IDC DX Awards 2017 – Malaysia Edition

International Data Corporation (IDC) Malaysia’s inaugural Digital Transformation (DX) Awards 2017 saw three eminent companies, Astro, Grab and Alliance Bank winning in three DX categories respectively.

The Awards was organized by IDC Asia Pacific with the aim of recognising outstanding organisations in Malaysia that have made critical breakthroughs in business transformation in one or more dimensions in IDC’s DX framework.

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. And boy, have they set stringent and exhaustive criteria. Only three categories out of a possible seven, passed IDC’s close scrutiny and resounding winners were selected.

L-R: Sudev Bangah, MD IDC ASEAN; Dato Rohana Rozhan, Astro Group CEO; Mr. Ken Yong, Senior VP, Head Group Transformation Office of Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad; Ms. Regina Robin, Communications Manager, Grab Malaysia; and Pranabesh Nath, Research Director, IDC Malaysia

These three winners were selected via a three-phased approach. Each nomination goes through an initial assessment carried out by a local IDC analyst. The second phase requires all nominated organisations to go through IDC’s MaturityScape Benchmark Assessment and “score”. Finally, local and regional analysts, with inputs from the academia, convene to review the nomination and the MaturityScape results in the context of the country/industry landscape.

The DX initiatives that distinguished these three Malaysian winners are:

  • Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad – named the Digital Transformer of the Year. IDC lauds Astro’s DX programme aimed at transforming Astro into a customer-centric, digital, cloud and mobile-first, analytics-driven organisation.
  • Grab Malaysia – named the Digital Disruptor of the Year. Its carpooling and ride-hailing app has disrupted the local transportation sector.
  • Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad – named the Omni-Experience Innovator. Alliance’s Cash2Home, a first-in-Malaysia mobile foreign remittance solution uses new technologies to facilitate customer experience and generate additional revenue.

 Astro – “AWS is What We Want to be When We Grow Up!”

Dato’ Rohana Rozhan, Group CEO of Astro said, “In our journey of reinvention, Astro is embracing change brought about by digital, online and mobile while staying true to our core as a consumer-focused company. Our household proposition has been strong over the past 20 years, where today we serve 72% of total Malaysian households, that is 5.3 million out of 7.4 million Malaysian households.”

“We are held to a higher standard as we are such a known brand, unlike ‘disruptive’, ‘novel’ brands that go niche before they go mass. As people are creatures of habit, they want everything that they had… and then more! I realise that when my son watched the FIFA World Cup 2014, Astro was on TV in the background while he was actively chatting, commenting and interacting on the game on his laptop.

We see the need to step up our pace and immersion in learning and relearning, building on our strengths and capabilities in our quest for increasing customer relevance in the New World. The company has launched and built digital consumer brands such as Astro GO and Tribe, our local and regional OTT service; Go Shop, our ecommerce platform; Gempak, top Malay entertainment portal and Awani, a leading digital news platform. Today, Astro operates over 40 digital brands across websites and apps, reaching almost 7 million unique visitors per month.”

Dato’ Rohana added that Astro had signed a 3-year collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), taking a leaf off AWS as “AWS is what we want to be when we grow up!”

Along with the digital transformation of the entire organisation, this collaboration will be instrumental in building Astro’s capabilities in software development, artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, video delivery, ad technologies and e-commerce.

Grab – “We Disrupted … Complacency”

On being identified as a “digital native” and seen as a “disruptor”, Regina Robin, Communications Manager of Grab Malaysia said, “At the heart of what Grab stands for is how we can improve lives. We always ask what is the problem we are trying to solve, by using technology.

Safety is paramount to passengers and looking after the welfare of drivers too is important. Today we have drivers who have managed to pay off housing loans and wedding bills just by driving for Grab! We are also looking at strategic partnerships, for e.g with Petronas and Tesco, to help drivers lower their cost of driving.

In the early days as “MyTeksi”, our team went on the ground to talk to taxi-drivers to buy into the idea of buying a smart phone and using the app to earn money. It was not about trying to disrupt taxis, rather to show them how to use their phones to match drivers to passengers. We invested so much time to convince the drivers.

Then, our app just matched driver to passenger. Today, the app has evolved with all sorts of algorithms and “engine” behind the app. We can now look at distance and time travelled, study the map, passenger routes, the traffic and analyse if we are maximising efforts with drive time. We are only 5 years old and still improving, still constantly re-iterating.

Grab is known as a disruptor only because we disrupted complacency … because there is always a better way to do anything.”

The many iterations of Grab are dotted all over Southeast Asia – there is GrabCar, GrabTaxi, GrabBike, JustGrab, GrabShare, GrabHitch, GrabFamily, and there are more to come.
Alliance Bank – “Fintech is a Catalyst”

Ken Yong, Senior VP, Head Group Transformation Office of Alliance, surmises, “Fintech is no doubt the buzzword and catalyst for the financial services industry. The focus is now on the customer, who prefers to have less and less direct interaction at a bank’s branch. We already see this happen in the travel agency industry and it is no different in the financial institution industry.

“Alliance’s cashless remittance app was borne out of addressing the need of migrant workers in Malaysia to remit money home in a cost-efficient and time-efficient way. Instead of our SME  customers having to bring a dozen workers to our branch (which may drive away our regular customers) and spend an average of 3 working days processing bank account openings for each of them, we have now cut down that time to just a few minutes using our Cash2Home mobile phone app. This high efficiency costs only one-tenth of a branch account opening.

That is a real business proposition there! We looked at the communities that were underserved and realised that we already had many customers who employed many foreign workers.

In cognizance that mobile phone is seen as less secure than going to the branch, we have turned the phone into a “security token” which uses biometrics and a “blink” of the eye to authorise transactions.

IDC’s Take

“In Malaysia, the most progressive organizations that possess a strong digital mindset have disrupted the landscape, as consumers become increasingly tech-savvy in the face of borderless competition. Our winners for Malaysia have shown that DX is no longer just a buzzword, but a must. Our research shows that more than 90% of enterprises in Malaysia now recognize the importance of digital transformation in transitioning to the new digital economy. Moreover, almost a quarter of the companies are now actively working on digital transformation strategies and projects in Malaysia, based on our latest research,” says Pranabesh Nath, Research Director, IDC Malaysia.

Nath added, “These research results indicate the awareness and adoption of emerging technologies that enable disruptive business models, new revenue streams and operating models is increasingly at an impressive rate.”

The Malaysian winners will now go on to represent Malaysia to compete against other Asia Pacific countries to be recognized as the regional IDC Asia/Pacific DX Awards 2017 bests in Singapore on 28th November 2017. The categories under contention are: Digital Transformer of the Year, Digital Disruptor of the Year, DX Leader – Omni Experience Innovator, DX Leader – L3D Mastery, DX Leader – Information Visionary, DX Leader – Operational Transformation, and DX Leader – Talent Acceleration.



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