Alfie Amir is a senior analyst in Current Analysis Group. He is responsible for research, consulting and analysis focusing on market and technology trends, competitive analysis and account-based intelligence for ICT spending and modeling future investments. He also works across several trackers (e.g., fixed, mobile and IT) providing market sizing, forecasts and insights across the region. Alfie is quoted regularly in trade press and is a regular speaker at conferences, workshops and other industry events.
• Google Cloud could position G-Suite and its retail solution to help ASEAN SMBs during the pandemic.
• Google should include key local players in its partner ecosystem to extend its market reach in the region.
Google Cloud made several announcements at the recent Google Cloud Next 2020 OnAir and shared its expansion plan of partner ecosystem and professional service capabilities. The first part of this report: Google Cloud Next 2020 – ASEAN Impact – Part 1: Driving Multi-cloud Adoption in the Region analyzes Google Cloud’s proposition in multi-cloud in ASEAN. This post discusses the opportunity in SMBs and recommendations for Google Cloud and end-users in the region.
Impact of COVID-19 on ASEAN SMB
Domestically, SMB represents a large amount of market opportunity driven by over 90% of total establishments in a country. The buying behavior is different than large enterprises and MNC. The low ICT adoption and lack of internal ICT capabilities translate to higher opportunities for managed service providers. However, market growth is expected to be slower post COVID-19 as many SMBs are significantly impacted by the pandemic. SMBs, especially the small and micro enterprises, have had to squeeze their budgets across all functions including ICT to sustain their business during and post lockdown. Digital transformation is becoming less important, and the main priorities have shifted to adapting to new customers’ buying bmehavior such as e-commerce and cashless payment (e.g., mobile wallet). The economy and low power purchasing in ASEAN are also pushing them to be even more cost-sensitive with ICT purchasing. All discretionary spending is expected to be put on hold. Continue reading “Google Cloud Next 2020 – ASEAN Impact – Part 2: Powering SMBs in the Post COVID-19 Era”→
• TM ONE is a step ahead of competitors with the launch of ONE PASS to address COVID-19-specific business challenges.
• While the adoption is low, the outlook is expected to be positive. Digital health screening and visitor management solutions are expected to be a common service for enterprises post COVID-19.
As lockdown (a.k.a. Movement Control Order in Malaysia) eases off, businesses start to reopen and operate as before, but with stricter guidelines such as social distancing, regular sterilization, temperature screening, and personal data collection. This is expected to be the new normal post COVID-19 at least until the end of the year. It has defined a new set of business requirements, particularly in customer engagement and data collection, mainly for B2C enterprises that deal directly with end-users. Continue reading “TM ONE Leverages Its ICT Capabilities to Convert Post-Pandemic Challenges into Business Opportunities”→
• Legacy ICT services make it more challenging for ASEAN enterprises to adapt to the changing business needs due to COVID-19.
• COVID-19 is driving digital transformation for most ASEAN enterprises and will open up a wider opportunity for carriers and service providers.
The impact of COVID-19 on ICT and vertical industries are widely covered onGlobalData COVID-19 Dashboard. With lockdowns (or shutdowns, state-of-emergency, or similar terms used per country) in nearly the whole world, the impacts on ICT spending are somewhat consistent globally. However, the impact in the Southeast Asia region (aka ASEAN) is different. Most enterprises are in a very early stage of their digital transformation journey. While newer services such as cloud, SD-WAN, and UCaaS have become the norm in other countries, a large majority of enterprises in this region still rely on the traditional ICT such as captive data center and traditional network services. The lack of agility and flexibility in these legacy services makes it more challenging for enterprises to adapt to changes due to COVID-19 such as remote workplace and digital customer channels. As a result, enterprises are shifting their current ICT priorities to focus on cloud migration, network re-dimensioning, UC deployment and/or expansion and digital services roll-out. Continue reading “COVID-19: The Impact on ASEAN Enterprise ICT”→
• Joining the collaboration enables Telstra to accelerate its edge computing strategy and expand the service globally.
• Telstra could consider partnering with the hyperscalers to provide wider cloud options for edge computing applications and offer differentiated services.
Edge computing is picking up its momentum globally with various announcements by telcos and cloud providers in recent months. Google announced Anthos for Telecom, Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC), and a partnership with AT&T last week. AWS launched Wavelength (AWS compute and storage within Verizon’s 5G network) in December 2019 and announced partnerships with Verizon and Vodafone in the same month.
On February 27th, nine European and Asia-Pacific telcos (China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefonica, and TIM) announced collaboration to co-develop an interoperable edge computing platform with the support of the GSMA through its Operator Platform Project. A week after the announcement, Telstra signed an MoU to join China Unicom, KT, and Telefonica in the initiative. The initial phase of the collaboration focuses on the development of edge computing capabilities and platform interoperability across different networks and geographies. The next stage will include the development of mobility use cases across borders and federation capabilities.
Alibaba Cloud strengthens its ASEAN presence with a new win in East Malaysia and its first event in Indonesia.
As competition intensifies, it is important for the cloud provider to expand its partner ecosystem, especially with the domestic players.
The Southeast Asia region (a.k.a. ASEAN) has been a new battleground for the hyperscalers for a few years. Cloud adoption is still relatively low compared to other markets. As the cloud becomes a commodity and the market grows, this opportunity has attracted global hyperscalers to expand their presence in the region. Alibaba Cloud opened its data centers in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Google announced in October 2018 that it will have its Indonesian data centers ready in early 2020, and AWS responded with a similar announcement in April 2019. These global hyperscalers are also offering their respective cloud stacks (e.g., AWS Outposts, Alibaba Apsara Stack, Google Anthos, and Azure Stack) for deployments in customers or third-party data centers to address the data residency requirement. They have also been strengthening their domestic presence by expanding the in-country sales forces and their partner ecosystem in the region through various collaborations with local providers, governments (such as universities), and other vertical players. Some of Alibaba’s recent initiatives include its partnership with SCC to offer Sabah Pay in East Malaysia and its first Cloud Day event in Indonesia. Continue reading “Alibaba Cloud Continues Its Momentum in ASEAN as Competition Increases”→
Maxis is enhancing its IoT portfolio with Microsoft Azure to deliver solutions more efficiently and provide flexibility in the market.
While it is a positive move, Maxis could consider integrating Azure features into its IoT network, collaborate on MEC and strengthen its professional services capabilities.
Maxis recently announced its partnership with Microsoft to enhance its IoT portfolio (note: the partnership also includes cloud and UC, but this article discusses the IoT collaboration). Through the partnership, Maxis will be using Microsoft Azure IoT in its offering. Azure is ranked as ‘very strong’ by GlobalData in the ‘Enterprise IoT Platforms’ category and stands out with its development capabilities such as IoT Toolkit, its open source platform and initiatives with the developer community. Azure IoT is also used by many leading carriers in their IoT solutions, including AT&T, Singtel, Telstra and Vodafone. For Maxis, this partnership provides a significant upgrade to its previous M2M platform that has been in place for many years. Microsoft Azure IoT enables Maxis to address various limitations of its IoT solutions, such as offering more flexible and scalable deployments through the cloud-based platform. The AI, machine learning and analytics capabilities supported by Azure IoT provide the carrier with better data visibility and hence enable the carrier deliver its IoT solution more efficiently. The open source and API capabilities provide Maxis a platform to expand its vertical offerings and offer better integration with customers’ existing systems. Besides, the Azure Stack and IoT Edge enable Maxis to offer low-latency applications and address the growing edge-compute demand. However, the Microsoft Azure IoT platform will not sell by itself and the partnership is not exclusive. Besides viewing this as a platform upgrade, Maxis should look at other ways to achieve differentiation in its IoT business. Continue reading “Maxis Strengthens Its IoT Portfolio with Microsoft Azure”→
The 5G race in Malaysia is heating up with various initiatives announced by service providers.
Telekom Malaysia (TM) edges out the competition by leveraging its existing ICT portfolio, professional service capabilities, and R&D to offer end-to-end solutions.
The 5G scene in Malaysia is heating up, as the market is only a few months away from expected commercial availability. The regulator, MCMC, recently announced that 5G will be available to users by July 2020. Since the kickoff of the 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP) by MCMC in September of last year, the telcos have been making regular announcements about their progress. These include Celcom’s partnership with the police and municipal council on a smart city deployment in Langkawi, Digi’s launch of its 5G OpenLab in Cyberjaya, Maxis’ 3 Gbps in C-band 5G trial spectrum, and TM’s collaboration with players from other verticals to co-develop 5G applications in Subang and Langkawi. While MCMC has outlined 55 use cases in 32 sites across six states for the 5GDP, Langkawi has been the center of the attention, as the service providers placed most of their resources for their 5G initiatives on the island. Continue reading “TM 5G Showcase Langkawi: Leading the 5G Race in Malaysia”→
• TM announced its 5G collaboration with eight players from different industries: government, hospitality, and retail.
• Apart from mixed reality and video, TM should also develop applications that leverage other 5G benefits (e.g., URLLC, network slicing, and edge-compute).
TM is making a major milestone in its 5G journey with its collaboration with the Majlis Perbandaran Langkawi Bandaraya Pelancongan (the city council) and Langkawi Development Authority, Jabatan Laut Malaysia (Malaysia Marine Department) as well as several other hospitality and retail players including Haji Ismail Group, Nadias Hotel, Hotel Ayda Chenang, The Loaf Asia, and Artisans Pizza. The collaborations focus on smart city and smart tourism use cases such as smart traffic light, smart parking, smart safety and security, smart retail analytics, and smart vehicle management solutions. These applications are running on the carrier’s trial standalone (SA) 5G network on 700MHz (the first SA 5G network in the country).