How Tech Intensity is Empowering Indonesia for the New Normal

 |   Haris Izmee, President Director Microsoft Indonesia

Jakarta Skyline

COVID-19 has changed the world forever, shaking societies and economies to the core. While the pandemic has shown that no business is 100 percent bullet proof, those that are reinforced with efficient digital technology will be able to transform quickly when facing massive structural changes in the market.

How is that possible?  We have seen 2 years of digital transformation in 2 months around the world due to the local lockdowns and large-scale social restrictions (known as PSBB in Indonesian). But we have also seen several organizations use technology effectively to empower themselves in this new normal.

As an example, national oil and gas giant Pertamina is one of Indonesia’s largest state-owned enterprise (SOE) with offices and employees across the archipelago. When the PSBB was announced, they quickly scaled up their existing technology and added a few more to connect and empower the thousands of employees and contractors that had to work from home.

They selected Microsoft Teams for its secure online collaboration tools, including a video conferencing system that they used to not only do their virtual all-hands meetings but also conducted online interfaith prayers with all employees and their families throughout the nation. Prayers led by local religious leaders were conducted for Pertamina’s Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist employees who joined in via their PC, laptop, or mobile phone.

Another company that turned to technology innovation is Indosat Ooredoo, whose legal team had to find a new way to work from home despite the many documents and contracts that had to be processed. They quickly created a workflow to automate contracts, secure approvals, and used digital signatures that helped accelerated collaboration & decision-making.

With Microsoft Teams for collaboration (as well as for secure annual shareholders meetings) and Microsoft Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow), the company empowered its users to access and perform their work from home as well as help management track the contracts they initiated.  By allowing technology to help manage and make processes more efficient, Indosat’s Legal Team contributed towards shaping the organization into an agile & trusted digital company.

National logistics company JNE knew that technology can help enhance collaboration within its employees during the PSBB. The company’s employees began to get used to the digital tools they already had. In addition to using Teams for communications and collaboration, they quickly created cloud applications with Azure DevOps that accelerated the development process.

In addition, it only took 5 days for JNE to successfully create dan deploy PowerApps to help increase productivity of their existing workflows. This surely came in handy when the government appointed JNE to deliver social assistance in the form of thousands of tons of rice to the greater Jakarta area. The systems were scaled up to help track and monitor the delivery that went to not only the general public but also to foundations for the disabled, orphanages and nursing homes using an armada of 1,000 vehicles.

These companies followed a process Microsoft calls tech intensity, where tools and technologies are utilized to invent unique digital solutions that would solve complex business and market issues. This would not only empower the business to be more agile in facing new market challenges but also move faster than their competitors who did not leverage technology to their advantage.

We believe that by Empowering Indonesia (or Memberdayakan Indonesia), all our stakeholders nationally will be able to achieve more, which is our company mission.  We break this down into four key areas: Tech Innovation, Skills & Employment, Modernizing Education and AI for Indonesia.

Now is the time to look again at what can be made more efficient and how can tech innovation help. For example, if before we had to manage server rooms and hardware in the past, we can now manage and add additional virtual machines or servers in the cloud with just a few clicks on the Microsoft Azure dashboard.

To help increase market skills & employment, Microsoft last month announced a global initiative aimed at increasing digital talent to 25 million people worldwide by the end of 2020. Expanding access to digital talent is an important step to accelerate economic recovery, especially for those affected by layoffs. This can be accessed at

For education, over the past 25 years Microsoft has trained 18 million teachers and students in Indonesia in digital skills including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and data science through our Digital Literacy Curriculum.  We continue to help improve technology education with various partners for Indonesia, including our own Microsoft Learn (at where you can discover new skills, find certifications, and advance your career in minutes with interactive, hands-on learning paths.

And finally, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a technology that will help provide high work efficiency for companies investing in the future of their business. It has become more accessible compared to years past.  Microsoft has various artificial intelligence technologies that can be used directly through Microsoft Azure.

The COVID environment is a time of reflection to see what can be more efficient, what investment should be made, and what workflow must be abandoned.  With the right strategies in place now, including being on the cloud and utilizing artificial intelligence from the beginning to accelerate growth and scale, as well as helping to develop the next generation of digital workers, this will pay dividends not just for our business and industry but for Indonesia’s economic wellbeing as a whole.

For more stories of Microsoft technology innovation in Indonesia, visit