CloudMile, the cloud and AI company founded in 2017 has recently set its sights on Malaysia as its Southeast Asian hub. In an exclusive interview with DTA, Lester Leong, CloudMile’s new Malaysia Country Manager, gives us an in-depth insight into the company’s mission and plans for the Southeast Asian region.
CloudMile is one of Asia’s rising startups that has begun making its way through the region with offices in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. The company, a Google Cloud Managed Service Provider and awarded the Google Cloud Public Sector Partner of the Year Award, offers its clients exclusively Google services to digitally transform their businesses. Their mission, in the words of Lester, “is to make digital changes possible for every enterprise, commercial or government customers by helping them modernise, integrate their mainstream IT and deploy digital solutions at scale for a successful digital future for these organisations and vertical industries.”
Having explained what CloudMile is as a company, Lester divulges some notable projects that CloudMile has completed within its four years as a company, along with some of its upcoming projects. One of the most significant to date is CloudMile’s efforts to automate facial recognition for photos during sporting events to ease the process of photo distribution. Another project the company has worked on was for the No 1 taxi company in Taiwan, creating an AI application that helps taxi drivers reduce their empty car ratio to increase profits.
Upcoming projects planned for the company revolve around streamlining the security and forensics of a large organisation in Malaysia over the cloud. CloudMile has also begun interacting with the education sector to create an e-learning platform for tertiary education institutions to assist their educator-student interactions during online learning. Watch this snippet of the interview as Lester dives into CloudMile’s projects and its plans for Malaysia.
What sets it apart from other cloud service providers found in Malaysia today is that CloudMile has been fully certified by Google in four key areas of specialisation, namely cloud infrastructure, data analytics, machine-learning and cloud migration. “We are the Google go-to expert for you in Malaysia that can take on any Google services from sales to pre-sales, business proposals, deployment, support, maintenance and up to managed services,” states Lester. “We are a single-stop shop for full Google solutions to the client.” Clients of CloudMile no longer have to worry about finding separate system partners or integrators to help with different parts of their businesses as CloudMile provides end-to-end Google services.
The decision made by CloudMile to partner with Google is because Google has the most data AI/machine-learning API sources out of the three major cloud providers in Malaysia.
“We see Malaysia as a very strategic location for Southeast Asia,” states Lester when asked about why CloudMile has decided to choose Malaysia as its Southeast Asian hub. Due to the government’s digital economy initiative, CloudMile sees “a lot of potential coming into the Malaysian market to help the nation’s businesses transform.” CloudMile’s plan to set Malaysia as their support and R&D centre is based around the concept of Malaysia as a multiracial nation that can support the need for multilingual talents.
The last factor that has led to CloudMile’s decision to establish itself in Malaysia is the nation’s slow digital transformation adoption rate. The presence of legacy infrastructures in the government sector and the FSI industries make it hard for them to embrace the cloud. Lester emphasised, “we, as an early technology provider would come into Malaysia to help all these companies transform because Malaysia has a lack of digital partners and talents.” Assisting organisations with their IT, cybersecurity, IoT and workspace transformation.
Beyond helping businesses in Malaysia with their digital transformation, the country manager reveals “one of the other things we’d like to do from CloudMile’s perspective is also to work with local universities and polytechnics to look at how we can put in certain sponsors or investment to nurture talents surrounding AI, machine-learning and data analytics,” as Malaysia lacks a sufficient talent pool in these areas. CloudMile hopes to establish a student association and a platform that assists graduates entering the ecosystem with internship programs and other initiatives. CloudMile also aims to become the partner and advisor to assist Malaysian cloud-native startups and established companies with their digital transformation journey through nurturing in house talents.
With ten years of experience as the General Manager of Cybersecurity and Modern DC for Ingram Micro, Lester’s appointment as the country manager will benefit CloudMile in the long run. Lester brings a deep understanding of the whole IT ecosystem, vast knowledge of the market by industry and an excellent overview of the Malaysian market.
The company has plans to expand to other countries within the region, having already established its Singapore branch in 2019. Indonesia being the following country in their expansion plan due to the presence of Google’s data centre in the country. “Wherever Google goes, we go,” states Lester as CloudMile creates plans to support Google in dominating the Indonesian market in the future.
In closing, Lester advises customers to embrace the change of hyperscalers. “Throw away your legacy mindset, start moving into cloud as that will definitely help you look at saving costs and being able to scale and being very agile for the environment.” Urging companies to begin on a journey of cloud, data and machine-learning that is easily facilitated by CloudMile, a one-stop shop for all your solution needs.