Striving onwards to encourage SME digitalisation

Wilstech Sdn Bhd CEO Wilson Low (right) and chief operating officer Ernie Tan (left) all ready for the SOBA 2022 Gala Night event.

Wilstech won two SOBA 2022 with its customised tech solutions

WINNING two awards in the Star Outstanding Business Awards 2022 was a sign of affirmation that the direction chief executive officer Wilson Low and chief operating officer Ernie Tan have chosen to steer Wilstech Sdn Bhd towards since its inception 2016 is on track.

The company won gold and silver in Best Use of Technology and Best in CSR for Tier 2, which is up to RM25mil.

The company makes information technology (IT) solutions more accessible to SMEs by breaking the digitalisation process down into smaller, more manageable steps that are customised and holistic for each client.

“What actually made us take part in SOBA is we wanted to know about our peers and gauge our performance up to this stage against others,” said Tan. “We wanted to know where we stand with the rest.”

Tan said since winning the awards, he does feel that his company’s efforts have been recognised and is reaping positive results.

“That makes us proud. We actually started participating in SOBA as far back as 2019, because SOBA is prestigious and we want to leave our mark.”

Tan shared that while it was difficult answering the questions and requirements in the first year of submission, it got easier as there were more to include for each requirement after each year.

“Through experience, I find it easier to express what the company faced during the journey,” he explained.

“When Wilstech started over seven years ago, the focus was heavy on hardware. Along the way, clients asked us to provide software or IT solutions.”

The company realised that this presented them an opportunity to explore a venture that is sustainable for the business. Since then, they never looked back.

It also provides reliable, suitable solutions from overseas to the Malaysian market via its principal.

“Another challenge is manpower, which is still an issue in all industries,” said Tan.

“However we are blessed with a good team of people who have been with us since the start and are still with us today.

“With such a stable base we hope we can all strive towards the same goal. We also work with development partners that have assisted us in times of need. We turn to experts for advice when we face an issue that we are unable to solve ourselves.“

Yet convincing clients to digitalise has been difficult, even during the Covid-19 pandemic, where physical transactions across the globe stalled for more than a year.

Tan shared that many companies held back, because no one knew what to expect back then and many held on to their budget while waiting out the lockdowns.

“We tried advising them to start small and take baby steps as they scale up. Some did not have any digital footprint whatsoever and it was easier helping them start up.”

He said persuading companies to transform is still an ongoing battle today but those who see the opportunity have transformed all the way and had thrived during the pandemic.

He also said that with the lockdown, everything has to be digitalised on a cloud in order for employees to work out-of-the office.

Solutions for accounting, customer relationship management and human resources exist on the cloud for clients to access without having the need to buy and maintain their own servers.

Employees can access the cloud anytime, anywhere. It is easy to manage as well.

“The main problem these organisations face is limited resources and expertise. Many of them may not even have an IT department or person.

However before they can start, they need to have a clear strategy on how to digitally transform their companies, by investing in the right technology according to necessity.

Those who have a predilection for technology should be offered training courses and education in order to help the company.

Even simple online tools that can help create digital marketing materials or using the CRM to assist in their marketing.

They should collaborate with experts or get on platforms where they can network and have discussions with their peers.

“The cloud is definitely here to stay, but it's going to evolve into something much bigger as it integrates artificial intelligence (AI) as part of its service.”

When it comes to sustainability, however, Tan believes Malaysia still has a long way to go as compared to those in other countries.

“We actually need to work harder towards that. The government should take the lead by offering programmes to companies to help them incorporate sustainability in our economy and businesses.”

For the future, Tan said the company is looking at new technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things (IoT), and how to incorporate those to help local industries.

“So, we are researching this and hopefully we will have good solutions moving forward. Of course, company growth and expansion is a definite must,” concluded Tan.

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