AI/ML for data-driven and cost-saving decisions

Harith Ramotheram, CEO of Crayon Malaysia talks to EITN about the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning for more informed decisions.

EITN: There is a general view that AI cannot exist without ML and vice versa. Would this be accurate, and if yes or no, why?

Harith: ML is AI, but not all AI is ML. However, ML is actually a subset of AI, as AI is a group name for a wide range of technologies that also includes technologies such as Deep Learning and Natural Language Understanding.  

As a trusted advisor for Crayon’s customers and an expert in this field, identifying what type of AI technology to use to solve each of our customer’s problems is part of the value that our global Data & AI practice provides. All in all, ML and AI are a journey – it will evolve following the industry or specific business ask, developing a roadmap for implementation which is then managed by a proper lifecycle framework.  

The key take away is, what are key outcomes the customer is aspiring towards? Crayon will help our customers identify the solution.

EITN: What are the top highlights of your collaboration with Censof and Microsoft?
What does this partnership hope and aim to achieve for the public sector in the country?

Harith: Century Software (Censof) is the leading provider of financial management solutions for government that have been developed in compliance with the Standard Accounting System for Government Agencies (“SAGA”) criteria. With a strong track record spanning over two decades, the company has installed and maintained financial management solutions for an extensive portfolio of public sector clients comprising government agencies at the federal, state and local council levels.

Censof is responsible for SAGA implementation among government agencies. To date, more than 86 government agencies in Malaysia are using its SAGA-certified products and solutions. Via Censof, the Censof Group possesses a variety of solutions to help clients achieve sustainable growth and realise operational excellence through integration.

Apart from financial management solutions, we also provide customisable business solutions pertaining to business performance, business intelligence, data analytics, application development and more. Our solutions can be installed on premise to optimise client’s internal infrastructure, or on-cloud within a secure, modern and reliable delivery framework. Our state-of-the-art financial management and business solutions have helped government agencies to manage public funds effectively. The team and key delivery personnel are all Project Management-certified professionals with qualified accountants forming the majority of our consultants.

The partnership aims to set a cloud platform for Censof to enable its SAAS services to their customers. It gives them the flexibility to grow to their customer demands with assurance on a secured cloud. It assures all customer data private and safe across online services.

EITN: Please do share how Crayon can help businesses make data-driven and cost-saving decisions.

Harith: Software assessments, Crayon uses the ITAM certified methodology reports to identify unutilized licences in the customer’s system. This can be a periodical review to understand licenses consumption versus optimisation. We then ultimately recommend the right and suitable license baseline for our customers. Customers would see the end result a drastic reduction in software spending.

Cloud economics is an assessment methodology that enables our customers to understand their current on premise infrastructure costs and performance. This enables them to make a comparison in performance and costs by running their services on public cloud with the benefits of subscribing into multiple on demand services. We provide recommendations either to subscribe to an IAAS, PAAS or SAAS based services.

Crayon Cloud-iQ is a self-service e-procurement platform where you can manage Cloud products, services, and economics across multiple vendors through a single-pane portal view. Cloud-iQ provides instant access to cloud services, comprehensive spending reports, and flexibility to adjust services and costs as you go.

Crayon Empower-iQ is an online portal to help organizations get the most from their investment in Microsoft technologies. Empower-iQ trains end users on specific applications to dramatically increase learning and adoption of Microsoft technologies.

EITN: Please share about strategic partnerships you have made to drive the country’s digital agenda. Do you have examples from other countries to share as well?

Harith: Crayon was the nominated partner in driving digital transformation aligning with the objective of digitalizing Malaysia. With Censof’s Government Resource Planning (GRP) system supporting the Malaysian government’s ability to maximize its resources and widely influence how other industries operate their businesses, Crayon steps in to lead the end-to-end services and premium support that reflect positively in meeting the evolving needs and cost optimization performance the Government and public sector.  

Celcom and Crayon’s partnership led in mitigating the digital divide the Malaysia economy faced. Celcom curated business suite packages that drive SMEs in adopting cloud-based systems, that enabled them to maintain business continuity during the pandemic uncertainty. The support by Crayon in migration, implementation and technological support enabled a seamless and cost-friendly digital transformation, ensuring SMEs capitalized on the cloud resources that meet their current and future workload needs.  

EITN: What are some of the initiatives that can be put in place to drive wider acceptance and adoption of AI and ML?

Harith: The world is consistently evolving and asking for new ideas in dealing with challenges and innovations. There are multiple areas that can support wider acceptance and adoption of AI, however cost can be a prohibitive factor when it comes to innovation, and AI/ML is no different.

Its use is limitless and across fields. A good example where rapid increase in colon cancer cases prompted a new Norwegian regulation in 2019 offering annual screening to all male citizens over 55. This dramatically increased resource requirements for the hospital, especially given that the only way to be sure whether a tumor was malignant or benign was to surgically remove it and have it examined by a doctor.

As a result, doctors at Oslo University Hospital were looking for a way to avoid both the medical toll these procedures took on patients and their organizational drain on resources. Crayon participated in creating a tool to assist the doctors in making the critical colon cancer diagnosis visually. This was done by training a machine learning model on historical data in both text and images and on oncology data. By both decoding and classifying the pathology reports, the solution could classify images and detect polyps in the colon as accurately as a highly experienced and well-trained doctor.

the solution could vastly improve diagnosis accuracy, efficiency and scalability while reducing the number of unnecessary invasive procedures and the time spent diagnosing each patient. But most importantly, the solution could help save lives.

A case study on an ongoing project Crayon is implementing with Downer Group: Downer Group leverages AI-infused analytics to drive the development of next-generation health, safety and environment management systems with Crayon – Microsoft Australia News Centre