‘Strong interest’ from 3-4 verticals in Malaysia, expect banks to make announcements
Cisco advising Utusan on using IoE in media business, feasibility studies conducted
2015 just might be a good year for Cisco Systems (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, with the company saying that it is seeing increasing demand for Internet of Everything (IoE) solutions.
“There are three to four verticals that are showing very strong interest,” Cisco Systems Malaysia country manager Albert Chai (pic above) told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Kuala Lumpur recently.
“It looks like this year is going to be a very busy year for us.”
Cisco likes to draw a distinction between IoE and the Internet of Everything (IoT), seeing IoE as the next evolution of the Internet, that is, a network connection of people, process, data and things. In contrast, IoT only focuses on ‘things’ or devices.
Meanwhile, Chai said that the industry verticals in Malaysia that are showing strong interest in IoE solutions include manufacturing, financial services, and retail.
“In the financial services sector, we are probably going to see a few announcements coming out on banks in Malaysia rolling out IoE initiatives this year,” he declared.
Overall, he described 2015 as the year where Cisco would start to “connect the unconnected.”
“99% of Malaysians are not connected – and when I say ‘Malaysians,’ I am referring to people, things, processes and data,” he said.
“For example, by having connected parking meters, the process of collecting parking fees can actually involve the analysis of the velocity or turnover of parking space. With this data, [parking lot operators] can price [their services] dynamically – depending on the supply and demand, you can price it differently.
“This would allow the Malaysian Government to get better revenue and productivity from assets,” he explained.
Chai also said that implementation of the IoE concept has begun in Malaysia, but admitted that it is yet not at full scale.
“Right now, we are seeing organisations connecting some assets, connecting some processes, connecting their dark assets, and connecting their people. So, the next step is to bring all of these together,” he said.
MoU with Utusan
Last November, Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd, which publishes the popular Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cisco to explore business opportunities around the IoE.
Chai said that he is pleased with the progress both parties have made in relation to the MoU, adding that this was “one clear example of IoE gaining traction.”
“We have embarked on many feasibility studies on applying IoE in its [Utusan’s] media business. We are also advising it on its line of business.”
The MoU will last for one year, unless extended by the written agreement of both parties. Either party can terminate the MoU by giving 30-day notice. Cisco and Utusan will also bear their own cost and expenditures arising from the MoU.
Potential in BPO/ KPO market
Meanwhile, Chai said that there is strong growth potential in the business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) sectors.
“We see the BPO and KPO space as relatively untapped in Malaysia,” he said.
The growth of BPO and KPO is expected to be partly driven by both small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as large enterprises.
“There is a lot of SMEs, and enterprises simply do not have the business case to build their own call centres,” said Chai.
“So the most effective and efficient way to engage with their customers is to engage with a BPO player, whereby they can have contact centre delivered as a service to them, without having the high cost of setting up the infrastructure,” he added.
Last week, Cisco announced a partnership with BPO/ KPO services provider Brandt International and Chennai-headquartered contact centre management technology solutions provider Servion Global Solutions Ltd.
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