We all know that IoT has immense potential in improving productivity and transforming traditional businesses into the new age of digital innovation and maximising customer satisfaction. We have all seen the case studies, the challenges, the promise of IoT for a better future.
What else can we talk about?
A good point raised by one of our panellists at the CIO Panel held at IBM’s Watson Centre, as part of the industry gathering, is looking at IoT as not just a technological opportunity, but the opportunity to change the business model to a new, more efficient one.
This is in line with one of the main themes raised by the ASEAN telcos’ panel and various presenters on the first day, which is Collaboration & Partnerships.
The success of IoT depends highly on the collaborative efforts among stakeholders – from various service and solution providers across the IoT ecosystem, to the end users. IoT’s biggest potential lies in its ability to collect and analyse data, giving valuable analytical information from real-time processes that can play an important role in improving business activities.
The new business model proposed is a “partnership” or “revenue-sharing” model, whereby stakeholders put in resources and take up accountability for their contributions in the IoT-isation of the business, so results can be shared among the contributors.
Partnerships in the making
This is particularly interesting in how it could potentially mitigate the resistance to change – financially, strategically and technologically – which is the main roadblock in many ASEAN enterprises adopting next-generation technologies like IoT, as it does not require the enterprises to take up the risk wholly, but share it with their technological partners.
The partners, meanwhile, have more freedom to involve innovative practices that they thought might be useful for the business, further pushing the envelope.
As we move forward to engaging discussions at the local levels in Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia this coming July and August, I look forward to engaging in more conversations that address pain points of enterprises, which could give valuable insights for technology providers as they work on making their IoT solutions more relevant, customer-centric and cost-effective to their end users.
What is your challenge in adopting IoT in your organisation?
In 2014, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, urged small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to venture overseas, citing Iskandar Malaysia as a great option for firms to regionalize. Last December, President Tony Tan said that IE Singapore is devoting more resources to step up its presence in the Philippines to spur homegrown Singapore companies to access the market in the Philippines. Recently, amid the weak local market and more heated competition, conversations around internationalization and venturing overseas start to dominate; more so with Trump’s executive action to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Apart from the intrinsic challenges of being a small country (market), the grim economic outlook and uncertain market conditions have become a loud clarion call for homegrown companies to venture overseas. Internationalization or regionalization is no longer a new phenomenon, nor is it a ‘mere’ option for Singaporean firms, especially those in tech. Besides the small domestic market, the thriving tech scene is largely dominated by large tech MNCs.
Despite the apparent challenges in regionalizing efforts—primarily due to cost—we strongly believe that it is important for local tech firms to look beyond Singapore for their business development. We are throwing our (hopefully significant) weight behind the regionalization drive by the Singapore government because, as PM Lee said, there will be opportunities for the ‘bold and enterprising’.
Opportunities in ASEAN
In our recent article, which looked at our activities in ASEAN, we saw a promising economic area with burgeoning individual economies. Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia make the top 10 of IMF’s 2016 World Economic Outlook world’s fastest growing economy. The rest of ASEAN including Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines, projects robust growth over the next 3 years, averaging at 5-6% growth.
With a population of over 600 million, ASEAN also offers Singaporean firms a market that is 120 times the size of the domestic market they are currently operating in. On the technological front, we have seen many tech companies, new and old, aggressively growing their ASEAN teams. Alibaba invested $1 billion into Rocket Internet’s Lazada, while Amazon Web Services recently opened offices in Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Most importantly, Singaporean tech firms and IoT solution providers can expect great demand in the region for smart technologies, surprisingly from smaller companies. The absence of legacy systems make SMEs in ASEAN nimbler and more aggressive in adopting IoT solutions. Case in point, 2016 State of the Cloud survey by Rightscale found that 32% of SMEs are ‘cloud-focused’, compared to 25% for large enterprises.
IE Singapore Grants
Cost is largely cited by home-grown companies as an issue in regionalizing. While this is a fact, it is not a valid enough point to not venture beyond Singapore for business development. The authorities in Singapore have long been a proponent of internationalization and regionalization. Thus, it is of no surprise that there is assistance in place to help Singaporean firms to venture abroad for the business development.
IE Singapore, a government agency promoting international trade and partnering with Singapore companies in going global, has grants in place to support local companies in venturing overseas. The Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) grant for instance, supports companies that are taking their first steps overseas by granting 70% support of eligible third-party costs. Similarly, the Global Company Partnership (GCP) grant will those that are looking to enhance their market presence overseas.
IE Singapore also cites trade shows, expos, and business missions as great ways for companies to reach overseas buyers, get feedback on products and services, make valuable contacts, and learn more about a market. For that reason, the agency introduced iMAP to support companies in participating in business missions and international trade fairs and exhibitions via Singapore Pavilions.
The different assistance schemes supporting local firms’ overseas endeavors underscore the importance of regionalization. While Singapore may be a hotbed for starting a business, the saturated and competitive business landscape is not sustainable for businesses, especially SMEs and startups. Overseas investments are therefore the natural way for Singapore companies to sustain their business. With the small domestic market, it is more important than ever for companies, especially tech firms, to gear their business development towards the region where investment, economic growth, and infrastructure developments are robust.
If you are interested in introducing your IoT solutions to your prospective customers and partners in the different markets in ASEAN, do reach out to us. Our Asia IoT Business Platform series will be returning to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Jakarta in 2017. We are also holding one in Yangon and Ho Chi Minh City. If you are interested in any of the markets, email me at email@example.com.
A recent survey by Computer Weekly with over 1000 APAC IT professionals found that 2017 will be another good year for CIOs in the ASEAN region. 26% anticipate an increase of more than 10% for their IT budgets and a further 27% predicted a small increase.
Credit: CW+ ASEAN IT Priorities 2017
What stood out to me were the initiatives that these CIOs will be focusing on in 2017. Deriving value from data is key: 44% mentioned an investment in the big data and business analytics area, 33% spoke about IT automation and rounding up the top 3 was the Internet of Things at 31%.
Similar to what we heard from our enterprise participants in 2016, the survey found that the pragmatic approach to IoT has accelerated IoT technology towards widespread enterprise adoption. When asked about their planned use of IoT platforms, more than a third mentioned a cloud-based or analytic platform, followed by platforms for hardware and software in a a thing or endpoint device and platforms that simplify mobile connections.
Is IoT in Southeast Asia finally crossing the chasm in the innovation adoption curve?
Geoffrey Moore introduced the concept of tracking the business uptake of innovative high tech products in his book “Crossing the Chasm” in 1991. In it he expanded on the diffusion of innovations theory by Everett Rogers and argues that there is a gap between the early adopters of the product (the technology evangelists) and the early majority (the pragmatists).
Crossing the chasm refers to the moment when true business value becomes apparent and the technology switches from being purchased for its perceived technology possibilities to buyers seeking the product for its recognized commercial value.
The customers are no longer limited to the early adopters, who deploy technology in hope of gaining a business advantage. By delivering a recognized business advantage, the disruptive technology creates enough momentum to reach the next stage of the adoption curve.
It is this pragmatic approach that drives our discussion of IoT in Southeast Asia. Our partners like HPE completed a research that examines the reality of IoT via real-world case studies and examples. By presenting these results from real IoT initiatives and identifying what went well and what didn’t, they were able to distill some lessons on how to avoid the pitfalls and do IoT right.
Similarly, by getting speakers like Vinamilk, LTA and Iskandar Regional Development Authority to share their insights at our upcoming Singapore conference, we hope our regional participants can use this as a springboard to launch their own IoT initiatives.
Can IoT in Southeast Asia move towards mass adoption? A participant at our recent Vietnam event updated us last week that they have set up their IoT department to tap into the burgeoning IoT opportunities in Vietnam. We are heartened by such feedback and look forward to accelerating the adoption curve in the years to come.
We are honoured and privileged to have hosted the region’s key IoT stakeholders in Singapore on 14 Feb – yes, V-day – who convened to discuss their love for IoT and IoT developments in the region. Among the conversations between the region’s telcos, thought-provoking presentations, and conversations during our networking sessions, three common themes arise:
Collaboration is seen as the key to success in IoT deployments, from both the solution providers’ perspectives and the end users’ perspectives. Apinetr Unakul, Board of Directors, CAT Telecom, Thailand, mentioned that as a connectivity provider, they are always looking for partners to create business values for their enterprise products. This requires having good relations with government agencies, meeting more potential partners and creating an ecosystem that caters to the specific requirements. Echoing this sentiment, Mike Frausing, Head of Enterprise & IT Enabled Services, Globe Telecom, The Philippines, emphasised the nature of partnership in today’s IoT and digital sector that is no longer “vendor management” but “partnership management”, whereby sharing business models and revenues will lead to better chance of success in the digital space. At the same time, collaboration is important in ensuring proper integration among different technologies and services, as Zamry Bin Ibrahim, CMO, Telekom Malaysia VADS Lyfe noted. They also maintain a “technology-agnostic” approach to IoT and next-generation technologies, ensuring that proper technologies are used for different needs. Similarly, Pete Murray, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Vice President OEM & IoT GTM, emphasised that partners within the IoT ecosystem need to work together seamlessly to further understand and provide solutions that ultimately improve quality of life, and address pain points of the society. From the government agencies’ point of view including Singapore’s Land Transport Authority and Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board, Public-Private Partnerships are the key to ensuring that policy makers and technology providers work together to accelerate the IoT developments.
The second key to successful IoT deployments is being customer-centric. IoT should not be taken up for the sake of using IoT, but to better the society and economy. Examples from the smart cities – Da Nang, Metro Cebu, Land Transport Authority, Iskandar Regional Development Authority and Thailand Smart Cities all pointed to how IoT is being planned and used to address social problems including: environmental management, flood monitoring, government processes, traffic control etc. Being culturally aware is also very important for these smart cities’ governing bodies to understand the people, their priorities, needs, and how to focus the technologies on addressing the most important pain points before touching on other matters. For instance, traffic is a big issue in Metro Cebu and Da Nang, and the respective representatives – Evelyn Nacario-Castro, Head of Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board, and Pham Thanh Son, Information Technology Expert – shared on their plans to use technologies to not only control traffic, but also utilise the predictive abilities of data to inform city planning for the future. Understanding how people react and respond to technologies is also crucial in a successful deployment, and examples like the citizens’ feedback system that is used in Jakarta and Da Nang at the moment, are exemplary of addressing the citizens’ needs.
As much as IoT sounds exciting and promising for the future and many grand plans have been shared, all our speakers have also mentioned many challenges that are characteristic of technology developments in Southeast Asia. While attempting to address the society’s pain points, it can be hard to identify which areas to focus on as there are many social issues to be addressed. Iskandar Regional Development Authority – represented by Chief Executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim – for instance, has identified 35 programmes for the region, addressing both short-term and long-term challenges that are now faced by the region. The limited resources, both human, technological and financial, create the needs to develop step by step and to strengthen collaboration efforts. Scalability is also a potential issue, especially when applying strategies from a small city like Phuket (with a population of 300,000) to a bigger city like Chiang Mai (population 1,200,000) – for instance – prompting the solution providers and policy makers to work together and ensuring that things do not go “out of control”. Thus, having a comprehensive, realistic and customised plan for IoT developments and deployments is very important, while being adaptable and open to changes will be the key to sustainability in the new era of business and technology disruptions.
Today’s discussions have been fruitful and exciting in many ways – from the gathering of top IoT stakeholders in the region sharing experiences, ideas and visions, to discovering similarities and differences among the Southeast Asian countries with regards to technologies, digital transformations and disruptions. We hope that you have had a good time and looking forward to many more productive conversations in our future editions!
And while we’re at it – happy Valentine’s Day.
Interested in participating in our upcoming programs across ASEAN? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Without any surprise, Indonesia is considered to be one of the most prospective markets in Southeast Asia for enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) adoption. Gartner predicted that by 2018, Indonesia, together with other Southeast Asia countries, will have spent a total of $62 billion for technology.
Taking a closer look at the market, there are two upcoming sectors looking to tackle their problems and improve their business performance with the use of IoT technologies. These sectors are agriculture and property.
In the coming decade, farming industry will become more significant than ever. UN Food and Agriculture Organization forecast that the world needs to increase its food production by 70% in 2050 compared to 2006. As a key sector of Indonesian economy, will Indonesian agriculture be able to fulfill the growing needs?
According to World Bank, Indonesian agriculture comprises of 13.3% of the total GDP in 2014. Despite being a large contributor of Indonesian economy, the agriculture does not have the capacity to catch up to the escalated demand for food with its current farming performance. Take an example of cocoa farming. International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) foresee that demand for cocoa will exceed the supply by 2020. Being 3rd largest cocoa producer in the world, unfortunately, does not guarantee that Indonesia will reap all the benefits. The reason is that, as mentioned by Marc Donaldson, senior partner at On The Ball Consulting, limited sustainable network in Asia hampers its ability to fulfill future cocoa demand. However, the most important factor is due to the unpredictable climate change, causing inefficient production.
Indonesian farmers understand that they need to improve efficiency. Turning traditional agriculture into smart agriculture with IoT is definitely key to their survival in the industry. With application of technologies in the field, such as sensors and drones, not only will they be able to access climate forecasts but also to collect crop data. A number of studies on average farm done by OnFarm (connected farm IoT platform developer) showed the success of IoT in agriculture with revenue grew by 1.75%, energy cost fell by 35% to $13/acre, and use of water for irrigation dropped by 8%.
The use of IoT in property development sector has become more prevalent. Gartner predict that smart homes (a home equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by smartphone or computer) will use over 1 billion connected things in 2018. The reason for the rise of smart home is the greater value property developers can gain in terms of revenue. But how does that work?
IoT technologies allow developers to boost their competitive position in real estate market by going an extra mile to enhance resident living experience. According to Intel, houses with IoT guarantee a safer and more comfortable environment as well as lower energy consumption. It is proven by the survey conducted in the United States by Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET (consumer technology news and reviews website) which discovered 45% of smart home product users claim that these products helped them save $1,100 per year and 87% agree that their lives have been easier with everything controlled through their smartphone.
Understanding these benefits, several Indonesian developers have realized the importance of integrating technology to everyday life. With the aim to increase its market share, Indonesia’s biggest property developer, Agung Podomoro Land (APLN), has planned to equip smart home technology products for its residential properties in more than five estates. Homeowners may enjoy the connectivity of all devices at home from microwave to washing machine in just one click away.
To sum up, even though Indonesia is still a developing country, we believe that there is a potential to venture into the market. Both agriculture and property are upcoming sectors looking forward to improving their businesses with IoT.
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).
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:
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..)
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.
There are two sectors that are most progressing in Myanmar; they are telecommunications and financial services. The two combined, creates an exciting venture: mobile financial services.
People still have distrust for the formal financial institutions in Myanmar. Only 4.8 percent of the population has bank accounts. To get people out of poverty, financial inclusion is necessary. However, some do not even meet the minimum deposit amount to open a bank account. In fact, 62 percent of adults do not have savings in Myanmar.
Cash is still king and many prefer to load up on physical assets such as gold and gem stones. This in turn would limit the banks to lend money, fuel investment and provide job opportunities, thereby hampering economic development of the country.
Furthermore, in rural Myanmar, if people need to use the bank, many would have to travel to another town for the nearest available bank, which will cost them a whole working day, plus another to travel back. Thus, coupled with little faith in the financial sector, they are prompted to turn to loan sharks in times of need.
Mobile Money is the Key
Myanmar has the fourth fastest growing mobile market in the world, being responsible for 5% of the world’s 84 million new mobile subscriptions. Banks need to take a short cut and jump on the bandwagon to link the poor to safer and more regulated financial services. Mobile money could be the country’s best bet to reaching the unbanked and achieve financial inclusion.
In 2016, the new regulations have allowed non-bank financial providers to offer mobile money services.
What is the difference between mobile banking and mobile money?
Mobile money is different from mobile banking in that although users can perform the same transactions such as money transfers, salary disbursement, mobile phone top-ups, peer-to-peer transfers and perhaps more in the future, they do not need to have a bank account.
How does mobile money work?
Even though a bank account is not necessary, there is still an agent shop to go through. A user must still visit the nearest company agent to do any money related transactions. Cash will go to the agent and user’s account will be credited with the same amount in digital currency.
What do you need to become a mobile financial service provider in Myanmar?
As required by the Central Bank of Myanmar, the mobile financial service providers must show a minimum capital of at least 3 Billion Kyats (approx. 2.2 million USD to date) if they wish to provide mobile money services. They also need to register for a Mobile Financial Service (MFS) license, and pay an application fee of 3 Million Kyats. Additionally, unlike its customers, MFS providers must open a trust account in commercial banks in Myanmar, approved by the Central bank, and maintain 100% of liquid assets in the account.
Current situation in Myanmar
The most talked about mobile money providers in Myanmar include Wave Money – collaboration between Telenor and Yoma Bank – and True Money – partnership between C.P Group and Asia Green Development Bank. Both are bent on targeting remittances because banks could shift their focus to more profitable activities in the future.
In the end, mobile money service still has a long way to go in the country. Although it bridges the unbanked and underbanked to affordable financial services, there are still impeding factors such as limited mobile access in unbanked areas, literacy and ongoing regulatory landscape.
Hence, if these technology companies succeeded in building trust from the consumers and explaining the value of such financial platforms, people would become used to digital financial services, which in the future, could lead to beyond making simple money transfers or top-ups.
It seems that currently, early movers into Myanmar would have the advantage, as there is a competition for signing banks up for partnerships and establishing an agent network, which will be needed to extend services across the country.
The next trend in Myanmar
In the future, digitalizing financial services through mobile alone would not be enough. It is apparent that the next generation that grew up in this Information Technology age would expect more than mobile technology from financial service institutions. Hence, to get a head start, banks should also start focus on creating a seamless digital channel experience for customers in its branches.
We will be in Yangon, Myanmar this coming November, where there will be a feature of banking panel, discussing about the technology adoption in banking and financial services. Yoma Bank and KBZ Bank will also be sharing their experiences in mobile banking and digital branches, so stay tuned for more updates!
If you have any questions, leave a comment!
We recently concluded our 11th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform two weeks ago in Hanoi, Vietnam. While it was also our last programme for 2016, it was our first programme in Vietnam to explore the country’s IoT market. Over two days, we saw different IoT stakeholders ranging from government bodies, telecommunications companies, IoT solutions providers, and enterprises convening and engaging in vibrant and interesting discussions on all things IoT.
It was amazing to witness the excitement and enthusiasm of our participants toward the prospect of emerging sophisticated technologies that can potentially transform business processes, operations, and systems. Considering that Vietnam is still in the nascent stage of developing their IoT infrastructure and capabilities, the level of interest in the market is impeccable.
Having said that, there are some case studies and presentations that caught our attention; mainly because some enterprises and verticals are already deep into the IoT game! Here are our three interesting takeaways from our programme in Hanoi:
Cau Dat Farm and their IoT aspiration
Tung Pham, Director at Cau Dat Farm presenting on the application of IoT in agriculture and the difficulties and challenges of deployment
Cau Dat Farm—initially a tea factory built by the French in 1927—is one of the first movers to leverage IoT to tackle their supply side. Cau Dat Farm’s current IoT solutions deploy a gateway to collect data from farm through a system of sensors, weather stations and robots, so farm operations can be managed via the cloud. The farm is now looking to build a substantial database for agriculture to solve the questions of forecasting crops, diseases, and productivity. However, they do not have the capabilities to achieve that and they are looking for partners and solutions providers to take their IoT project to the next level.
The Smart Cities Race in Vietnam
Smart Cities Panel comprising leaders from Da Nang (Tran Ngoc Thach), Ha Noi (Nguyen Xuan Quang), Ho Chi Minh City (Vo Minh Thanh), and Virtual Access – N’osairis (Patrick Conway). The panel was moderated by Dr. Mai Liem Truc, Former Deputy Minister, Ministry of Post and Telecommunications
One of the panels at our programme in Hanoi was dedicated to the discussion on Smart Cities. Through the panel, we realised that cities in Vietnam are making great progress in their respective Smart City initiatives. Da Nang, for instance, have already rolled out their e-Government platform which is able to connect everyone—from public servants and leaders to citizens—on a single application. The city is now looking to develop and catalyse the progress on their IT infrastructure, manpower, communications, and other applications. To achieve this, investments and partners are critical.
Questions from the audience
Vinamilk’s Mega (Smart) Factory
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Executive Director R&D at Vinamilk, presenting a case study on Vinamilk’s Mega (Smart) Factory
Vinamilk is the largest dairy company in Vietnam and it is also one of the enterprises in the country to have deployed IoT to streamline its manufacturing operations and improve efficiency. Vinamilk has a factory with the highest technology automation, connecting all processes within the factory via system from input to output. Its smart warehouse is operated by automatic transport and management system, complemented by an extensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This underscores the efficacy of certain enterprises in adopting and deploying IoT, which poses much opportunity for solutions providers to seize.
There were many other presentations and case studies shared in Hanoi which are interesting and valuable for IoT stakeholders. From the instances above and from the other case studies shared in Hanoi, we are confident that Vietnam will continue to grow and develop and provide many opportunities for solutions providers targeting enterprise adoption of IoT. While IoT stakeholders also believe that the potential of IoT in Vietnam is undoubtable, it is critical to have more supportive policies from the government. We hope that our programme in Vietnam managed to communicate the importance of seizing the IoT opportunities in an emerging market and that when we return to Vietnam next November, more developments are in place and IT companies will realise the value in these emerging markets.
If you’re interested in exploring the ASEAN enterprise IoT market, we will be holding an exclusive programme in Singapore in February 2017. It will feature the most relevant IoT case studies and panel discussions across the different markets in the region. The programme is the launch event for our 2017 series in Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com for more information.
Being my first time in the country, I didn’t know what to expect when I touched down at Yangon International Airport (except I knew that I had to change Burmese kyats at the airport since it was not available at Changi International Airport – tip for those who are making their way to Myanmar.) I wanted to find out more about the interesting, relatively new but robust ICT market in Myanmar, by attending CommuniCast and speaking to some key stakeholders in the telecommunications market about the potential of the enterprise IoT market.
(Let me know if you/your company is interested in the Myanmar market and I’ll drop you a quick email with more information!)
1. The so-called ‘leapfrog’
Lots of articles talk about the potential ‘leapfrog‘ of Myanmar with regards to technology adoption. With connectivity and devices at exorbitant prices until a few years ago, enterprises and government organisations still relied heavily on paper and pen for their administrative work. Recently, with the entries of new telcos in the market, connectivity has become much more accessible, allowing these organisations to explore new options and enable more efficient and productive ways of managing data.
The lack of legacy devices provides an interesting opportunity for these organisations to ‘leapfrog’ into technologies like Cloud and Big Data, without the usual-seen hassles of converting and maintaining compatibility with previous systems.
Despite the great potential for enterprise ICT adoption in Myanmar to grow, there are many fundamental hurdles that the enterprises and solution providers face. Telecommunications infrastructure is still being developed – MPT, the country’s largest telco network, covers more than 90% of the population. There are still frequent power cuts due to depreciating power lines and surge in demands, even in Yangon – the biggest city and commercial centre – making it more risky for businesses to rely on technologies for their day-to-day operations. 4G is just starting to roll out and broadband/fiber connectivity prices still remain high, resulting in the penetration rate of less than 1% and the proliferation of satellite connectivity, especially in more remote areas.
Another challenge that ICT adoption in enterprises in Myanmar faces is the cost. While number of enterprises in Myanmar has grown tremendously over the past few years as a result of economic liberation, most enterprises remain at a small and medium size. This means that capital investment in technologies – most of which come from international solution providers – can be expensive.
The government is also considered to be lagging behind in terms of digitisation initiatives, thus enterprise digitisation usually turns to foreign investments (e.g. Myanmar Beer) or is limited to the bigger firms with capital to invest (such as banking).
On the other hand, the lack of legacy systems and experience with technologies have led to a lower level of tech-savviness in the population, compared to its neighbouring countries. This means that educational efforts need to be made in order for the enterprises to be more familiar and ready before integrating technologies into their workplace.
3. What’s next?
Enterprise technology adoption in Myanmar is definitely growing. As the economy continues to open up, connectivity and electricity become more stable, awareness on technologies’ benefits and how to use them increases, the relatively open market provides much opportunity for solution providers to not only access the market, but also provide guidance for the local enterprises wishing to learn and adopt new technologies in the near future.
Telcos have an advantageous position in the current Myanmar ICT/IoT market. They already have a strong brand recognition among both consumers and enterprises, and local enterprises prefer one-stop solution providers with local presence, making existing telcos the ideal partner for accessing the enterprise market.
Local organisations such as Myanmar Computer Federation and Phandeeyar are also helping to grow the IT workforce and helping the relevant government agencies understand new technologies such as IoT and Smart City. This will potentially help the policy-making process faster as the government looks to support the local ICT growth and developments.
What do you think 2017 holds for Myanmar’s ICT/IoT developments? Comment below.
Drop me a message (here or at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to learn more and/or discuss about ICT/IoT developments in Myanmar.
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.
Local Rank by Market Cap
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:
Metra Digital Innovtion Ventures
Intres Capital/Axiata Digital Innovation Fund
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.
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 email@example.com to find out more!
August had been a very busy month for us, but we’re happy to witness the growth of Indonesian and Malaysian enterprise IoT markets since we launched Asia IoT Business Platform 3 years back.
The 9th and 10th editions of Asia IoT Business Platform were held on the third week of August 2016 in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
Continuous discussions to boost the economic growth of both countries via IoT were seen; while new collaborative efforts were formed between relevant parties to drive IoT adoption among public sectors and enterprises.
What’s new on both markets?
With telecommunications as a big portion of the national ICT industry, the government is taking a step further to tackle issues deemed important, namely Availability, Connectivity, Reliability and Capacity.
Availability and Connectivity – Development of national infrastructure backbone to ensure that the whole of Indonesia can access the Internet. The government has set a target for all cities (514 provinces) to be connected with fibre optic infrastructure via the Palapa Ring Program.
Reliability and Capacity – Distribution channel to cities as the last mile to end users. This include encouraging ICT facilities, data centers, hardware/software platforms and applications that are closely related to human resource capacity.
At the 9th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics emphasized on Indonesia ‘s commitment to be the Digital Energy of Asia. Various initiatives have taken place, including rolling out of the e-Commerce Roadmap to support the digital economy ecosystem.
“The success of the Asia IoT Business Platform today makes me proud – it’s a concrete manifestation of the effort to strengthen the interaction between innovative players in the Indonesian ICT field.” – Mariam F. Barata, Directorate General for ICT Applications, Ministry of Communication and Information
Since the launch of the IoT roadmap, several projects have been piloted including Smart Lock-Up implemented by the Royal Malaysian Police to monitor safety; I-Comm, a community social innovation platform was deployed to develop community applications such as flood monitoring.
Four focus market segments which align to the existing government initiatives have been identified as springboard for innovators use to leapfrog widespread adoption of IoT solutions:
MIMOS, as co-organiser of the 10th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform, graced the event opening by launching Mi-MIST, an Open Innovation Platform for rapid development of IoT applications to accelerate the IoT ecosystem.
“We encourage every party to join hands in seizing the IoT opportunities. To our guests from abroad, Malaysia will share our ideas and inspirations with our friends in the region, and I invite you to do the same. Let us have conversations on how collectively we can capture this enormous opportunity.” – YB Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau, Minister, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
For event highlights, please refer to our photo albums here.
For questions or post show reports, please leave a comment with your email address and we’ll send it over.
The team is grateful for the support we gained from all partners in the region. We will continue posting video interviews with participants on their insights and local initiativeshere.
As we continue to educate enterprises and drive IoT awareness in Southeast Asia, drop us a comment if you have some stories to share.
Sue Yuin firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Vietnam has been rapidly growing its IT sector to pursue the aim of becoming an industrial country by 2020. The recent Vietnam ICT Comm 2016 in Hanoi witnessed strong interest particularly in the IoT sector, with thousands of people trying out IoT products and attending a presentation about IoT by Mr. Hoang Viet Tien. The potential for IoT in Vietnam – according to Mr. Tien, with a nationwide average of 1.4 mobile phone per person. At the same event, VNPT debuted its IoT complete solution package called Smart Connected Platform, that has already been implemented in various projects in different verticals such as agriculture, transportation, healthcare and manufacturing, helping to increase operational and monitoring efficiency.
While receiving massive attention now with tech giants like VNPT, FPT and CMC identifying IoT as the “leading trend” of tech, IoT is, in fact, not new to the Vietnamese tech scene. Smart City projects started out as early as 2008, and since then has appeared in at least 5 more cities. The healthcare industry identified Big Data and Analytics as its greatest concern in improving competitiveness, according to a survey done by IDC in 2015. The Government pledged to invest USD 111.6m from the State Budget in the ICT sector by 2020, incentivising local and international firms to invest in the country. In 2013, the Ministry of Science and Technology set up Silicon Valley Startup Ecosystem to stimulate growth and encourage Vietnamese to venture into tech startups.
“I believe  is the right time for Vietnam to think of developing the Internet of Things as a solution to foster socio-economic development thereby, it can help increase the national competitive advantage.” said Nguyen Minh Hong, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication
Despite the benefits of IoT, much of its presence in Vietnam at the moment remains fragmented, lacking standardisation, and having security concerns. IoT projects are being deployed without fully understanding the effects and implications of the technologies, resulting in uncomprehensive technological changes and incompatibility between new and legacy devices, and unsustainable deployments that do not reap the long-tern benefits of IoT. Most of the IoT technologies in Vietnam at the moment are imported, hence understanding of the system and troubleshooting can be costly and ineffective, as the products may not be tailored to fit the local market’s requirements. Vietnam’s IT talent pool, while young and large, still lacks the level of expertise seen in other countries such as USA and India. While Vietnam is rising as a manufacturing powerhouse due to its cheap and abundant labour force, IoT harnesses the power of machine-to-machine automation that in the long run will nullify the competitive advantage that Vietnam’s market currently holds.
Therefore, it is important for all organisations, enterprises and vendors across the IoT ecosystem in Vietnam to cooperate, discuss and educate relevant policy makers, end users and interested individuals about moving towards a standardised, localised ecosystem that generates the most amount of benefits for everyone involved. Government officials need to be aware of the implications of IoT technologies – pros and cons – and establish a strategic roadmap for IoT development in the country that compliments the national ICT roadmap. Technical and higher IT education continue to be the key to sustaining the country’s workforce’s advantages over its neighbours, so that technologies can be transferred completely and customised to fit specific needs and requirements.
Asia IoT Business Platform Hanoi 2016 will be working with the Ministry of Information and Communication, Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam Digital Communication Association and solution providers across the IoT ecosystem to discuss and develop the IoT market in Vietnam. For more information and the full report on IoT in Vietnam, drop me an email at email@example.com
Even if the Internet of Things is still a rather remote possibility, in the next couple of years it’s predicted to invade our daily lives like no other technology before. The IoT is expected to change every single aspect of business, ranging from consumer relations to employee productivity. It will impact the economy at large by granting us access to new solutions, such as precise geo-location or remote mobile device management.
Michael Porter, an economist from Harvard, believes that the Internet of Things is the answer to a lag in enterprise innovation. But how will it translate into the daily lives of employees around the globe? Here, I have listed a few ways IoT will make us more productive by helping to save time on more activities than ever.
But first, what exactly is the IoT?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is basically a network of smart, connected objects. Still, many people find the idea hard to understand – and that’s perhaps because the name itself conveys very little meaning. The internet stands for the mechanism for communication – in this context, we’re talking about objects transmitting information.
Things are nothing else than objects which can connect to the web. They’re able to generate and send lots of valuable data to help companies assess anything from customer preferences to servicing requirements of objects. In the Internet of Things, it will be things, not people, to generate a constant stream of data, which will be then sent to a server and analyzed by appropriate tools with specific goals in mind.
1.More data than ever
If every object that surrounds us will be able to generate data, you can only imagine how much data will be floating in the air every second. It’s clear that enterprises will need to develop new strategies to deal with this surge of information. That’s why it’s likely that they’ll enforce new industry standards to help managers and employees to adjust to new forms of data intelligence. The daily reality of data analysts and architects will change radically.
Regular employees will possess much wider knowledge about data analysis tools – with so much data, every level of an enterprise will require new devices to help them make sense of the information, be it for the purpose of analyzing consumer relations or workforce trends.
This also means that supervisors will be able to monitor and analyze web habits of their teams. Seeing the way in which employees use technologies and smart objects will help managers to understand and modify work environments to be even more efficient and help employees improve their productivity.
With constant access to heaps of data, companies will be able to tailor their products to perfectly match consumer needs and trends, as well as the internal life-cycle of the product.
2.Daily commute revolutionized
With remote work on the rise, many employers realize that commuting involves a great loss of resources. On the employee level, commuting seriously hurts productivity – morning traffic jams or being squeezed like a sardine on the train does get on our nerves.
IoT is predicted to help us in daily commute through an intricate system of mobile devices, cars and road systems which will all be connected to each other and help professionals reduce travel time. Every single element of the street will be integrated into a whole. Sensors in stoplights will analyze traffic patterns and adjust their operation to minimize traffic jams. This will mean that getting to work will be faster and running errands more efficient than ever.
Car companies are already deploying such solutions, and you’ll see them grow to popularity within the next few years. AT&T joined manufacturers like GM and BMW in revolutionizing the connectivity of cars. Driving to work, the employee of the near future will have access to information ranging from real-time diagnostics to traffic information.
3. Improved time management
IoT will also help us to get the most from our time by educating our mobile devices and offering us the possibility of controlling various things in our lives in remote. Devices will learn what works for employees and help them save time – for instance, dedicated geo-location systems which will help us in daily commute or reaching a place we’ve never been to.
Our smartphones will constantly interact with the surroundings. And those, enriched with invisible sensors, will provide our mobile devices with heaps of valuable information and automize processes to avoid losing time on manual access.
Imagine the following situation. You’re rushing in the morning and you still need your daily dose of caffeine. You walk past the door of the cafe and the barista is instantly alerted about your order history and most common orders. All you’ll need to do is confirm the order and quickly pay for it with your smartphone. As you can imagine, this will limit the hustle of the morning rush, helping you to be more focused once you reach your desk.
4.Remote mobile device management (MDM)
This is an IoT powered technology expected to bring lots of benefits to IT departments. In the near future, IT managers will not only be able to remotely control desktop and mobile devices, but also other connected objects. Remote-access technologies will help executives to gain control over smartphones and tablets, and manage them in remote – including devices like Android cameras and set-top boxes.
If they need to pass key information to other team members, managers won’t need to wait until the device users read the message and respond to it. But remote MDM will also help employees – especially in collaboration, where their devices will communicate automatically, helping workers to establish stronger collaboration practices. Platforms for remote control of IoT devices will revolutionize every aspect of a digital workplace.
5.Geo-location data at our fingertips
Since the IoT is practically based on location functionalities, you can only imagine in what ways it will make office life much more productive. To put it simply, location tracking will be a piece of cake with IoT technologies – smart objects and devices will all be geo-tagged, saving employees lots of time on locating them. Enterprises will, on the other hand, save lots of money by reducing the loss rate.
With IoT geo-location functionalities, enterprises will be able to track their inventory, locate and deploy field service staff and realize orders in record time. Every single vehicle, tool or manufacturing center will be connected to one information system, reporting on their location and making the lives of employees much easier.
What does the future hold for IoT?
A significant factor in slowing down the commercialization of IoT technologies is the problem of security. Not only is the risk higher, but protection is relatively lower – devices which could be attacked have little processing power and no anti-virus software to protect themselves from hackers. It’s one thing to hack into an intelligent fridge, but quite another when it comes to a self-driving car.
Some companies have already adopted to the new ways, others are on their way. DHL launched its Asia Pacific Innovation Center (APIC) in Singapore last September to “offer a visionary view of the logistics world, and develop innovative solutions to meet evolving supply chain needs.” Ms. Pang, VP & Head of Innovation, Asia Pacific DHL will be sharing her insights on how DHL is using technology to differentiate themselves at our7th IoT edition in Philippines.
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:
Know the market, know the regulations
Partner with a local company or establish local office
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.
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.
[: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.
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.
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.
Smarter Philippineswas 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.
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.
[:en]A city with which you can interact – a living city with which you can set up a reciprocal relationship and which can cater to your needs. Throughout the world such cities are being built right from Masdar in Abu Dhabi to Davao in Philippines. It is predicted that by 2050, about 75% of the world’s population will live in cities. This will put a huge strain on the already stretched resources of the city such as its transport system and emergency networks. To handle the huge influx of people our urban planners need to come up with new and innovative ways to increase the efficiency of existing resources while at the same time reducing costs and improving the overall quality of life of its citizens.
It would be such a great thing if our cities could interact with us and give us live status updates about water, power, sanitation, parking and emergency services. The information they would provide us would be so instrumental in improving our lives. This can be made possible by IOT which with its network of sensors, wireless networks and web and mobile-based applications can turn the concept of smart cities into a reality. IOT will help cities track their assets and behaviors, improve on their processes and controls which will enable them to deliver better service to their citizens. The huge amount of data generated by IOT will help city planners make informed decisions while at the same time reducing costs and improving economies of scales. In addition to identifying trouble spots IOT will also help provide solutions for the maintenance of these assets. By seeing to it that scarce resource are allocated properly and operate in an effective manner IOT can help in the creation of an extremely efficient city.
A smart city signifies an urban region which is extremely advanced in terms of overall infrastructure and where information and communication technology is the principal driving force. A variety of technological platforms are involved which includes but is definitely not limited to only automated sensor networks and data centers. A smart city in order to be recognized as one should include at least certain of these key aspects such as smart governance, smart technology, smart energy smart healthcare, smart building, smart infrastructure, smart mobility and smart citizen.
Smart Parking – A lot of traffic jam results from people driving around and looking for a parking slot. Under a smart city setup, sensors placed in parking meters will detect free spaces and direct motorists to the nearest available free parking slot. This will not only save a lot of time but also reduce congestion on the roads.
Smart Water – Metering water can help citizens manage and control their own usage of water. In France, Orange has installed about 1.2 million water meters which is helping people manage their water usage through the provision of real time data. Furthermore, consumers can even check their water consumption by an online account.
Smart Trash – Sensors placed in dustbins notifies the central system about the amount of waste contained in the bin. The system then analyzes the data provided to it and forecasts when the bin will be full. Depending on it garbage trucks are sent to the location to empty the bins.
Smart Environment – Sensors placed on bus roofs will measure the air quality and note down the levels of gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide in the air. The buses update this information in real time and residents through the use of a mobile app get an idea of the air quality.
Smart Lampposts – Sensors fitted into lampposts convert an ordinary lamppost into a wi-fi hub. The sensors can detect anything from Co2 emissions to rising noise levels. It would also have the capacity to turn off lights when no one is using the street saving up to 80% of the lighting bill.
Automated Traffic Signal – Traffic signals with sensors inform commuters of traffic jams and traffic accidents. This helps authorities respond faster in an emergency situation.
Self-monitoring in Patients – IOT will enable self-monitoring for patients where sensors detect an emergency situation and contact emergency care thus saving precious lives. Doctors too can remotely keep a tab on their patients informing them when a serious situation arises.
Smart Electricity Distribution – Smart grid systems allow customers to establish control over their electricity consumption leading to huge savings.
At present smart city projects are in a development stage and involve projects that are small scale in nature but with time they are going to improve and include larger scale projects. A time will come when the data infrastructure of our cities will matter as much as the real physical infrastructure and only then can we say that smart cities have truly arrived.
[:en]With the majority of news coverage about IoT focused on consumer devices and application, it comes as no surprise that one of the misconceptions about IoT is that it is mainly about consumer applications.
Nest, Fitbit, Uber, GrabCar, or even Go-Jek: these are the most commonly quoted IoT success stories that only scratches the surface of how consumer IoT can benefit our lives.
But does consumer IoT hold the most value? Or is there even greater opportunity for IoT in the enterprise space?
The question of who pays
The enterprise IoT market (Industrial, large scale applications) is currently the biggest market in terms of revenue. According to General Electric, a 1% increase in fuel efficiency translates to $30 billion in savings for the aviation industry.
IoT technologies that can improve manufacturing, supply chain systems, city infrastructure, power generation and more offers a strong business case for it to be funded.
It is also the focus of our events in the region, helping to connect solution providers to enterprise end users whose businesses can benefit from these technologies.
However for B2B, sales cycles can be long (especially in Asia), smart city implementation can be hampered by changing political situations, and solutions are more often catered for large organizations (although 96% of businesses in Southeast Asia belong to the SME category).
The case for consumer IoT
Go-Jek was identified as one of Indonesia’s shining examples of IoT and the business was borne out of consumer need and grew quickly because of high market demand.
With consumer IoT, use cases can be created and scaled at incredible speeds, reaching mass adoption much faster than B2B. (M-PESA would not have expanded as fast if it didn’t focus on the consumer model. Video Interview below.)
The technology behind basic IoT projects does not require large government or enterprise budgets to fund. Just like with mobile apps, innovators can take existing technology and customise it for various customer needs and niches.
As these consumer IoT projects may often be led by the start-up community, many large corporations now have a separate arm focusing on developments in these areas and hosting bootcamps and incubator programs. (Intel Capital, Cisco Investments and closer to home- Singtel’s Innov8)
The hybrid model: B2B2C, improving the end-user customer experience
The convergence of IoT, digital, mobile and cloud technologies has led to new expectations and behaviors of traditional B2B customer interactions. B2B businesses are increasingly focused on building ongoing relationships with buyers and as a result, also thinking about how to help their clients deliver results to their customers: the B2B2C model.
From Healthcare to mobile banking to Smart cities, B2B2C means not talking about the technology solution first; but assessing the real-world impact of that solution. i.e. If I implement wearable technology for my hospital’s patients, does this translate to better outcomes for my patient’s health and reduce their wait time for a diagnosis?
The final hurdle
Be it B2B, B2C or B2B2C, the main challenge facing IoT adoption is in finding successful use case studies that can be replicated by the industry.
Moving the IoT industry from early adopters to mass market will depend on applications of the technology, rather than the technology itself.
At Asia IoT Business Platform, we focus on bringing together the best-in-case examples of enterprise IoT, and localising the IoT discussion for the needs of the country. To find out more about our event, please feel free to browse our website iotbusiness-platform.com or visit Yue Yeng on LinkedIn for more informative contetn on IoT.
[:en]The Internet of Things (IoT) has been hailed as the innovation that will change the way companies work, altering our behaviour and offering potential for new business models.
The IoT market potential in Malaysia is predicted to register $2.2 billion by 2020. According to Prof. Dr. Sharin bin Sahib, the Vice Chancellor of the Universiti Teknikal, who spoke at the 6th Asia IoT Business Platform: IoT Malaysia, this development is expected to grow exponentially beyond 2020 to reach $10.5 billion in 2025.
Prof. Dr. Sharin bin Sahib states that Malaysia has an encouraging environment and a strong starting point to foster and spur on IoT within its market.
Mobile penetration in Malaysia reached 143.7% in 1Q2014
65.8% of Malaysians use the internet
Social networking penetration of 45%
Government support through National Strategic Roadmap for the Internet of Things
The main challenge for materialising the greater benefits of IoT is according to him the human capital challenge. A talent pipeline which contains potential candidates that can be continuously nurtured and approached when vacancies arise, needs to be implemented. With this in place the time to hire will be reduced, business disruption minimised, success in interviews increased, cost per hire reduced and the best talent made available.
One sector where IoT already has a noticeable effect is healthcare. The Billionaire investor Vinod Khosla stated that “In the next 10 years, data science and software will do more for medicine than all of biological sciences together” Bearing this in mind, the Forbes magazine estimated the market value of the Internet of Things in Healthcare at $117 Billion globally by 2020.
This was consistently brought up at the 6th Asia IoT Business Platform: IoT Malaysia, by regional healthcare experts such as Dr. Yau Teng Yan, Chief Medical Officer at Holmusk, Dr. Phua Kok Soon, Senior Research Engineer at A*STAR and Dr. Dhesi BR form the Singularity University NASA AMES Research Center Silicon Valley.
These experts also shared the belief that benefits of IoT in healthcare, e.g. remote monitoring, remote diagnosis, use of big data analytics and integrated healthcare solutions could combat the rising challenges of our healthcare systems – such as an ageing population with increased healthcare needs, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and increasing incidence rates of cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Dr Yau Teng Yan stated, that IoT & Big Data offers the chance to part with traditional ”Trial and Error medicine”, making it possible to make decisions based on real-time data as well as a holistic view of the patients environment and history.
Dr. Dhesi appealed for a transformational use of IoT & Big Data in the healthcare sector, where patient care changes from “curative towards preventive medicine”. He adds that this transformation would need to be driven by new and disruptive IoT business models in order to be sustainable.
In Malaysia the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and its applied research agency MIMOS, who was our key partner at the 6th Asia IoT Business Platform, has taken the initiative to foster new businesses in the IoT sector, by unveiling the National Strategic Roadmap for the Internet of Things. This roadmap offers a clear idea of how the government is planning to nurture the local ecosystem towards becoming the preferred regional hub for IoT implementation.
The 10th edition of Asia IoT Business Platform: IoT Malaysiawill return to Kuala Lumpur on 18 -19 August 2016 to gather the government, telcos and rest of the ICT industry for discussions on M2M/IoT sector developments, educate enterprises on IoT implementations and foster strategic business partnerships. Request for a brochure here.[:]
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
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.
If you haven’t heard by now, IoT is a growing web of connected sensors and “things” that will may dramatically improve our lives with the magnitude of data captured. From our discussions with industry end users these 2 years, the value of IoT is in this data and the corresponding data analytics that can unlock the most business potential.
As EMC and IDC pointed out in their 2014 Digital Universe report, organisations need to hone in on high-value, ‘target-rich’ data that is (1) easy to access; (2) available in real time; (3) has a large footprint (affecting major parts of the organisation or its customer base); and/or (4) can effect meaningful change, given the appropriate analysis and follow-up action.
The term “garbage in, garbage out” was first coined in the early 1960s, and in the age of Big Data, the GIGO problem may be exacerbated with the speed and volume of data being collected.
From Data Collection to Delivering Business Value – 5 Key Challenges
1. Accuracy and Usefulness of Data
Veracity is one of the 4 Vs of Big Data and for me, the most important one. (The other 3 Vs are Volume, Velocity and Variety.) In Solon Barocas and Andrew Selbst’s article: “Big Data’s Disparate Impact” on social discrimination, they note that an algorithm is only as good as the data it works with. Bad data not only produces inaccurate information, it also can lead to catastrophic results.
Above the accuracy of data, it is finding out the most useful data. Mckinsey recently found that only 1% of the data from an oil rig’s 30,000 sensors are examined for detecting and controlling anomalies. The other 99% are not being analysed for performance optimization or predictive maintenance. The best data is actionable and it is always useful to start with the specific problems you would like your data to solve.
“We’ll collect the data now and figure out what to do with it later” should not be relied upon as a strategy. Having too much (useless) data is not only expensive to store but also creates a legal liability. Case in point: the Ashley Madison saga.
2. The BIG data
The vast amounts of data that will be generated by IoT devices will put enormous pressure on network and data centre infrastructure.
As Gartner’s Research Director Fabrizio Biscotti points out, “Processing large quantities of IoT data in real time will increase the workloads of data centers, leaving providers facing new security, capacity and analytics challenges.”
“Data center managers will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management platforms that can include a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system approach of aligning IT and operational technology (OT) standards and communications protocols to be able to proacively provide the production facility to process the IoT data points based on the priorities and the business needs.”
3. Security and Privacy – Who should know What at When
A constant topic at all our conferences in the region, the topic of security and privacy is a tricky issue as different stakeholders in the IoT ecosystems have different needs. To compound the issue, the huge diversity of device types, their different capabilities and the range of deployment scenarios makes security a unique challenge.
However, the IoT can only reach its full potential if we have strong security and privacy safeguards in place, especially in industries like healthcare, finance and critical infrastructure. Security protocols should be inbuilt into the entire data chain from sensors to datacenters to applications.
With data as the new currency, it will become important to know who has ownership over what types of data. Open data sources would be important for rapid IoT development, but what sorts of information should be made available?
How should one sort the varying levels of data access at different periods of time? Does the subject of data collection have a say over what they share?
4. When diversity may not be a good thing
Gartner analyst Doug Laney in his original paper in 2001 on data management wrote that “the variety of incompatible data formats, non-aligned data structures, and inconsistent data semantics” was the principal barrier to effective data management.
The challenge of having to deal with multiple data sources with different levels of accuracy and across formats/ standards is especially prevalent for large enterprises with legacy systems and abundance of collected data serving different purposes.
These enterprises find that there is a need to harness the variety of these data from different departments and sources to maximize return from their analytics and also apply insights to as many areas of the enterprise as they can.
The diverse data also presents a security and scalability challenge that the industry is trying to solve with IoT standards. With more industry leaders trying to set their own unique standards, the final goal is still a distance away.
5. Competing for the talent
Every big new technology advancement brings the inevitable talent shortage. In IoT that key hire is often the data scientist or data architect.
“The data scientist has become the unicorn of the big data world,” said Rob Patterson, VP of corporate strategy at ColdLight, a PTC business. “It has been extremely difficult finding those people with programming skills, mathematical expertise, and business acumen.”
There just aren’t enough people with the required skills to analyze and transforming data into actionable insights and Gartner found that more than half of the business leaders they interviewed felt that their big data efforts were constrained by the ability to find the right talent.
More companies are now teaming up with universities to address this issue. In our recent 6th Asia IoT Business Platform event in KL, Prof. Dr. Sharin bin Sahib from UTeM felt that it is important to have a talent pipeline where potential candidates can be continuously nurtured and approached when vacancies arise. Towards this need, they have opened an IoT academy with Samsung.
In the meantime, take a page out of Walmart’s book. They launched an analytics competition on Kaggle, asking “armchair data scientists” to solve real world problems from given data sets, and hiring designers of the best solutions. The approach led to interesting appointments, who may not have been considered for interviews based on past experiences.
This post was contributed by Yue Yeng Fong, Vice President Business Development at Industry Platform and was first published here.
[: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’osairis, Versafleet & 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 Thingworx, Axiros, 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. [:]
The Malaysian government is pushing for a large-scale implementation of Internet of Things (IoT), expecting IoT to contribute RM9.5b (US$2.5b) to the country’s Gross National Income (GNI) by 2020, and create 14,270 high-skilled job opportunities. (Read: Malaysia Releases IoT Roadmap: S$11B Income Boost Expected)
To achieve this goal, the government is actively pursuing the National Strategic IoT Roadmap, with 3 main goals:
1.Creating a conducive IoT industry ecosystem
2.Strengthening technopreneur capabilities; and
3.Positioning Malaysia as the Regional Development Hub for IoT.
As one of the leading economies in Southeast Asia, the Malaysian IoT market has a large potential, and the government plays an important role in pushing for IoT to be more widely understood and adopted in organisations, enterprises and businesses in the country.
Initiatives by the government agencies
To ease the adoption of IoT, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and MIMOS (the National R&D Centre in ICT under MOSTI) have embarked on various projects to boost innovation competitiveness, nurture and grow IoT talent, and groom IoT services in the country. The country’s first IoT cloud data centre and research lab was established in 2015, where the government collaborated with companies such as Cisco, Dell, IBM, Intel and Kontron to provide opportunities to design, develop and commercialise innovative, market-driven IoT products and solutions.
Adopting IoT successfully requires entrepreneurs and enterprises to understand IoT’s potential and capabilities. To accelerate this process, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) – a government-sponsored initiative to create a hi-tech business corridor in Malaysia – holds several programmes to help local companies grow their businesses and go global. For example, MDEC’s Immersion Programmes have exposed the companies to other successful efforts within the ASEAN region, China and Japan. According to Norhizam bin Abdul Kadir, Vice President of MDEC Infotech Industry Development, MDEC accepted the task from the National IoT Strategic Roadmap to spearhead industry development in proliferating IoT adoption and growth, by connecting industry players within the IoT value chain and facilitate collaborations among impactful projects within and across verticals.
IoT Malaysia: the market trend
IoT is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device in Malaysia by 2018, according to Todd Ashton, head of Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka. “IoT is coming to life within many industries and we already see that in Malaysia with the Connected Mangroves project,” said Ashton. “In Malaysia, smartphone subscription surpassed basic phone subscriptions in 2015. By 2021, smartphone subscriptions for Malaysia will almost double, from almost 25 million in 2015 to more than 40 million.” – meaning more than one subscription per person on average. This implies greater connectivity and accessibility to infrastructure that enable IoT technologies to proliferate and benefit the economy.
Collaboration on smart and connected cities
Smart and connected cities is one of the verticals that are being heavily focused – by engaging partners locally and internationally. An MOU was signed by the Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) through its subsidiary company PlatCom Ventures Sdn Bhd, to ensure the delivery of SME development in Clean Technology via the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP). As mentioned by Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MIGHT, it is important for MIGHT to continue facilitating and preparing stakeholders along with other agencies to embrace the technology disruption issues. “It is important that we are ready and the ecosystem is supporting it,” said Datuk Dr Yusoff.
The national vision following the IoT roadmap
Government regulations are crucial in the decision to adopt IoT, especially in the public sector. With the Malaysian government, particularly MOSTI and MIMOS aggressively pursuing IoT developments, Malaysia is poised to be a forerunner in the Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific region in adopting IoT in to the public and private sectors. Continued enthusiasm, supportive policies and maintaining standards will allow more investors, companies and entrepreneurs to embrace the multi-faceted potentials of IoT, and putting Malaysia one step closer to achieving its Vision of becoming the Regional Development Hub for IoT.
As part of the national MyIoT week, Asia IoT Business Platform will be working together with MOSTI, MIMOS, MiGHT and MDEC to facilitate collaborations and create opportunities for IoT to reach more organisations and enterprises in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
To be a part of this initiative, get in touch and drop us a note.
‘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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The 7000 over islands of the Philippines are geographically split into 3 regions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is located on the Luzon island, and surrounding the capital is Metro Manila, a metropolitan area that is the most populous metropolitan area in South East Asia.
Outside of Metro Manila, Metro Cebu is the 2nd largest metropolitan area. Historically, Metro Cebu has been a regional trading hub and recognized for its world-class marine resorts. It is considered the economic center of Central Visayas and as such that it has been experiencing high levels of private business investments and industrial expansion in recent years.
Along with this rapid urbanization and population growth, Metro Cebu’s current population is expected to triple in size by 2050, and various interrelated urban issues have emerged across the sectors of transport, traffic, drainage, water, and waste management. To address these issues, it was decided that a comprehensive and sustainable development approach is required.
To address challenges arising from rapid urbanization, the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB), a coordinating body for metro-wide planning and development led by the Cebu Provincial Government (Governor), with the LGU (Mayor) and the private sector/civil society as co-chairs, and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) serving as MCDCB secretariat embarked on the Mega Cebu Program.
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), through the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC), facilitates the Mega Cebu program. It anchors the Research, Program and Organizational Development (RPOD) of the MCDCB, and serves as coordinating and operations unit and process facilitator of the various functions, structures, plans, programs, and efforts of the MCDCB.
The Mega Cebu program is considered and anchored at a provincial level (Visayas) and seeks to promote long-term and collaborative planning and action towards a more sustainable, smart, and inclusive city-region. The vision for Mega Cebu is a Wholesome, Advanced, Vibrant, Equitable, Sustainable (W.A.V.E.S.) development by 2050. At present, there are 13 Local Government Units involved in the program and due to the number of interested parties, the level of complexity in the program is higher a project like Clark Green City which is administered by a single authority, the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).
To mitigate risk and the challenges posed by elections / changes in administration in Mega Cebu, a move has been made towards institutionalizing it through the Mega Cebu Development Authority (MCDA). This will thus provide permanency, continuity and provide assurance to private partners that the projects will have longevity. The bill creating MCDA has already been filed in Congress and was approved by the Committee on Government Enterprises. It is has now been referred to the Committee on Appropriations, however with the elections looming, there is limited time for Congress to tackle the bill and it would have to be refiled in the next Congress. Although the creation of MCDA can contribute to the continuity of the Mega Cebu Project, a key ingredient for success will have to be the active participation and leadership of the private sector and civil society.
Mega Cebu has been seeking out partnerships at multiple levels. At the bilateral level and City level, the MCDCB, with the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and leveraging on theYokohama’s Smart City experience finalized the Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development and is now pursuing flagship projects that have been identified under the 7 sub Road Maps. Mega Cebu has also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Yokohama, working together at the corporate level with Japanese firms on projects including waste management, septage management and water supply / treatment.
What are some of the processes and platforms used to engage the public and private sector in smart urban development and planning in Mega Cebu? What are some challenges faced in the Mega Cebu Program and how were they overcomed? What are some of the project opportunities in Mega Cebu?
Meet and network with Executives from the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), who facilitate the Research, Program and Organizational Development of the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB) to learn more about the Mega Cebu Program during the 7th edition of the Asia IoT Business Platform which will take place this 23-24 May in Manila. Also presenting at the conference is Kimihiro Kuromizu, Deputy Executive Director, Climate Change Policy Headquarters, City of Yokohama, who will share experiences from the Yokohama Smart City Project.[:]
[:en]The King of Fruits
Durians are native to South East Asia and widely known as the “King of Fruits”. Alfred Russel Wallace, a 19th century British naturalist described durian flesh as ‘a rich custard highly flavored with almonds’.
For the uninitiated, this is a fruit which you either love or hate, ones’ relationship with the durian would sit on either side of the spectrum and rarely in between.
From South East Asia to China
Durians are grown commercially for export in South East Asia. In Thailand, durians account for 41% of the Thai fruit exports to China and the value of exports have increased 285% from 2007 to 2014 levels of 361 Million USD. In comparison, Malaysia only received approval to export durians to China in 2011. By 2014, frozen durian exports to China stood at 5 Million USD. Philippines is a relatively smaller producer of its durians exporting approximately 1.2 Million USD of Durians in 2015.
To put things into perspective, the cost of Malaysia’s “Musang King”, one of the tastiest variants of durian costs 7USD/KG in Malaysia, however its frozen pulp retails for a whopping 77USD/KG in China, almost 11 times the price.
China’s Food Safety Concerns
China has been dogged by multiple food scandals in recent years and its citizens have concerns relating to all stages of food production, from processing back to the growing of vegetables and breeding of livestock. One of the most shocking and high profile cases was in 2008, when melamine-tainted milk powder led to the deaths of six infants and hundreds more being admitted to hospital. This has led the middle class to turn to organics and are willing to pay a premium for good quality safe food.
On October 1 2015, China’s new food security law took effect, emphasizing the importance of detection, traceability and anti-counterfeiting technologies and pushing to establish a food quality traceability system. This has created opportunities for companies who can built a system to trace the entire process of food and agricultural products going from field to table.
Durian and the Internet of Things
At the 6th Edition of Asia IoT Business Platform in Malaysia, I found out that there was an ongoing pilot project to put sensors beneath durian trees. The reason for doing so, was so that the farmers would know in real time, that freshly ripe fruit have fallen off the tree. It is said that durians that ripen and fall off the tree naturally have the best taste as compared to durians who are harvested. The fruits are then sent for flash freezing, to retain its flavor before being prepared for export for China.
In preparation for export, the durian’s are tagged on MiTrace. The MiTrace system would enable Chinese consumers to trace the origin of the durian, which they regard as a premium product.
Every safety label on the exported frozen durian boxes consist of a unique code, consumers can check the purity and the originality of the product by using a QR code. This gives assurance to the Chinese consumer.
On the other hand, data is also collected from the Chinese consumer and analysed. The analysis provides an insight into the durian demand patterns of the Chinese consumers which will improve decision making in the export of durians.
IoT has enabled enterprises to gain access to more real-time data from “things” they never had access to. Armed with the data, enterprises would be in a better position to manage risks and create new revenue generating opportunities.
Imagine your business having access to data that you never had before, what would be the opportunities?
Join us in the discussion on IoT developments in Manila and Bangkok this May and hear what the local IoT stakeholders have to say about market trends and outlook in Southeast Asia.
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.