THE shared services and outsourcing (SSO) industry is booming in this region.
The Philippines and Malaysia are leading the race while Singapore and other Asean countries are looking to capitalise on the opportunity.
According to Malaysia’s national ICT initiative MSC Malaysia, the SSO industry has been a core focus in the country’s aim of transforming itself into a high-income, knowledge-based economy by 2020.
The Government, through various policies and incentives is looking to lure global companies to set up shop here. Malaysia has been working to provide modern infrastructure, talent and resources in ICT that includes hardware, software and services as part of its efforts.
“Based on a recent study conducted by research company International Data Corporation (IDC), these are the key reasons why Malaysia has the potential to be a regional hub for consolidating finance and accounting operations.
The talent pool and the number of existing shared services centres have created a conducive eco-system that will ensure a consistent growth in terms of service value, as well as the maturity and capability of individuals delivering the services,” MSC Malaysia says in its website.
In addition to becoming a valuable source of local employment opportunities and revenue in Malaysia, shared services centres enable the transfer of important skills and competencies to local knowledge workers, as well as exposure to international best-practices and standards.
With key support provided by the government, it comes as no surprise that more companies have started making Malaysia their SSO base.
IBM recently unveiled its new Global Delivery Centre in Cyberjaya. The centre, which is IBM’s 21st shared services centre in Malaysia, is the latest addition to IBM’s extensive network of service delivery hubs in 20 countries that provides business processing and IT services capabilities to clients worldwide.
In 2011, IBM announced a RM1bil investment to build and operate the centre, which delivers high-value services to clients in the areas of software platform management, server systems operations, security and risk management, and project management.
The centre also supports IBM’s cloud services, including the provisioning and management of IBMSmartCloud Enterprise + (SCE+) solutions, designed for running critical enterprise workloads, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
“The opening of this site represents another milestone in IBM’s legacy of trailblazing the future in shared services,” said IBM Global Delivery Centre Malaysia director Craig Tucker.
“Our centre has raised the bar for the IT eco-system in Malaysia by cultivating a knowledge-based workforce that will transform the way we work and interact,” he added.
The Global Delivery Centre in Malaysia provides IT services round-the-clock to IBM clients all over the world involved in industries including financial services, healthcare, retail, real estate and technology.
IBM is also collaborating with local academic institutions and government agencies to provide students with work experience in an IT services delivery environment.
The company collaborated with Setia Haruman and Universiti Malaya on a landmark strategic internship programme that combines real-life work experience with soft skills, leadership and English training.
More recently, IBM partnered with Inti International University and Colleges to investigate and recommend strategies to promote IT as a fulfilling career opportunity for the younger generation.
The 300,000sq ft centre, which has Gold certification under the Green Building Index (GBI), features energy efficient solar panels, water reclamation, heat-reducing window treatments and other elements that will help reduce energy consumption by 25%.
“Malaysia’s competitive business model, strong private-public partnership, as well as the talent and skills of the Malaysian workforce are all factors for IBM’s continued investment in the country. In the two years since commencing operations, the centre has continually delivered real value to our clients all over the world.
With IBM managing the IT infrastructure, our clients can focus on their core business,” said IBM Global Technology Services general manager Diane Diggelmann.
IBM was one of the first technology companies to invest in Cyberjaya. Since 2003, the company’s strong collaboration with Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) has helped set world-class standards for the global delivery business model.
Meanwhile, Hitachi Systems, Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, together with Sunway Technology has established an information technology solutions provider in Malaysia.
Hitachi Systems works closely with customers through a network of roughly 300 service sites and contact centres across Japan and offers a wide range of business system design and integration services, as well as outsourcing services that take advantage of its robust data centre infrastructure.
Sunway Technology, on the other hand, encompasses a group of IT companies that provides installation and sale of product lifecycle management and enterprise resource planning packages, provision of virtualisation, cloud solutions and services, data centre outsourcing and information technology outsourcing services.
Hitachi Systems and Sunway Technology have jointly established a company to provide IT services in Malaysia and throughout South-East Asia.
Specifically, the operations of several Sunway Technology’s subsidiaries will be consolidated under Sunway E-Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sunway Technology.
The joint venture, named Hitachi Sunway Information Systems Sdn Bhd (HSIS) has already bagged several big clients.
In addition to the existing subsidiaries in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, Sunway E-Systems will also form a subsidiary in Vietnam soon.
The storage consolidation project costing close to RM1mil consists of Hitachi Unified Storage 130 systems implementation and support services under Sunway Shared Services Sdn Bhd.
HSIS has also partnered with Galasys Technologies Sdn Bhd, Asia’s leading integrated ticketing solutions provider.
Established in 2005 in Suzhou, China, Galasys, which is now based in Hong Kong, is one of the fastest growing Asian companies providing integrated ticketing, admission control and point-of-sales solutions for amusement parks, including water parks, theme parks, zoos, stadiums and other attractions.
The joint venture between Sunway Technology and Hitachi Systems will create a bigger pool of resources and allow both to leverage on each others’ expertise, strengths and networks to cater to growing demand in the bigger market.
HSIS group CEO and director Cheah Kok Hoong said in line with the continued economic growth in South-East Asia, international firms, including Japanese companies, are advancing into the region.
“Demand for IT services is rising, including among local companies. The current storage infrastructure of our IT Shared Services Center can no longer handle the massive volume of data and meet the demands of businesses.
“We recognise the need for an upgrade to continue supporting this rapid growth,” he added.