Photo - Hon-Loong (HL) Kok, Country Manager, Malaysia, Red Hat.
Open source solutions firm Red Hat has kicked off its Chinese new Lunar Year celebrations with high expectations, which included the strengthening of its Malaysian team wth the addition of local industry veteran Hon-Loong (HL) Kok as the new Malaysia country manager.
During recent media luncheon in Kuala Lumpur to mark the year of the Red Fire Monkey, Red Hat's senior director and general manager for ASEAN, Damien Wong said that the appointment recognised that "Malaysia is an important country for us. I expect HL's understanding and experience in the Malaysian market, as well as his strategic business mind-set, will be beneficial for the team. Under his leadership, I believe that Red Hat can scale to new heights in Malaysia."
Wong told Computerworld Malaysia that HL replaces the former country manager, David Yap. "David has moved to a regional role as ASEAN Cloud & ISV Alliances director. In this role, he will be driving the business relationship with Red Hat's Certified Cloud and Services Provider (CCSP) partners, as well as with our regional Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners in ASEAN."
Photo (file) - (From left) Damien Wong, Red Hat Senior Director and General Manager, ASEAN; David Yap, Director, ASEAN Cloud & ISV Alliances.
Commenting on his role, the new country manager, Kok, said, "As the world's leading provider of open source solutions, I identify strongly with Red Hat's desire to transform business and at the same time, bring about positive change in the ICT industry. I am excited to be part of the Red Hat ASEAN team and look forward to working closely with our customers and partners in Malaysia."
HL brings more than two decades of experience in the ICT sector, having held management roles at Andersen Consulting, Intel, Microsoft, EMC and most recently, Jardine OneSolution.
Malaysia's economy and the AEC
Speaking to Computerworld Malaysia, Wong outlined the company's view of Malaysia in the coming year.
"In speaking with many customers in Malaysia, it is clear that they see Red Hat's value to their organisations in good economic times, and even more so when the economic outlook is uncertain," he said.
"As ICT becomes an even more important driver of business innovation and competitive advantage for many Malaysian organisations, the imperative to adopt open source becomes greater for these same organisations not only to reduce the costs of 'keeping the lights on' in IT, but more importantly to plug into the ecosystem of open innovation that is taking the world by storm," Wong said.
"As such, we fully believe that the acceptance and adoption of Red Hat's technology and service offerings will increase in the current economic climate," he said.
"While we hear anecdotally from our customers and business customers about their concerns regarding the economic outlook for Malaysia, we also see a lot of optimism regarding the impact of initiatives such as Malaysia's chairing of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2016, where we expect the country to further solidify its role as a regional leader in ICT infrastructure development" said Wong.
"This is where many businesses, independent of industry or organisation size, will realise the true value of open source solutions," he said.
Government open source plan
"In addition, we are extremely encouraged to see the Malaysian government strongly pushing the Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Masterplan, and we hope that the public sector will lead the way forward in this respect by adopting Open Source to deliver world-class government services," Wong added.
Moving forward, Wong said Malaysian companies in the new lunar year can realise many opportunities "2016 is the year of the Red Fire Monkey, and drawing inspiration from the traits of a monkey businesses can focus on demonstrating agility and intelligence to move ahead of the competition."
"Today's rapidly changing business landscape means speed is now the new currency in business. Organisations must learn to adapt quickly and respond intelligently to market conditions and customer expectations," he said.
"Those who adopt an open and collaborative approach to automate processes and gain insights will find themselves better equipped to respond to change," said Wong.
"In addition, with today's customers and employees becoming increasingly mobile-savvy, businesses must adopt new mobile technologies to improve productivity and deliver a more personalised customer experience," he said. "This value of mobile will uncover innovative ways of doing business and give users access to information at their fingertips."
Danger and opportunity
Wong said Red Hat started its Malaysia operations in 2006, and officially announced the opening of Red Hat Malaysia business entity in Kuala Lumpur in July 2015 to further strengthen the company's presence in the country.
"Most importantly, I believe true success will come from the inside," he added. "Organisations need open leadership. Leaders should look to the future - encourage the best ideas, hear honest advice, and attract (and retain) the brightest talent, so they build a conducive business environment that walks in tandem with today's fast-paced world."
"The Chinese word for "crisis" is 危机 ('wei ji') which is made up of the two words representing 'danger' and 'opportunity' respectively," Wong said. "We believe that organisations that are able to recognise the "opportunity" within any crisis will come out on top. Hopefully, organisations will work with Red Hat in the year of the Red Fire Monkey to grasp the opportunity and deliver Red Hot success!"
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