Recently, I had the time to look back at my seven plus years with Microsoft, reflecting on our journey and the milestones we achieved in Malaysia. What makes me most proud is how all of us come together to continue making impact in Malaysia. Working together with a team of more than 200 people, I realize the value of having a diverse team, who come from different walks of life and bring with them different experiences — which help us relate more effectively not only in the work that we do for our customers and with our partners, but also for our local communities.
Looking back at how much our nation has progressed over the last 65 years, it is clear that the rapid pace of digitalization, even from the effects of the pandemic alone, will continue to transform Malaysia. This was what drove our Bersama Malaysia commitment last year, where we announced three key promises to the nation: To establish Microsoft’s first datacenter region in the country; To skill an additional 1 million Malaysians by the end of 2023 and; To support the formation of the MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council for development of cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations.
Skills is currency for the digital economy
Naturally, we were aware that these commitments cannot be achieved by us alone. To reach our goal of upskilling 1 million Malaysians by the end of 2023, we partnered with organizations including government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporates, as well as education institutions, to name a few. It brings me great joy to share that we have achieved 50% of our skilling target as of July 2022.
Some of our skilling milestones include a partnership with HRD Corp to upskill 300,000 Malaysian professionals over the span of three years. Through this initiative, we target job seekers and fresh graduates, equipping them with the necessary in-demand skills before they step into the workforce. Today, these digital skilling courses are available for free on HRD Corp’s e-LATiH platform.
As part of our commitment to nurture future leaders of our country, Microsoft is also in touch with education institutions. To ensure that our younger generations are equipped with the skills to pursue their dream careers, we work closely with schools and universities. One example is Universiti Tun Hussein Onn (UTHM). Through UTHM’s Academy of Intellect and Data Analytics (AI.DA) program, we are not only supporting the digital upskilling of students but also empowering educators to transform teaching and learning resources in tandem with the growing adoption of digital tools. Aside from that, we are collaborating with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) on a publicly available upskilling program targeting students and professionals via Let’s Learn Digital.
On the public sector front, Microsoft is working with MyDIGITAL Corporation and the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) through the MyDIGITAL GovTech Innovation partnership, which aims to provide civil servants with access to digital skills and training.
Beyond that, we also work with our customers and partners through digital and instructor-led training, events, as well as certifications. A prime example for this includes our collaboration with PETRONAS to nurture a sustainable pipeline of an inclusive, future-ready digital workforce through the PETRONAS Digital Academy.
To ensure that we reach people of all backgrounds, including young adults and people living with disabilities, we work with non-profit organizations as well – including the likes of Biji-biji Enterprise and Junior Achievement (JA) Malaysia. Our partnership with these organizations span over several programs that help enhance employability.
On top of digital skills, we are committed to enhance cybersecurity literacy in Malaysia and across the region. Earlier this year, we hosted a webinar focusing on women in cybersecurity to raise awareness among female university students on career opportunities in cybersecurity. In February, Microsoft also launched the ASEAN Cybersecurity Skilling Programme (ASEANCSP) in collaboration with ASEAN Foundation. By working with local implementing partners, the program is aimed to benefit 120 master trainers who will then cascade the cybersecurity literacy down to 6,000 Malaysian youth.
We want our skilling, reskilling, and upskilling initiatives to reach and benefit a wide group of people in helping empower Malaysia’s inclusive digital economy. Fortunately, we are not alone in this journey and were able to form various partnerships to help us move towards this goal and provide equal opportunities for Malaysians.
Empowering people, communities, and organizations
Digitalization has proven that access to the internet is fundamental. But we are aware that in reality, there are many who still have limited access to internet services. With the support of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), UiTM Holdings, and AxiCom, we launched the first TV White Space technology in Malaysia. Through this, local businesses and communities in rural areas will have access to more opportunities by leveraging the enhanced broadband connectivity.
We are also working with the Government to support the nation’s move to the cloud. We signed a Cloud Framework Agreement (CFA) with MAMPU to create a trusted cloud network and empower the public sector in their digital transformation journey. On top of that, we are collaborating with the state of Sarawak to explore cloud-based solutions for key economic sectors as well as digitization for SME players in the state. By doing so, we want more people and businesses to enjoy the benefits of technology, and ensure that nobody is left behind.
More recently, we kickstarted a collaboration with Cradle, the focal agency in charge of supporting growth of the startup ecosystem in Malaysia. By incorporating Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub within Cradle’s MYStartup platform, local entrepreneurs will have access to a global platform to scale their innovations. Startups are the backbone of our economy and Microsoft aims to enable trusted partnerships dedicated to opening opportunities for startups to scale and reach new customers globally.
As a Malaysian, I know that we are capable of realizing and making the best out of our nation’s digital transformation journey. As the role of technology continues to grow among businesses and communities nationwide, I am humbled to continue being a part of the driving force for the country’s digital future.
This year means all the much more for Microsoft in Malaysia. After having established our presence here in 1992, this year marks our 30th anniversary in Malaysia. True to our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, our 30th year serves as a reminder that we not only celebrate our achievements throughout the past three decades, but our sights are also set on a better future. From data and artificial intelligence to virtual and augmented realities, the digital realm is growing as we speak. We aspire to realize the technological potential of Malaysia to empower those in need, bridge digital divides, and pave the way for an inclusive and sustainable digital future, for all Malaysians.
On behalf of Microsoft, I’d like to wish every Malaysian: Selamat Hari Kebangsaan!
Kami Bersama Malaysia.
This post was first published on LinkedIn by K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia