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Where Are Our Manufacturers? – Alfie Amir, Principal Analyst at GlobalData

November 30, 2022

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The pandemic was tough on the manufacturing industry, but with the help of new ICT solutions such as 5G and IT & OT services, the manufacturing industry is now breaking out of their cages and are doing even better! Read more on how 5G and IT/OT services are scaling the manufacturing industry to reach new heights.

This article summarises the key takeaways from a presentation by Alfie Amir, Principal Analyst from GlobalData during TM One’s LEAP Forward Manufacturing 2022 event. Alfie talks about major trends observed in ICT spending within the manufacturing industry and offers a glimpse into where our local manufacturers stand.

The Manufacturing and ICT Industry at a Glance

While the worldwide growth of the IT industry has remained steady for the past decade, we witnessed a boom in our dependency and usage of digital tools and services as various industries raced to regain their momentum after the pandemic. With several industries grinding to a halt during the global lockdowns and with other macro influences such as inflation and the rising urgency of ESG policies to contend with, many have turned to the power of technology to fill in the gaps.

This adoption of ICT services is reflected in the manufacturing industry where manufacturers have started allocating larger chunks of their IT budgets to ICT services that support their businesses and operations.  In fact, a 2022 study by GlobalData estimated that Malaysian manufacturers will spend US$ 2.7 billion on ICT in 2022, with a 7.8% YoY increase.1  

These are necessary steps for incorporating pre-existing tech into their operations to transform and upscale their production levels. More manufacturers are now moving to digitise their floors, utilise predictive analytics, and increase the visibility of their supply chains in a bid to improve the efficiency and predictive measures needed for a more streamlined production process and to keep up with new scales of demand in our changing world.  

Manufacturers Relying on Digital Solutions to Propel Operations

The effectiveness of the successful integration of information technology and operational technology (IT-OT) technologies in manufacturing can be clearly observed when looking at our counterparts on a global scale.

Global manufacturers are showing varied approaches in their utilisation of IT-OT tools. Manufacturing giants such as Airbus, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell have integrated IoT convergence into their operations by developing tools to improve communication between IT and OT services for data collection and for factory monitoring purposes. We also see Toyota funnelling resources into research on AI and Machine Learning (ML) to enhance the performance of vehicles rolling out of Toyota. Manufacturers of consumer goods, like Nestle and GSK, on the other hand, have turned to robotic process automation on their factory floors to enhance the productivity and efficiency of production lines while reducing operational costs.

On a smaller scale, there are also manufacturers working on frameworks to enhance quality control post-production and manufacturers who use 3D printing. A key takeaway from this is that the IT-OT convergence has become crucial for manufacturers to drive their digital transformation. Moreover, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for manufacturers – industry manufacturers need a keen understanding of challenges being faced in each on-ground process to be able to choose the right IT & OT services that is best suited to solve their unique challenge.

However, the openness and effectiveness in adopting IT-OT convergence must be strongly supported by key stakeholders of an organisation to bring true impact not just from the IT and operational team, but also other business units such as product, sales, marketing and even human resource. Leaders of top manufacturing companies are now using their voices to demonstrate the benefits that can be observed, and the expected scalability that is to follow when manufacturers start digitising their factory floors.

“IoT tools help manufacturers solve currently unsolvable problems. By utilising enabling technologies like the cloud and leveraging corporate data, we can help our customers address challenges at the enterprise level.” – Andrew Hird, Vice President of Honeywell

“Digitalisation is a major trend and innovation driver. It empowers companies to enhance their production processes, creating completely new business and growth opportunities that would enable them to remain competitive.” – Raimund Klein, Executive Vice President of Siemens ASEAN.

The Future is Bright as 5G Enters the Manufacturing World

As smart manufacturing is fast becoming the norm on factory floors across the world, a new key technology is set to further supercharge innovations in manufacturing. The introduction of 5G is making higher bandwidths and lower latencies far more accessible. It is also bringing along new capabilities such as network slicing and faster private networks, while also catalysing the usage of edge computing within manufacturing.

Several global companies have already jumped ahead by harnessing the power of 5G. For example, Vodafone and Ford have made strides in creating Private 5G networks to enable real-time operational data management, along with operational flexibility by allowing easier reconfiguration of production lines. In ASEAN, AIS Thailand and Mitsubishi Electric have used 5G for real-time remote equipment monitoring and maintenance – this increases work efficiency for their equipment supervisors while reducing machine downtime.

Malaysia’s Manufacturing Industry on Integrating IT/OT Services

While smart technology for manufacturers is making leaps and bounds, the uptake of digital transformation solutions among Malaysian manufacturers remains scattered.

Another study conducted by Global Data in 2021 showed that only 11% of our local manufacturers sit within the “Advanced” stage of digital transformation, having transformed a majority of their business processes. By transforming their operations through adopting solutions such as IoT and analytics, these businesses have been able to increase their operational efficiency and overcome labour shortages during the thick of the pandemic.

22% of local manufacturers sit within the next category, “Streamlined”. Manufacturers in this category are also considerably advanced in their digital transformation, having aligned most of the processes within business units, whereas 15% are within the “Centralised” category where company-wide initiatives are being centrally led. 

In contrast, more than half of Malaysian manufacturers are still in the early phases of digital adoption. 22% are in the “Diverse” stage (scattered initiatives across the organisation) while 30% are in the “Laggard” stage (no formal initiatives being carried out yet).

This resistance in the uptake of next-gen solutions can be attributed to several factors, one of which is the heavy lifting required for the migration of legacy applications, with 26% of local manufacturers citing this as their main challenge. The difficulty in migrating legacy systems, in turn, makes internal stakeholder buy-in another challenge to contend with as data ownership, accountability and risk grows greatly. The third most common challenge is in addressing concerns related to security and privacy, as the risks of cybersecurity threats grow especially when digitalising operational technologies. For example, a cyberattack on a factory machine could affect production processes and revenue.

Thus, while there is progress in adopting digital services, our manufacturing industry still has a long journey ahead.

The importance of a strong digital partner

A strong digital partner is paramount for manufacturers to be able to step into the new digitalised age of industrialisation with the confidence and readiness to effectively transform. Despite the challenges that come with adopting smart industrial technology, it is imperative for manufacturers to face these challenges head-on, to increase their resiliency and sustain their business.

To encourage a frictionless path forward, it is crucial for top management to embrace and encourage digital adoption to drive change within an organisation, as internal resistance and systemic constraints could be a major stumbling block faced by our local manufacturers.

A strong alignment between ICT solutions and business challenges is also vital to drive successful deployments. The landscape can be overwhelming as it is cluttered with cutting-edge solutions. This requires manufacturers to carefully consider the right solutions before they can confidently take the plunge to address their specific business challenges. Uncertainties and a misunderstanding of tech usage could hamper the digitalisation process as business managers struggle to choose the right solutions that can best solve their individual manufacturing needs.

Manufacturers should also consider providers that offer comprehensive services across multiple technology stacks. It is crucial for manufacturers to address interworking and integration challenges for them to achieve the desired business outcomes from the deployment.

Professional services offered by service providers are also important to drive successful transformation. Consulting and advisory services can help manufacturers identify their business challenges and the right solutions. Additionally, application development and integration can ensure seamless migration while support and service management can offer service resiliency, cost optimisation, but also unlock new opportunities. 

Click here for more information on TM One’s Smart Manufacturing solutions and how we can help accelerate smart manufacturing for your organisation.

[1] GlobalData IT Prospector (n=2,480); GlobalData IT Insight (n=335)

Empowering Care: Digital Healthcare Solutions in i-Kiddo Ward

June 22, 2023

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Experience a new era of healthcare at ParkCity Medical Centre's i-Kiddo Ward. Discover how innovative digital healthcare solutions are transforming patient care, enhancing comfort, and empowering families. With cutting-edge technology and personalized experiences, we're revolutionizing the way children receive medical treatment. Join us on this extraordinary journey towards a brighter and smarter future for healthcare.

Kuala Lumpur, 20 June 2023 – In collaboration with TM One, the enterprise and Government sector solutions arm of TM, ParkCity Medical Centre (PMC), a multidisciplinary hospital under Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care (RSDH) is proud to announce the launch of i-Kiddo Ward with smart patient suite features. It aims to offer high-quality services and ensure a better overall experience for patients and their families. This is one of PMC’s digitalisation initiatives that leverages digital healthcare solutions to revolutionise patient care experiences.

The i-Kiddo Ward is PMC’s new paediatric ward equipped with cutting-edge room capabilities, driven by Internet of Things (IoT) technology for automation and surround control. It is designed to enhance patient comfort, streamline nursing care activities and provide convenience to parents and caregivers.

Each of the 35 rooms within the i-Kiddo Ward creates a home-like environment within the hospital setting, allowing patients to customise their in-patient environment. Patients can effortlessly control lighting, air conditioning, curtains and reduce the need for assistance from nursing staff through user-friendly interfaces. These innovative features enhance the patients’ experience and support parents in ensuring their children’s utmost comfort and well-being throughout their hospital stay.

“In collaboration with TM One, we take great pride in being the first hospital to leverage their Smart Patient Suite Solution in our innovative i-Kiddo Ward. By embracing digital technologies, we are revolutionising the way patients and their families experience healthcare within our hospital. This has marked a significant milestone in our digitalisation journey,” said Mr. Peter S. Kasinathan, CEO of ParkCity Medical Centre.

“We are excited to partner with Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care in launching our first Smart Patient Suite. This innovative solution will provide an enhanced patient-centric care experience that puts the patient at the centre of their health journey. By integrating IoT, AI, and digitalisation, RSDH is at the forefront of healthcare innovation. This collaboration will revolutionise patient care and improve in-patient experience through the latest technology. We’re proud to play a role in shaping the future of the nation’s future healthcare,” said Shazurawati Abd Karim, Executive Vice President, TM One.

As part of its ongoing digitalisation efforts, PMC has implemented a smart queue system for outpatient services, ensuring seamless and efficient patient flow. A smart car parking system utilising car number plate recognition has also been recently introduced. Looking ahead, the hospital has several other digital healthcare initiatives in the pipeline, including an innovative ward that enables patients to use bedside terminals for ordering meals, monitoring medication and accessing personal treatment information.

Peter Hong, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care (RSDH) said, “We are proud of our collective efforts in driving digitalisation, and it exemplifies our commitment to leveraging technology for enhanced patient care. Through the collaboration with TM One, we aim to harness the power of digitalisation to create a seamless healthcare ecosystem, providing more personalised and patient-centred services to our community, ultimately shaping a brighter and smarter future for healthcare together.”

For more information on PMC and its services, visit

TM’s new Fibre Optic Network HUB (Point of Presence) brings Faster, More Reliable Internet Connectivity to Rural and Remote Areas.

April 18, 2023

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  • Installed 233 PoPs under phase 1 with 100% completion, across northern, Sabah and Sarawak
  • Enabled greater digital inclusion and opportunities to all layers of community

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) has today announced the completion of its new fibre optic network hub or point of presence (PoP) project phase one (1) installations, across northern region, Sabah and Sarawak. The launch ceremony, which was officiated by YB Fahmi Fadzil, Minister of Communications and Digital, took place at SMK Padang Terap, Kuala Nerang, Kedah. Also present were Dato’ Haji Pkharuddin Bin Haji Ghazali, Director-General of Education and Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Bin Mentek, Secretary-General, Ministry of Communications and Digital.

PoP is a place where different devices connect to each other and to the internet. In simple terms, PoP brings fibre closer to users. By setting up PoP locations near schools, people in rural and remote areas can get better and faster internet services in their homes, instead of relying on mobile internet. This will improve internet access and connectivity for more people in the community.

During the ceremony, YB Fahmi highlighted the significant benefits and opportunities that the new PoPs would bring. The new PoPs represent a major step forward in the Government’s efforts to narrow the digital gap and promote digital inclusion across Malaysia.

A total of 4,370 PoPs had been planned under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) where 4,323 PoPs will be installed near rural schools and 47 PoPs near industrial area. Phase one (1) of the project, involves 677 sites and the remaining will be implemented under phase two (2) over the span of three (3) years, 2022-2025. A total of 233 PoP circuits were installed under phase 1, with 100% completion achieved by TM, ahead of other industry players.

YB Fahmi Fadzil, Minister of Communications and Digital, and puan Shazurawati Abdul Karim, Executive Vice President of TM One at the launch.

“We are thrilled to see the progress and achievements of this project, which will bring significant benefits and opportunities to the community, including improved internet quality, economic development and the development of new infrastructures,” said Shazurawati Abdul Karim, Executive Vice President of TM One.

PoP will create a more balanced and inclusive regional development, boosting the growth of new technologies like 5G and future generations of communication technologies. Through this initiative, users in TM’s PoP area have now reached over 9,000 and are increasing. A total of 58 of its users are schools that have subscribed to Unifi services. The widespread internet accessibility will not only help to develop the rural economy but more importantly allow learning materials to be downloaded, to improve the quality of education in schools, equipping the future generations with a wealth of knowledge.

“As the nation’s telecommunications leader, and enabler of Digital Malaysia, TM is committed to support the nation’s development agenda through the benefits brought by hyperconnectivity and digital solutions, which will accelerate digital adoption and new economic growth,” added Shazurawati.

“The presence of PoP can attract technology companies, start-ups and other businesses that require a high-speed internet connection to operate. This can create more job opportunities, increase innovation, and stimulate economic growth in local communities,” concluded Shazurawati.

The collaboration between TM and the Government demonstrates the shared commitment to deliver digital inclusivity throughout Malaysia. For phase two (2) of PoP project, TM has been awarded with 174 sites in the central region. This phase is expected to further boost digital connectivity and economic development for Malaysia.

NCT Group and TM Collaborate to Future-Proof Selangor Smart Industrial Park Through Integrated Digital Solutions

March 10, 2023

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  • Integration of TM’s robust and secure digital infrastructure for fixed and wireless connectivity and smart solutions will position SSIP as one of the leading industrial parks in Selangor to implement end-to-end digitisation across facilities
  • Smart solutions for businesses, industries, residences and community with advanced analytics to deliver a smarter and more efficient city for a greener Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 AUGUST 2022 – NCT Group of Companies (NCT) and Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) through its enterprise and public sector business solution arm, TM One, have today signed a Collaboration Agreement for the integration of end-to-end digital solutions for NCT’s landmark Selangor Smart Industrial Park (SSIP).

The collaboration is aligned with NCT’s aspirations to establish dynamic and future-ready property developments while redefining Malaysia’s industrial park concept, with SSIP on track to become the first Managed Industrial Park (MIP) certified park in Malaysia.

Powered by TM’s robust and secured digital infrastructure for both fixed and wireless connectivity, as well as digital solutions including Smart Services, ICT Solutions, Cloud and Cybersecurity Services, among others, SSIP will offer a differentiated experience with the latest in smart innovations – becoming one the leading developments in Malaysia to effectively implement end-to-end digitisation across all its facilities that will enable more efficient, modern and sustainable operations.

In addition to the digitalisation of business and residential facilities, SSIP will also include an AI-managed centralised employee quarters complete with smart surveillance, supporting NCT’s close to 10,000 workforce more efficiently, in a safer and secured environment. It will also house a Smart Wellness Centre leveraging on TM One’s end-to-end comprehensive digital solutions.

SSIP will reflect NCT’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspiration and decarbonisation goals, with plans for 1,000 units of solar-ready factories and warehouses. Coupled with TM’s Smart Service solutions such as Smart Surveillance, Smart Street Light, Smart Building, Smart Premise, Smart Parking and Smart Community, this will also factor into creating a comfortable and greener ecosystem in SSIP.\

photo: NCT Group and TM One

Dato’ Sri Yap Ngan Choy, Group Managing Director of NCT said “It is a privilege to work alongside TM to ensure full suite of connectivity to power our SSIP. The role of TM is crucial in providing the groundwork and framework to realise our vision of creating a fully integrated end-to-end digital solution for our clients. With the development and application of advanced technology, we aim to set a new benchmark to transform the design of industrial parks in the country while playing an active role in advancing Malaysia’s digital aspirations. Coupled with the immense economic potential, SSIP will continue to enhance Selangor’s position as the top investment destination in the country.”

Shazurawati Abd Karim, TM One’s Executive Vice President shared, “We are excited to embark on this alliance with NCT and to support their aspirations to establish a smart, efficient, resilient and sustainable industrial park – one that will redefine the digitalisation of property developments in Malaysia.”

“Aligning with TM’s mission to become a human-centred technology company, our comprehensive solutions from connectivity to smart services and digital innovations will advance the quality and efficiency of businesses and residents within SSIP – taking transformation forward for future communities,” she concluded.  

For further information on TM One, visit

TM One named FROST & SULLIVAN Malaysian Cybersecurity Services Company of The Year

March 02, 2023

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Recognised for extensive capabilities and resources to address cybersecurity gaps among organisations and support data protection efforts in the evolving digital space

TM One, the enterprise and government sector solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (“TM”), was named the Frost & Sullivan Malaysian Cybersecurity Services Company of the Year for 2022.

The award was decided based on a series of detailed evaluations following Frost & Sullivan’s best practices criteria, in which TM One excelled as a service partner in addressing Malaysia’s enterprise and government sector cybersecurity needs.

“TM One is recognized based on its extensive cybersecurity capabilities and resources. With a full suite of cybersecurity services and infrastructure, coupled with a deep understanding of the Malaysian market landscape, TM One continuously upholds a strong reputation of effectively addressing its customers’ security needs,” said Anh Tien Vu, Industry Principal, Global Cybersecurity Research Team at Frost & Sullivan.

Shazurawati Abd Karim, Executive Vice President, TM One, said: “We are honoured to receive the Frost & Sullivan Malaysian Cybersecurity Services Company of the Year Award. With cybersecurity emerging as a top priority for organisations in their transformation journey, we are committed to growing our end-to-end solutions so that we can provide our customers digital freedom and peace of mind as they expand their businesses in the digital space. Understanding their unique business needs, we work with organisations to assess their cybersecurity capabilities and provide advisory services through our dedicated TM One Cyber Defense Centre (CYDEC) – helping them make the right choices to respond to cyber threats more effectively.”

Addressing Cybersecurity Gaps among Enterprises and Public Sector

More Malaysian organisations are now investing heavily in cybersecurity. As they become increasingly present and vulnerable in the digital space, organisations need to adopt a stronger security posture in their information technology, operational technology, and cloud infrastructure capabilities.

Shazurawati said, “One of the key challenges for organisations is the shortage of in-house security expertise, professionals, and tools, requiring them to outsource their security operations. By working closely with customers to assess their security posture, technology maturity, and business needs, TM One offers customised solutions for managed security services, consultation and advisory, and other value-added services to help them navigate today’s complex technological landscape.”

TM One is also strengthening the public sector’s cybersecurity, working alongside the Malaysian Government to enhance digital connectivity and smart innovations for cities and industries to propel the nation towards becoming a digital economy. In addition to connectivity, TM One continues to invest in local data centres, digital infrastructure and services, ensuring data sovereignty remains within Malaysian borders while bringing global best practices to the nation’s public sector.

Its investments to strengthen Malaysia’s Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) is one of its efforts to protect government and public data, with its cybersecurity solutions developed in compliance with Bank Negara Malaysia’s Risk Management in Technology (RMiT) policy and the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA).

Anh Tien Vu said, “One consideration that stood out for Frost and Sullivan was that TM One has earned endorsements and collaborations from local cyber authorities, such as Cybersecurity Malaysia and the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) of Malaysia through its implementation of best practices, and world-class infrastructure backed by experts. Frost & Sullivan commends TM One’s steadfast efforts in providing cybersecurity services that exemplify this implementation of best practices, which have benefited customers and communities tremendously.”

“On top of developing our own end-to-end solutions, TM One continues to strengthen its partnership ecosystem, collaborating with companies from various security domains to diversify its offerings and coverage. This includes FNS Value Co. Limited, the sole distributor of its Blockchain Secure Authentication solution in Malaysia, which helps secure digital transactions and online credentials, and Telefónica Tech – a global leader in cybersecurity, Cloud and IoT, as a partner in delivering Digital Risk Protection,” explained Shazurawati.

“Our efforts to expand our cybersecurity services and to provide customers with cutting-edge security reflect our commitment to tackling today’s growing cybersecurity concerns. With next-gen technologies such as 5G opening up both new opportunities and threats, TM One is poised as the enabler for organisations’ next advantage and security, today and tomorrow,” she concluded.

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