Microsoft renews vows with Malaysia

  • Twentieth anniversary in Malaysia coincides with biggest product refresh in recent years
  • Microsoft to continue its focus on transforming 'businesses, education and lives' 

Microsoft renews vows with MalaysiaAFTER two decades of doing business, it’s only natural that an organization racks up some impressive numbers to share.
Since Microsoft opened its doors here back in 1992, the MSC-status company now boasts two offices with over 250 employees and over 5,000 partners nationwide. It has also given out a total of RM13.5 million (US$4.4 million) in grants and skills training over the last two decades.
“Since Microsoft established its presence in this country 20 years ago, our technology has helped transform the way people work, learn, play and communicate in Malaysia,” claimed Ananth Lazarus (pic), managing director of Microsoft Malaysia.
He cited a report by research firm IDC titled Microsoft Economic Impact 2011 which found that companies in the Microsoft ecosystem in Malaysia were projected to generate RM11.1 billion in revenues for themselves.
In generating these revenues, companies in the local ecosystem would have driven RM3.6 bil of investment, most of it in the country.
According to Microsoft, companies in their ecosystem employ nearly 116,000 people; IT-using organizations employ another 108,000 IT professionals who work with Microsoft software or the products and services based on it.
Together, these employees account for 46% of IT-related employment in 2011 and 49% of IT-related taxes in the country.
One such member of the ecosystem is YEYLOL Technology, whose all-in-one device YEYLOL Smart Digital Home System is powered by Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing platform.
“Thanks to Microsoft Azure, we have been able to successfully leverage a cloud platform to deliver a wealth of value-added content to our YEYLOL Smart Digital Home System customers,” said Tan Jian Sing, director of YEYLOL Technology Sdn Bhd.
The company also has an impact via its incubator programs such as BizSpark, that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business.
Reza Ismail, founder of DappleWorks, a local startup developing cloud applications for small businesses delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, said his company has not only benefitted from the BizSpark program, but also received a scholarship from the company to attend DemoAsia 2012 in Singapore in February.
“We had a chance to pitch our product to an audience of peers and potential investors. We have since received several enquiries from interested investors and are in advanced negotiations with one of them. Within two weeks of launch, we had signed up 50 customers with about 100 trial users, which is extremely encouraging,” he said.
Such endorsements are certainly a feather in the cap for Microsoft and lend additional motivation and weight to its plans for the future.
The next 20
Ananth said the country will continue to be a priority for the global technology giant, reaffirming its commitment to aiding in accelerating Malaysia’s transformation into a developed nation by 2020 through sustainable technology.
Moving forward, the company wants to continue to 'transform' three core areas, which is business, education and the everyday lives of consumers. It is especially focused on education, hoping to leverage technology to improve the quality of education as well as expand the access of quality education to all.

Over RM15.5 million (US$5.1 mllion) has been invested for the Partners-in-Learning program in Malaysia, which reaches over 210,000 teachers and 3.5 million students. Partners-in-Learning is a 10-year, US$500 million global initiative aimed at supporting schools and educators’ use of technology to help all students receive an excellent education and gain the skills they need in work and life.
Ananth said that Microsoft Malaysia’s commitment to transforming education is predicated on the country’s aspirations to become a fully-developed nation which requires an innovative and well-prepared workforce.
“Students need to be equipped with 21st century skills such as collaboration, communications, creative thinking, problem solving, digital literacy and citizenship while schools require a highly equipped teaching force with the ability to personalize instruction and address the individual needs of every student,” he added.
Microsoft’s efforts in the field of education have of course not gone unappreciated or unrecognized.
“Microsoft Malaysia’s continuous support to provide quality education and eagerness to invest in the country’s education strategy is not only vital to create an excellent education platform for the future generation but also essential for the nation to achieve a developed status by the year 2020,” said Datuk Prof. Dr. Rohana Yusof, deputy vice-chancellor of Student Affairs & Alumni at Universiti Malaya, the nation's oldest university.
Technology training is also another area of focus, such as Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential (UP) program which seeks to improve individuals’ job skills and workforce opportunities by focusing on providing technology-related skills through the 30 Community Technology Skills Program (CTSP) centers nationwide.
Additionally, since 2004, Microsoft has given cash and software grants amounting to more than RM13.5 million (US$4.4 million) to various deserving organizations in Malaysia like Yayasan Salam, YWCA and NCWO.
With the largest wave of product launches in the company’s recent history, there is no doubt that 2012 is proving to be the Microsoft’s biggest year yet. It has already announced the launch of System Center 2012 and SQL Server 2012 earlier, as well as the launch of Windows Server 2012. Other highly anticipated launches include Visual Studio 2012, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 as well as the new Office.
“Looking ahead, Microsoft Malaysia remains committed to our role in achieving the collective vision of a better, brighter Malaysia by the year 2020,” said Ananth.

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