5G War Begins Again in Malaysia as Launch Nears

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Service providers are picking up their pace again in developing 5G capabilities.
  • Solution co-creation is key not just in building solution capabilities but also in driving brand share.

Early Pace of 5G in Malaysia

Malaysia had an early start with 5G.  The race between service providers began in mid-2019 when Celcom launched the country’s first live 5G cluster trial that enabled various use cases across multiple verticals (for more, please see Celcom Leads the 5G Race in Malaysia with 5G Live Cluster Field Trial,” July 29, 2019).  This was only a few months after the launch of the very first commercial 5G network in the world.  Not long after that, Maxis announced a partnership with Huawei to deploy 5G and develop use cases, Digi partnered with Cyberview on the 5G OpenLab to co-create 5G smart city applications, and TM shared its plan to be the first provider to offer 5G standalone (SA) network.  The government, MCMC, also played key roles in driving the technology development in the country.  It established a 5G task force in December 2018, hosted a 5G event in April 2019, collaborated with telcos and other industry players to launch 55 use cases across 32 locations (5GDP), and planned for commercial availability of the technology in the first half of 2020 (for more, please see 5G Enterprise in Malaysia: Strong Push by the Government Despite Low Market Maturity,” October 17, 2019).  It was ahead of many other countries in the region. Continue reading “5G War Begins Again in Malaysia as Launch Nears”

Zoom Takes a Giant Leap Forward at ‘Zoomtopia’

Summary Bullets:

G. Willsky

• Zoom has matured beyond its video-centric roots into a holistic UC&C player.

• Enhancements revealed at the annual ‘Zoomtopia’ event demonstrate just how far Zoom has come – and portend how far it may go.

In a short span of time, Zoom has jettisoned its video-centric roots and blossomed into a holistic UC&C player. But Zoom has not been content with resting on its laurels. Enhancements just announced at its annual ‘Zoomtopia’ conference represent a big leap forward. Zoom has arrived and then some.

Continue reading “Zoom Takes a Giant Leap Forward at ‘Zoomtopia’”

Low-Code Wars Heat Up Over Consolidation, RPA, and Business Events

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:
• Mendix’s data integration technology now supports app dev around business events
• Appian focused on support for composite data synchronization and data integration

Those pure-plays involved in the highly competitive low-code wars focused heavily on data integration strengths during the past week. Mendix and Appian, respectively, made significant updates to their flagship low-code automation platforms, focused primarily on providing developers with more AI/ML access and innovative data integration capabilities.

Building on its model-driven development strengths, Mendix’s platform updates during its annual conference last week focused on bringing agility to app development through automation, AI, and pre-built templates. At the heart of Mendix’s portfolio is its integration management platform Data Hub, which now lets developers display business events (such as purchases or help desk tickets) and build automated responses when triggered. Emerging intelligent workflow automation is a top priority among operations teams.

Appian continues to invest in its low-code and intelligent automation capabilities, acquiring highly relevant innovators including Novayre last year and recently process mining provider Lana Labs. Stemming from its BPM heritage, Appian differentiates from rivals through its focus on low-code/no-code automation addressing complex workflows through a combination of BPM, API integration, decision rules, RPA, AI, and case management capabilities. Its latest announcements focus further on its support for composite data synchronization and data integration, although the announcement was short on details including Lana Labs integrations.

The fast-moving low-code app development space is highly competitive, and as such rivals are quickly consolidating new innovations into broader solutions in an effort to improve their application lifecycle management (ALM) standing to better address DevOps models. Low-code enabled AI and automation innovations coupled with the cloud have created a culture of data ubiquity where data from virtually any source can be accessed and integrated into modern apps.

Low-code platforms have demonstrated an increasingly important role in enterprises’ application modernization process for the past few years, catering to both professional developers and non-coders in the role of business users. The advent of AI helped low-code platforms flourish over the past couple years, improving their ability to support the development and deployment of mission critical apps. Low-code platforms are consolidating further to include automation technologies, largely through robotic process automation (RPA) as a key component for shoring up DevOps models. Automation of backend data integration supports operations’ need to digitize workflows and business processes to support application lifecycle management (ALM) and continuous integration, continuous delivery (CICD). ML models will eventually be incorporated into solutions, building on next best action models to more quickly react to event-driven architectures.

GlobalData has just updated its Low-Code Competitive Landscape Assessment (CLA) for further vendor comparisons and low-code trends and drivers, please click here.

Continue reading “Low-Code Wars Heat Up Over Consolidation, RPA, and Business Events”

Should ASEAN Telcos Reassess Data Center Business?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:            

  • Major ASEAN telcos are considering selling their data center business.
  • As the demand is shifting, telcos should consider reassessing their data center business strategy.

In the last few days, three major ASEAN telcos – PLDT, Globe, and Indosat – were reported to be mulling over their data center businesses, worth around $500 million (USD), $200 million, and $200 million, respectively.

Not a New Trend, but Has Been Happening for Years

Having telcos exit the data center market is not new: Verizon sold its 29 data centers in the America region to Equinix in 2016; Tata Communications sold 17 facilities in 2016 and its data center arm sold a 26% stake in its Singapore business in 2019; Lumen completed the sale of its data center and colocation business in 2017; AT&T sold 31 of its data centers to Brookfield in 2018; Telefonica sold off 11 data centers in 2019 and confirmed the sale of additional four facilities in 2021; PCCW sold its data center business in 2021; and Singtel has announced that it is considering selling off its infrastructure, including data centers.  However, the trend is only recently coming to the emerging ASEAN region. Continue reading “Should ASEAN Telcos Reassess Data Center Business?”

Malaysian Telcos Shift Gears to Enhance Cloud Offerings

Summary Bullets:

A. Amir

• Digi expanded its enterprise portfolio and strengthen its SME position with the launch Oracle NetSuite.

• Maxis is moving in the right direction with its Right Cloud to address the increasing multi-cloud demand in the market.

The last three months saw Celcom’s partnership with Google to offer Google Workspace to SMEs; Maxis’ acquisition of Peering One, a private and hybrid cloud provider; and TM ONE’s partnership with SAP to offer a range of the latter solutions from its infrastructure (Cloud alpha). Now, in the first half of September, there were already two significant moves by Digi and Maxis to enhance their cloud offerings:

1. Digi Business brings cloud-based ERP solutions to SMEs

Continue reading “Malaysian Telcos Shift Gears to Enhance Cloud Offerings”

New Directions in the ASEAN Cloud Market as Enterprises Advance Their Journey

Summary Bullets:

A. Amir

• The accelerated cloud adoption in ASEAN is driving the market awareness and maturity in the region. Enterprises are starting to look for more advanced features such as integrated cloud solutions with other ICT domains.

• New requirements are also driving competition and attracting global cloud players to expand their footprints to capture the high growth opportunity.

About a year and a half since the pandemic first hit the region, ASEAN enterprises had gone through various ICT transformations including accelerated cloud deployments to enable remote working. The awareness and maturity of cloud have significantly increased in the last 18 months. Based on our recent engagements with leading cloud providers and enterprises in ASEAN, some of the current key trends in the cloud market are the convergence with other ICT domains, hyperscalers’ momentum, and the beginning of edge computing.

Continue reading “New Directions in the ASEAN Cloud Market as Enterprises Advance Their Journey”

Improving 5G Availability and Speeds through Mid-band Spectrum and Massive MIMO

Summary Bullets:

S. Soh

• The time is ripe for mobile operators to ramp up their 5G deployment to enhance their coverage and speeds to support new applications.

• Mobile operators with substantial mid-band spectrum and deployed massive multiple-input and multiple-output (M-MIMO) technology can deliver faster speeds and achieve service differentiation.

The deployment of 5G is well underway and people around the world are having a taste of the next-gen experience. GlobalData forecasts 5G subscriptions will reach 861 million by end of the year, doubling the figure in 2020. The availability of 5G is also rising in major cities, based on a study conducted by Ookla (Global 5G Benchmark Report Q1 – Q2 2021). The study defines availability as the percent of users on 5G-capable devices that spend the majority of their time on 5G, both roaming and on-network. Besides coverage, the availability of 5G-capable phones is a key factor in driving adoption. According to GSA, there were over 600 commercially available 5G devices in August 2021, which included mobile phones from major brands such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Google, and Xiaomi. While the initial focus was in launching 5G commercial services, the race now is about increasing availability and speeds.

Continue reading “Improving 5G Availability and Speeds through Mid-band Spectrum and Massive MIMO”

AWS Showcases Its Infrastructure Design to Offer Higher Performance and Cost Savings in ASEAN

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • While AWS is expanding its ASEAN footprint, in-country regions can be important to capture high-growth domestic opportunities.
  • Its custom and modular approach offers higher performance and reliability, but also enables cost savings through better resource management.

AWS has shared with analysts its capabilities and some details of its infrastructure design, including the data centers, networking, and server equipment that make up each of its regions.

Globally, AWS has 81 availability zones across 25 regions in 19 countries, comparable with other major cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud and ahead of niche players and market challenges such as Alibaba Cloud, Tencent, Oracle, and IBM.  Each of its regions has two or more availability zones, with newer ones consisting of at least three.  Each availability zone has multiple data centers to offer high availability and performance.  This is not new and has been a common approach by some leading global hyperscalers.  AWS has also been using a modular approach for its data center (a.k.a. Amazon Perdix) for over a decade.  All the availability zones are interconnected through its own metro fiber network.  It also uses cutting-edge 6912-fiber-count cables in its network. Continue reading “AWS Showcases Its Infrastructure Design to Offer Higher Performance and Cost Savings in ASEAN”

The Final Frontier: Fueling Space Exploration with Edge, Cloud, and Open Source

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Recent experiments conducted on the ISS showcase the potential for edge computing, cloud, and open source software to advance space research and exploration.
  • The experiments have involved technology from IBM, Red Hat, HPE, and Microsoft, illustrating the benefits of a collaborative approach by ‘big tech’ to space exploration.

Since its launch into space earlier this year, the Spaceborne Computer-2 (SC-2) on the International Space Station (ISS) has been enabling several important experiments, including crop cultivation projects and efforts to monitor astronaut health.  These experiments showcase the potential for edge computing, cloud computing, and open source software to advance space research and play a key role in missions to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond.  The experiments have involved technology from IBM, Red Hat, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and Microsoft, also illustrating the benefits of a collaborative approach by ‘big tech’ to space exploration. Continue reading “The Final Frontier: Fueling Space Exploration with Edge, Cloud, and Open Source”

Automation/Observability Market Heats Up with ServiceNow’s Acquisition of Swarm64

Summary Bullets:

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

• ServiceNow’s acquisition of modern database vendor Swarm64 combined with Lightstep’s modern monitoring platform aligns nicely with ServiceNow’s observability strategy.

• Under increased pressure to accelerate digitization of company apps and systems, integrated observability technologies (as a component of automation solutions) will play a significant role in accelerating app modernization in the next six to 12 months.

Last week saw more jostling among players involved in the hotly contested intelligent automation space, with workflow automation leader ServiceNow continuing its technology buying spree to reinforce its DevOps arsenal.

ServiceNow announced plans last week to acquire hybrid database vendor Swarm64 to help ease management of large volumes of data transactions via advanced analytics. The move comes on the heels of its acquisition of Lightstep, a modern monitoring platform which aligns nicely with ServiceNow’s observability strategy. ServiceNow has become a growing competitive threat in the automation and observability space, stemming from enhancements to its Now Platform under an initiative the company calls insight-guided workflows.

Continue reading “Automation/Observability Market Heats Up with ServiceNow’s Acquisition of Swarm64”