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As part of the Asia IoT Business Platform 2017 activities in Singapore, I was fortunate to be able to attend a closed door discussion among senior technology and innovation executives from Enterprises around the ASEAN region. One of the panel discussions involved senior technology executives from, a Telecommunications company, an Automotive Manufacturer and a Conglomerate with multiple businesses ranging from agriculture to banking, who shared their thoughts on the Internet of Things , and what it meant to them.

Opportunities in IoT:

All the senior executives agreed that IoT provided opportunities to improve their companies bottom lines, either through revenue enhancements or cost reductions. They see IoT as the next step of evolution in enterprise technology, comparing it to moving onto the cloud 10 years ago. It wasn’t a question of whether you would do it, it was when and how you would incorporate IoT together with the existing infrastructure.

The Telco executive mentioned that they were late to the game on mobile. In a bid to push forward, they are looking to skip a generation, incorporate IoT technologies and build on their expertise in City infrastructure. He believes that technology will enable them to offer smart services to their clients and thus open doors to new sources of revenue.

On the other hand, the executive in automotive manufacturing spoke about how his firm is looking at IoT to further enhance their Just in time production model to add transparency and accountability to their suppliers and through this process reduce overall costs and improve production lead time.

Risks & Challenges:

When asked about their views on risks and challenges on implementing IoT, security came up as a common theme. Increasing the number of connected objects to their networks, increases the entry points where cyber attacks can be launched and potentially disrupt operations.

Corporate espionage was also highlighted as vulnerabilities in the networks could allow competitors to quietly listen in and obtain information on daily production and react by changing their production and pricing levels. In addition to stealing data, there was also a real concern on theft of physical goods, as leaked information can be sold to thieves who could choose the best possible locations to hijack delivery trucks travelling through remote areas of the country.

The other common theme brought up was the challenge in changing the mindset of their colleagues in adopting new technology. The tech executives would need to build a business case to convince the senior level folks to show how investing in IoT will impact their bottomline. On the other hand, operational colleagues would need to be convinced that implementing new technology and processes would make their life easier as manual, labor intensive tasks are reduced. There is often inertia on both ends. Companies which are currently profitable, see little need in investing as current business models work, while operational staff find it too much of a hassle to change the way they work. The executives agreed that there was much work required to get the company aligned, but it will go a long way in making implementation successful.

Towards the end of the discussion, one executive highlighted that it was more risky not doing anything at all. Technology is moving at a breakneck pace, one would need to take calculated risks in adopting IoT or risk being left behind by their competitors. In his words, “Invest or get disrupted.”

Asia IoT Business Platform 2017

This year, the team at Asia IoT Business Platform will be focusing on understanding the challenges of IoT adoption and deployment that businesses and enterprises are facing in each of their local markets.

We will be in Thailand (24-25 July), Malaysia (27-28 July), Philippines (1-2 August) and Indonesia (7 – 8 August), discussing the challenges of IoT adoption.

Exactly two weeks back we had the pleasure of hosting partners from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Brunei in a closed door gathering – mainly to share and exchange insights on the current and upcoming IoT developments across Southeast Asia.

I know; one day was not enough to cover all projects across the region. To put things into perspective, here’s a very brief summary of the sessions discussed (I’m including my personal observations here and there – feel free to drop a note if you have a different opinion).

On Telecommunications

Regional Telco & Connectivity Panel: Telekom Malaysia, Mobifone, CAT Telecom, Globe Telecom, Telkomsel, Telenor Connexion (Asia IoT Business Platform, 14 February 2017)

Telcos’ initiatives vary across ASEAN countries (duh), but surprisingly, there weren’t much debate nor disagreement over the panel discussion. As the profitability of their old business model declines, telcos find potential revenue stream from IoT services through new business models, products, and a wider range of potential customers (this is reflected in the setting up of IoT/M2M teams).

Over the past 3-4 years, ASEAN telcos have been actively working with technology partners to develop their IoT portfolio and extend their services offerings. Beyond that, some are starting to look at developing platforms to integrate their fragmented products.

On Smart City

Promoting Sustainable Urban Development and Addressing Transport & Traffic Management – Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (Asia IoT Business Platform, 14 February 2017)

The definition of smart city is pretty broad, and most public sectors have different visions of enabling smart communities. The good thing is, we are seeing some approaches – as our partners humbly call it, baby steps – to provide citizens a comfortable and safe environment.

Most key projects that were discussed revolve around traffic management (LTA Singapore, Mega Cebu), waste and energy management (Iskandar Regional Development Authority), redesigning city architecture and infrastructure (Chiang Mai, Saensuk), eGovernment services (Da Nang), smart tourism (Phuket).

Infrastructure and cost is still a challenge issues are looking to be addressed, telcos are keen to explore collaboration with technology partners who can help them extract value from IoT and create business value.

On Industries Focus

Concluding the overall feedback we received from our partners including enterprises, some key segments that seem to be of focus moving forward include:

  • Personal safety, e.g. kids surveillance, building monitoring, cyber security and data protection (uh oh – news on Singapore Ministry of Defence cyber attack breach just came out today), etc.
  • Agriculture, e.g. success stories from Vietnam that are looking to scale – this area accounts for quite a big portion of GDP growth within some ASEAN nations (Malaysia mentioned this in their National Agenda last year).
  • Healthcare – governments are pumping funds to enable the wide spread communities access medical attention (there’re a couple of startups that are progressing quickly in medtech..)
  • Manufacturing, e.g. vision of Vinamilk to double their revenue by end of the year through investments in smart production systems.

Just One Takeaway

If I were to name one takeaway from the conference, it would be customization. It is almost a requirement in all IoT offerings (be it technology development, pricing..). I found that the common point between the most successful use cases is that the solutions were made to address the pain points and direct needs of end users.

Putting it bluntly, solution providers should work very closely with enterprise clients (and sometimes the society) to make sure that what you’re providing is aligned with the desired outcomes – I guess this could be an advantage for SIs and startups that are traditionally more flexible in their offerings.

We look forward to hearing from ASEAN enterprises on their challenges and concerns throughout their digital transformation journey this July and August.

If you think my piece makes sense (or does not), feel free to connect and share your thoughts.

It’s 2017 and Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be a buzz; appearing frequently in almost every news article regarding technology trends, digital transformation and the next “industrial revolution”. However, behind the seemingly robust industry boom, rates of IoT adoption across ASEAN seems to be at a more conservative level.

Enterprises and organisations are cautious of adopting IoT for various reasons, and it is important for solution providers to understand these gaps in order to address enterprises’ challenges and bring IoT to a wider reach.




Arguably the second-most popular buzzword, security issues have been the top concerns of any digital, connected projects out there. 2016 was a “year of hack” around the world, from the (alleged) hacking of the US elections, US $81 million stolen from Bangladesh Bank, and hacking of airports and banks in Vietnam. All these issues raise the concern of the security of enterprises putting up sensitive information about their business in the cloud, where IoT devices without basic security functions can be hacked within minutes.

Ensuring cyber security is crucial for businesses when they decide whether or not to migrate into the cloud and rely on technologies for operations and sensitive information.



Cost is another big concern for enterprise IoT adoption, especially in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in ASEAN. Many of the IoT product offerings currently pose a challenge for SMEs to adopt, especially when the benefits are usually seen in the long run rather than short-term. This is especially apparent in emerging economies like Myanmar, where despite the high potential for enterprise ICT/IoT adoption, the high cost of digital products still poses a challenge to the local companies, prompting them to either seek foreign investments, collaborate, or find localised products that are more affordable – prompting local system integrators and distributors to be active in helping to grow the local markets.

This also prompts another important issue of having a strategic planning when it comes to digitisation and using IoT, in order to cut upfront costs while still benefiting from the new technologies.

Sustainable investments & developments


As the IoT buzz continues to ride the waves of publicity, especially from big names like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and Google, enterprises should avoid jumping on the bandwagon without understanding the actual benefits and what IoT can bring to the table. A Bain & Company survey found that 59% of global companies believe they lack the capabilities to generate meaningful business insights from data, while another survey had 85% of respondents saying that they will require substantial investments to update their existing data platform – which can be costly and time-consuming.

Understanding the challenges that the businesses and enterprises face will be crucial for solution providers to offer not only products for the sake of having products, but also be able to offer their clients advice on strategies and plans of how to apply IoT successfully and strategically – depending on each company’s needs and requirements.

Businesses in ASEAN comprise many young, robust and innovative enterprises hoping to use technologies to differentiate, expand and produce with high efficiency and productivity. Addressing the pain points and challenges of technologies will allow solution providers and businesses to have better understanding of each other, and help the ASEAN IoT market to reach new heights.

What is the top challenge that your company is facing with regards to technologies/IoT adoption?

If you are interested in learning more about ASEAN”s enterprise IoT markets and connect with businesses across the region about your solutions, drop me a note at dinh@industry-platform.com.


You thought that Singapore is the only country that is capable of harnessing technology to create a sophisticated and smart city? In my previous article, we have seen some great initiatives in Malaysia (Cyberjaya) and Indonesia (Jakarta Smart City Lounge). ASEAN remains to be ambitious in realizing its smart cities. Here, we look at the smart city initiatives in Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.


Manila City

With the influx of Filipinos migrating into the cities due to the rapid changes in economic opportunities that many major cities in the Philippines offer, the obsolete infrastructure in these cities have been struggling to keep up with this growth in urban population, resulting in urban decay, severe pollution and overpopulation within the cities. For instance, 37% of over 12 million registered residents in Manila live in slums throughout the city.

A collaboration between Davao City, the biggest city in the Philippines, and IBM Philippines is the first smart city development that relies on technology to address issues of public safety. In 2013, Davao City implemented IBM’s Intelligent Operations Centre (IOC) solution as an additional support for its existing Public Safety and Security Command Centre (PSSCC), utilizing IBM technology, such as video analytics software, multi-channel unified communication, and GPS location tracking. Today, the IOC allows various government agencies, including the police, fire, anti-terrorism task force, and the K9 urban search and rescue services, to monitor operations in the city in real time and respond more quickly and efficiently to emergencies.

As a country suffering from the damage of numerous natural disasters from typhoons to volcano eruptions, Philippines have also adopted Smart City technology to improve disaster management and minimize damages from such natural disasters. Project NOAH was launched in 2012 as the Philippines’ key disaster risk reduction and management system, and has won an IDC award for the top smart city initiative in public safety at IDC’s Smart City Asia Pacific awards (SCAPA). Information, such as real-time weather data and high-resolution flood, landslide, and storm surge hazard maps, are collected on online platforms to help the relevant bodies to identify the occurrence and severity of the disaster and respond more rapidly.



With aims to transform Thailand into a digital economy and digital hub of ASEAN, the Thai Information and Communication Technology Ministry is looking to develop Phuket and Chiang Mai into smart cities as pilot projects due to their technology readiness, location and international ties. According to Thailand’s Software Industry Development Agency (SIPA) which is also managing the Phuket project, the Phuket smart city pilot project will focus on digital infrastructure development, the construction of a data centre and the enhancement of the city’s tourism industry through the use of sensors and analytics.

In addition to the two pilot projects, the ministry has identified the formulation of a solid digital economy master plan as their first task, which will consist of 5 main domain missions – hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, service infrastructure, digital economy promotion, and a digital society. The second task will involve other ministries in developing and delivering pilot projects across areas like e-commerce, e-education, e-industry, and e-government. For instance, the ministry would work with the Commerce ministry to create an e-commerce platform to help businesses, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and those in agriculture, to go online.

To address the aging population in Thailand, Saensuk Smart City project was recently launched in 2016 in the Saensuk Municipality in Thailand, where 15% of the residents are aging citizens and most of them live at home alone during the day with minimal supervision or in nursing facilities. Collaborating with technology partners Dell, Intel and the IoT City Innovation Center (ICIC), a small Bluetooth-enabled smart device is distributed to all elderly patients to monitor the health condition of the patients, with the data collected and analysed by intelligent Intel-based gateway systems to provide insights to the municipal nursing headquarters cloud system. Healthcare practitioners and family members are also notified in instances of emergency or unusual activity or when the panic button is activated, allowing for a more efficient use of the limited human resource while providing more efficient and swift responses during emergencies.



The Vietnamese government has been extremely supportive and encouraging with its numerous efforts to promote its municipalities towards becoming smart cities in recent years, in order to address various socioeconomic issues such as traffic congestion, environmental pollution, and energy conservation. This has led to a smart cities race in Vietnam with several smart cities projects and initiatives being developed simultaneously to become Vietnam’s first smart cities.

Da Nang aims to be the first smart city of Vietnam by 2025, and has collaborated with IBM in their “IBM Smarter Cities” program to develop smart city infrastructure to address issues such as air control, water management, waste management, energy, and disaster warning.

As one of the latest cities to join on the bandwagon, Vietnam’s commercial capital Ho Chi Minh have developed plans for a new smart city program with these main components: smart services such as education, healthcare and traffic; enhanced citizen participation in city life; and a common database plan. This is in addition to an earlier collaboration between ETN Singapore and the Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Committee to provide free public WiFi for the city with Altai’s Super WiFi Solution.

In line with the nation’s vision to turn Phu Quoc into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 2010, the local government has also been working closely with Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) to strengthen the network infrastructure by building a data centre and smart services, with the high-speed 4G network already successfully trialed on the island. 

In Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, an investment of USD 3 billion was planned for smart city developments in 2012 with a focus on transportation, healthcare, education, environment and urban development. Efforts to transform the city into a smart city have continued with public schools being equipped with Internet connection and trials for an Intelligent Transport System taking place.

Smart cities are not just a fancy word that governments and other stakeholders can be proud of. Smart cities mean much more to the people than just automatic public feedback and lesser road congestion. Smart cities make public services smarter for the benefit of the larger local population so that they can experience a better standard of living in the city. As these cities continue to experience an influx of migrants from the rural areas, more needs to be done to support not only the growing population, but the pressure placed on public infrastructure too. 

ASEAN Smart City Projects will be discussed in Singapore on 14 February 2017, with speakers from Land Authority Singapore, Da Nang Department of Infocomm, Iskandar Regional Development Authority, Metro Cebu Development & Coordinating Board. If you’re interested to know more about the agenda, get in touch at zaidani@industry-platform.com.

Deon Newman article header

With ASEAN touted to be at the frontline of the Internet of Things (IoT) soon, we at Asia IoT Business Platform continue to seek more learning points about IoT and how the region can leverage it to boost their economic competitiveness. It remains at the top of our minds that ASEAN is a market that is still developing; it is therefore important to look beyond the region for pointers that can be translated into actions. It is, after all, our mission to drive the adoption of IoT technologies in ASEAN.

We had the pleasure of meeting Deon Newman, CMO and VP Marketing at IBM Watson Internet of Things, at the IBM office in Singapore. While it was a short session, his insights on the IoT landscape and the technology itself brought a new and fresh perspective on what we have already known for quite some time. Bringing it back to basics and speaking on the purpose of IoT, Deon shared his excitement on the things that IoT technologies have already delivered to businesses and consumers alike, as well as the promising future of a connected world.

Deon began by recognising that companies are rapidly moving towards adopting IoT technologies and that many are already on the path of digital transformation. This is largely driven by plans for growth and expansion, as well as the need to return to the their bottom-line.

“Essentially, it is about running things more efficiently, delivering higher levels of service, and driving better brand and customer experience,” he said.

What excites Deon the most though, are the conveniences that IoT technologies are bringing and how inanimate devices and objects are being ‘enchanted’. In many ways, IoT has not only connected remote devices and automated various processes, but these devices and items are also being given a life of their own. He brought up an example of a minibus, 3D printed by a small company in Arizona. Olli is an autonomous-driving minibus which can hit the road without requiring any driver. However, people are cautious of that very fact.

“People don’t like being in a vehicle that has no steering wheels or brakes. It is pretty unnerving,” Deon said.

For that reason, IBM Watson Speech to Text capability was integrated into the bus to give it a voice. Beyond automation, the bus can now communicate with passengers and actively seek to fulfil their needs in almost a human-level response. “It is really bringing a whole new level of brand expression and brand life, and I love that!” he said.

Olli is just one of the examples; Deon also gave instances on how video and audio recognition have also altered processes and operations across different industries such as fleet management, to prevent breakages, leakages, and other costly incidents.

Moving away from the wonders of IoT, we spoke with him about the IoT landscape in emerging regions such as ASEAN and the opportunities that lie in its different markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines. Having worked to drive IoT adoption in the region in the past three years, not only have we found many opportunities, but we found market-specific challenges as well. Deon, however, is optimistic about the future of ASEAN in terms of the opportunities for IoT. Acknowledging the state of the markets being in the developing stages, he also highlighted that such emerging markets naturally have strong and dominant industries that can benefit from IoT.

“There is a heavier orientation towards industries and sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing because certainly, they are more dominant in these markets,” he said.

IoT devices can collect fundamental information about the climate, the ground, and other data to realise more accurate systems of management. The deployment of IoT technologies basically enables greater efficiency and productivity across verticals.

Apart from using IoT and data for monitoring, Deon also highlighted smart buildings and smart cities as areas that have great opportunities for IoT in markets across Southeast Asia.

In many ways, smart devices can increase safety and security and improve the comfort of a building’s occupants. Pragmatically, IoT technology can determine the extent of damage that buildings suffer after unforeseen events and help prevent structural failures. More importantly, however, Deon underscored how smart devices can help reduce energy consumption to drive energy efficiency and meet sustainability goals. This is especially critical after the signing of the Paris Agreement by nations all over the world. “Statistically, 43% of energy consumed in the world is by buildings and this is an area in which IoT technologies can be leveraged to make things run more efficiently to ensure sustainability in the long term,” he added.

Smart city is by far the most promising for IoT technologies, especially in ASEAN. Due to high population density in many cities in the emerging markets, urban issues such as traffic gridlock, pollution, and flooding are rampant. However, these problems can be alleviated by deploying IoT technologies to tackle different elements within a city.

Several cities in ASEAN are already exploring the use of IoT technologies to solve urban issues, and one of them is the Vietnamese seaport City of Da Nang. The city launched smarter water and transportation initiatives to improve the quality of life for citizens. Applying advanced smart technologies, the Da Nang government is able to address the significant water and transportation issues that are impacting city life. The solutions deployed by city government provide a summary of events and incidents through maps, dashboards, and alerts, allowing city personnel to track trends, forecast demands and better manage the city’s infrastructure and assets. For instance, Da Nang’s Smarter Water initiative saw the Da Nang Water Company (DAWACO) implementing a program of expansion and modernization at its treatment facility for real-time analysis and monitoring of the city’s water supply.

Da Nang is also investing in its public transit network and expanding its new Bus Rapid Transit system to combat traffic congestion, on top of using advanced monitoring technologies to oversee traffic and to control the city’s traffic light system through a dashboard.

City leaders across ASEAN are taking a strategic approach to building their own smart cities by starting with practical and focused areas such as water and transportation issues, as in the case of Da Nang. The city now has a long-term plan to become an environmentally and economically sustainable city and its leaders are planning to apply technology to transform other areas such as public safety, flood management, and food safety.

Despite the apparent opportunities and the great potential in different sectors across the region, it is a known fact that IoT is a complex system; industry analysts cited complexity or ‘difficulty of integration’ as one of the top challenges of IoT, together with security (or the lack thereof). This has also manifested in our work across ASEAN where many end-user enterprises are worried about the difficulty of integrating IoT technology into their current systems and operations.

It is therefore, of paramount importance for IoT solutions providers to create end-to-end solutions to minimize the difficulty of deploying IoT technology. In providing a one-stop solution, solutions providers should also not neglect the criticality of consultation and ongoing support for enterprises looking adopt IoT.

Simplifying the process of integrating IoT technologies for end-users does not only highlight the delivery of better service and customer experience that Deon spoke about earlier; the aim of this is also to establish a good foundation that can catalyze the general rate of adoption and deployment of IoT technologies especially in emerging markets in ASEAN.

Beyond the service front, Deon emphasizes the importance of a network infrastructure as a critical foundation in supporting any IoT implementation in the region. Bringing it back to the very basics once again, he concluded with an opinion on how to drive IoT growth and developments in Southeast Asia.

“It is really a question of infrastructure maturity and policies,” he said. “It is a necessary stamp for the future of a connected world.”



Source: http://elibrary-acc.com/book-detail/99#.WFs-glN9600

As 2016 comes to a close, we are humbled to witness the remarkable progress of ASEAN nations in the past year through our work across the region in driving enterprise adoption of IoT technologies. With a population of over 600 million, a nominal GDP of $2.31 trillion, and a clear evolution from a low-cost manufacturing base to a sturdy pillar of Asia’s GDP growth, there is little doubt that ASEAN is in the frontline of global growth.

Dominating the IoT narrative in ASEAN are the issues on productivity and efficiency. This is unsurprising as it is important for ASEAN nations to improve their productivity and efficiency to catalyse and sustain its growth. To this end, we have seen how the different countries in the region are aggressively capitalizing on IoT technology in different verticals and sectors. As such, there is an apparent growth in the region when it comes to IoT technologies. Increasing adoption and deployment of IoT technologies in different public and private sector projects in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines, as well as growing interest in emerging markets such as Vietnam, continue to drive this growth. In this year in review article, we look back at some of the themes and salient factors that we have witnessed through the five editions of Asia IoT Business Platform in 2016.

1. Economic growth outlook

IMF’s 2016 World Economic Outlook puts Myanmar as the world’s fastest growing economy, with Laos and Cambodia also making the top 10. These countries make up the emerging portion of ASEAN’s 10 economies. The other seven economies (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand & Vietnam) are no slouches themselves with average GDP growth above 4%. The projections for the region remains robust over the next 2-3 years, with growth expected at 5-6%, compared to global growth of around 3%.

Growth in this region has lured external investments in 2016, with many new entrants and incumbents aggressively growing their ASEAN focused teams. Alibaba gained a quick foothold into the region’s ecommerce markets with their $1 billion investment into Rocket Internet’s Lazada – a Southeast Asian focused e-commerce platform. Amazon has reportedly invested $600 million in Indonesia to build out their logistics platform in the region and is rumoured to be eyeing a Southeast Asian launch via Singapore in 1Q 2017.


2. Enterprise needs and challenges

This year, we have seen how enterprises across different industries and verticals have adopted and deployed IoT technologies in their businesses, be it to improve productivity or to optimize different business processes. You can read some of the IoT projects that have been implemented by different enterprises, such as Vinamilk’s smart factory.

Hence, it is no longer about educating enterprises across verticals about the benefits and potential of IoT; they know. What is critical at this point is to understand the pain points of enterprises in adopting and deploying IoT for their businesses and to communicate these challenges to IoT solutions providers. Further, it is also important to address the existing problems in the ASEAN markets, which mostly revolve around fragmentation of the IoT ecosystem. The end goal is to ensure that local enterprises that are looking to deploy IoT will be able to do so easily as solutions providers understand local factors and challenges facing these enterprises.


3. Growth of Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) in ASEAN

Large enterprises are at the forefront of the digital transformation initiatives regionally, but SMEs offer a real growth opportunity for technology companies targeting enterprises in Southeast Asia. We’ve seen some innovative use of IoT technology being implemented by SMEs across different industries throughout this year. From harvesting durians with IoT for real-time data to enhancing patient care with health analytics, SMEs provide unparalleled opportunities for technology companies targeting adoption of enterprise IoT.

Take Indonesia for example – there are close to 60 million SMEs in the country, growing almost 10% since 2009. These companies make up 99.9% of all enterprises in the country and contributes more than 60% to GDP. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the number of SMEs in Vietnam and Philippines has grown more than 45% and 20% respectively, in the 5-year period from 2009 – 2014.

New, and small, companies in these countries do not come with the problem of legacy systems. For example, in a 2016 State of the Cloud survey done by Rightscale, they found that 32% of SMEs are “Cloud Focused” vs 25% for large enterprises. This is exactly what I’ve seen in ASEAN in 2016 as the smaller, more nimble firms have been more aggressive in adopting IoT related solutions.


4. The nature and importance of telecommunication companies

On the opposite end of the spectrum, telecommunications companies represent ASEAN’s largest companies, with significant government ownership.

Country Telecommunications Company Local Rank by Market Cap Government Ownership
Singapore Singtel 1 52.30%
Indonesia Telkom Indonesia 3 52.60%
Malaysia Axiata Group 7 38.40%


These telcos have made strides in their efforts to be more than just a core connectivity provider for IoT (previously M2M) solutions. Usage of telecommunication services has shifted from SMS and voice to VOIP and messaging and telcos have had to futureproof their roles rather quickly.

Regional telcos have set up VCs/incubators/accelerators which are actively investing in IoT specific startups:

Country CSP Initiatives
Singapore Singtel Singtel Innov8
Singapore Starhub i3
Vietnam FPT FPT Ventures
Myanmar Telenor Myanmar internal accelerator
Indonesia Telkom Indonesia Metra Digital Innovtion Ventures
Indonesia Indosat Ideabox
Thailand AIS Invent VC
Thailand DTAC DTAC Accelerate
Thailand True True Incube
Malaysia Axiata Intres Capital/Axiata Digital Innovation Fund
Philippines Globe Telecom Kickstart Ventures


Over the past few years, we’ve also seen the regional telcos carve out IoT specific products and sales teams as they look to expand their offerings to their enterprise customers. Take Indosat for example; they hired a Head of M2M in early 2014 and have grown that team aggressively over the past 2 years. In November 2016, they launched their own IoT platform, Nexthing, to focus on helping local enterprises with their digital transformation initiatives.

Local telcos also hire the largest local enterprise sales teams and have been proactive in exploring partnerships with technology solution providers to increase the suite of offerings. This is something that will continue to grow over the next 3-5 years and international companies should really consider telco partnerships as a potential avenue for local market entry.


5. Dominant industries for IoT in the different markets

Lastly, through the different editions that we have held across ASEAN in 2016, we have identified the different industries/verticals that are dominant in each market and in which have the biggest potential for the deployment of IoT technologies. The chart below will give IoT solutions providers an idea of what to expect when exploring the different markets in ASEAN in 2017.

Internet of Things ASEAN industries


Having hosted IoT programmes across ASEAN over the past four years, we have not only seen real potential for IoT technologies, but we have seen clear growth in the different markets too. While telcos are aggressively looking for partners to initiate different IoT projects, governments are also setting aside massive budgets and investments for the development of the respective ICT sectors. There is indeed no better time to access the enterprise IoT market in ASEAN and we will continue to facilitate the process of driving enterprise IoT growth as well as bridging international solutions providers with local enterprises.

ASEAN is indeed the one to watch in 2017.


If you’re interested in exploring the different markets in ASEAN in 2017 and to find out more about the latest IoT developments in the region, join us at our debut in Singapore on 14 February 2017! The program will bring together IoT stakeholders from the region to engage in panel discussions and share on the latest and most relevant IoT case studies! Contact me at zaidani@industry-platform.com to find out more!


main pic

When cities consider new ways of delivering services, support from citizens is essential for success. The best policies would have difficulty being implemented as uninformed and disengaged citizens are not able to support, and may even actively oppose them. For citizens to get involved early in the design of smart city projects, public education and access to a wide variety of open data and planning information might be key.

At the 7th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform, we learned that the City of Yokohama embarked on a Smart City Project, setting itself an ambitious target of CO2 reduction of 30% by 2025.  As part of the project various ICT and infrastructure components were deployed, however it was believed that engaging citizens to participate in the project and make lifestyle changes was equally important.

For example, the Yokohama Eco School project (YES) was developed to increase citizen participation, citizens attended lectures, events and workshops to understand climate change. In 2012, approximately 35,000 participants attended one of the 415 lectures  that were held . The result was an increase in the number of Energy Management Systems being installed in homes. In 2014, 4000 households participated in a demonstration project showing the high levels of citizen participation making the Yokohama Smart City Project one of Japan’s largest energy saving projects.

KT Corporation, the largest telecommunications service in Korea, have similar views where it is believed that most smart city projects are hardware infrastructure-oriented, citizens are neglected and are not aware of new, “smart” services being introduced.  This increases the risk in the implementation of smart city projects.

KT suggested some strategies to overcome these challenges and they include;

  • People-Public-Private Partnership – Engaging citizens successfully to be involved in planning and decision making processes to identify and develop citizen-centric smart services and improve local living conditions
  • Facilitate Big and Open data – Big data will be key enabler for a smart city. Utilizing crowd sourced and open data can be used innovatively to deliver citizen-centric services.
  • Utilizing a Smart city Platform – Smart Services that were built in silos can be integrated into a single platform,  improving operational efficiency.

It is expected that the strategies will greatly reduce risks involved in smart city projects and contribute to better smart city services being provided.

Join the discussions at the 10th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform this 18-19 August in Kuala Lumpur as KT Corporation shares insights on Korea’s Smart City Strategy.


By: Ernest



Southeast Asia’s market has a huge potential because of its size and growth trajectory. With its large population of over 600 million, 60% of whom are below 35 years old, and fast-growing internet and smartphone usage, its e-commerce market is expected to worth USD 21.8 billion, thus presents many business opportunities.

Despite the rise of e-commerce, physical stores are still preferred over online shopping. The main reasons are the shipping fees, the customers’ preference to have the items immediately, and that they cannot try the items on before buying online.


Usually, up to half of the items would be returned to the sellers because of the size being an annoyance to both customers and retailers. Returning items can cost the retailers millions of dollars in extra shipping and warehouse fees.

One solution to this problem is 3D body scanning, which can take precise body measurements such as waist, hips and thighs circumferences, weight, height, and create a visual avatar for the customer to match the size and even try on clothes virtually. He/she can then use the avatar to find a perfect fit and shop on any of the online retail sites that partner with the 3D scanning company.

This innovation can thus help customers know how the clothes would look on them, whether they are in the physical stores or at home, shop more efficiently without having to queue, and to get the right sizes when ordering online.

This solution is offered by several companies like Styku, which creates 3D avatars using the sensors developed by Microsoft for its Kinect platform. Since there are more than 20 million Kinects sold today, it is a great way for people to do their own 3D scanning at home. Virtusize, another company, affirms that they would reduce fit-related returns byup to 50% using its virtual fitting solution.

This technology is already used by several retailers, such as Adidas with its “Next Generation Fashion Store” concept, for which they won the CeBIT Innovation Award 2013. Nick Robertson, the co-founder of ASOS (which partnered with Virtusize)affirmed that a 1% drop in returns can translate into $16 million added to the company’s bottom line.



Besides being used for size-fitting or made-to-measure, body scanning technology can be used by airlines and automobiles to develop optimized seats, by health clubs to leverage body measurements, calculate body fat percentage to suggest suitable health and fitness solutions. Most importantly, it can be used in medical weight loss to tackle obesity, which is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. Surgeons and weight-loss professionals will be able to use this solution to track progress using precise and accurate measurements.

3D body scanning technology lowers costs, increases efficiency, and has much potential to help improve the future growth of not only the clothing industry, but also the healthcare industry, among future yet-to-be-discovered applications.


If you’re interested in IoT/M2M developments in Southeast Asia, do drop us a note with your thoughts. We are currently in the planning stages of our 2016 events to be held in Indonesia (15 – 16 Aug 2016) & Malaysia (18 – 19 Aug 2016). Visit www.iotbusiness-platform.com for more information.


By: Allisson



451 Research published last week that 65% of enterprises were already using IoT for business purposes. The headline grabbed my attention – Could it be that we’ve found the holy grail for accelerating IoT adoption? Where were the respondents from? (North America and Western Europe) Can their success be replicated in Asia?

As it turned out, the answer was much simpler. 451 Research had defined enterprise IoT as using smart devices and sensors to gather data to assist with business operations and deliver new insights. However the device types included:

  • Datacenter IT equipment (51 percent)
  • Camera and surveillance equipment (34 percent)
  • Datacenter facilities equipment (33 percent)
  • Smartphones and other end-user devices (29 percent)

Is this definition too broad for enterprise IoT?

While we know that the advent of IoT will require new datacenter capabilities, should we consider it an “IoT device”? On the flipside, is there merit to considering it from the end user perspective- as long as they are gathering data for useful business outcomes, can it be labelled as IoT?

It came as no surprise though, that the top business outcomes that enterprises were using the data for were:

  • Risk reduction. 66% of the surveyed enterprises focused on risk management. For instance, oil companies are starting to use drones to inspect oil rigs, which can be a dangerous task for humans to perform.
  • Optimize operations. 63% used IoT solutions to increase efficiencies. E.g. manufacturers can use sensors to gather data about machines on their assembly line to predict when they might fail, and fix them prior to experiencing any downtime.
  • Develop new or enhance existing products. 33% used IoT to differentiate their product from the competition. An example would be car companies that are putting cellular data connections into their cars to gather data about them and provide Wi-Fi hotspots for passengers.
  • Enhance customer targeting. 21% leveraged IoT solutions to gain insights on how to build stronger customer relationships. A good example of this would be a retailer that uses in-store beacons to target customers with real-time offers sent to their smartphone based on their location in the store.

These business outcomes are important in any any digital transformation project. Should we then relax definitions of IoT, focusing instead on the use of technology in moving enterprises up the value chain?

It is no doubt that enterprises will be the top adopter of IoT solutions since it will help lower operating costs, increase productivity, allow for expansion into new markets, shorten products time to market among other benefits.

Business Insider projects that enterprise investment in IoT technologies will skyrocket from $215 billion in 2015 to $832 billion in 2020, and new use cases for IoT technologies will further validate this development over the next few years.

How can we help Southeast Asian enterprises get ready to benefit from the business outcomes brought about by IoT? Will having more discussions focusing on the business challenges that can be solved by IoT be useful?

Join us at our series of Asia IoT Business Platform events to find out more about what enterprises need in their IoT journey.


Tak bisa kita pungkiri, kota Jakarta telah benar-benar membenahi dirinya dalam beberapa tahun belakangan ini. Gedung gedung perkantoran, shopping malls bertaraf international, dan berbagai merek-merek ternama dunia telah melebarkan sayapnya ke ibukota. Namun, apakah yang terbesit di benak Anda ketika ditanya pendapat Anda mengenai kota Jakarta? Setidaknya beberapa dari kalian akan menyebutkan kemacetan yang luar biasa di kota Jakarta sebagai ciri khas dari kota Jakarta ini. MACET. Memang kemacetan lalu lintas tampaknya sudah menjadi hal yang mendarah daging bagi penduduk kota Jakarta. Antrean kendaraan yang tak kunjung mencair, terutama pada jam-jam sibuk seperti jam berangkat sekolah dan jam pulang kerja memang telah menjadi santapan sehari-hari bagi kita semua. Akan tetapi, pernahkah Anda terpikir bahwa kota Jakarta menduduki peringkat tertinggi di dunia dalam tingkat kepadatan lalu lintas?

Berdasarkan studi yang dilakukan oleh perusahaan oli Castrol, Jakarta merupakan kota dengan tingkat kepadatan lalu lintas tertinggi di dunia. Studi tersebut merilis bahwa rata-rata pengemudi di Jakarta mematikan dan menyalakan mesin sebanyak 33.240 kali per tahunnya. Angka yang sangat mencengangkan tentunya.

Seperti dikutip dari Presiden Jokowi, beliau menyatakan bahwa berdasarkan laporan yang diterimanya, kemacetan telah membuat Jakarta kehilangan sekitar 35 triliun setiap tahunnya. Berbagai upaya telah ditempuh untuk mengatasi permasalah kemacetan di Jakarta, termasuk di antaranya penghapusan sistem 3in1 di Jakarta, dan juga peningkatan jumlah armada Transjakarta untuk mengurangi penggunaan mobil pribadi di ibukota. Selain daripada berbagai peraturan baru yang diambil oleh pemerintah DKI Jakarta demi mengurangi kepadatan lalu lintas, tampaknya sudah waktunya bagi pemerintah Jakarta untuk memulai pemanfaatan teknologi informasi dan IoT (Internet of Things) untuk mengatasi permasalahan tata kota di Jakarta. Perkembangan teknologi di masa depan, khususnya IoT, akan memungkinkan adanya komunikasi antara mobil-mobil yang beroperasi untuk mengontrol tingkat kepadatan di jalan raya.

Kita dapat berkaca kepada kepada Inggris, yang merupakan salah satu negara pertama di Eropa yang mendukung pengaplikasian program M2M (Machine to Machine). Program ini memungkinkan adanya Artificial Intelligence, dimana mobil-mobil saling berkomunikasi satu sama lain melalui koneksi Wi-Fi. Pertama-tama, sensor akan dipasangkan pada mobil dan juga di berbagai tempat di titik-titik rawan kemacetan di jalan raya. Sensor ini akan memonitor tingkat kepadatan lalu lintas dan mengirim informasi kepada sistem pusat untuk diproses lebih lanjut, dan kemudian disebarluaskan kepada para pengemudi di jalan raya. Apabila tingkat kepadatan cukup tinggi, sistem pusat akan memberikan informasi via Wi-Fi untuk menetapkan batas kecepatan maksimum bagi para pengendara, dengan tujuan untuk menghindari menumpuknya kendaraan di berbagai titik rawan kemacetan.

Dengan adanya ‘smart transport system’ ini, tingkat kemacetan lalu lintas di Inggris telah berkurang sebanyak 15%. Terlebih lagi, sistem ini juga mampu menghemat sebesar lebih dari 1 juta poundsterling setiap tahunnya. Mengikuti trend tersebut, beberapa negara di Asia termasuk di antaranya Jepang telah mulai mengikuti jejak untuk mengeksplorasi lebih dalam penggunaan IoT (Internet of Things) untuk mengatasi tingkat kemacetan lalu lintas. Memang sekarang saatnya bagi ibukota kita untuk ikut serta dalam pembenahan tata kota dalam rangka mewujudkan kota Jakarta yang bebas kemacetan.


Being the “Factory of the world”, China is synonymous with manufacturing. However to tame rising costs, even Chinese companies are increasingly turning their gaze southward to Southeast Asia.

This, coupled with the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration plan, presents a tremendous opportunity for the manufacturing industry in the Southeast Asian region to lead economic development. This is where IoT technologies can play a crucial role for industries to give China a run for the manufacturing dollar.

According to a report by McKinsey, new technologies could increase profit margins and lower costs in manufacturing, potentially creating $25 billion to $45 billion of annual economic impact in ASEAN by 2030.

For example, the use of big data and the IoT could improve demand forecasting and production planning, leading to better customer service and higher profit margins. On the cost side, IoT can also improve supply chain management and by analyzing real-time data on suppliers’ inventory and shipments in transit, companies can tighten inventory control and maximize production capacity.

15% of ASEAN respondents in the study said that they were optimistic that the ability to improve forecasting accuracy could potentially increase revenue or efficiency for their company by more than 50 percent.

Complement current operations with IoT

This view was echoed at a public dialogue held ahead of the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum, in Jakarta. A government official said, “Businesses in Indonesia and Southeast Asia must take advantage of disruptive innovations and technologies to leverage their global competitiveness, instead of worrying about the negative impact.”

In a joint statement by the Habibie Center, the Indonesian Ministry of Finance and the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation, Zamroni Salim, a senior economic researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, also said that, “Big data and the Internet of Things help analyze details of operations, real time data from suppliers’ inventories, shipments in transit; to downstream customer demand, does complement conventional operations.”

 Challenges & Considerations

However this technology opportunity is still waiting to be realized. One reason is the lack of awareness of these opportunities. Many manufacturing firms are also worried about not having the right talent to implement these technologies. Perhaps key to the issue is also the security challenge that manufacturing firms will have to face when they move to what IDC term as the 3rd Platform (cloud, mobility, big data/ analytics).

To realise the potential savings of up to $3.7 trillion per year by 2025 through IoT in manufacturing, the ability to scale up security is important. It is estimated 70% of IoT devices are vulnerable to cyber attacks and overcoming this challenge would accelerate the IoT adoption among manufacturers.

That said, Southeast Asian companies are starting to experiment with IoT despite the varying levels of infrastructure development. From predictive maintenance of air-conditioners to pilot projects of IoT improving agribusiness, we expect to see increasing case studies as more Southeast Asian manufacturers learn about the benefits of IoT

Extracts taken from “The Smart Manufacturing Opportunity in Southeast Asia

Join the discussions at the 9th & 10th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform, in Jakarta, Indonesia & Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where international & regional speaker will be discussing their insights on IoT in Manufacturing.

By: Ernest

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Data and predictive analytics have transformed finance, manufacturing and many consumer industries.  Healthcare is slow to the game, but no exception

At 8th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform; Dr Yau Teng Yan, Chief Medical Officer at Holmusk, spoke about how Big Data can be used to fight Chronic diseases. In his presentation, he mentioned doctors, are experts at practicing ‘trial-and-error’ medicine.  A patient presents with symptoms and doctors make the best diagnosis they can come up with based on their personal knowledge and experience and prescribe drugs based on standard dosages. Doctors then hope for the best and after some time, if the drugs doesn’t work,  the dosage or the medication is changed, or a different diagnosis is considered, until something works.

‘Evidence-based medicine’ – a core tenet where doctors base their clinical decisions on well-conducted research – is often inefficient because the results in research are summarized and averaged out and it is assumed that each patient is an ‘average patient’. However, the availability of new kinds of data and new tools for data analysis is providing a new approach to medicine and how it is improving patient outcomes.

Giving an example on breast cancer, Dr. Yau, explained that it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women today, with survival rates for advanced breast cancer at less than 30% living beyond 5 years. A drug, Tamoxifen, used for the treatment of breast cancer has been thought for a long time to be 80% effective, based on clinical studies. However with the availability of new kinds of data and data analytic tools,  it is now known to be 100% effective in 70 – 80% of patients, and ineffective in the rest of them. Biochemical markers are the key in predicting which patients will respond and which won’t. This is important as the drug should not be prescribed to someone, which it will be useless for, because it has side effects, like risks of blood clots and uterine cancer.

What Can Big Data and Health Care Analytics do?

Big data refers to large, complex sets of data that are difficult to access or manage traditionally. Big data in healthcare consists of electronic health records, doctors’ notes, pharmacy prescriptions, insurance claims, sensor data (such as blood pressure, glucose level), genetic information, and more. These sources of data that weren’t available a decade ago, but now have huge potential to help us better understand our bodies.

Healthcare is transitioning into a data rich environment today. In 2011, 150 exabytes of data (that’s 150 billion gigabytes) was generated in US healthcare organizations alone.

Data by itself is not very useful. The key enabler for this revolution is the availability of cheap computing power to analyse these large datasets to generate new insights into disease.

Unlocking the hidden value in this information has the potential to improve care and attain cost effectiveness. Data analytics allows health care practitioners to synthesize and discover patterns and correlations within the data that would not have been revealed otherwise.

Doctors will be able to make better and more accurate diagnoses, and provide the patient with more personalized treatment plans based on their profiles, improving patient care.

Join Telstra Health at the 9th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform which will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 15-16 of August as they discuss insights into Health Analytics and how patient care can be enhanced.


By: Ernest

Asia IoT Business Platform

Enterprise IoT Business Potential – A lot of big numbers being thrown around, but where are the real opportunities?

It’s been well documented, and almost universally accepted (65% of enterprises using IoT for business purposes), that the Internet-of-Things (IoT) will play a big role in both individual lives (Pokemon Go, anyone?) and in the way enterprises conduct business in the future. On a macro level, there’s been a plethora of reports forecasting double, sometimes triple, digit growth dates in the number of connected devices (30 – 100 billion) and the total value that will be created by these devices.

When it comes to enterprise IoT solutions & adoption, we look at the business opportunities for technology players across the IoT value chain. A McKinsey report estimated an economic impact of up to $11 trillion per year by 2025 – with more than 70% of this being derived from business-to-business (B2B) applications. What’s more, they expect most of this value to emerge from developing countries.

Frost & Sullivan took it a step further and forecasted IoT spending in APAC to be $79 billion in 2020, identifying Southeast Asia as a key area for growth.

While macro level reports have been extremely positive about the growth of IoT globally, we decided to take a step back and conducted a survey of local enterprises both in Indonesia and Malaysia. We’ve seen an exponential increase in interest within the Enterprise IoT space over the past 3 years in both countries and this has translated to increased awareness & adoption of IoT solutions.

We found that the numbers in both countries were extremely similar:

  1. Roughly 50% of enterprises are either not aware of enterprise IoT solutions or only have a basic understanding of it.
  2. ~45% of enterprises have explored and/or implemented enterprise IoT solutions
  3. Only 2% and 4% of enterprises have reported reaping the benefits of implementing IoT solutions

Which vendors do enterprises turn to for enterprise IoT solutions?

When it comes to familiarity with technology vendors which provide these solutions, IBM was named most frequently in our surveys – with Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and the Indonesian telcos (Telkomsel, Indosat & XL) also creating much brand awareness in Indonesia. Microsoft and Cisco were also cited frequently amongst Malaysian enterprises.

Potential for IoT spending in Indonesia & Malaysia

The results from the survey only begin to scratch the surface of the potential of the market in both countries, and we think educating enterprises about these solutions is the key for the market to realise/reap the benefits of IoT adoption. What we know for a fact is that enterprise adoption has been increasing and it’s almost a given that the segment of enterprises benefitting from IoT will continue to increase as they get used to systems and the amount of data being collected/utilized increase and get put to greater uses. It will be interesting to see which technology solution providers will take the lead over the next few years with the corresponding increased spending.

If you’re interested in the full report of the survey, please email to this address: irza@industry-platform.com and we will be sending you the summary.

Network with local enterprises from Indonesia and Malaysia at the 9th and 10th edition of
Asia IoT Business Platform in Jakarta (15 & 16 August 2016) and Kuala Lumpur (18 & 19 August 2016) respectively. Register here.

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Personal Fitness and the Internet of Things

With advances in technologies, the costs of sensors have plummeted, making it possible for manufacturers to embed them into smart watches and fitness trackers. These wearable devices measure data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and a number of other personal health metrics.

Pairing a wearable with a smart phone and an app will enable the collected data to be stored in the cloud. The user will also have the ability to log other attributes such as food intake, activities, and weight and set daily and weekly goals for themselves for steps, calories burned and consumed, and distance walked, which can be track over time. With this, a person’s fitness is “connected” to the internet, allowing personal fitness to be “gamified” as users are now able to compete against friends and colleagues in a race to achieve personal fitness goals.

A 2013 wearable pilot involving 600 subjects, conducted by insurer, Cigna, indicated that 80% of the participants were “more motivated to manage their health at the end of the study than at the beginning.” Seeing the potential for fitness trackers to put a break to corporate healthcare costs, fitness trackers are also starting to get included as part of corporate wellness programs.

In a recent interview with Fortune, James Park, the CEO of Fitbit, one of the leading makers of fitness trackers, said “I would like people to think of Fitbit as ‘the’ company that’s had the most profound impact on their health outside of a hospital.”

Health Insurance Leverages on IoT

With improved connectivity and fitness trackers being widely available, Insurance companies have started to offer insurance that integrate features that can make use of this data.

In July 2016, Thailand became the latest country in Southeast Asia, where insurer AIA Group, is teaming up with Vitality, a the global leader in integrating wellness benefits with life insurance products, to launch a science-backed wellness program designed to help customers manage and improve their health more effectively. To date, AIA Vitality has been launched in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Philippines and Malaysia.

AIA Vitality members are eligible for discounts on a range of fitness programs and products including fitness trackers. Points are accumulated for various fitness activities which can be exchanged for lifestyle rewards. Members can also get discounts on annual premiums, which can range from 5-20% of premiums for the first year and up to 25% in renewal years, depending on the member’s AIA Vitality status.

While the benefits of fitness tracking might be obvious, policy holders might find it a hassle to make the purchase and integrate it into daily life. To mitigate this problem, insurer John Hancock (also partnering with Vitality), launched its program in 2015, offering free Fitbits to new members in the U.S. This is inline with a 2014 survey by PwC, which found that 67% of the survey correspondents would use a smart watch or fitness band if provided by their employer or insurer.

Challenges in the age of IoT

While the data from the trackers and smart devices enable insurers to come up with new product features, insurers can find themselves overwhelmed with the exponential increase in real time data being collected. This gives rise to technical challenges, ranging from storing and archiving the data, handling massive volumes of data, efficiently analyzing streaming data, and most important of all securing the privacy of the data.

Technological advancement in healthcare is occurring at breakneck pace. Apple hypothesized that by proactively monitoring the health of your heart beat patterns, they will be able to recognize anomalies and inform you and your doctor to prevent a heart attack.  It is also predicted that, “ingestibles”, “smart” pills that use wireless technology to help monitor internal reactions to medications, will revolutionize healthcare.

Would new “Insurtech” firms or one of the tech’s big boys, like google or apple define the future landscape of health insurance? Or will traditional insurers team up with specialist technology firms to gain insight and know-how to exploit the opportunities arising from new technologies.

Join us at the 9th and 10th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform held on the week of 15th August in Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as industry experts weight in and discuss opportunities and challenges in the age of IoT.

By: Ernest

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Machina Research published a report late last year predicting that 2016 will be a critical year for defining the future of LPWA networks and IoT connectivity. They couldn’t be more right.

Although LPWA networks are not new, Asia has picked up the pace in deciding which standards to adopt this year.

I wrote about the possibility of LPWA as the magic pill to accelerate ASEAN IoT adoption in March, and since then, the various network technologies have made several important announcements.

1. LoRa Alliance


While LoRa Alliance do not have a regional headquarters in Asia yet, we expect with the addition of ZTE to its board (Read: ZTE takes board position at LoRa Alliance) and its recent wins in Malaysia ( Read: MDEC, TM team up with LoRa Alliance for Internet of Things ecosystem) to bring about an increased focus in Asia.

We have been told that an openhouse in Asia at the end of the year is being planned and we will have many companies sharing their LoRa IoT deployments at our 10th Asia IoT Business Platform in Kuala Lumpur.

This includes KPN’s Managing Director of IoT Operations, Remco Hekker who will be talking about their roll-out experience and making Netherlands the first country in the world to have a nationwide LoRa network for IoT applications.

Atilze Digital, a start up that is working with MDEC for city-wide IoT sensor network, will also be tapping on their partnership with LoRa Alliance pioneer member, Gemtek Technology, to enable the entry of IoT applications in Malaysia.

STMicroelectronics became a second source for RF chips supporting the LoRa since their collaboration with Semtech in December 2015. This gives traction to the growing LoRa network and Franck Martins, Senior Regional Marketing and Business Development Manager, APAC will be sharing insights on wireless connectivity for IoT in Malaysia.

2. Sigfox


SIGFOX opened its Asia Pacific office in Singapore earlier this year and hired industry veteran Roswell Wolff as President of SIGFOX APAC to oversee its rapid expansion in the region.

They announced their deployment in Australia and New Zealand this April and was recently named the “Most Promising IoT Networking Solutions Provider” in Asia by Frost & Sullivan.

However due to its proprietary nature developed in France, SIGFOX users can only buy basestations from SIGFOX and that has prompted concern among service providers about supplier “lock-in.” It’s revenue sharing model (reported by Light Reading to be as much as 40% of service revenues in 2014) could be a major deterrent for service providers weighing their LPWA options.



Backed by 3GPP, the cellular specifications group, NB-IoT is expected to include LPWA-like capabilities in its Release 13 later this year.

Some has touted that the emerging NB-IoT standard will be the death of rival technologies like Sigfox and LoRa, which have been relying on the use of unlicensed spectrum to support services (Read: Vodafone to ‘Crush’ LoRa, Sigfox With NB-IoT). However others note that NB-IoT has yet to see commercial deployment and will remain a costly alternative for several years.

Notably, Vodafone has thrown its support behind NB-IoT with the opening of a dedicated NB-IoT lab in partnership with Huawei at its UK headquarters in Newbury.

Huawei itself has also launched its NB-IoT solution at MWC Shanghai this month. Its solution will be available in September 2016 and a significant commercial trial is planned in the fourth quarter followed by the release for large-scale commercial use in late December of 2016.

Asian telcos like KT, China Unicom and China Mobile are also behind NB-IoT technology. China Unicom, especially, is reported to target more than five cities in China this year for large-scale NB-IoT field trials. The telco expects to start commercial deployment of NB-IoT by the end of the year and reach nationwide coverage in 2018.

Final Word

Other LPWA technologies include Ingenu, Weightless, LTE-M. It is without a doubt that LPWA networks are required for widespread IoT adoption but the interesting thing about this battle is that it extends beyond the technology.

What will determine success at the end of the day will be how users perceive these technologies and how effectively it can help them achieve their desired business outcome. The challenge is not one of technology performance, but in providing a solution to a problem that customers are willing to pay for and it not always the best technology that wins the race.

Join us as we discuss “Key aspects when considering IoT network connectivity” at our KL event this Aug 18 & 19.

By: YY


The adoption of the Internet of Things has seen increasingly rapid growth in recent years, with the number of connected devices expected to exceed 20.8 billion by 2020, a rise from the expected 6.4 billion in 2016. As a result of this, the army of devices that make up the Internet of Things will generate an exponential increase in data volumes. The IDC Digital Universe Study anticipates that the accumulated digital universe of data will increase from an estimated 4.4 trillion gigabytes today to 44 trillion gigabytes by the year 2020.

In Asia Pacific, government initiatives are driving IoT technology adoption, with the number of connected devices expected to increase from 3.1 billion to 8.6 billion by 2020 in APAC alone (excluding Japan). For instance, Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) along with the National R&D centre in ICT (MIMOS) launched the National IoT Strategic Roadmap to transform the country’s digital economy. Singapore has a Smart Nation initiative while Jakarta has Smart City programs in place. Smarter Philippines was also launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2013 to enhance economic growth through technology. Additionally, India has declared its 100 Smart Cities vision while the Thai government is working with Japanese companies and researchers to implement smart city technology to the country’s cities, primarily to combat traffic congestion.

With this massive influx of data, comes the need to store, process and analyse it. Proper utilization of big data can give rise to data-driven business models, which bring increased revenues, better efficiency, lower costs and customer satisfaction. This is where cloud-based services have and will continue to be increasingly prevalent with the increase in amounts of connected devices. The cloud makes it possible for companies to collate data resources in its entirety and provides ease of access, in real-time.

However, while the cloud has its positive attributes that go hand-in-hand with the adoption of the IoT, business leaders express concerns with regards to the threat of data breaches. Given the vast amounts of available data in the case of a security breach, the cloud may also be the most vulnerable link. Security risks continue to be the biggest hindrance to IoT adoption, which is why enterprises are hesitant to exploit the full benefits of IoT. These concerns hold true in the Asia Pacific region. According to FireEye’s report, Asia Pacific is 35% more likely to be targeted by advanced cyber-attacks as compared to the rest of the world.

Nonetheless, with IoT growth, comes greater security risks, and therein lies greater opportunities for security providers. The IoT security market will thus see rapid developments, with worldwide spending anticipated to reach $348 million in 2016, a 23.7 percent increase from 2015 (according to Gartner, Inc.).

Greater emphasis needs to be placed on dealing with issues in cyber-security in relation to IoT. More has to be done to educate enterprises on IoT in order to exploit the vast APAC market potential.

The underlying question that therefore remains is “how do we ensure security in the age of the cloud?” The onus is on the solution providers to provide security solutions for the respective technology, and also on the enterprises to ensure movement of data is controlled and accounted for across the entire data movement chain.


Join us at Asia IoT Business Platform should you have ideas or solutions to share in relation to the Internet of Things.

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It’s no surprise that Singapore is often in the limelight with regards to Smart Cities development in the Southeast Asia: with 100% urban population, strong ICT infrastructure and the highest smartphone penetration in the world, the government has successfully launched more than a dozen smart city projects as part of its Smart Nation Program.

However, if we look past trying to define smart cities and instead focus on measuring the desired outcome, smart city endeavours in ASEAN nations like Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines could potentially bring about a larger positive impact to the local community.

Smart City Solutions for the Developing Economy

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For many of these countries, infrastructure is lacking. Smart City technology can help better utilize the existing resources (schools, hospitals, roads, public transportation) and extend its reach to the rural areas.

Digitalization of government services can also help to provide greater transparency and accountability and reduce the opportunities for graft and corruption. Smart utility solutions can help better manage energy use. IoT can even be integrated into natural disaster and risk management solutions for countries like Philippines.

In addition, with more than half of Southeast Asia’s 600 million people under 30, the potential for rapid uptake of smart city technologies

Smart Cities in Indonesia

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Indonesia has been slow in implementing Smart City initiatives over the last decade due to lack of collaboration between the city government and the federal government.

However with the success of Smart City projects that are funded by the local/ regional governments, the pace has picked up dramatically.

Pak Setiaji, Head of Jakarta Smart City, spoke to the media at the Asia IOT Business Platform Media Day (June 16, 2016) about their plans to improve the lives of its citizens.

In addition to using Qlue as a platform to resolve public complaints, they are also using a monitoring system for over 6000 CCTVs to improve traffic and public safety in advance to welcome the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta

The Jakarta One Card was also launched earlier in June and it aims to combine the functions of an electronic ID card (e-KTP), a payment system for public transportation, shopping and electronic road pricing (ERP) tolls, and a Social Security Management Agency (BPJS) health insurance card. It is targeted that by 2019, all citizens in Jakarta will have the Jakarta One Card.

A Smart Street Lighting system is also in the works to replace 90,000 lamps this year and reduce the high electricity consumption. These lights can be controlled remotely and can provide notification when it should be replaced.

The Indonesian newspaper, Kompas, recognized 15 Smart Cities in Aug 2015 based on criteria such as smart economy, smart society and smart environment. Currently there are 24 (and counting) smart city implementations across the nation from Bandung to Manado.

With Indonesian mayors making technology a priority for planning the best use of limited resources, and with large investments from telcos to bridge the funding gap from the federal government, we foresee big strides forward for Indonesia Smart Cities.

Smart Cities in Vietnam

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As mentioned in a recent article by Dinh, our assistant project director for the 11th Asia IoT Business Platform in Hanoi, IoT and smart city solutions hold great promises in solving everyday life issues and improving the citizens’ quality of life for a less economically developed country like Vietnam.

Phu Quoc, an island off of Kien Giang Province, is one of the cities aiming to become the first smart city of the country, in line with the nation’s vision to turn Phu Quoc into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 2020. Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) is working closely with the local government to materialise the VNPT Smart City model in Phu Quoc by building network infrastructure, data centre, and smart services. High-speed 4G network has already been trialed successfully on the island.

Mr. Mai Van Huynh, Vice President of Kien Giang People’s Committee, believes that the smart city project is necessary for Phu Quoc to become a well-connected, sustainable and important SEZ for the country and the region. However, “to have a smart city, there must be smart citizens, smart government officials”, Mr. Huynh.

This is just one of many efforts by the Vietnamese government in recent years to promote its municipalities towards becoming smart cities, in order to tackle various socioeconomic issues such as traffic jams, environmental pollution, and energy conservation.

What we can learn from Singapore

While many ASEAN nations may not have the financial willpower of the Singapore government to spend S$19bn for Smart Nation R&D initiatives, there are three takeaways that could accelerate smart city developments in Southeast Asia.

1) Having a centralised Smart City program. Data and technical know-how are shared among the cities to identify more actionable insights.

2) Commitment to education. From nurturing a highly educated workforce to providing skills upgrade and training for older workers, education initiatives need to be in place to manage the changing demands of the workforce.

3) Delayed Gratification. Often smart city initiatives takes time to bear fruit and smart city stakeholders need to take a long term view when deciding investments.

To take part in the discussions for ASEAN Smart City developments, do share with me your story at yueyeng@industry-platform.com


When one think about manufacturing, China is likely the first country to come to mind. However with rising costs, even Chinese companies are increasingly turning their gaze southward to Southeast Asia.

This, coupled with the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration plan, presents a tremendous opportunity for the manufacturing industry in this region to lead economic development, and one of the reasons why IoT technologies can play a crucial role.

According to a report by McKinsey, new technologies could increase profit margins and lower costs in manufacturing, potentially creating $25 billion to $45 billion of annual economic impact in ASEAN by 2030.

For example, the use of big data and the IoT could improve demand forecasting and production planning, leading to better customer service and higher profit margins. On the cost side, IoT can also improve supply chain management and by analyzing real-time data on suppliers’ inventory and shipments in transit, companies can tighten inventory control and maximize production capacity.

15% of ASEAN respondents in the study said that they were optimistic that the ability to improve forecasting accuracy could potentially increase revenue or efficiency for their company by more than 50 percent.

However this technology opportunity is still waiting to be realised. One reason is the lack of awareness of these opportunities. Many manufacturing firms are also worried about not having the right talent to implement these technologies. Perhaps key to the issue is also the security challenge that manufacturing firms will have to face when they move to what IDC term as the 3rd Platform (cloud, mobility, big data/ analytics).

To realise the potential savings of up to $3.7 trillion per year by 2025 through IoT in manufacturing, the ability to scale up security is important. It is estimated 70% of IoT devices are vulnerable to cyber attacks and overcoming this challenge would accelerate the IoT adoption among manufacturers.

That said, it is encouraging to see Southeast Asian companies starting to experiment with IoT despite the varying levels of infrastructure development. From predictive maintenance of air-conditioners to pilot projects of IoT improving agribusiness, we continue to see more case studies and will contribute to this growth by educating more industrial companies about the business potential of IoT.

Listen to speakers from Japan Industrial Value Chain Initiative, Fraunhofer IAO and Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology on how they have implemented digital factories and smart manufacturing at our Asia IoT Business Platform events this year.

 By: YY

[:en]Telco IoT SEA

These days, we see communication service providers (CSPs) getting increasingly actively involved in the IoT space. Being at the core of IoT value chain, telecommunications and IT service providers can bring together the large ecosystem of partners and speed up the time to market for IoT.

We interviewed some of our partners in Southeast Asia and summed up the main initiatives and efforts of telcos in the IoT sector.

What are the current focuses of CSPs in Southeast Asia?

According to JD Montelibano, the Head of Business Applications from the Globe Telecom IT Enabled Services Group, CSPs are in a good position to provide end-to-end and seamless IoT solutions for the Philippine market.

“We have been driving awareness on benefits of IoT primarily to businesses. Focus today is to drill into deeper and more specific use cases per industry that will solve specific pain points and problems,” said JD.

Meanwhile in Thailand, there are initiatives such as the collaboration between CAT Telecom, NIA, and TESA to promote IoT and smart city development by supporting tech companies and startups that have IoT/smart city innovation.

Yuttasart Nitipaichit, PhD, Assistant Vice President of CAT Telecom Data Center Department pointed out that CAT aims to provide IoT and smart city solutions as one of their main businesses.

“CAT’s main focus is to provide support on Telecom and IT infrastructure that would be the building block for developing smart city applications. We aim to provide support on mobile and Internet connectivity, IT infrastructure including Cloud platform and data center, and IT security solutions,” he added.

With a mobile penetration rate of 120% in Indonesia, Mirela Juravle, the head of M2M Projects in Indosat Ooredoo, believes that CSPs are trusted partners to help IoT adoption. Being in the driver seat, they want to lead the IoT development through an extensive portfolio of solutions and services ranging from connectivity, infrastructure, cloud services, data analytics to end-to-end IoT solutions and services; promoting innovation simple and open environments for local developers to build innovative IoT services; and Big Data.

One of Indosat success stories in 2015 is the launch of vehicle telematics solution which had greatly increased productivity for operational car fleets and logistic companies.

“We have done a lot of market educations in the last 2 years and this year we will continue to accelerate growth in banking, transportation and security, plus develop new markets in eHealth, user based insurance, business applications, industrial IoT, oil gas, Smart Cities,” said Mirela.

On the contrary, Malaysian CSPs have falled behind in taking the leap with IoT. Telcos in Malaysia have been criticized for being too conservative; and they are making big plans to grow their presence in the IoT sector and catalyze Malaysia’s Smart Digital Nation vision.

Digi has identified some key industry players that are at more matured stage such as the public services and logistic area leveraging on IoT adoption to drive customer experience and enhance business growth.
Lee Shin Mei, the Head of Enterprise Business in Digi, shared with us that Digi is exploring and always open for IoT as this is one of their main drivers moving forward.

“The current focus is really about creating the customer awareness, looking out for opportunities to collaborate and getting the right partners in place to support the initiative. Once we build the business value and can show to our customers the benefits of IoT, this would eventually build a sensible commercial value for all parties. In terms of segment or industry, there is really no hard rule about this part,” she added.

What are the advice for solution providers targeting Southeast Asia?

What do you have to identify and prepare beforehand? How to access the market and justify the right local contacts?

Southeast Asia countries are generally quite similar in the focus area and highlighted verticals for IoT, but slight different approach or key points have to be taken care of for each country.

Let’s have a look at the views of local CSPs from specific countries in the region.

JD Montelibano, Globe, Philippines:

IoT has huge opportunities and unlimited use case that are relevant to the Philippine market. What solution providers must do is to understand pain points and problems in a local micro level. They also need to have platforms that are inter-operable with other systems to drive seamless integration through readily available APIs.

Yuttasart Nitipaichit, CAT, Thailand:

Solution providers should study and truly understand problems of cities in Thailand in order to provide real solutions that could really solve the problems. In addition, they should consider partnering with infrastructure providers and end user device manufacturers as well to provide complete solutions. They should make sure that the value of their proposed solutions is higher and worth the proposed cost of investment.

Mirela Juravle, Indosat Ooredoo, Indonesia:

Indonesia market offers huge opportunities, and this is the top 3 advice I can give for solutions providers to be successful:

  1. Know the market, know the regulations
  2. Partner with a local company or establish local office
  3. Be flexible

Lee Shin Mei, Digi, Malaysia

Have creative ideas or products but also remember to be practical so as the end goal is to simplify and enhance customer experiences. Solution providers can also leverage on partnerships with telcos to create a more viable solution that offers end-to-end approach.

Receiving international IoT stakeholders with open arms

Over the comments and feedback I have received for my previous posts, there is one question that popped up frequently: Is partnership essential?

Southeast Asia is a dynamic market, with vibrant culture and varying work approach. Much work has to be done to be familiar with the ways businesses work in each country.

While telecommunication operators and governments are positively encouraging IoT solution providers from both local and abroad to help tackle local problems via technology, I believe having a contact point who has been around and understands the local market would be the most direct, fastest and safest way to access the pool of demand.

What do you think?

Asia IoT Business Platform partners with major telcos in Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to educate enterprise on IoT adoption and raise awareness of the key business model transformation opportunities that can be tapped on.

Our telco partners include Smart, Globe, AIS, dtac, CAT, True,Telkomsel, Indosat, XL Axiata, Telkom Malaysia, Digi, Maxis, Celcom, etc.

If you are  looking to connect to the local telcos in Southeast Asia, feel free to get in touch. Comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

Sue Yuin


Last Tuesday, two coordinated explosions in Brussels left at least 34 people dead and over 200 injured. The fact that the attackers were able to hit high-profile targets in the country’s capital – which happens to also host the European Union’s top institutions – serves as a reminder that keeping cities safe is critical.

Cities and urban centers are hothouses for economic growth, innovation and cultural development. In Asia itself, most cities are developing rapidly, and safety plays a major part in attracting and securing investments, businesses, and skilled labor necessary for economic growth and development.

Unfortunately, their very success attracts wrongdoers, from petty crime to lethal terrorist attacks. As cities continue to grow in number, size, and complexity, their infrastructure and services come under increasing stress. Civic resources are under pressure and crime is harder than ever to police.

As it stands, most video surveillance technology is inefficient. Police investigations are often hampered by blind spots in video networks and low-quality imagery. Issues with data storage and retrieval mean incident data can be slow to reach command staff, and data loss can derail investigations altogether.

Recently we saw many ICT solution providers focusing on ‘smart city’ solutions, which make use of a web of inter-connected devices, software and cloud storage systems – namely IoT – to enable public and private services to work together more efficiently.

Are smart cities safe cities as well?  In concept, I believe this same network of connected devices are also new tools for governments to improve public services such as crime-fighting. It can help law enforcement monitor public areas, analyze patterns, and track incidents and suspects, enabling quicker response. By combining information from video surveillance cameras, social media, citizen reports, and other sensors, the solution provides a richer view of urban safety.

Through my interviews with public sectors attending the Asia IoT Business Platform, governments are taking public safety very seriously.

To protect cities against crime, terrorism, and civil unrest, they are on the lookout for new technology that involves:

  • Location monitoring – View live feeds of any surveillance camera to assess conditions; collect data on crime type and location; and monitor social media for possible threats.
  • Incident detection and management – Use video feeds and analytics to verify and detect threats and incidents; alert operators to potential incidents; create incident records; and collect all data regarding the incident lifecycles.
  • Administration and communications network – Easily configure and manage sensors, video infrastructure, and policy; deploy sensors in designated areas, set up regional and central intelligent command and control centers.
  • Analytics – Report distribution of crime by frequency, location, etc., to aid in planning and to help predict crime patterns; identify areas with recurring issues.

We hope to urgently drive the message that public safety should not be taken for granted.  Collaboration between all stakeholders are required to ensure that prevention measures are taken strictly to minimise further attacks on innocent cities. Please drop me a note if you think you have the right solution to enable safer cities – lets make the world a better place with the use of right technology.

My heart goes out to the victims of this terrible tragedy.

Sue Yuin

[:en]Throughout the 6 editions of Asia IoT Business Platform in emerging Southeast Asian countries, we observed differing levels of engagement from the governments and local stakeholders in pushing out smart nation and smart city initiatives.

In Part 1, we looked at how Thailand and the Philippines are investing heavily in smart city projects.

Governments (some call it city governments to be exact) are exploring new ways to deliver services and we see most of them forming teams mainly in the following 2 units:

  • teams using sensors, data and cameras to improve operations
  • teams using digital tools to create new services and apps for citizens

Lets take a closer look at the smart city teams in Indonesia and Malaysia – the countries that have generated most interest within the IoT community today.


We believe Indonesia boasts the most opportunities and success in general, seeing the huge growth of smart city units with new operations centres being launched seemingly every week.

The most recent smart city initiatives include planning of the following:

  • Jakarta Smart City Lounge – the headquarters for all smart city activities, with command centre that will become the coordinate hub for all emergency responses across the city. Instead of building its own apps. It is now working with startups to provide digital services. One of the startups, Qlue (maker of complaint apps) will be showcasing their solutions in the 9th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform: IoT Indonesia.
  • Makassar Mayor’s War Room – brings together data from health, sanitation, transport and emergency services. The city’s Mayor was awarded the 2015 IoT Leader by Telkomsel and Jasper in the 5th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform to applaud Makassar’s initiative of using data to improve public services. (One of its first initiatives will be a new plan to get public transport data. The government will pilot smart minivans with GPS trackers that can report location back to the command centre. The Mayor wants to reduce traffic congestion by persuading more people to use public transport.)
  • Banda Aceh Smart City Centre and Bandung Command Centre – formed to respond to citizens’ complaints on public services by having them report their feedback directly to the unit via an app. The command centre will monitor data from across agencies, including transport, health, education and social welfare.

These cities are on the lookout for smart and data solutions to help in these projects, with government and telcos such as Telkomsel, Indosat, XL Axiata, etc. actively exploring partnerships with vendors from within and out of Indonesia.


Malaysia had emerged strong as a leading digital economy among developing countries, ranking 4th for the Online Service Index in the United Nations E-Government Survey 2015.

Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, Malaysia aimed to move to the top 15 in the Online Service sub-index of the United Nations’ e-Government Development Index and top 10 in the Government Efficiency sub-index of the World Competitiveness Yearbook.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) was mandated by the government to develop the National IoT Strategic Roadmap to drive IoT as a new source of growth in catalysing Malaysia’s Digital Economy.

As part of the initiatives in driving the Smart Nation vision, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) was established to improve digital services across the government. One of the current key projects is to build a single government portal that will give access to information and services from across local and federal agencies. There are also plans for a new digital unit to work on this portal.

To achieve these targets and transform public service productivity, the government would introduce several transformative changes focusing on 5 major areas: enhancing service delivery with citizens at the centre; rationalising public sector institutions for greater productivity and performance; strengthening talent management for the public service of the future; enhancing project management for better and faster outcome; and, capitalising on local authorities for quality services at the local level.

In the IoT leaders panel of the previous Asia IoT Business Platform: IoT Malaysia, communication service providers such as Telkom Malaysia, Digi and Maxis were being urged to grow their presence in the IoT sector to catalyse Malaysia’s vision of being a Smart Digital Nation. We are expecting to see new level of engagement among telcos this year.

Moving forward: the “Smart Southeast Asia”

Over the past couple of years in the region, the word “partnership” have always popped up when it comes to developing and making smart cities happen.

The reality is that governments and telcos can’t do it all themselves: While governments devise the overarching roadmap, telcos provide the backbone of connectivity and data transport technology that underpin Smart City developments, external partnership with solution providers from all areas is almost a must in developing Smart Cities.

While designing the conference agenda for the benefit of local public sectors and end users, we are always on the look out for solutions that could be brought in and implemented, and case studies to educate enterprises on how IoT has impacted various sectors and will drive improvement and growth.

We are excited and looking forward to being part of the movement towards a more collaborative ecosystem to drive smart nations in the region.

Drop us a quick note if you have an IoT/Smart City story to share.

Sue Yuin

[:en]IoT Philippines; IoT Thailand

To address urban challenges such as pollution, energy efficiency, security, healthcare, traffic, transportation, etc., smart city initiatives worldwide are increasingly (well – they have to be) focused on the IoT.

By providing real time and remote monitoring for different aspects of data management in areas such as transportation, communication, video surveillance, and sensors on devices and sensors distributed throughout the city, a community will have the ability to create intelligent environments with IoT.

Hence it does not come as a surprise when we see local governments competing (some collaborating) to build innovative and sustainable cities by utilising advanced technologies in data gathering and communications interconnectivity via the internet. IDC forecasted that over 25 percent of all local government external spending will go to deploy, manage, and realise the business value of the IoT by 2018.

So what are the solid efforts that have been initiated (or even better – have already taken place) by local stakeholders in Southeast Asia to catalyse the visions of Smart Cities?

Lets dive into specific countries for detailed analysis.

The Philippines


Smarter Philippines was launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2013 with the aim of improving economic growth via technology.

As part of the programme, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo announced Cauayanto be the first of 144 cities in the Philippines to become a “smarter city”.

“A smart city should have ICT infrastructure to connect systems, and share and analyse data, resulting in faster, real-time responses to present situations”, said Montejo.

Cauayan’s initiatives include an e-government system, a computerised police clearance process and a city ID system. It also plans to use technology to improve its agriculture, businesses, jobs, healthcare and adapt to climate change.

We saw the Philippines working on the first step by providing municipal Wi-Fi to nearly 1000 cities in the country. In November 2015, the PHP 1.408 billion (US$31.6 million) project was tendered to set up Wi-Fi hotspots in 997 cities.

While the DOST’s ICT Office will lead the project, a steering committee with 15 other agencies will coordinate the project. These include the Departments of Tourism, Trade and Industry, Health, Budget and Management, Education, and the Metro Manila Development Authority.

As the supporter of Asia IoT Business Platform: IoT Philippines, DOST’s ICT Office has shared with us on further plans and explore strategic solutions to help local enterprises. We believe that the move towards technology advancement will be pushed along by corporations like Globe Telecom, Microsoft, PLDT and more.



On the move to become ASEAN’s digital infrastructure hub by 2020, the Thai government has demonstrated great determination through a solid digital economy master plan by the ICT ministry with main domain missions such as hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, service infrastructure, digital economy promotion and a digital society; and pilot projects centered on e-commerce, e-education, e-industry and e-government.  

According to Jeerawan Boonperm, chairwoman of the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SiPA), 100 million baht has been allocated to develop the digital infrastructure and a data centre in Phuket. The plan is to turn Phuket into an innovation-driven smart city by 2016. This is a pilot project to promote digital-related investment and further development of the tourism industry.

“Phuket will be Thailand’s first smart city, with Chiang Mai tipped to be next in 2017,” said Ms Jeerawan said.

The e-government agency was playing a big role in the planned roll-out of the e-government pilot project.With 2,000 ICT centres nationwide, the e-industry pilot project focused on encouraging SMEs to benefit from using technology.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) will be giving the keynote address for Asia IoT Business Platform: IoT Thailand this May, sharing on the visions and opportunities on collaboration within the IoT sectors.(A brief snippet: South Korean government and companies are especially interested in sharing their expertise and solutions in the Phuket Smart City Project.)

On the Part 2 of this article, we will explore similar smart city initiatives in the following countries: Indonesia and Malaysia.

Have a tip off on the latest local developments? Drop me a note.

Sue Yuin


Through conversations with IT executives from enterprises in the region since 2014, we saw great interest in cloud, data and the corresponding data analytics that can unlock most potential in businesses.

There have been huge advances in the amount of data we routinely generate and collect in pretty much everything we do, as well as our ability to use technology to analyze and understand it. The intersection of these trends, namely Big Data, is helping businesses in every industry to become more efficient and productive.

According to our interview with Dato Ng Wan Peng, COO of MDeC, Malaysia has rolled out the country’s Big Data framework. “We foresee a bright future ahead in this area. Among benefits we intend to realise for the country include talent development using public open data to produce useful applications, technology development; and creating awareness within the private and private sectors.”

Businesses that have benefited hugely from Cloud and Data include banking, insurance, smart cities, transportation and manufacturing sectors.

We are still seeing a growing number of dedicated teams led by senior management in exploring IoT and data services for their businesses.

Some examples include:

  • Proton, Engineering Solution & IoT 
  • Petronas, Digital Innovation, Strategy & Architecture 
  • CEVA Logistics, GM Operations
  • Provinsi DKI Jakarta, Head of Jakarta Smart City
  • Bank Simpanan Nasional, Transformation Management Department

These companies were part of the 2015 Asia IoT Business Platform series in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.


Healthcare is an increaseingly interesting sector that we foresee to benefit largely from cloud and data.

This could be seen through the heated discussions in the 6th Asia IoT Business Platform in KL. Dr. Dhesi, founder of AIME said, “There’re so many patients that it’s impossible to diagnose and analyse without data and IoT. By 2030, we’ll be using cloud brains to communicate, store and think – like an external hard disk. Smart and sustainable healthcare needs to be driven by new and disruptive IoT business models.”

As the momentum of IoT moves forward, data will be a key enabler of digital business transformation, driving tremendous value. IoT will mature from being a platform that improves enterprise efficiency and revenue streams into an entire ecosystem that changes the business model to be more digital and service centric through data analytics and algorithms.


However, security remains a challenge in business transformation.

Despite the apparent importance of IoT, widespread adoption of the technology is still slow. Our discussions with industry leaders and enterprises led us to attribute this phenomenon to security concerns: more or less everyone agrees that if data is not handled properly, the consequences could be devastating. 

Connected devices are highly susceptible to penetration and infiltration by hackers. Its connected nature severely amplifies any malicious attacks on devices, and data associated with IoT devices can easily be stolen. As a result, businesses, government bodies, and consumers are wary of installing IoT devices in their cities and businesses.

According to BI Intelligence report, top security flaws of IoT devices include insecure software/firmware, insufficient authentication, lack of transport authentication, user identity, and un-encrypted network services.


Taking a leap of faith – there’s still a bright side to data and security.

While the IoT is taking flight in the Southeast Asian region, security problems should not be taken lightly, but have to be addressed and faced head-on.

Security needs to be built in as the foundation of IoT systems, with rigorous validity checks, authentication, data verification, and all the data needs to be encrypted. At the application level, software development organizations need to be better at writing code that is stable, resilient and trustworthy, with better code development standards, training, threat analysis and testing.

While local governments are starting to establish security developments e.g Indonesia’s National Cyber Agency (NCA) and Indonesia Security Incident Response Team on Internet Infrastructure (ID-RTII), the notion of addressing security vulnerabilities of the IoT creates opportunity for security solutions to be implemented.

We came across many corporations and enterprises offering security solutions that undoubtedly boost the confidence of enterprises taking a step in IoT adoption. As the educational platform for government and businesses in the region, we are exploring for more and better solutions with case studies that will benefit our end users.


Drop us a message if you have relevant projects and solutions regarding cloud, data and security to share.


Sue Yuin


[:en]We spent a large part of the year in the cities of Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta & Kuala Lumpur speaking to local enterprises about this (too) broad & (too) overused term: the Internet of Things (IoT). We discovered very quickly that while IoT seems to be very much over/wrongly-used in the English speaking world, there really isn’t a direct local translation in these 4 countries. For local enterprises in these countries, they see IoT as an extension of Enterprise IT, without having a definition/term for it.

In our mid year review (Bringing IoT to a Population of 600 million), we summarized how IoT applications can be applied to these 4 countries, with some projects already being put in motion, while others remain quite far from realization. As we near the end of 2015 (with every Starbucks in the region starting to play Christmas carols and serve Peppermint mocha lattes, ha!), lets look back at the industries in the region where the conversations involving IoT projects are more pertinent.


This industrial segment was not something we focused on in 2015 but as we worked with local telcos & government agencies to invite enterprises to attend our events, we found the interest from the local manufacturing firms to be overwhelming. We should have known. In this part of the world, countries such as Thailand, Vietnam & Indonesia are increasingly important global players in the space. While granted, these countries are chosen because of low labour costs, locally run vendors & OEMs are very proactive when it comes to technology implementation within their factories (technology implementation is a lot more attractive when you’re experiencing double digit growths vs no/low growth environments). Plus, legacy IT systems/culture are a smaller problem in young, growing firms.

Among others, we had the opportunity to speak to several representatives from one of the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer. The local entity is owned by an international parent but because they produce a slightly different product (close to 90% of locals in Indonesia smoke kretek), they couldn’t implement manufacturing processes wholesale from their parent company. Another cliche with much truism:- Think Global, Act Local.

Manufacturing & Industrial Automation will be a big theme in 2016, especially in Thailand and Indonesia. Macroeconomic conditions (weaker local currencies, young workforces etc.) have also made these locales more attractive to international companies looking to set up manufacturing facilities – and technology, when used properly, can overcome (some) productivity inefficiencies usually associated with emerging countries.


In the more developed countries, the ageing demographics make Healthcare a natural topic of discussion. Remote monitoring/diagnostics is important not only in elderly care, but for archipelagos like Indonesia & Philippines. We found that in this part of the world, implementation of such systems are being driven largely by the government agencies and young startups.

Some notable implementation in the region: In Singapore, applications like Healthcare ATMs have been rolled out and in Philippines, local startup Medifi implemented a pilot earlier this year, with plans of expansion to other Southeast Asian markets soon.There’s always a buzz during the Healthcare segments of Asia IoT Business Platform, simply because it’s something which all of us relate to.

Distribution, Transportation, Logistics & Freight

I am reminded of a conversation I had with the owner of a logistics company in Manila who was a native English speaker but wasn’t familiar with the term “IoT”. But talk about telemetry, control software, sensors which track everything from his vehicle locations to petrol levels – and he’s in his element. His company was growing very quickly and he was in the process of modernizing its systems to:

1. Create efficiencies
2. Gain better control/insights
3. Account for future growth

(If #1 and #2 do not make up the classic definition of IoT, I don’t know what is!)

In countries like Indonesia & Philippines, the Distribution, Transportation, Logistics & Freight segment have employed M2M technology for years. On the other hand, because of the low cost of labour, many companies still use manual methods to achieve the same goals:- instead of sensors, some Indonesian freight companies send “spies” to follow the drivers of their trucks to ensure that they do not siphon off petrol in their vehicles to be resold!

Which types of companies do well in the Enterprise IoT space in Southeast Asia?

It’s a given that IoT will change business landscapes globally over the next 5 years, but it’s interesting to note that because of the uniquely local problems that enterprises face in this part of the world, the companies that are best positioned to take advantage are those with a big local presence.

Telcos: With the need to connect millions of devices, IoT provides a new revenue stream for the local telecommunications companies. This is reflected in the setting up of IoT/M2M teams in most local telcos in the four countries. These firms now run their own revenue targets (aggressive ones!) and we can only see this portion of their business growing over the next few years.

Large Multinational Vendors: This goes without saying. These companies have been deeply entrenched in the local infrastructure – the Microsofts, Intels & Schneiders of the world. They have established relationships with local enterprises and the advent of IoT technology will make them natural partners to enterprises looking to upgrade their systems to fully realise the benefits of IoT.

Local Startups: We have had the pleasure of working with many new companies who understand local problems intimately and are flexible enough to work around the lack of standardization within IoT. They are providing innovative & cost effective solutions to small medium enterprises in these countries. There were a lot of enterprises interested in presentations given by companies like N’osairisVersafleet & Medifi in 2015 – and the best part is, we are seeing projects being implemented.

International Vendors with a presence in Southeast Asia: Over the years, we’ve seen this group of companies increasing as they realise the potential of the market here. In 2015, we’ve had more interest from international firms than we’ve ever had. But we’ve noticed that those who have invested heavily in the region (companies like ThingworxAxiros, Sigfox etc.) by being present locally and building a dedicated team have reaped the largest rewards. There will be an inflexion point in this market and it remains to be seen if the first movers stand to benefit more than latecomers. I believe they will.

There are other developments within the B2B2C space (of course – Southeast Asia has over 600 million consumers!) but that warrants a discussion of its own.

If you’re interested in IoT/M2M developments in Southeast Asia, do drop us a note with your thoughts. We are currently in the planning stages of our 2016 events to be held in Philippines (23 – 24 May 2016), Thailand (26 – 27 May 2016), Indonesia (15 – 16 Aug 2016) & Malaysia (18 – 19 Aug 2016). See you in the region if you do decide to drop by.  [:]

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Internet of Things (IoT) technologies will feature heavily in Singapore’s Smart Mobility 2030 plan. Officially announced at the end of 2014, “Smart Mobility 2030” is Singapore’s master plan that outlines how the country will develop its Intelligent Transport System (ITS) over the next 15 years.

3 Key Strategies and 4 focal areas were identified to help steer Singapore towards achieving the ITS vision.

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The Smart Mobility 2030 master plan would take urban mobility to a new level, in Land Transport Authority (LTA) chief executive Chew Hock Yong’s words. “In the past, Intelligent Transport Systems were often infrastructure-reliant. Today, greater emphasis is placed on data collection, analytics and the availability of relevant, useful information on the move.”

With the collection and distribution of high-quality information being provided to diverse users, a safer and better travel experience can be created: For example, accurate information on crowd levels in buses and trains, warnings delivered to drivers via in-vehicle devices so some accidents can be avoided.

Implementation of “Smart mobility 2030” is already underway, with plans to test self driving buses in the 2nd half of 2016 and an upgrade of the current road pricing system to a satellite based one to be rolled out by 2020

Self Driving Buses and Satellite Based Road Pricing

LTA hopes to deploy a network of demand-responsive shared vehicles to form a new mobility system for intra- and inter-town travel. Introduction of these autonomous vehicles will provide convenient point-to-point transport mode within towns, and help reduce the reliance less on private cars. In time to come, these self-driving buses operating on fixed routes and scheduled timings will also help reduce the heavy reliance on manpower,

Another measure to reduce congestion on the roads is the introduction of a Satellite based road pricing system. The first phase of the implementation will be for all motor vehicles to be fixed with a sophisticated, smartphone-sized in-vehicle unit which will be able to alert drivers of priced roads in advance, inform them of charges, and provide real-time traffic information. Armed with this information, drivers can better decide when to drive, which route to take, or leave the car at home and take public transport instead.

The implementations of these various projects is to cope with Singapore’s changing demographic and socio-economic landscape. Resident population has increased significantly from 3.5 million in the late 1990s to more than 5.3 million today (2015). With an area of just 716km , transportation has to compete for land use against other essential needs, such as housing, economic infrastructure and recreation uses. In the face of growing vehicle population and limited land for road expansion, Intelligent Transport Systems would play an important role to enhance transportation services to maintain delightful travel experiences

Join the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore at the 10th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform which will be held on the 18-19 of August in Kuala Lumpur as they share insights into the Smart Mobility 2030 Masterplan to better manage Singapore’s land transport development.

Vietnam Smart City

‘Smart’ is the new black, and it is no different in Vietnam.

ETN Singapore just announced its collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Committee to provide free public WiFi for the city with Altai’s Super WiFi Solution. The project aims to blanket HCMC’s District 1 with free WiFi in a few weeks’ time. HCMC hopes that this will boost tourism, local economy, and bring the city one step closer to becoming a “smart city”.

This is just one of many efforts by the Vietnamese government in recent years to promote its municipalities towards becoming smart cities, in order to tackle various socioeconomic issues such as traffic jams, environmental pollution, and energy conservation.


Vietnam Smart City 1

via Vietnamtravelbudget


Da Nang is the first city embarking on such projects, which started their smart city projects as early as 2008. IBM sponsored the city US$400,000 in 2011 to build IT architecture and infrastructure in three main areas: traffic safety, food safety, and water resources management. The city collaborated with the Korea National Information Society Agency to develop an e-Government platform to help reduce bureaucracy and improve public service efficiency. Another project,FPT City Da Nang, was set up in 2011 to build a model smart city that is highly connected and and sustainable. It promises high quality of life, affordable prices, and investment opportunities especially in the IT industry.

Phu Quoc, an island off of Kien Giang Province, is also aiming to become the first smart city of the country, in line with the nation’s vision to turn Phu Quoc into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 2020. Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) is working closely with the local government to materialise the VNPT Smart City model in Phu Quoc by building network infrastructure, data centre, and smart services. High-speed 4G network has already been trialed successfully on the island.


Smart City 2

via Hotels-in-phuquoc


VNPT is not the only telco in Vietnam investing in IoT and M2M. Viettel is bringing IoT to households by integrating Smart Home technologies to its existing fibre Internet and set-top box for TV. Viettel, VinaPhone and Mobifone have been conducting 4G/LTE trials in different cities around the country for the past year, aiming for the service to launch within 2016.

“To have a smart city, there must be smart citizens, smart government officials.”

Government officials are optimistic but refrain from being overly ambitious. Mr. Mai Van Huynh, Vice President of Kien Giang People’s Committee, believes that the smart city project is necessary for Phu Quoc to become a well-connected, sustainable and important SEZ for the country and the region. However, “to have a smart city, there must be smart citizens, smart government officials”, Mr. Huynh.

For a less economically developed country like Vietnam, IoT and smart city solutions hold great promises in solving everyday life issues and improving the citizens’ quality of life. However, it is also important for the government to plan carefully and realistically, prioritise the people’s needs, and not become deluded by the Utopian prospects of the smart cities race.

IoT and Smart Cities will be discussed during the 11th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform, which will take place in Hanoi this November. For more information, drop me an email at dinh@industry-platform.com.


A recent study by analyst firm IDC showed that Malaysian organisations are lagging behind their ASEAN counterparts in the digital transformation stakes. 

With the creation of the AEC corridor, it has become more important that organizations revamp their business processes and re-look at how they can remain competitive as digitally savvy customers demand more.

In the report, the driving forces for digital transformation projects are the increasing need to find new revenue streams, reduce expenses and using technologies to “deliver superior customer service and create competitive advantage through product differentiation.”

However, without the internal IT skills and lack of clear understanding in building business cases and measuring ROI, Malaysia enterprises are still very much at the early stage of digital transformation.

While the report predicts  that spending of digital transformation technologies which consists of Cloud, Mobility, IoT, Big Data and Analytics will grow an average of 13% through 2020 in Malaysia, regional countries like Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia are actively stepping up their game and challenging the status quo.

Through our last two events in Philippines and Thailand last week, we saw great interest from end user participants in exploring the benefits of IoT technologies in their businesses: from CP Food and their IT team looking at ways to monitor their high value agricultural products and streamlining their supply chain operations, to Manila Water exploring ways to manage leakage and wastage.

As we move our focus to Indonesia and Malaysia this August, what we know for sure is that in this rapidly changing technology landscape, a “wait and see approach is reckless. 

First movers like Maynilad Water Services CIO Francisco Castillo, one of the keynote contributors for our last two events in Philippines, enjoy the efficiency that IoT brings to their water networks, driving growth and creating value in their company. (Winning many outstanding awards for the company and for Dr. Castillo like the Most Outstanding CIO in ASEAN 2013).

While each country has their own advocates (Jakarta Governor Ah-Hok and Jakarta Smart City Head Pak Setiaji for Smart City development in Indonesia), we hope to see more from Malaysia as we move closer to the objective of achieving a Smart Digital Nation by 2020.

As identified by IDC, perhaps one of the ways to drive industry specific digital transformation solutions is for service providers to take the lead. Through consulting and integration services, service providers can create awareness, build use cases and deliver value to these enterprise, said Sreenath Kandarpah, IT Services research manager, IDC Asia Pacific.

By: YY Fong

[:en]HPE solution providers

By now you would have heard of the Internet of Things (IoT)—billions of devices connected and communicating with each other and with businesses—and how it promises dramatic enhancements in efficiency, opportunities for new products and business models, and the potential for greater customer intimacy.

IoT solution providers are at the forefront of this brave new world which Gartner predicts will grow at a 31.7% CAGR from 2013 through 2020. However for IoT to deliver its promise, solution providers have an important role to play in articulating the positive business outcomes that can result from IoT implementation. Just selling technology to the CIO is shortchanging the potential economic value that IoT technologies can create in the long run for both the customer and the solution provider.

The right solution providers are able to “connect the dots” for the enterprise customer and create value by collecting data, validating it, enriching it with analytics, mixing it with other sources, and then exposing it to the applications that enable enterprises to have actionable insights.

Moving beyond “silo” implementations, the solution provider must integrate heterogeneous technologies across multiple environments and ensure the data remain usable and secure.

In Southeast Asia where IoT is still in the early stages of development, a consultative approach in guiding enterprises on how they may apply IoT to their business could greatly accelerate this growth.

According to HPE, 3 objectives that enterprises can look forward to achieving with IoT include:

1. Enable innovative new offerings

IoT technology can turn products into services and sales transactions into subscriptions. For example, HPE Instant Ink service integrates sensors into printer ink cartridges to automatically resupply ink when customers run low.

2. Increase business efficiency

Connected sensors and actuators provide data that can reduce waste and adjust operations to changing conditions. Labor-intensive monitoring and meter reading can be delegated to Internet-connected smart meters. In the energy industry, for example, operators use data from in-pipeline sensors and aerial surveys—integrated with operational databases—to increase the efficiency and safety of employees and the community.

3. Enhance decision making

IoT solutions can provide the data to make data-driven decisions based on what’s really happening. Product developers can design smart, connected products that report exactly which features their users are using and how. Utilization and wear data for assets lets managers determine where they should be deployed for best return and when they should be retired and replaced. Manufacturers can measure process yields and reject rates and make corrections quickly.

While positive business outcomes can drive IoT adoption, it is also important that solution providers keep in mind the following selection criteria as highlighted by Enterprise Strategy Group on their Whitepaper on choosing the right IT platform provider:

a) Ease of use – enterprises should not need to hire data scientists to carry out IoT

b) Reducing system complexity – interoperability between the different technology stacks is important and finally

c) Managing the quantity and quality of data for actionable outcomes – real time analytics for data driven insights.

Are you an enterprise looking to drive business value from IoT implementation? Or perhaps a solution provider looking to share your IoT experience?

Let us know and we look forward to welcoming you at Asia IoT Business Platform.

by: YY Fong[:]