ISVs and to innovate solutions that support Malaysian businesses as we head into the future. Together, we aim to keep our nation empowered, productive and secure. I firmly believe that technology has the power to grow our nation’s economy and enrich our lives. Beyond just transforming business processes, it creates opportunities for new careers, new possibilities and most importantly, innovation. ISVs embody the very best in entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, and Microsoft will continue to work with them to empower every person and organization in Malaysia to achieve more.