Microsoft holds Innovation Conference to herald AI and cloud as driving forces behind future success for Thai SMEs

 |   Thornthawat Thongnab

Man speaking on stage with screen backdrop showing a drone

Bangkok, April 9, 2019 – Microsoft Thailand showcased the intelligent capabilities of AI, cloud, and the Internet of Things and highlighted their roles in enhancing Thai SMEs’ performance and competitiveness on the global stage in the Microsoft Innovation Conference, which was recently held at the InterContinental Hotel Bangkok. The event sought to provide technical and strategic advice to leaders and IT employees from small and medium enterprises across the country while also highlighting notable solutions that promise to enhance the performance and efficiency of any organization.

At the event, Microsoft executives – led by Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director of Microsoft (Thailand) Limited – presented guidelines in adopting world-class technologies for all businesses and industries. They also discussed the “Three Clouds” concept – the integration of three Microsoft solutions and cloud platforms in Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 – for achieving greater business growth through increased agility.

“The saying ‘AI is everywhere’ is increasingly becoming the reality in Thailand. From online shops using chatbots to automatically reply to customers to banks deploying Electronic Know-Your-Customer functionality to verify user identity in online transactions, these scenarios are all infused with AI-based technology,” said Mr. Dhanawat. “AI and cloud are no longer out of reach for Thai SMEs, and the most significant barrier to their adoption is no longer financial. Instead, it is the lack of strategy and idea in business development. This is especially true in Thailand, where only 26% of businesses have embraced AI as a core part of their strategies. We believe that the concept of ‘Tech Intensity’ is a must for businesses in the era of AI as they need to transform their culture and processes at work to match the new operating environment with new technological capabilities.”

Enhancing customer experiences and improving operational agility with quality solutions from Microsoft partners

Man in booth with TV screenIn this event, Microsoft Thailand partnered with leading solution providers in Thailand to jointly showcase the latest products and services for SMEs and large enterprises. The solutions on display covered a wide range of operational aspects, from customer experiences to internal procedures. For example, Wolf Approve, a cloud-based document submission and approval system by TechCons Biz Co., Ltd., simplifies the handling of documents in processes such as expense reimbursement and allowance, leave day application and more by creating all-digital forms and approval processes on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

Siroat Tusnaipitagkul, Solution Specialist for TechCons Biz, said, “In addition to transforming a system traditionally involving enormous amounts of paperwork into a paperless digital process, Wolf Approve also supports configurable conditions that apply automatically in the approval process. The system can be adjusted to match how each organization operates to eliminate confusion in sending the right documents to the right approvers. It also supports mobile applications that allow employees and authorizers to submit and approve documents anywhere, anytime – even in their travels.”

Woman in front of booth displayThe Smart Self-Checkout solution by Riverplus Co., Ltd. utilizes Azure’s Custom Vision service to create an AI system that recognizes objects in front of the camera and responds with the appropriate service for customers. Bakeries, for instance, can train the AI to recognize visible characteristics of each type of pastry product, allowing customers to simply put their tray under a camera to get a final price tally, see combined calories intake, check out eligible promotional offers, or any other relevant information on a nearby display. Furthermore, the Azure-based AI can also help gather additional data points such as sales statistics, top-selling products, or the customers’ age, gender, and satisfaction level – all of which can be customized to match the exact needs of any business.

“Our machine vision technology is not limited to this specific use case. It can be applied in industrial use as well – such as the inspection of identification numbers or quality control of parts in the assembly line,” said Jiraporn Teeramasvanich, General Manager of Riverplus.

Man in grey suit jacket in front of blue roll-up signageG-Able Co., Ltd., meanwhile, presented its digital human resource management (HRM) solution Staffio and one-stop e-tax solution Taxircle in the event. Staffio handles multiple aspects of HRM work – from organization structure and individual employee management to attendance time, leave days, and payroll, while Taxircle converts data from a company’s accounting systems to a fully-digital format that is ready for submission to the Revenue Department and other partners with full security and compliance standards.

Panot Kanjanasoon, Director of Marketing for G-Able, said, “We want our digital solutions to help businesses optimize how they handle existing data and working processes. Both Staffio and Taxircle are part of our Corporate Digital Solutions suite, which not only covers HR and tax matters but also encompasses a full-fledged digital marketing solution with in-depth analytics.”

Man in blue track jacket in front of booth with displayThai startup Feedback 180 has built upon its expertise in research and development with the creation of Closed Loop Feedback – a solution that harnesses the capabilities of AI and machine learning to help businesses better understand and respond to customer feedback on any medium. The system’s foundations are based on the development of text analytics capabilities built to handle Thai-language posts across the web.

Yongyuth Songsiridej, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Feedback 180, said, “Our goal is to create technology that precisely meets the needs of our customers in understanding their target consumers – from recognizing the characteristics of customers visiting a store to turning consumer feedback into attractive and personalized special offers. Businesses can also add more capabilities to Closed Loop Feedback to fit their exact use cases. The Social Voice module, for instance, offers insights into conversations around selected brands or products on social media. Furthermore, our expertise in AI-based language analytics serves as the basis for a knowledge management solution that uses the concept of a knowledge graph to enable free-form, natural language search queries.”

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