In the rapidly digitalising world we live in today where content is increasingly being consumed through digital devices, the printing industry is also undergoing significant change. Driven by rising demand for mass customisation, Singapore, as one of the top printing hubs in Asia, is transforming the printing industry to position itself for growth in the future.
With support from e2i, which funded up to 70% of the costs, Asiawide Print Holdings (Asiawide) made significant investments in technology to secure its IT infrastructure, enhance its print offerings, and transform the way the company operates into one that works more efficiently and effectively across geographies. Similar programmes are also being offered by SPRING Singapore and IMDA, which can help businesses that require funding support to accelerate their digitalisation processes.
Here’s a look at how Asiawide managed to secure its IT infrastructure, create a more flexible and efficient working environment for its employees, and empower the business with scalability by leveraging Microsoft’s cloud-based services Azure and Office 365.
Securing IT infrastructure with Microsoft Azure and Office 365
2017 was a year marked by widespread ransomware attacks, with the WannaCry and Petya ransomware making headlines and affecting businesses in Singapore and around the world. Not only did these global events cause monetary and data losses to businesses, these losses were also beyond recovery. Deeply impacted by these global events, Picasso Terrence Hong, Chief Executive Officer at Asiawide Print Holdings saw the need to make the shift to the cloud, putting his trust in the team of security experts at Microsoft to safeguard the future of his business.
“Looking at all the cyberattacks and hacking incidents that has taken place around the world this year, there is a crucial need for us to work with professionals like Microsoft to secure our workflow and business,” explained Picasso. “By making the shift to Microsoft Azure and Office 365, and tapping on advanced technology and security expertise, I can rest assured that our data will be well protected, giving me peace of mind to focus on driving the growth of business in Singapore and the region,” he added.
As Asiawide embarked on the search for the right technology partner to facilitate its digital transformation, Picasso was introduced to VGC Technology – a Microsoft partner who was able to customise solutions for Asiawide on Microsoft Azure.
“VGC Technology is an IT consulting and outsourcing company with a mission is to empower SMEs with a reliable and cost-effective IT and network infrastructure. Since partnering Microsoft in 2008, we have empowered over 60 SMEs in Singapore with secure and effective IT solutions that enabled them to focus better on the more important parts of their business,” said Vinc Tan, Director, VGC Technology.
“Asiawide was previously using an on-premise server, and we have since helped them to migrate to Microsoft Azure, using Virtual Machines, Virtual Network and Virtual Backup solutions. With all of Asiawide’s information backed-up on the Microsoft cloud, this has enabled them to collaborate more easily among the employees, without the need for their CEO, Picasso himself to be physically present as the sole IT support to manage the on-premise server. Not only does this enable them to work more efficiently, the Microsoft cloud-based solutions also helps to minimise service downtime and enhance the security of their data,” said Hlaing Pyae Phyo, Tech Lead and Solution Architect, VGC Technology.
Additionally, the highly scalable nature of Azure and Office 365 enabled Asiawide to handle seasonal increases in print demand, especially during peak business periods.
Transforming into a modern workplace with Office 365
With a geographically diverse team, Asiawide needed a solution that could help employees work better across time and space. Picasso, as CEO of the company, travels regularly across countries and time zones to meet with business partners, while his sister and Chief People Officer, Stephanie Fang, works from home in the morning in order to manage both work and family concurrently.
Recognising that the communication system that was based on phone calls and emails are no longer sufficient, Picasso saw the need to deploy Microsoft Office 365 for key members of the company, to enable more effective communication among the employees. “Since we made the shift to Microsoft Office 365, this has made communication so much easier and convenient for me and my team. I can now have my emails with me on-the-go and have more flexible meeting times where my team and I communicate across multiple time zones,” said Picasso.
Stephanie Fang, Chief People Officer, Asiawide Print Holdings echoed similar sentiments, “Since the shift to Microsoft Office 365, this has enabled me to work remotely more often and from home. It gave me more flexibility and enhanced my ability to respond in real-time to my peers and customers.”
“Microsoft technology has changed the way we work and communicate at Asiawide. Ever since adopting cloud technology, we have become a more effective and efficient company. As we continue to set our sights on expansion in the region, having a robust IT infrastructure will enable us to build even deeper relationships with our customers and help us drive our business forward. At the same time, I am also looking at how we can utilise the intelligent insights out of the data that we have and using predictive analytics to cross-sell and upsell to improve our business,” added Picasso.
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