Monthly Archives

2 Articles

Fusionex

Powering Alibaba’s eWTP with big data analytics, AI and machine learning

Posted by Rosemary Long on

KUALA LUMPUR: It has been more than a year since the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) initiative was launched in Malaysia and although public attention was only revived a week ago during the launch of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s first regional office here, several local companies have already been hard at work making the ambitious project a reality.

Big data analytics firm Fusionex International Plc is one of them, having led a consortium which secured a contract to provide the e-Services platform for the DFTZ from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp.

The awarding of the contract was announced in November last year and according to Fusionex, has since been up and running with more than 3,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on board currently.

“More and more of [these companies] are starting to appreciate that it is important to level up and capitalise on the robust growth in e-commerce and the export market,” said Datuk Seri Ivan Teh, Fusionex founder and chief executive officer of Fusionex.

He added that many local SMEs that Fusionex has spoken to are receptive, open-minded and cognisant of the global language.

“They are open and want to embrace technology as long as it’s easier, faster, better, and more cost-effective than the status quo. In short, they are constructive but might be facing challenges in areas such as market access, funds, modern skills and technology. This is where DFTZ’s e-Services can assist them,” Teh told The Edge Financial Daily in an email exchange.

fusionex founder

The platform is key to realising the e-World Trade Platform (eWTP) that has been one of Alibaba’s key initiatives under the DFTZ banner and aims to provide Malaysian SMEs access to global consumers via e-commerce.

“The e-Services platform functions as a one-stop digital trade facilitation platform, that is integrated with a multitude of business service platforms, e-marketplaces, government agencies, logistics providers, freight forwarders, agents, SMEs and other service providers,” said Teh.

The platform aims to “bridge the gap in terms of know-how, reduce costs, as well as avoid or minimise unnecessary delays and encumbrances associated with the old way of manually doing things,” he said, adding that it is meant to be highly scaleable and inclusive.

According to Teh, the platform is powered by big data technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and is “designed to help merchants — regardless of shape and size — to level the playing ground, and do so without incurring exorbitant costs”.

Fusionex is also riding on the strength of Alibaba Cloud, what with being the latter’s official strategic partner in this region.

“They are a great, committed partner,” Teh said of Alibaba Cloud, noting that the collaboration is synergistic as the latter “has a great cloud offering, whereas Fusionex is a leader in big data technology, AI and machine learning with a strong international reputation.”

While Fusionex may not be a household name to most Malaysians, it has certainly made waves overseas. The company had, until July last year, been listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

However, Teh had decided to take the company private after five years on the market due to what he reportedly said was a persistently undervalued stock.

Without disclosing any figures, Teh shares that Fusionex has “invested significantly” and will continue to invest as it is fully committed to ensuring the success of the e-Services platform.

He did not reveal the names of the group’s partners in its consortium, but that they are local players with the relevant expertise and experience.

Teh pointed out that like the DFTZ itself, the e-Services platform is not constrained to physical hubs such as the KL Aeropolis logistics hub being developed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (Hong Kong) Ltd.

“e-Services will be an open platform that welcomes multiple business service providers, be it forwarding agents, logistics players, and of course very importantly, good local SMEs with great Malaysian products.”

“The cost benefits and efficiencies these players enjoy would ultimately trickle down to consumers [in the form of] faster, more efficient and more cost-effective products and fulfilment,” he said. http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=125412

Software

Nearshoring Starter Kit: Tools for Successful Software Outsourcing

Posted by Rosemary Long on

So, you’ve taken the first step towards entering into a nearshoring partnership engagement. Congrats! The decision to outsource is probably not one you took lightly, but you can rest easy knowing that you’ll soon reap benefits such as added flexibility to scale your team up or down, access to expert resources from around the globe, and lowered costs across the board. But, like with any endeavor, the onset of a nearshore outsourcing model can bring with it a few minor bumps as you adjust to your new delivery model.

Since we have a lot of experience working with companies that are just starting to outsource or just starting to do it from a nearshore model, we’ve compiled a number of items to help set you up for successful, long-term engagement.

Find yourself a trusted nearshore outsourcing partner
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the literal thousands of software outsourcing service firms in the US and abroad, but basing a decision on just price can lead to undesirable consequences down the road. It’s best to consider all the variables, especially those related to quality. A truly valuable partner will treat your business as their own, find ways and opportunities to propose improvements and add value, not just follow instructions mindlessly. In fact, Gartner found that “buyers reported that they receive most value from external service providers that can help them change culture and shift to a more agile mindset” in 2017, indicating that a beneficial partnership doesn’t just help you complete tasks on time, but gradually get better at doing so.

offshore software development

Develop a comprehensive scope for the project
It’s incredibly important to understand the short- and long-term goals and objectives of the project. Without a clear idea of how to scale, when and why, you might be unable to take advantage of different opportunities that come up for new projects, innovative ideas or other features, among other things. Your scope can, and should, change as you iterate with your team and incorporate feedback.

 

Use the methodology that makes the most sense for your organization.
You may follow agile principles or adhere more closely to scrum; either way, it’s important to be very clear and transparent about this with your new outsourcing partner. Whichever methodology works for your organization, make sure you and your outsourcing partner are on the same page. Many times, teams can easily become confused when they are used to working one way and now they are expected to complete daily stand-ups or sprints. Keep in mind, that you or your partner can make slight adjustments and find a middle ground that stays true to workable principles but shifts activities.

Communicate often and transparently.
It’s not enough to expect that communication will be good between teams. Ensure that communication is strong by choosing the right communication tools and setting standards for frequent communication between the relevant parties. It won’t always make sense to have outsourcing team members connecting with the client. We do our best to make sure that the person that has the most insight or knowledge about a particular topic is included when that topic or item is being discussed. Additionally, create a contingency plan for failures in communication or miscommunications.

Keep an open mind
While we talked about defining the scope of the project, it is also important to keep an open mind. It can take awhile to get comfortable with a new partner, and it’s important not to make assumptions during that introductory time. Keeping an open mind to proposed ideas and new ways of working or solving problems is critical to advancing and growing as an organization. We firmly believe that great ideas can come from anyone, so don’t be afraid to listen to suggestions — you may stumble on a game-changing innovation or concept.

Getting the most out of your nearshore outsourcing engagement ultimately depends on having a good understanding with your partner, based on trust and efficient communication. Going forward in your endeavor with these tools in your toolkit will ensure your project has the best probabilities for success, and you can get the most out of your nearshore team in terms of quality and the opportunity for innovation and valuable collaboration. Find out more: https://www.pslcorp.com