[This is a sponsored article with MDEC.]
According to the International Data Centre, Malaysia’s data-driven spending is estimated to be worth RM7.9 billion in 2025.
In order for our local enterprises to get a slice of the pie, the National Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Policy dictates they must first adopt digital transformation by excelling in the 5 foundational technologies of 4IR.
Note: The 5 foundational technologies of 4IR are artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT), blockchain, cloud computing and big data analytics, and advanced materials and technologies.
Providing the impetus for Malaysian businesses to evolve in this aspect is MDEC and their ambition to drive greater adoption of data and AI technologies such as IoT, big data analytics and AI among local businesses.
The initiative is also in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) agenda that aims to develop Malaysia into a digitally-driven nation by 2030.
Here are some case studies of companies working with the agency to help individuals or businesses gain knowledge, develop a workforce, and receive guidance around the topics of data and AI.
Using data to reduce wastage and create new products
Innergia Labs and their SYCARDA solution provide insights to businesses about their sales data as well as inventory. The company’s CEO Vernon Chua highlighted why it’s important for an establishment to keep track of these metrics during the pandemic, especially for F&B outlets.
Food wastage remains a very real problem as certain eateries don’t know the right amount of ingredients to order and keep, because they don’t know of or understand the shifting consumption patterns.
SYCARDA helps by capturing real-time transactions at point-of-sale (POS) systems and automatically aggregating sales data into reports. These let businesses monitor and manage store performances to make quick improvements.
For example, an F&B chain was able to use data pertaining to their customers’ food pairing options to develop an off-peak menu. This generated extra sales and the company made RM400,000 more in monthly revenues.
Meanwhile, a pharmacy chain utilising SYCARDA managed to quicken the process of compiling their weekly reports, using just 3 hours instead of 24.
Looking ahead to 2022: Consumer behaviours have no doubt changed dramatically since the pandemic, Vernon noted. And although this means that businesses must now have an online presence, he believes that a convergence of both offline and online businesses is the future.
When that happens, managing and monitoring a business’ performance becomes doubly difficult. Therefore, increasing the importance of data technology for companies, especially SMEs.
“These tools are there to support businesses in their effectiveness and efficiency. They are no longer the sole domain of big companies; smaller businesses can afford [to] and should implement them as well,” said Vernon.
Using data to develop AI solutions that increase task efficiency
TM Research & Development (TM R&D) is a government-approved R&D company and an innovation arm for Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM).
The company developed its own Open Innovative Platform (OIP), a one-stop, cloud-native data-sharing platform that enables digital innovation with features like a data hub, smart service hub, IoT management, and more.
Through OIP, the SPICE.ai solution was born. It is an AI-driven customer experience platform that enables telcos to reduce user complaints, widen the usage of digital channels, and perform self-troubleshooting which result in efficient customer call handling.
During the pandemic, SPICE.ai accurately helped frontliners at call centres to enhance customer experience and cut down call handling time by one minute.
Looking ahead to 2022: CEO Dr Sharlene Thiagarajah explained, “Data and analytics are key to digital transformation efforts. Yet, fewer than 50% of documented corporate strategies mention data and analytics as components for delivering enterprise value”.
Now, things must change. She believes it’s important for businesses to adopt data and AI technologies in order to be part of the digital economy that’s expected to contribute 22.6% to Malaysia’s GDP by 2025.
Using data to drive sales while saving costs
BigLedger offers cloud-native, AI-based apps called “applets” that can handle the complexities of various business processes such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM), POS, warehouse management, logistics, and more.
Various applets can be mixed and matched to suit the needs of a business, which means these companies don’t have to break the bank on huge complex systems.
The solution draws information from a unified data warehouse called the Operational Data Lake platform that makes information easy to access and manage remotely.
As a result, BigLedger’s clients save at least 10% of manpower costs after implementing the Operational Data Lake.
Looking ahead to 2022: BigLedger’s CEO Vincent Lee foresees highly successful enterprises adopting AI solutions in the areas of CRM, merchandising, customer service, logistics, and marketing.
2022 is the year many businesses are rebooting, consumer behaviours change, and digital transformation accelerated by at least 10 years.
To properly navigate it, Vincent believes that data technology is essential for businesses to not “fly blindly” in the aforementioned areas.
Featured Image Credit: Innergia Labs