There are several factors behind cloud and productivity solutions company Oracle choosing Malaysia as the base for its new Asia Pacific Digital Hub.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across 22 countries - including Malaysia - is one important reason behind the decision, Oracle's Malaysia managing director Fitri Abdullah told Computerworld Malaysia shortly after the official launch announcement on 26 September 2017.
The move is also in tune with several new initiatives this year by other industry players to boost cloud adoption and digital transformation in the region.
Cloud remains an important message for Oracle. In July this year, Praveen Thakur, Oracle vice president of Cloud Transformation, ASEAN, spoke to Computerworld Malaysia about the study - 'You & IaaS: The new generation' - by Longitude Research, which noted that cloud infrastructure reality is outperforming perceptions in Malaysia.
"There is an interesting contrast between the perceived barriers of cloud infrastructure adoption and the experience of businesses who have already done so and are now reaping the benefits," Thakur had said. The findings suggested that Malaysian businesses "are rapidly embracing cloud infrastructure (IaaS) to boost performance and innovation levels." (See - Nearly half of Malaysian companies plan to run their business on cloud infrastructure within three years, according to new research)
Included in Fitri's comments to Computerworld Malaysia concerned the impact of the hub to Malaysia. "With 30 years of history in the country, Malaysia is a very important market for Oracle. It is a strategic location for us to establish this digital hub for many reasons: Malaysia's solid infrastructure, supportive industry drivers like MDEC [national ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation] and InvestKL as well as the speedy progress of our High-Speed Broadband. Oracle's investment in this digital hub reiterates our strong commitment to Malaysia."
He also explained the focus on the SMEs. "More than 67 percent of the world's total micro and SME market is located in the Asia Pacific region, accounting for more than 266 million businesses that can benefit from cloud technology (Worldbank.org, 2015).
"Using cloud and digital technologies in tandem, Malaysian SMEs can now be more competitive as they build a larger presence in the digital economy," he added.
Pranabesh Nath, research director, IDC Malaysia, commented: "SME digital enablement is one of the most important aspects of increasing the digital economy contribution to Malaysia's GDP. IDC research indicates adoption of some of the 3rd platform technologies such as cloud and mobility has been increasing in the last 2 years."
"Based on our research most large enterprises in Malaysia have some sort of cloud adoption plan, while almost 50 percent are using cloud services beyond one or 2 simple applications," said Nath. "The situation for SMEs is not so bright though, and needs to be urgently rectified. SMEs have needs that differ from larger enterprises in this respect, so it is good to see Oracle targeting this segment specifically."
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