Photo - (From left) Nik Ariff Nik Omar, Head of Enterprise and Public Sector, SAP Malaysia; and Vivek Puthucode, Vice President for Public Services at SAP Asia Pacific Japan.
The challenges of rapid urbanisation faced by Southeast Asian governments could be better managed by the use of new models such as crowdsourcing, citizen engagement and information technology, according to enterprise applications firm SAP during its Urban Matters showcase in Kuala Lumpur recently.
SAP believes in partnering with governments and citizens to share successful experiences, said SAP's vice president Asia Pacific Japan, Vivek Puthucode.
"In much of Southeast Asia, the way we interact with our cities and governments today looks much as it did decades ago," said Puthucode. "But this is changing. With the rise of urbanization, more cities are turning to technology and new administrative models like crowdsourcing to help solve big problems."
"From transportation to healthcare, innovation in technology and citizen engagement will transform our cities and improve lives," he said. "While technology is an important part of the approach, it is also important to share successful experiences in civic administration and citizen engagement from SAP municipal customers worldwide."
Cities are competing vigorously for investment, talent and employment and racing, said Puthucode. "This competition has increased the focus on building complementary administrative and technology layers to support cities' race to become best-run."
He said the core aspects of a best-run city are its ability to monitor and measure what it manages, and to bring about efficiencies in its processes to improve productivity.
"Cities are central to the lives of millions of Malaysians, and at SAP we are passionate about helping Kuala Lumpur and other cities in Malaysia become best-run cities," said SAP Malaysia head of enterprise and public sector, Nik Ariff Nik Omar.
Alleviating urban headaches
"Traffic is a top urban headache, and it's also an area where SAP is making substantial progress," said Nik, adding that SAP has announced a pilot in Beijing that helps urban transportation management organisations in China quickly understand traffic situations, accurately analyse passenger flow and taxi operations and get real-time insights to make fact-based decisions.
SAP Labs China and the Research Institute of Highway Ministry of Transport collaborated on a pilot platform for big data powered by SAP HANA in Beijing, Kunming, Chongqing and Tianjin. This platform will provide urban transportation managers with real-time insights, so that they could quickly understand traffic situations, passenger flow and taxi operations, and make fact-based decisions.
Platforms like this can drive greater and more convenient mobility for Malaysians, said Nik. "More than convenience, the ability to avoid traffic can add hours to an average Malaysian city-dweller's day, thus bringing up the quality of life, a challenge that a number of urban Malaysians are grappling with."
In addition, as Malaysia's population increases, there is more demand for healthcare services, he said. To minimise strain on facilities, systems and healthcare professionals, SAP uses technology such as mobile to improve systems and patient outcomes.
SAP Electronic Medical Record provides healthcare professionals access to the electronic medical record of their patients from iPads and tablets. With this information available on mobile devices, healthcare professionals can get real-time access to patient history, track information at the point of care, and collaborate better with other healthcare professionals and patients.
Governments around the world also need to handle increasing demand for services with smaller budgets. At the same time, the proliferation of connected mobile devices has revolutionised the way people engage with the world around them across many facets of life, said Nik.
He said that SAP's CityApp concept, which is currently under development, will provide a single access point for an entire city's services. "CityApp will then help people navigate through the city, stay informed, engage with their city and neighborhood, see open data for their city, and consume services."
"As Malaysia rapidly advances on its journey of development, we believe our offerings are well-timed. At SAP, we are excited to contribute to a more connected, convenient, and well-run Malaysia. Our strategy is to bringing together world class technology and ideas and issues that matter to Malaysians," said Nik.
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