Globalisation of Local Tech Icons
WITH a stream of global uncertainties coming into play, it is inevitably tough for companies here to have foreign market access and grow market share.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporationâ€™s (MDEC) Global Acceleration and Innovation Network (GAIN) programme may be the much needed impetus in times such as this, as it is designed to catalyse Malaysian tech companies that have the potential to be global tech icons.
It is estimated that while about 88% of Malaysian information technology (IT) firms reported an average yearly revenue of RM1.4mil, these companies have not broken the start-up status ceiling. There are many reasons for this including lack of appetite for regional expansion, access to scale-up capital and most importantly, the lack of visibility to the global markets.
As Malaysia is located at the heart of Asean, making it an ideal gate-way to access the regionâ€™s population base of 600 million and a collective gross domestic product of US$2 trillion (RM8.9 trillion), it makes sense for tech firms to further extend their reach for better growth prospects.
We spoke to three local tech companies that are fast expanding in this region â€“ S5 Systems, AIMS Group of Companies and Piktochart. These firms not only have visionary leaders but own outstanding tech potential and encouraging revenue and growth results via innovative business models and regional expansion plans.
AIMS Group of Companies
WITH a strong presence in Asean, AIMS Group of Companies was acquired by TIME dotCom Bhd in 2011 and known for its data centre that hosts all domestic and more than 80% of foreign telco carriers, apart from local Internet and communication service providers.
The company currently supports more than 300 customers, owns and manages approximately 60,000 sq ft of secure data centres, certified to international standards.
Recognised as a firm with high growth potential by an international research house, CEO Chiew Kok Hin said the collaboration under the GAIN programme benefitted AIMS in terms of facilitation and speed to expand in the foreign markets, more networking opportunities, apart from keeping abreast with the latest industry outlook.
Through its flagship centre in Menara AIMS located in Kuala Lumpur and other data centres strategically located in Cyberjaya, Penang, Johor Baru and Kota Kinabalu, the firmâ€™s data storage facilities and ancillary services provide comprehensive interconnectivity coverage and options in the region.
Chiew said the company had invested a substantial amount in expanding the data centre capacity to 10,000-sq-ft available capacity now.
â€œAbout 90% of this will be sold out soon due to high demand,â€ he noted, adding that the companyâ€™s other affiliated data centres are located in Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
Amidst the challenging business landscape, Chiew said AIMS is on an aggressive expansion mode, particularly focusing on ASEAN.
By successfully winning notable global contracts this year, he said AIMS is confident of securing more prominent ones in years to come.
â€œThe market is tough now and is expected to be even more challenging next year due to macroeconomic factors.
â€œStill, the industry is expected to grow as big data, Internet of Things, Internet of Everything, automation software and other application development, among others, expand vigorously,â€ said Chiew, adding that growth of these areas contributed to the importance of data centres and managed services.
While AIMS is expected to grow above the industryâ€™s compounded annual growth rate, Chiew said in such a competitive industry, the company had built a solid reputation and currently partnered with technology providers such as IBM, Akamai Technologies (for security and content delivery) and SwiftServe (for media streaming).