Asia Vision Series

Some of us have big dreams, some of us have passions that run deep, while some of us have an intense interest in a subject. Combining all these qualities we get an opportunity to witness something extraordinary. This is the Asia Vision Series – where we look into the minds of our subject matter experts and visionaries in the region, uncovering their thought leadership views on various issues across the technology industry.

Michelle Simmons: Empowering Emerging Markets

As Microsoft’s business leader for nine of Asia Pacific fast-growing markets, Michelle Simmons, general manager for Southeast Asia New Markets, is optimistic about the positive impact that digital transformation can bring to the region. She is also passionate about leveraging education and cloud technologies to empower these emerging markets so that they can make their mark in the global economy.

Running the digital transformation marathon in emerging markets

Simmons runs marathons. So, she knows almost anything can be achieved with tenacity, perseverance, and commitment. As Microsoft’s General Manager for Southeast Asia New Markets, she’s now helping governments and companies in emerging economies run a marathon of their own as they create a better future for millions of people through digital transformation

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Upskilling: Digital transformation is economic transformation for all

Is digital transformation something to be feared or welcomed? Simmons says emerging markets in Asia are embracing digital transformation with optimism. By building digital skills businesses in these countries can internationalize and compete globally in higher-end industries while workers can more meaningful careers.

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Game-changing cloud: New business mindsets to compete globally

Thanks to the cloud, there is an unstoppable wave of optimism sweeping through Asia’s emerging markets. Michelle Simmons, Microsoft’s General Manager for Southeast Asia New Markets shares why cloud is the big game-changer for businesses in these areas and how companies are using it to compete with multinational corporations and establish their footprint in the global economy.

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Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez: An inclusive digital revolution in Asia

Overcoming the challenges of growing up in the slums to become a Harvard graduate and speaker of six languages, Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez, Microsoft’s regional director for Corporate, External and Legal Affairs for Southeast Asia, discusses how her personal journey has been a key motivation behind her passion for diversity and fairness, and how technology has the power to break down the barriers of inequality in Asia.

Can Asia address the inequality of growth?

Dr. Tuminez attributes her success today to being granted access to education when she was young. In this part of the interview, Dr. Tuminez shares why it is critical for Asian countries to create an inclusive environment where the benefits and opportunities of education as well as technology are made accessible for all.

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Bridging the gap through digital literacy

With the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, coding is the new universal language of the 21st century. Dr. Tuminez examines why digital literacy is critical for individuals to stay relevant in the digital age and why reskilling will be the norm moving forward.

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Democratizing technology for an inclusive revolution

Achieving inclusive growth requires businesses, governments and non-profit organizations to have a common vision of improving the human condition. In the last installment of this series, Dr. Tuminez looks at why technology has the power to break down the barriers of inequality in Asia and how it is protecting, transforming and giving hope to the vulnerable as well as underserved communities.

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Ralph Haupter: The 4th Industrial Revolution in Asia

How is the 4th Industrial Revolution changing the way people work, live and play in the region? Ralph Haupter, president of Microsoft Asia, discusses why we are at the cusp of the next big technological wave and what people and businesses need to do to adapt to this increasingly digital world.

Digital transformation and the 4th Industrial Revolution

One of Haupter’s fondest childhood memories was when he received his first PC for Christmas, beginning his introduction to computing and passion for technology. In this interview, he gives a deep dive into the disruptions from the 4th Industrial Revolution and how we can seize the opportunities its offers.

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Riding the digital disruption wave

Do people have anything to worry about the 4th Industrial Revolution? Ralph discusses the different perspectives, but stresses how societies should not be resistant to change. Instead, they need to embrace innovation and view the industrial revolution as a catalyst for exciting new opportunities, as well as improvements in economic and living standards.

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Smarter leadership through data intelligence

From the boardroom to the classroom, having a data culture is a key process in any digital transformation journey. In the final part of this series, Ralph shares his insights on how business leaders and customers across Asia can leverage data intelligence as well as other elements to reinvent their organizations.

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Stefan Sjöström: Building Smarter Cities in Asia

There is little more gratifying than seeing how technology is being put to good use in improving the quality of people’s lives. Stefan Sjöström, vice president of Public Sector, Microsoft Asia reveals the lifechanging experiences that continue to motivate his work – enough to have even made him return from ‘retirement’. He also shares how his fight with cancer has inspired him.

What makes a Smart City?

Sjöström shares what makes a city truly smart, in the first of our three-part interview, and how he came to be involved in championing the use of technology among mayors across Asia Pacific.

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How to build a Smart City

Smart cities are not always full of fancy futuristic gadgetry. Sjöström examines challenges faced by developed and developing cities in their adoption of smart city technologies, as they move towards improving the delivery of citizen services.

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The power of thinking young

From smart cities to the the people who make them possible. Sjöström highlights the importance of smart leadership in realizing the value of technology, as well as the potential of youth to shape the future of Asian cities.

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Takuya Hirano: Japan’s Digital Transformation

Takuya Hirano, president of Microsoft Japan, dives into issues affecting Japan’s digital transformation journey, and on a personal level, Hirano also shares how his own sense of identity and global experiences have shaped his world view.

Digital transformation: The future after the lost decades

In this interview, Hirano discusses why it is critical for Japanese businesses and organizations to embrace digital transformation, and how it can help the country make up for lost ground economically. In addition, he explains what may be holding back companies from doing more.

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Putting digital transformation on the business agenda

Digital transformation is not just about moving to digital platforms, or upgrading IT resources. The process needs to be well-thought out and be mapped to business outcomes as different companies will have different objectives. Hirano shares how Microsoft Japan alongside the rest of the country has been adopting work style innovation.

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Embracing security as an agent of change

Business leaders need to shape a culture that prioritizes security in the business agenda. Security does not necessarily come at a trade-off when leveraging newer technologies, such as the deployment of cloud and mobile-based systems. Hirano shares why this is a critical enabler for digital transformation.

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Jeff Bullwinkel: Trust in the Digital Age

Jeff Bullwinkel, associate general counsel and director of Corporate, External and Legal Affairs (CELA), Microsoft Asia Pacific & Japan, a former federal prosecutor with the US Department of Justice, as well as Microsoft’s most senior legal counsel in Asia, shares the reasons behind his passion for law and driving policies around trust in technology.

People don’t use technology they don’t trust

Bullwinkel’s personal approach towards data privacy is just one of the few topics discussed in this Asia Vision Series interview. In the first of a three-part feature on trust in a digital age, Bullwinkel also shared about the role lawyers play in protecting customer data, and how enterprises can reconcile that with governments’ need to access information for law enforcement purposes.

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Building trust in cloud in Asia

Technology has moved forward, and regulations need to catch up – Bullwinkel discusses this in the context of data residency as consumers and companies move to the cloud. With developments like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he also shares how promoting the free flow of data across borders brings the need review the potential tension between security and privacy interests.

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Trust as competitive advantage

Trust in the cloud will be a crucial factor for what Microsoft calls “Industry 4.0”, an era in which digital transformation is driven much more by ubiquitous computing powered by cloud technology. Bullwinkel shares how this will be a critical competitive advantage for businesses, as they begin to recognize that security of their data is crucial to continue attracting and retaining customers.

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Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon: Artificial Intelligence

In this interview, Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Asia, Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group, a thought leader in the field of innovation especially artificial intelligence, shares his personal journey toward chasing his passion for innovation, and the relationship between artificial and human intelligence.

Dr Hon NC 1Big dreams behind Xiaoice

In this first feature, we go on a journey with Dr. Hon, where he shares his childhood dream a future where systems could answer any question posed by humans, and how that shaped his entire education path and even career, leading to innovations like the Xiaoice chatbot.

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When AI meets HI

Do we need to worry about machines getting smarter than humans? Dr. Hon doesn’t think so. In this feature he discusses how it’s actually the equation of Artificial intelligence (AI) + human intelligence (HI) that brings man and machine together to create the best of both worlds.

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From industrial to invisible revolution

From industrial to invisible revolution: In the final instalment of Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon’s Asia Vision Series features, we explore how AI can act like “guardian angel” and is able to change the way we live.

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