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No time to lose to gear up for Industry 4.0

PETALING JAYA: Companies cannot afford to exist in a vacuum, shying away from the complications of Industry 4.0. With the accelerating pace of change and new business models being thrown up almost daily, they need to figure out how to navigate this new world and secure their place in it.

The Edge Malaysia managing editor Anna Taing said companies need to keep their ears to the ground as every industry is being disrupted in unthinkable ways.

“And to put a more positive spin, figure out what the world is going to look like and design a business model to address that world,” she said in her opening speech at the The Edge Industry 4.0 Forum: Embracing Digitisation in Petaling Jaya on Saturday.

Taing said there are real requirements in the market that are not being addressed.

“And you have to figure out what these are and come up with solutions for them, rather than hop on the latest bandwagon.

“Technology will help you get there and scale. It is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself,” she added.

Frankly, Malaysian companies should not be too worried as they are in the best position to take advantage of Industry 4.0, according to the first speaker — Fusionex International vice-president for new technologies Raju Chellam.

This is because the country has many unique features put together that neighbouring countries lack, said Raju in his presentation on Gearing up for 4.0.

“English language skills are also available in Singapore, but they have no land and no competitive labour. Cambodia and Vietnam may have competitive labour, but they don’t have the English language skills or the infrastructure. (For Industry 4.0 to take off in Malaysia), what it will require is probably political will and awareness from the community,” Chellam said.

Fusionex

In order to achieve this goal, companies should find a partner who can help address their weak spots, such as in AI (artificial intelligence) or data management.

“You should find a partner, not a vendor. A vendor will sell something to you and go away. A partner will invest in you, do the proof-of-concept free of charge and invest in your success,” Chellam said.

The second speaker, Linear DMS Solutions Sdn Bhd managing director, Dave Choong, said regardless of industry type, there is no better time than now for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt and reap the benefits of adopting the Internet of Things (IoT). Unlike previous disruptive technologies, he said Industry 4.0 technologies pose a real threat to businesses who do not catch up.

“If you do not take action today, you will be left out. In every scenario, businesses are losing millions annually because they lack visibility, automation and risk mitigation through predictive analysis [that IoT adoption can provide].

“Despite the disparity of industries with the technology, SMEs can take advantage of low-hanging-fruit technologies and leverage on global [cloud] infrastructure and tech trends from service providers,” he added in his presentation on Journey to Digitisation: IoT.

Choong cited a use case in agriculture — an industry where the businesses are run by subject matter experts who have been operating in the same way for generations.

With outdoor IoT enablers, such as long range (LoRa) technology and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), he said farmers may address pain points such as disease outbreak, rising wages, pond pollution and survival yield.

The third speaker, Loke Khing Hong, director of Medical Devices Corp Sdn Bhd brought it down to brass tacks. He had invented an automated peritoneal dialysis machine that was IoT-enabled.

Speaking on Transforming Dialysis with IoT towards Made in Malaysia 2025. Loke pointed out that kidney failure patients today can opt for a transplant or two forms of dialyses — haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

“Haemodialysis is a hospital or centre-based treatment, where the patient needs to endure a gruelling seven-hour process every alternate day. If you opt for this method, then you just won’t be able to work anymore — you’ll lose your source of income.”

Alternatively, a patient may opt for peritoneal dialysis, a far less invasive and more practical treatment option. The only problem, according to Loke, is that peritoneal dialysis has not seen any major innovation in decades, and worse, has been dominated by a small handful of international companies.

“The automated peritoneal dialysis machines currently in the market are large, 16 kg devices,” he said.

But Loke, an accountant by training, has been able to develop a unit that weighs just 3kg, and is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors that monitor a variety of parameters during the dialysis treatment.

“The machine is controlled by an app on a Bluetooth-enabled smart device. Intelligent sensors in the machine read and record the data on a Cloud-based server. The patient’s physician may then access this data and monitor the patient’s overall condition and health during treatment in real time, albeit remotely,” he said.

This overcomes a major pain point in the dialysis treatment, according to Loke. Healthcare professionals typically want their patients to come in to the hospitals or treatment centres, so their conditions can be monitored directly.

The IoT-enabled automated peritoneal dialysis machine, as envisioned by Loke, could be a multi-billion-dollar game changer. In providing a locally-manufactured alternative to clunky and expensive imports, he might just be able to shake up a health sub-sector that has seen little innovation over the last few decades. https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=224466704

TIME FOR HEROES – DATO’ SERI IVAN TEH, THE CEO OF FUSIONEX REMINDS US THAT NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES

Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh stands on one of the three floors that Fusionex’s 60,000 sq ft R&D facility occupies at Plaza 33 in Petaling Jaya, putting on a demonstration of his company’s voice recognition software: “And… lights!” He snaps his fingers, and the elongated ceiling lights dim. One more snap, and the lights beam at full brightness upon his command. Another click of his fingers closer to a room featuring a life-size R2-D2 model (which lets out the occasional excited bleep), and a glass window – previously opaque – turns transparent.

It makes for an impressive, entertaining display of the sort of technological wizardry that Fusionex is capable of achieving but, really, it’s just the tip of a very substantial iceberg. From the time it was founded in 2005, Fusionex has made a name for itself in the global technology industry by specialising in analytics, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and, perhaps most importantly, its ability to make sense of vast amounts of structured and unstructured data for its clients. With an official net worth that currently stands at MYR1.2 billion, this is a company that – as Dato’ Teh explains – began with a badminton game and a dream of becoming a superhero.

DATA ENTRY
Born and bred in Petaling Jaya, Dato’ Teh grew up as an academic all-rounder (it helped that his mother was a teacher) with an aptitude for mathematics, science and technology, as well as a love for art and drawing. “At a young age, what I really liked was innovation,” he recalls. “I began looking up to superheroes like Iron Man, Superman, and Batman when I was about eight or nine, so I’d draw them and imagine being a superhero too. It wasn’t their superpowers that I wished for, but I really wanted to solve problems and fight villains.

fusionex founder

“As I got older, I understood that I couldn’t become a superhero in real life, but I still admired Iron Man for his innovation and creativity, where he could bring things like art and science together, the way I wanted to. That’s science technology.” This inevitably drew him towards a degree in computer science, which in itself became a springboard from which to enter the IT industry, propelling him towards managerial positions in multinational companies including Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Accenture.

“When I started working in these organisations, we’d be flooded with a tsunami of data and the problems that stemmed from it, like hospitals and medical centres, where I’d observe long queues and inefficiencies. I thought to myself, ‘What can I use or do using technology and a combination of skillsets to make life better, faster and more efficient? What can I do to change the world?’ These were eureka moments for me and, obviously, it’s important to have a vision – but how do you execute it?” It was only during a badminton game with some of his friends, who were in similar industries, that things began to get moving.

“At one of the sessions, we recognised there were a lot of problems across industries, where people were spending lots of money and yet waiting times at retail outlets, banks, telcos and airlines were bad. A few of us said: ‘There must be a better way of doing this – it can’t be all that bad. We have to be able to challenge the status quo and find a better way forward.’ We wanted to start things together, but many of my friends back then had their own careers and livelihoods to look after, and some of them were about to get married.

“I said: ‘It could be a big risk for you. Would it be something you want to do? Why don’t you let me try it for a couple of months and validate the idea that the demand is actually there? Once we’ve proven that there’s a market for what we’re offering and the business model really works, I’ll invite you to come on board.’ And that’s what I did.” It was – for a time – very much a one-man show, where Dato’ Teh had to do everything from coding software to searching for clients. No stranger to hard work (as a 10-year-old, at his father’s insistence, his school holidays were spent selling bedsheets at textile stores and pasar malams), he persevered.

“For a couple of months, I navigated the waters, finding ways to ensure our skills and ideas would be accepted in the market – which they weren’t, by the way. That was painful. People wanted a track record. But slowly, we started to gain traction and got our first few breakthroughs after six to nine months, thereby validating our model. Once we were more stable and had our first customers, I wanted Fusionex to grow and accelerate, and I couldn’t do that alone. That’s why most of the pioneering team – there were about five of us who started this – are still with us today as we continue to invite more people into the Fusionex family.”

WE COULD BE HEROES
The company’s seemingly light-hearted nickname for its workspace, the ‘Office of Superheroes’, appears to be half a vision of the future and half a teenage boy’s fantasy bedroom when you wander through it, for all the Marvel and DC Comics memorabilia in plain sight. There’s even a sizeable karaoke room with a professional sound system, in which Dato’ Teh shows that he’s not microphone-shy, either. (For the record, he does an excellent rendition of You Raise Me Up, and could give Ed Sheeran a run for his money, too.) But for all the office’s creature comforts, Fusionex’s team – which now consists of over 550 staff – works as hard as it plays.

“It’s an amalgamation of different types of ideas and technology, where villains are no longer beasts or monsters – they’re problems,” he says. “My parents taught me to understand how to bring things together and comprehend the real-world problems that people face. So, where you see poverty, difficulties in various situations, disasters or explosions, how do you use technology and innovation to overcome all of these problems? How do you manifest the qualities of a superhero in real life? That’s what we’re all about.” To illustrate the nature of Fusionex’s operations, he posits the company not just as a source of invention, but a sorter of information – an intelligent base that cuts through all things complex and incomprehensible.

“In any organisation, there are so many problems to pinpoint. In a manufacturing business, you want to ensure you minimise defects and downtime – some of these can have huge financial implications when there are quality issues or a whole batch of goods need to be returned. More severely, if you’re in a chemical plant and have a problem – say, you don’t detect a drastic increase in temperature – it can result in a hazardous explosion that could cause fatalities. What we do for our clients is identify their problems together with them, because we don’t know everything, so we have to operate in a consultative way.

“But we work with them in a diligent and very focused manner. Fusionex combines its technology with the expertise of our team to solve a client’s problems using data technology. We believe data is the new crude oil. It’s something that is extremely important, but will remain raw data unless we collect, store, process and analyse that data so that it becomes meaningful and insightful to our customers. It gives them foresight as to what they should do, based on what happened in the past, so they can plan better for the future. That’s what we do for our clients, all of whom come in different shapes and sizes, big and small.”

Gone are the days when Fusionex Founder Dato’ Teh would have to persuade potential clients to give Fusionex even a passing glance – although that may, in part, be due to a heavyweight replica of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, which resides in his office (“I don’t have to say much when I’ve got it in my hand,” he smiles). The company’s client roster now includes significant local and international clients such as Starwood, Ritz Carlton, Marriot, CIMB Group, American Airlines, Dell, Intel, Fedex, AEON and Malaysia Airlines, spanning a diverse variety of industries – all of them looking to Fusionex to give them the cutting-edge insights they need.

“Different industries will be different, but the crux of it is that data still resides across all industries, and when we take a look at it – as we draw parallels and compare one industry to another – while they’re adjacent, there are similarities as well,” he expounds. “From day one, our mantra was to solve problems. It wasn’t to go out there and sell a box or sell hardware – that doesn’t motivate me. We wouldn’t have been able to create new jobs or more ideation, which is what lies in Fusionex’s DNA – that fusion between business, technology and the excellence of the experience.” https://twitter.com/FusionexInt/status/1022431008618999808

Fusionex Wins Alibaba Cloud Top Technology Partner Award for 2018

Multi-award-winning data technology provider, Fusionex, has been accorded the Top Technology Partner Award for 2018. Fusionex was presented with the award at the Alibaba Cloud International Summit “Infinity 2018”, which was held at Resorts World Convention Centre, Singapore.

Fusionex was recognized with this award for its efforts in providing cutting-edge Cloud solutions to organizations across Asia and is officially Alibaba Cloud’s go-to-market partner in the region. Both parties have a shared vision of developing new technologies that will spur a wave of digital transformation and have jointly tapped into emerging opportunities in various sectors such as financial services, trade facilitation, e-commerce, retail, aviation, travel and hospitality, and manufacturing. To further drive Cloud adoption within the region, Fusionex has dedicated a team of specialists to develop products that combine Alibaba Cloud services with Fusionex’s technology offerings to produce total solutions.

Fusionex

When asked to share his views on how he sees the future, Teh further commented: “In today’s world, businesses are racing to harness the power of the cloud, blockchain, big data and AI. Companies across industries, from finance to energy to healthcare to food, retail, travel & hospitality are paying close attention to these technologies, seeing the potential to increase revenue, enhance market reach, reduce costs, share and secure information more efficiently, and unleash new products at unprecedented speed. There is really a lot at stake in this race. Having witnessed what the advent of digital, cloud, and mobile did to companies that weren’t quick enough to adapt, no one wants to be left behind. Hence, we at Fusionex are here to help companies ride this wave of digital transformation – and the cloud plays a crucial role in helping our customers on this journey.”

The Alibaba Cloud Summit Infinity 2018 was the Cloud provider’s first International Summit and boasted an exciting day filled with top-notch keynotes, vertical industry channels, high-level engagement discussions and amazing product launches.

Distinguished speakers at this grand event included Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Alibaba Cloud International Business President Yeming Wang as well as Fusionex Vice President of New Technologies Raju Chellam, just to name a few.

For more info: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fusionex-international/

Fusionex Founder Follows Unique Funding Path

Ivan Teh and his firm Fusionex International, offer an usual and highly successful path in reaching the heights in the cumulative growth rate since its launch in 2006.

Selangor MY, Malaysia – July 10, 2018 /MarketersMedia/ —

Fusionex International and Fusionex founder are pleased to announce that the AIM-listed big data company began in 2006 with little more than the efforts and vision of Teh, and has achieved an astounding 1,000 percent cumulative growth rate in the ensuing years. Perhaps even more notable is the fact that Fusionex used no angel funding or venture capital sources. The only source of funding was cash from satisfied customers and clients. During the initial six months following the launch, Ivan typically put in eighteen-hour workdays to identify customer needs, as well as to build effective software platforms.

fusionex founder

In a recent discussion with an interviewer, the Managing Director explained, “I was resolved to provide my customers a solution which could be easily utilized in order to make sense of their masses of data. It is easy to become confused when looking at the many big data options available. Most companies don’t want to do the work required, and may not have the necessary skill sets to do the job. This was my starting point.”

“If you have tried to do the work of solving complex problems while making the solutions easy to use, you will understand the difficulty of the task I set for myself. I did everything from preparing the templates to coding the software to completing documentation” he says. “The positive aspect of that experience was the intensity and challenge of the period. I never was bored.”

In December 2012, Fuxionex was listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). During the pre-IPO contact period, an overwhelming 38 of the 50 institutional investors who were approached came on board. Fusionex had US$62.8 committed to it, with the IPO offer oversubscribed by 300 percent. Ivan made the decision to take only US$18.9 million, which gave the firm immense credibility. There were no selling shareholders on the company’s IPO. http://www.klkntv.com/story/38616519/fusionex-founder-follows-unique-funding-path

Fusionex Founder Ivan Teh Featured In Forbes

Fusionex International is pleased to announce that founder Ivan Teh has been recognized by Forbes as a key figure in the Malaysian Big Data World. The Fusionex founder and Managing Director are linked to an ASEAN-based software group, which provides solutions to firms opening up to digital transformation, in order to compete effectively in the global marketplace. Ivan Teh is well-acquainted with the struggles and difficulties associated with the start-up scene. Founders may be unable to pay themselves for many months and must work around the clock to beat the statistics.

Thanks to Teh’s perseverance, Fusionex today is reaping the benefits of creating its own software solutions. The main focus of the company is Big Data Analytics (BDA) and the Internet of Things (IoT). BDA uses advanced software coupled with massive computing power. The software examines data of various types in order to determine real patterns, associations, and trends. IoT provides sensors which have connectivity across networks, permitting them to collect data and exchange it.

Ivan Teh

According to Teh, speaking in an interview recently, “I understood what the market required in BDA and IoT, thanks to my previous experience working in multinational firms. There was a huge wave of data building up from the past few years, and effective methods of utilizing the data were needed. Through repeated attempts at solutions development and many long days, I was able to secure paying customers. My role in the company originally encompassed everything from administrative and managerial tasks to coding.”

The expectations for the use of BDA and IoT are promising ones. By 2019, the BDA market is expected to reach US$187 billion, while the IoT market will expand to US$1.7 trillion by 2020. Fusionex is positioned to capture a large portion of this market, particularly among the ASEAN nations.

Fusionex already has big-name clients using its software. Companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Daimler, Volkswagen, the Royal Bank of Scotland, United Overseas Bank, CIMB Group, MetLife and Starwood Hotels and Resorts as well as AirAsia, Kasikornbank and Resorts World are but a few examples. In fact, Fusionex, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), has the distinction of competing with the likes of IBM, Oracle, and SAP. http://www.nbcrightnow.com/story/38616520/fusionex-founder-ivan-teh-featured-in-forbes

SME FORYOU: Using data tech to Keep SMEs Ahead of Competition

Leading data technology specialist Fusionex released its revolutionary platform called SME FORYOU, during the International Retail and Franchise (MIRF) 2018 Exhibition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). Designed for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region, the user-friendly platform is aimed at encouraging SMEs to adopt Big Data Analytics (BDA) and kick-starting their e-commerce plans, to enable them to promote their brands and products to the local and international market.

SME FORYOU will help SMEs to fast-track overall sales, acquire new customers while increasing the rate of repeat transactions. The platform connects businesses online by exposing them across local and international marketplaces, granting them access to a ready database of more than 8 million customers.

Ivan Teh

The SME FORYOU platform received positive feedback at the MIRF event. Via the platform, SMEs can expand their market across more than 8 million captive audiences, focus on their brand and engage with customers anytime, anywhere, and anyhow. Even some of the established major companies have adopted Fusionex’s FORYOU platform including banks, insurances companies and chain outlets, alongside a host of other SMEs that operate convenience stores, restaurants, travel agents, optical stores and many more.

Fusionex Founder and Group CEO Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh commented, “Fusionex has helped a multitude of companies embrace Analytics and Big Data, working with them in their digital transformation journey towards becoming an effective data driven organization. One of our missions is to see SMEs in this region grow and scale. This is possible by harnessing the power of Big Data.”

He continued by stating that, “We want to do our part in enabling SMEs to grow beyond national borders. The Fusionex powered SME FORYOU platform comes equipped with a host of features and benefits for its users, but a key focus is to help prioritize SMEs’ needs to be quickly and effectively equipped with e-commerce capabilities and borderless trading.”

Fusionex Founder & Group CEO Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh, together with Malaysia’s Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs Minister Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, alongside a number of distinguished guests and the media witnessed the launch of SME FORYOU at the MIRF Exhibition 2018.

Another highlight for the event was a donation being made to the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) for the Penang flood relief efforts. Through a charity drive made up of several events, PIKOM raised RM20,000, where the amount was matched by Fusionex with an additional RM20,000, making it a total of RM40,000 donated to MRCS.

For more info on Ivan Teh: https://enterpriseasia.org/apea/malaysia/awards/my-2014/ivan-teh/

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