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Software AG: Industry4.0 drives integration, API, IoT and analytics in APJ

The Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region is a study of extremes when it comes to digital maturity levels. Companies like Software AG, however, sees there is rising demand overall for digitalisation across the region.

EITN chats with Anneliese Schulz, Regional President for APJ, Software AG

EITN: What is Software AG’s outlook for hybrid integration and API, and IoT and analytics in APJ?

Anneliese: For the last two years, Software AG has seen over 30% consecutive annual growth in the APJ region alone, with our APJ network reaching over 200 customers across industries such as banking & insurance, manufacturing & logistics and energy & utilities and the telecommunications sector. This is attributable to the constant and growing need of products and services related to hybrid integration, API, IoT and analytics.

We continue to experience a rising demand for these services in APJ, given the accelerated momentum of Industry 4.0 and digitalisation across the region.

EITN: Can you share about some of the innovations and use cases that use these technologies, in APJ and Malaysia?

Anneliese: Some use cases include:

  • Telstra

Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, has recently partnered with Software AG to create a solution for digital automated water management. A Cumulocity IoT-based pilot solution has been launched at Western Australia’s Busselton Water, combining digital meters, dedicated pressure sensors and Telstra’s NB-IoT network with Software AG’s IoT analytics solution. Together the companies are able to deliver true water management-as-a-service.

  • Fullerton Health

Fullerton Health, an integrated enterprise healthcare provider in the region, will be leveraging Software AG’s IoT platform to enhance healthcare delivery. Through the Fullerton Systems & Services (FSS) Digital Healthcare Platform powered by Software AG, Fullerton Health is able to bring data from different sources together for analytics to generate insights, allowing easy access of data for its staff and improving operational efficiency. This helps to support remote monitoring, clinical and claims data and inventory management, and secure medical device integration, allowing doctors and clinicians to get real-time patient updates and deliver the appropriate care that they need.

  • BTPN

BTPN, one of Indonesia’s largest banks, has been banking on Software AG’s webMethods platform, which integrates systems and applications across multiple deployment environments to better drive real-time intra-bank transactions and its internet and mobile banking functionality.

Software AG webMethods has helped BTPN bridge back-end processes, departments and customers, setting the momentum for BTPN’s transition to becoming a transactional bank in the mobile era. The integration platform currently powers two of BTPN’s mobile banking services:   BTPN Wow!, a mobile banking platform that can run on legacy cell phones through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), and Jenius, a mobile banking application that supports banking activities such as saving and transacting money. These mobile services have helped drive financial inclusion in Indonesia, with more than 85,000 BTPN account openings in just three months.

  • AmBank Group

AmBank Group, one of Malaysia’s largest banking groups, has been utilising Software AG’s webMethods integration platform for its retail banking services. With webMethods, core banking applications are seamlessly integrated into AmBank Group’s on-premises applications to establish a single connected infrastructure. Not only has this simplified maintenance, but it also has enhanced time-to-market with the capability to reuse the services built.

EITN: What are the challenges around to take up of these technologies in this region?

Anneliese: Firstly, some enterprises remain slow in adopting these technologies, given the shortage of employees with the relevant skills to manage and operate them. As a Korn Ferry study has predicted, digital transformation in Asia Pacific could be hampered by a shortage of two million technology, media and telecommunications workers by 2030.

Another challenge is ensuring that security is not compromised as enterprises focus on their digital transformation initiatives which trigger IT projects like cloud service adoption, modernisation of back-end systems, automation, etc. As data and devices become increasingly connected, enterprises are bound to be more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybercriminals, for instance, have been leveraging APIs as attack vectors.

With increasing regulations set up to protect data, such as GDPR and Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in Malaysia and Singapore, enterprises have to undertake additional compliance measures. Ensuring data storage that meets data privacy and security requirements becomes more complicated when data is stored on external cloud rather than an on-premises data centre.

These factors, compounded by the increasing cyber threats, dissuade enterprises from fully implementing hybrid integration, APIs, IoT and analytics.

Last but not least, companies struggle to harness value of data they accumulate. At Software AG, we work with closely with our local partners to ease the adoption process for our customers and provide the latter with an array of products and innovations that empower them with the freedom to connect and integrate applications, cloud platforms, IoT devices and data, while ensuring that they have the right cybersecurity capabilities to manage these technologies.

EITN: Please share some insights and observations about the landscape and the outlook for the next few years.

Anneliese: We are seeing a high take-up rate in APIs and IoT across Asia Pacific – with IDC forecasting USD 381.8 billion in IoT spend by 2022.

The past five years have seen organisations increasingly leveraging APIs to drive better enterprise-wide data management and accessibility, enhance relationships in the enterprise ecosystem, and eliminate silos across value chains.

Financial services institutions across APJ, for instance, have started to leverage open banking, to drive enhanced and streamlined accessibility to financial products and services through better transparency and secure information-sharing. The launch of the API Exchange (APIX) last year has shed light on the value of API management in the successful implementation of open banking initiatives, and how it helps address shifts in customer expectations across the banking sector.

IoT is also increasingly seen to provide value in monitoring customers’ preferences and buying behaviour, as enterprises focus on creating relevant solutions that match consumers’ needs. For instance, in the financial services industry, IoT is increasingly leveraged to drive risk and fraud prevention, claims management and customer engagement. We have also observed an increasing synergy between AI and IoT in various sectors.

EITN: What are the low hanging fruits that you have observed, and what are the steps that Software AG is taking to leverage them?

Anneliese: The Asia Pacific region is seen to be the fastest-growing region in the global hybrid integration market, attributable to favourable government regulations that support its adoption. Software AG hopes to capitalise on this growing market and provide enterprises with more choices and freedom to utilise and integrate applications and devices to fast-track innovation, better turn data into value, and improve overall efficiency across enterprises.

We have been expanding our partner network in the region help connect clients with applications, data and devices that simplify their digital transformation journey. To date, Software AG has 120 partners in APJ, and we will continue to build on our strategic alliances and channels across the region.