Photo - (From left) Norhizam Abdul Kadir, Vice President of Infotech Division of MDeC; Paul Moung, Managing Director, IBM Malaysia; and Chiew Yue Lam, General Manager of Avnet Technology Solutions.
By joining MSC Malaysia Cloud programme, IT solutions distributor Avnet Technology Solutions [Avnet] will offer the IBM Cloud platform to local independent software vendor (ISV) and system integrator (SI) partners to help boost the development of SaaS solutions.
Under the new agreement, Avnet will work with technology solutions giant IBM and national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) under the auspices of the MSC Malaysia Cloud Initiatives (MMCI) - 'Cloud On-boarding Programme.'
MDeC vice president, Infotech Division, Norhizam Abdul Kadir said under MSC Malaysia Cloud Computing Enablement Initiative, ISVs and SIs will be able use IBM Cloud through the pay-as-you-use utility model known as 'Software-as-a-Services' (SaaS). The ISVs and SIs will get access to SoftLayer infrastructure from IBM to develop enterprise software.
"[This] collaboration with Avnet Technology Solutions in Malaysia is in line with the MSC Malaysia Cloud Initiative, which was introduced in 2011 to enable and drive the cloud computing ecosystem," said Norhizam.
"To date, this Initiative has seen 288 independent software vendors signed up, more than 20 types of cloud applications developed by local IT players and more than 5,088 SMEs subscribed to cloud services," he said.
"In 2014, the MSC Malaysia Cloud Initiative contributed to an increase of 32 percent in total ISVs revenue growth, and we look forward to the fruition of this cooperation and synergy between MDeC and Avnet to further grow the cloud computing ecosystem," added Norhizam.
Avnet Malaysia general manager Chiew Yue Lam said that the collaboration with MDeC "was timely for the market as there is now a more crucial need to encourage the development of more local enterprise software applications, solutions and services.
Chiew said that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been the early adopters of cloud-based solutions in Malaysia "because they were less adhered to complex large enterprise requirements and compliance. However, there is now exponential interest from large enterprises to adopt cloud computing for their business operations as well."
"The perception of C-level executives toward cloud computing has evolved significantly as larger organisations are looking to harness the cloud computing benefits," he said.
"This is creating a demand for cloud-based enterprise software, applications and solutions. This is why we need more Malaysian ISVs and SI partners to develop such software and solution services that can specifically meet the complex business requirements of larger enterprises," said Chiew.
Chiew added as well as business process-based solutions such as project management and email communication, large enterprises were now starting to leverage the cloud to support core ERP processes, customer relationship management and human capital management.
"Avnet Malaysia aims to enable 200 local IT partners with solutions, skills and resources to capitalize on this growing cloud market. We will begin with training of 20 existing partners by 2015, including the existing IBM solutions partners, and other local SIs and ISVs," he said.
Paul Moung, IBM Malaysia's managing director said: "IBM Cloud offers a complete portfolio of infrastructure services, including bare metal servers, virtual servers, storage and networking."
"It can help the ISVs and SI partners achieve significant economies of scale in areas like costing on infrastructure maintenance, IT systems' utilization rates and enablement of multitenant application models," said Moung.
He said the SoftLayer platform from IBM offered "a single private network connecting all data centres and network points of presence. Additionally, it is the only cloud Infrastructure-as a Service (IaaS) provider that offers unlimited private network traffic between all its facilities to significantly reduce users' bandwidth costs."
Lowering the cloud entry barrier
Under the MSC Malaysia Cloud Initiatives (MMCI) - 'Cloud On-boarding Programme,' Avnet Malaysia will offer a financial incentive to lower the barriers of entry to the cloud. Subsidised by MDeC, Avnet Malaysia will give hosting credits for the development of enterprise-level SaaS solutions on IBM's SoftLayer infrastructure.
"Avnet Malaysia's ISVs and SI partners can claim up to RM15,000 [US$4,004] of the total subscription fee to IBM SoftLayer's platform, with the condition that all applicants must be MSC status companies," said Avnet's Chiew.
He added that any ISVs established less than five years with an annual revenue lower than RM33 million [about US$10 million] will be eligible for the IBM Global Entrepreneurs Program, which will offer them complimentary access to all IBM software worth not more than RM660,000 ( about US$200,000) at no cost.
"With this Avnet-MDeC-IBM partnership, ISVs and SI partners can rely on the knowledge and expertise of a well-established Avnet team in Malaysia to heighten their cloud offerings for faster uptake of cloud-based solutions amongst local enterprises," he said.
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