The pandemic has sparked a big shift in consumer behaviour, particularly in digital adoption. We have seen the rise of hybrid working and the gig economy. eCommerce has grown exponentially, as consumers leapfrog to the convenience of online services – from product enquiry, research and buying decision. All businesses should be ready to deliver an omni-channel experience, especially now as there is an increase in preference for trusted brands amongst consumers.
Kevin Lee, Head of SME Segment at Maxis notes that SMEs need to embrace digitalisation and cloud initiatives in the wake of COVID-19.“It is critical for SMEs to have a digital-first mindset and establish long-term priorities that prepares them for the future, rather than just grinding through the present.
Despite this need, many SMEs still hesitate to embark on the digitalisation journey for a variety of reasons.“Having worked with SMEs for many years, we understand their resistance towards digitalisation as it may seem intimidating or complex. They may not be aware of the support that they can leverage, or they may lack the key capabilities to embark on digital transformation.
“That is why it is important for SMEs to seek collaboration and innovative people-private-public partnerships that can propel their digital transformation to the next level. With the flexibility of pay-per-use solutions based on their specific needs, digital adoption no longer needs to be costly, and in the long run, presents even more cost efficiencies. Many digital solutions have moved to the cloud, allowing businesses to start at a very low cost, where they can weigh the benefits before deciding to scale.”
Wan Ahmad Kamal Bin Wan Halim, Head of Corporate Segment at Maxis agrees, saying that this represented the most opportune time for SMEs to go digital. ““Technology enables them to continue being productive whether at home or on the go, improve customer centricity and competitiveness, as well as expand to new markets. Companies must rethink their digital transformation strategies to stay ahead in this highly-competitive environment.”
Lee highlights the fact that as a one-stop provider, Maxis offers a myriad of converged solutions, bundled with reliable and seamless connectivity, and fully-managed services with high SLA uptime and availability, making it easy and convenient for SMEs who are looking into digitalisation to meet the full spectrum of their business needs, all with the convenience of one billing system.
“It is important SMEs look for the right partner that can guide them every step of the way, ensuring that the transformation is done in a frictionless and worry-free manner. It is about helping them leverage insights and data that will empower them to always be ahead in an evolving business landscape.”
Wan Kamal adds that as a key fixed infrastructure provider, Maxis builds fibre networks for enterprises, and offers a wide range of business connectivity solutions for a truly converged experience. “With this, we can unlock even more possibilities for digital solutions, supported by a great connectivity experience.
Meanwhile, the next-generation, MEF 3.0-certified Maxis Programmable Network is a programmable software-defined network that meets the needs of enterprise fixed voice and data requirements. The Programmable Network enables businesses to reliably scale capacity demand in order to meet the demands of fast-changing IT environments, while operating at consistently high performance.
Maxis aims to be the No. 1 ICT solutions provider for SMEs, enterprises, and government. “We have the capabilities to be a strong digital partner by delivering new technologies, models and mindsets through our converged offerings,” Lee says.
As a Technology Solutions Provider for MDEC’s SME Digitalisation Grant, Maxis is enabling SMEs who apply for the Grant through them to choose from the widest range of connectivity and digital solutions, including digital marketing, electronic Point-of-Sale, remote working, and eCommerce. SMEs will benefit from a single touchpoint, with a complete digital onboarding experience. To-date, Maxis has helped more than 24,000 SMEs to digitalise through the Grant.
“Meanwhile, through programmes like our SPARK series and UsahaWIRA programme, as well as Digital Readiness Index self-assessment tool, we are also creating more awareness for businesses to understand how digitalisation can benefit them. Additionally, we have been able to develop more digital solutions that accelerate the benefits of technology adoption for businesses, for example, the SME-in-a-Box solution in partnership with AmBank, which is a one-stop solution for all finance and technology needs,” said Lee.
Wan Kamal highlights the fact that Maxis’s efforts to support SMEs extend beyond products and services. As a community outreach for greater digital inclusion, Maxis’s eKelas Usahawan programme which is targeted for women particularly from the B40 communities, empowers entrepreneurs to build a stronger digital presence.
The programme comprises a series of free webinar workshops, with a practical and hands-on approach to equip entrepreneurs through modules including tips and basic skills on marketing, digital photography, copywriting, and planning for marketing and advertising campaigns via online and social media platforms.
“Since launching the programme a year ago, we have successfully trained more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, and we aim to train even more this year through webinars and partnerships with NGOs and government agencies,” said Wan Kamal.
Interested participants who are either existing or aspiring entrepreneurs are highly encouraged to register for free at https://www.maxis.com.my/en/about-maxis/corporate-responsibility/.
Wan Kamal adds that Maxis is well-positioned to help Malaysia and Malaysian businesses achieve the nation’s ambitions of ushering in a new age of connectivity and driving a future of a connected society.
“As a strong home-grown Malaysian brand for over 25 years, we have made substantial investments in our network, people, innovation and communities, striving to bring the best technologies to all Malaysians to enable them Always Be Ahead.
“We are committed to help support the country’s digital agenda, as embodied in initiatives like Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) and Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL), by expanding our mobile and fibre coverage and footprint and playing an important role in the uptake of 5G.
“The success of these initiatives will require strong collaboration with multiple stakeholders to build an effective digital ecosystem. As Malaysia’s leading converged solutions company, Maxis is capable of meeting the full spectrum of business needs with connectivity and digital solutions,” said Wan Kamal.