Cloud ⍺ Series #7: Helping Malaysian SMEs #stayinbusiness

Jul 06, 2020
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The Government announced financial relief initiatives to help SMEs weather the storm. Responding to the Government call, we worked hand-in-hand with the Government so that Malaysian SMEs could #stayinbusiness.

Covid-19 and the resulting Movement Control Orders (MCO) brought great challenges to Malaysia – to the people, businesses and the economy as a whole. Many businesses were not allowed to operate. The Government announced financial relief initiatives to help Malaysians and SMEs weather the storm. Responding to the call from the Government, TM ONE worked hand-in-hand with the Government so that Malaysian SMEs could #stayinbusiness in these challenging times.

stay in business

Today in history

  • The pandemic caused many local businesses to stop operations.
  • The Government announced the economic stimulus package, which included financial assistance for the people.
  • Millions of Malaysians swamped the portal to register for this financial assistance.
  • The existing on-premise system was congested due to the sudden surge in traffic.
Seamless, Uninterrupted Services for the people

The Challenge: SMEs’ Hopes, Government’s Balancing Act

  • SMEs was the focal segment in the 2nd phase of financial assistance.
  • The Government was concerned that the same overload and congestion will re-occur.
  • Seamless, Uninterrupted Services for the people is the Government’s top priority.
  • The Government needed a scalable solution as a stop-gap measure for the temporary surge.
  • The Government needed a solution – speed and computing power, but also one that allows for the data to be in their on-premise data centre to adhere to regulatory requirements.
Malaysian SMEs

The Solution: Connecting Malaysian SMEs for Malaysia

  • TM ONE was called to the rescue.
  • Cloud α suite of services was deployed as the solution.
  • TM ONE Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) residing in TM ONE Tier III Data Centre in Malaysia addressing data residency concerns.
  • Scalability, Speed and Security
    • from TM ONE Cloud α, to the Government, for the people
      • IaaS residing in TM ONE Data Centre
      • Robust connectivity with high availability and reliability
      • Managed Cybersecurity Services
Scalability, Speed and Security

The Results: Helping Malaysian SMEs #stayinbusiness

  • In just 1 week
    From capacity planning to deployment to testing, the government’s backend system was put in place to support the wave
  • Professional Services
    A dedicated team of experts working remotely and on standby 24/7 for any technical assistance
  • Keeping data secure
    Highly sensitive information protected against any potential cyberattack in every ecosystem and its processes
  • Congestion-free, worry-free
    High speed, low latency and robust connectivity despite the high influx of SMEs swarming the government website
  • Flexibility
    The scalable Cloud α is adaptable to fluctuating needs, making it highly sustainable and cost-effective for the Government
Malaysia on the Road to Recovery

The verdict: Malaysia on the Road to Recovery

Malaysian SMEs enjoyed the seamless uninterrupted experience on the government portal.

Forging A New Future for Malaysia’s Manufacturers

Feb 24, 2021
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Digital technologies form a key component of generating recovery and building resiliency for the industry.

In the pre-digital era, manufacturing plants were deemed an unstoppable force in many economies. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought sharp lessons resulting in factory shutdowns and multiple supply chain disruptions. Even with the continuing battle against the pandemic, the manufacturing sector must intensify its efforts to survive and find new avenues of growth.

Digital technologies form a key component of generating recovery and building resiliency for the industry, a fact well-recognised by manufacturers across Malaysia and the Asia Pacific, said Sudev Bangah, Managing Director of IDC ASEAN, at the recent Smart Manufacturing Circuit 2020 virtual event organised by TM ONE. IDC analysis has also found that many companies are shifting towards targeted investments in machine learning, cloud, robotics, and internet of things (IoT) to drive a path through future crises as well as to secure growth.

Meanwhile, Maznan Deraman, Head of Innovative Solutions at TM ONE, the enterprise and public sector business arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) believes, “Digital adoption brings great potential for improving product quality, increasing productivity and creating more high-skilled jobs.” He shared how TM ONE will support the manufacturing industry’s digitalisation journey.

Data-driven Efficiency

Data is deemed to be crucial for building a resilient manufacturing company. Understanding how well each part of the production line works will help managers minimise wastage, speed up production, and produce better products. Manufacturers need to think about what data they need and what tech they can use to collect it, shared Sudev.

Another crucial aspect is data analytics. Most manufacturers currently record data on paper and transfer it manually to a software for analysis, explained Nazman Fariz Mohd Noh from TM ONE’s Smart Manufacturing Solutions. “This is labour intensive and prone to human error.”

TM ONE has an analytics tool that helps companies gain deep visibility to their production processes. The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) platform delivers an overview of all the processes within a factory using data collected from IoT devices. Supervisors can use this to optimise production hours, identify faulty machines, redistribute production, and monitor products for defects.

The platform consolidates real-time data for each machine, including its schedule, availability, and effectiveness. Managers can chart this on a graph to monitor individual performance over time, or zoom out to see how the overall production line is faring.

The OEE shares all data via online through TM ONE’s Cloud Alpha platform. Staff can monitor the status of each machine anytime and anywhere, said Nazman Faris.

Minimising Costs through Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is a key feature of the OEE. This will help cut time and costs substantially. Manufacturing companies report that more than a fifth of its costs are due to downtime, and that 90 per cent of maintenance work is eaten up by having to fix breakdowns, Maznan shared.

The OEE platform monitors levels of concern for each machine: low means it’s doing well; middle to high means it might need immediate attention. It also automatically compiles a list of machines with higher attention scores, arranged according to severity.

Once a machine has been identified for maintenance, the technician will take a look at its timeline, alerts, and any notes on the OEE to carry out the repair work more efficiently. Machine experts can also study this information to analyse causes and develop better fixes.

Other Must Have Solutions for Your Digital Operations

In addition to the OEE analytics platform, TM ONE also offers cloud and cybersecurity tools to protect companies’ data. “Nowadays, we can’t have all information or systems on premise, because we know for a fact that on premise solutions carry a certain level of risk,” Maznan said. For instance, businesses may not have the proper disaster recovery services to react to potential cyber-attacks, he explained.

TM ONE is collaborating with technology companies such as Huawei to develop new tools for Malaysia’s manufacturing sector. Eng Chew Hian, Business Development Director at HUAWEI CLOUD Malaysia, shared details of how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to improve manufacturing processes.

Huawei’s drone inspection tool uses high definition (HD) cameras, 5G connectivity and AI image processing to study the surfaces of planes. Aircraft technicians run on a tight schedule when conducting safety checks between flights, and manual inspections are time- and labour-intensive.

The drone flies through the plane to search for scratches, corrosions, and loose screws. It also cross-checks the model of the plane to ensure each part meets specific safety standards.

Huawei has also developed an AI image analysis tool for safer aircraft manufacturing. It uses thermal sensors to find gaps when wings are welded onto a plane. Planes have to withstand tremendous vibrations and wind speeds, and any gaps could be disastrous, Eng explained.

“Although the movement control order was gradually lifted, the overall impact on the whole supply chain has been dramatic!” said Maznan. Digital technologies such as IoT and data analytics are helping Malaysia’s manufacturing plants navigate the uncertainties in a recovering economy.

Next-Gen Tech Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response

Jan 07, 2021
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From drones to data, here are some ways that governments have harnessed technology to enhance emergency response strategies.

In an era of sudden terror attacks, pandemics, and natural disasters: countries must remain alert to counter any emergencies, which could bring devastating consequences. How are governments currently optimising their emergency management strategies to better protect the people and mitigate emergencies? 

With each technological advance, governments are taking the opportunity to consider reviewing and adopting their response strategies. Data and the increasingly sophisticated analytics is proven to be one of the fundamental keys to support more effective and faster response tools to governments and support agencies.

Here are some examples of how tech is helping faster recovery for citizens in Asia.

Malaysia’s Covid-19 App

In March this year, just three (3) months after Covid-19 first reached Malaysia, the government released a mobile application to help check and control the spread of the disease. With MySejahtera app, citizens monitor their own health status, and receive latest updates on the pandemic status.

The app groups citizens into categories based on their risk level of contracting Covid-19, and will inform them of the next steps to action. For instance, those under surveillance will have to quarangtine themselves at home for 14 days, while those at high risk must get tested at designated hospitals.

MySejahtera also serves as a contact tracing app. Citizens scan a QR code before they enter a premise or any public places, and the system logs where they have visited in the last 14 days. Users can also register family members who don’t have a smartphone.

The app supports teleconsultations, so that patients can speak with a doctor without having to leave their home. This helps them to stay safe, and eases demands on healthcare services.

Citizens can also plan safer routes by using the app’s hotspot tracker. The system taps machine learning capabilities to identify a possible sources of infection for each confirmed case, and maps it geographically, Dr Mahesh Appannan, Senior Principal Assistant Director of the Disease Control Division at Malaysia’s Ministry of Health told GovInsider.

Disaster Alert Systems Keep Citizens Informed

Managing impact from natural disasters relies greatly on early warning systems and maintaining a continual flow of information.

In the Indian state of Odisha, geoclimatic conditions lead to frequent natural calamities such as droughts, floods, cyclones, and unseasonal rain. Odisha has faced 17 large natural disasters in the past 20 years.

In 2019, the Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority developed “SATARK” (System for Assessing, Tracking and Alerting Disaster Risk Information based on Dynamic Risk Knowledge) in collaboration with the Bangkok-based Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System. This mobile application provides automated early warning and real-time information about hazards such as lightning, heatwaves, cyclones, drought, and floods.

SATARK integrates different forms of data from national and international agencies to provide location-specific alerts. Drawing upon historical patterns, SATARK provides users with easily understandable advisories for their specific scenarios, underlining the state government’s guidelines about what they need to do before, during, and after disasters. To enhance user understanding, information is provided in both Odia and English. 

The SATARK system also allows users to provide feedback about forecast accuracy in their area, and uses machine learning algorithms to improve upon its advisory generation process. This information improves citizens’ disaster-preparedness, which could prove critical in their ability to minimise losses and injuries during calamities.

In Malaysia, TM ONE, the public sector and enterprise business solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), collaborated with the Royal Malaysian Navy and ICT company, Acasia, to develop Kesedaran Keselamatan Komuniti Maritim (K3M) or Maritime Community Security and Safety Awareness, a web app and a mobile app to deliver early warning and real time maritime hazard alerts. The K3M app is connected to various maritime authorities, and available for widespread use including commercial shipping companies, tourism operators, fishermen, and maritime recreational users. Users can also make emergency SOS calls that are routed to a Naval Operation Centre, which will coordinate assistance.

Enhanced Training Systems for Effective Crime Engagement

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) is increasingly adopting technology-driven systems to help officers optimise their training and to maximise success when engaging with suspects.

In 2019, the SPF adopted the Range Enhanced Liver Firing Range System, a training aid that provides detailed information to officers during marksmanship practice. This system analyses each shooter’s posture, breathing, gaze fixation and weapons-handling and supplies real-time suggestions, helping officers improve the accuracy of subsequent shots.

The SPF also introduced the Impact Measurement Trainer, a training system to improve the self-defence skills of police trainees. The training system make use of force sensors in mannequins to precisely measure the location and strength of users’ strikes, then provide instant feedback for trainees to improve their techniques.

Such smart systems turn specific data into actionable insights for officers, improving training efficiency to ensure that police officers are able to effectively respond to conflicts.

Leveraging on cloud to support search and rescue operations

Meanwhile, Malaysian emergency response authorities are leveraging cloud computing platforms to improve search and rescue (SAR) operations. Working together with TM ONE, the emergency response agencies utilise the Search and Rescue Operation Coordination System (SAROCS) to support the planning, execution, management and coordination of SAR activities during an emergency.

In SAR operations, comprehensive and timely information is critical. The cloud-based SAROCS enables the data from multiple devices and systems to be integrated onto a single platform, allowing multiple SAR agencies to access crucial data to facilitate an operation remotely. The solution is equipped with a mobile application, which allows users connect to a secure Internet connection and access the main system database, providing on-the-go information to the users. For example, it can provide tracking information to the Rescue Coordination Centre to facilitate the deployment monitoring of search and rescue units by SAR coordinator.

When SAROCS is hosted in the cloud, the search and rescue units can benefit from advanced analytics and artificial intelligence-assisted capabilities powered by cloud to successfully facilitate an operation. For example, they can simulate or forecast oceanography and meteorological data to improve their understanding of search area conditions, which are essential in SAR operations.

The cloud in particular is playing a fundamental role in managing emergency response strategies at scale. While no government can guarantee to stop an emergency, the harnessing of technologies including cloud to gather and analyse massive amounts of information in real-time is equipping citizens and professionals to improve preparedness towards crises, respond more effectively and rapidly during emergency situations, minimise the impact of disasters, as well as improve recovery results.

Cloud ⍺ Series #12: Homegrown Cloud Professionals at Your Service

Nov 12, 2020
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No cloud migration is alike. However, by partnering the right partner with in-depth technical skills, knowledge and experience, any organisation can confidently make their migration journey smooth and securely.

No cloud migration is exactly alike. However, by partnering the right partner with in-depth technical skills, knowledge and experience that follow global best practices and compliance standards, any organisation can confidently make their migration journey smooth and secure.

TM ONE’s step-by-step guide to cloud migration

START

We diagnose and assess your readiness to migrate by:

  1. Facilitating the syndication with your stakeholders across business and IT to understand their motivations and desired outcomes
  2. Taking stock of your Digital Estate in
    1. Data
    2. Infrastructure
    3. Applications
  3. Assessing your risks and develop mitigation strategies
  4. Helping you define a cloud migration and adoption strategy (whether to maintain, migrate, or modernise), embedding cybersecurity and monitoring strategies

Guiding you through the development of the migration plan and project design by:

  1. Developing a process plan towards cloud from both tech and non-tech aspects
  2. Developing a migration solution and contingency plan based on the migration strategy
  3. Preparing all technical requirements and migration guide

Facilitating you through the migration execution:

  1. As you conduct enablement workshops for all stakeholders, getting everyone up to speed for migration
  2. As you prepare the digital assets and environment
    for migration
  3. As together we undertake the iterative process of assessing, deploying and releasing workloads according to planned waves or releases.

Retuning the migrated workloads towards your desired end state by

  1. Load testing migrated workloads and monitor performance and cost
  2. Retuning and reconfiguring migrated workloads to achieve optimised configuration and size
  3. Promoting workload to production upon your acceptance of performance and cost

COMPLETE

By implementing best practices in project management from start to end, TM ONE ensures a smooth migration journey for you.

We facilitate you in establishing and continuously building your cloud governance, which is aligned to your existing IT and corporate governance policies and other compliance regulations. Cloud governance guides the adoption process and helps to manage risks along the journey.

At TM ONE, our local certified cloud experts and end-to-end cloud professional capabilities enable us to support your cloud migration journey so you can focus on your business priorities.

HOMEGROWN SUPPORTEND-TO-END CLOUD SERVICESMIGRATION APPROACH
TM’s team of certified cloud professionals have a vast knowledge & experience of local migration, designing, developing, and maintaining data centres and cloud for decades.Our experts are with you throughout the migration process: from advisory, consultation, migration assessment, infrastructure design validation, migration services right up to managed services.TM ONE offers a vibrant and dynamic spectrum of migration services: Virtual to Virtual (V2V) Physical to Virtual (P2V) Physical to Physical (P2P) Virtual to anything (V2X)

For more information about Cloud Alpha’s cutting edge Professional Services please click here.

This infographic was published in The Edge weekly on 2nd Nov 2020.

Cloud ⍺ Series #10: Forging the Future of Public Services with Cloud

Oct 06, 2020
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By shifting to cloud computing, government services and citizens are only one click-of-an-app away, many processes can be made more efficiently.

Here’s how governments around the world are using the cloud to build better lives for their citizens.

Malaysia, Singapore and the US are among many governments announcing their intent to pivot their operations to the cloud in the next few years. What exactly will this mean for public services?

The Government services sector is different than the enterprise or corporate sectors because it impacts and is responsible to all citizens, totalling more than 30 million Malaysians as well as 10 million business entities. Needless to say, the amount of data it holds is massive and it is crucial to keep these data ultimately secure, said Ahmad Nazri Ambi, Head of Digital Government at TM ONE.

Cloud computing offers huge potential for innovating varieties of new services to support citizens and enhance aspects of the quality of daily life. Thanks to its ability to handle large volumes of information, governments could collect the Internet of Things (IoT) data and develop actionable insights to enhance efficiency and address various issues. The cloud also enables governments to quickly expand new services across different agencies, according to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), a public agency driving digital adoption in the country.

We explore how different countries have adopted the cloud to transform the way they serve their citizens by taking advantage of the cloud’s scalability.

1. Expanding digital identity services

Digital identity services have great potentials to enable the government to streamline their services and enable advances in service delivery. A citizen could pay taxes, book a hospital appointment, and apply for loans all in one place without having to re-enter personal information, which contributes to creating a more seamless experience.

Not only it will benefit the citizens – McKinsey research revealed that countries could unlock 3 to 13 per cent of GDP in 2030 by implementing digital identity programmes – as a potential result of increasing shift from the informal economy to the formal economy, increased employment and greater financial inclusion.

The opportunity for digital identity services has increased exponentially with technology advancements, greater access to smart devices, and lower implementation costs. We have seen many nations implementing such services, and initiatives such as the World Bank’s ID4D will help more countries build inclusive and trusted identity systems.

GovTech Singapore leverages the power of the cloud as it works with developers and partners to create more services that build on its national digital identity system. These services are built on a developer platform that is hosted in the cloud, which allows them to quickly scale up and build more services as demand from businesses increases, reports Computer Weekly.

The cloud also makes it easier for GovTech to manage ongoing projects. The agency receives status updates on the progress of each project, and the system automatically sets up a testing environment once the software is ready for trial. It also benefits from cloud analytics that provides key service statistics to aid GovTech in its decision making.

2. Predictive public services

Numerous events throughout history – including the current Covid-19 pandemic – prove that governments must adopt an anticipatory rather than a reactive stance. After all, as the adage goes, prevention is better than cure.

Advances in data analytics and artificial intelligence have enabled governments to stay ahead of tax evasions, floods, overcrowding in hospitals, and many more.

In the United States, residents of Kansas City now hit fewer bumps in the road. Thanks to data analytics, the city is able to predict potholes before they appear.

The city government uses existing traffic cameras to gather data on factors such as the age of the pavement. This is combined with information on the weather, traffic accidents or road maintenance to predict when and where potholes might form, reported Government Technology magazine

City leaders expect that this will allow Kansas to repair or resurface up to 70km of roads a year, up from only about 30 to 40km before. This technology is parked in the cloud – and is another good example of how the cloud can help governments quickly build all sorts of specific solutions to improve citizens’ lives.

As seen from Kansas City’s case, integrating a data analytics tool into existing infrastructure resulted in significant cost savings for the city. It is the added convenience of not having to install new equipment or find new power sources. Large amounts of data are stored in a central and accessible cloud and rapidly processed.

3. Emergency Financial Assistance

The Covid-19 pandemic has created turmoil across the global economy. Economic activities were halted and livelihoods were impacted, spurring intervention measures from governments. The Malaysian government has deployed several financial assistance programmes for individuals and businesses. The Movement Control Order (MCO) measures require that applications must be processed online.

This is where the government’s IT infrastructure was put to the test, noted Ahmad Nazri. “The government was swift to act by shifting several critical services that were previously hosted on-premise – and were facing the risk of overload to the cloud. This helped the services to remain accessible despite simultaneous access requests from millions of citizens.”

Shifting securely to the cloud

We’ve looked at examples of the broad range of uses made possible by cloud computing in the public service sector. Governments have been forced to recognise the advantages and efficacy of shifting their services into the cloud; however, security remains a top concern.

The cloud holds enormous potential for business efficiency and innovation, but also can create a ‘wild west’ of broader and more distributed environments for organizations to manage and secure, said Abhijit Chakravorty, Cloud Security Competency Leader, IBM Security Services.

According to an IBM study, the two biggest cloud security risks are data theft and ransomware. Organisations have to take a unified approach that combines both cloud and security, rather than rely on cloud providers to provide security.

That’s why governments have taken care to guide their agencies into safeguarding their networks during the shift to the cloud.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) released specific guidelines on how to choose a cloud platform. This includes advisories for organisations to carefully consider what services or data they can put on the cloud and to assess if a cloud service provider is reliable and competent.

As the enabler of Malaysia’s digital government, our own cloud platform, Cloud Alpha promises top-of-the-game cybersecurity and data sovereignty, so government agencies can rest assured that citizen data will be protected. Cloud Alpha is hosted in our highly secured Tier III data centre within Malaysia, so data residency is assured, Nazri explained when discussing the key features of Cloud Alpha. In the past, the government was obliged to host all of its data on on-premises infrastructure, but there is now a realisation of the potential power of the cloud for certain applications.

With Cloud Alpha, civil servants can seamlessly make use of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, big data, and blockchain to improve citizens’ lives. As the government is adopting an open data policy, a data lake stored and processed in the cloud will become a powerful source of insights and innovation for government services moving forward, concluded Ahmad Nazri.

When facing the next normal, leaders often find themselves hindered by limited data processing capacity, slow tech-building and ageing infrastructure. By shifting to cloud computing, government services and citizens are only one click-of-an-app away, many processes can be made more efficiently – with the bonus of innovative new possibilities to enhance and forging new services. The ultimate result will be better outcomes for citizens.

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