What the future holds for IoT industry in Malaysia?
Key findings from the newly published IDC survey titled 2016 Global IoT Decision Maker Survey report pertaining to the stage of the Internet of Things in Malaysia are outlined below:
- IOT is strategic: 50% of respondents consider Internet of Things strategic to their business, offering them a means to compete more effectively and to drive internal productivity.
- IT owns IOT budget: For 49% of the organizations surveyed, IoT decision making and budgeting are driven by internal IT departments.
- IOT Vendor capability: When selecting an Internet of Things vendor, the top three criteria considered are consulting capabilities, applicability across the industry value chain and existing Internet of Things deployments (proof of concept).
- IOT Skills an impediment: While upfront/ongoing costs and security/privacy are top concerns for decision makers, lack of skills is perceived as the main inhibitor in the deployment of Internet of Things solutions
- Operational efficiency drives use cases: Process automation, increased productivity and cost efficiency are seen as the top benefits of an Internet of Things solution. This highlights an internal and operational focus by organizations over the short term although opportunities to enhance customer experience are increasingly important.
Across 160 organizations surveyed in Malaysia, 50% are looking to deploy production Internet of Things solutions in the next 12 months, while 15% are already in deployment to support their Digital Transformation agenda.
Who Are the IoT Players in Malaysia?
Since July 2015, when Malaysia’s National IoT Strategic Roadmap was announced, there’s a flood of IoT and Smart Cities conferences held in the country. But if tracked down the history of IoT in Malaysia, it started with M2M services by many of Malaysian mobile operators. I remembered during the Celcom days when we introduced the first “IoT” service called “Ring-A-Coke” in 2001.
Ring-A-Coke starts with a mobile phone user dialing a specific number on the vending machine, then placed via the Celcom GSM Network which connects directly to a component known as the Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) residing inside the vending machine. When the selection is made within 10 seconds, the machine would dispense the selected beverage, then RTU subsequently sends a confirmation of the transaction via short message service (SMS) to a back-end system for billing purposes.
Most telcos are interested in providing connectivity for IoT with their data only package for M2M. Not many dared to venture into solutions due to the complexity of the game. However, providing sim-card based connectivity is not very cheap when deployed in thousands thus hinder the wide deployment. However, a new telco called Atilze launched IoT connectivity covering up to city scale using LoRa technology. Atilze and edotco Group Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Axiata Group Bhd recently announced the rollout of Malaysia’s first low-power, long-range wireless protocol (LoRa) network with the completion of 25 LoRa gateways in Klang Valley. However, there is this new kid on the block called
However, there is this new kid on the block called NB-IoT that’s based on 3GPP and will be appearing soon in Malaysia. Just like LTE vs WiMAX, NB-IoT can become a threat when the incumbent telcos decided to deploy them since it will take a matter of months to have a wide coverage of IoT network. However, the recent news regarding the incompatibility between Huawei and Ericsson can be a stumbling block and delay the deployment.
As much as we want to see the real IoT deployment and commercialisation of services, many of the activities actually start and buzz around R&D such as UKM’s Internet of Bicycle, UTHM’s Internet of Making Babies, UTM’s ParkKing, UNIMAP’s Environmental Monitoring and much more.
Other than National IoT Strategic Roadmap, there are some Government and Private initiatives such as from MIMOS iComm and Mi-MIST, Cyberview Smart City, CREST IoT Cloud Centre, Malacca’s Smart City, Iskandar Smart City, Selangor’s Smart State, Penang Smart City, MIGHT’s Smart City Alliance , MDEC’s ADAX and others.
For several years, Malaysia also has produced several new startups and companies in IoT such as Promosys, MDT Innovations, N’osairis, Katsana, GetDoc, Jom Parking, Fusionex, VADS Lfye and others. Some of them have bigger revenue from overseas sales and projects.
Our company, FAVORIOT, is the latest addition to the IoT industry in Malaysia. As a newly setup startup in April 2017, FAVORIOT has been actively engaged with many other industry players such as Cygen, Promosys, UnisZA, UTHM, UTM, ILMU Academia, Newage Care Home, Datamicron, GetDoc and others.
With the IoT middleware platform, FAVORIOT offers a FREE Beta Developer program to any parties that would like to connect their IoT devices to an IoT cloud. We also offer full documentation and tutorial (including source codes) how to connect Raspberry Pi or Arduino to Favoriot.
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About the Author
Dr. Mazlan Abbas is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of FAVORIOT Sdn Bhd. He is an IOT Evangelist and a Thought Leader. He received an award as 50 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders by World CSR 2017. He is ranked No. 20th Thought Leader in IOT by 2014 Onalytics Report – “The Internet of Things – Top 100 Thought Leaders”, ranked Top 10 in IoT Top 100 Influencers by Postscapes 2016/2017, ranked Top 100 in Smart Cities Top Experts by Agilience Authority Index May 2016. You can reach him on LinkedIn or Twitter. Check all his presentation slides HERE.