UEM Group’s digital transformation: Conflict-free despite two competing cloud platforms in the mix

UEM Group has announced a partnership with Microsoft to work on cloud-based digital initiatives. An event was held to formalise the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both parties to work together on a digital advisory basis, and also to announce their decision to produce a smart facilities management (SFM) application.

All these efforts are a continuation of UEM Group’s digital transformation journey which began last November with a RM150 million Oracle cloud-based ERP implementation. UEM Group MD and CEO Dato’ Izzadin Idris commented when concerns about conflict between two competing cloud platforms were raised by Enterprise IT News.

He said, “We took a long time to decide on our ERP solution and to ensure that it is done properly.

“We don’t see any conflicts (between Oracle and Microsoft deployments), but if there is, it’s very little and there are obvious paths to solve it.”

He gave the example of project management applications which both vendors offer and how UEM would select the better solution.

Microsoft Malaysia MD, K.Raman added, “We can co-exist and work with all tech and vendors.”

Digital advisory

The collaboration came with no money value being announced to the media.

Dato’ Izzadin explained, “(The deployment) is part of a bundle which was already procured.” This includes subscriptions to Microsoft’s productivity and collaboration suite Office 365, although he admitted that the MoU is about bringing it all to a whole new level.

The digital advisory partnership involves IT architects and methods like visioning, workshops, design and deployment of new services like the SFM application for the facilities management sector.

Dato’ Izzadin admitted that this partnership is a new way for UEM Group to roll-out IT solutions aka digital solutions to the whole group.

Building better products

According to Raman, “As we move along our advisory process with UEM, we want to build more digital services. Currently, building assets like chillers and fan coils are involved, but there are more ‘moving parts’ to a building that can help the building be managed better.”

The SFM app is a joint-effort between Microsoft and UEM Edgenta, UEM’s total assets solutions subsidiary entity. It is based on Microsoft’s Azure IoT Hub and machine learning technologies, and aims to enable buildings and building assets like chillers to become intelligent, cost-efficient and customisable.

Once completed, the app would be published to Microsoft’s Azure marketplace, turning it into what Raman called a market opportunity for other facilities management companies that have not gone digital yet.

UEM Edgenta CEO, Azmir Merican claimed that since the use of digital technologies like Internet of Things, real-time analytics and machine learning, potential cost reduction of maintaining a building can go down by as much as 18- to 20-percent.

UEM Edgenta’s hope is to replicate this method of savings for the healthcare and large infrastructure sectors.

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