Jumaat, 6 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Business

TM expects 10% hike in revenue from tie-up with Microsoft


Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) expects to see a 10% increase in revenue from its product UniFi with Microsoft Office 365, a collaboration with the eponymous software and hardware developer.

Currently, TM has over 102,100 customers for its existing Office in a Box package and from this figure, 4,700 customers have subscribed to the Office in a Box with Microsoft Office 365 package.

Although last December it targeted to reach 23,000 new subscribers for the new bundle, which was launched in October 2012, TM views this positively as there were customer upgrades from the Business Broadband to UniFi.

"We will continue to aggressively promote TM products and solutions in our efforts to empower Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through greater efficiencies," TM SME executive vice-chairman Azizi A. Hadi tells StarBizWeek.

Essentially, the new package offered to SMEs include Office Web Apps, E-mail and Calendars, file sharing, managing projects and instant messaging as well as Presence & Conferencing, a video conferencing software, among ancillary peripherals.

Up the value chain

Azizi says the whole point of the deal is to assist SMEs move up the value chain via information and communications technology (ICT) solutions, and ultimately, to lower their operational expenditure and capital investment, and help increase profitability.

"This is a very good deal as for any purchase of Microsoft Office 365 ID outside of this TM package will be charged in US dollar using the current rate. For ala carte purchases of the Microsoft Office 365 ID via TM's BizApp Store, customers will be billed in local currency and it is fixed at RM21 per user ID," he says.

As of September 2013, there were more than 505,200 SMEs nationwide subscribing to TM products and services.

The communications provider will continue to explore initiatives that enhance the SME sector, including collaborations with key industry players such as property developers to reach out to SME communities.

"In our effort to expand high speed broadband (HSBB) service beyond the public private partnership (PPP) with the Government of Malaysia, we also embarked on the Smart Partnership programme with local property developers nationwide for TM to deploy and provision our HSBB network infrastructure and services to new residential and commercial developments," Azizi says.

Infrastructure provider

To date, TM has signed on over 18,000 residential and commercial property units, where the communications company acts as the network infrastructure provider for their new housing developments.

"Such collaborations will help increase the usage of high speed broadband among Malaysians, and with the establishment of HSBB-equipped housing cities, it hopes to boost ICT adoption towards achieving the household broadband penetration target of 75% by end-2015, as outlined in the National Broadband Plan," he adds.

Moving forward, TM is looking out for more collaborations to boost the penetration and growth of SMEs in the country and abroad.

Current collaborative partners include the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, SME Corp and the Multimedia Development Corp, where products, services, programmes and events are put together for the SME community.

"We will be announcing more partnerships with other corporations in the near future," Azizi says.

According to TM, micro and small enterprises contribute up to 97% of the total SME establishments in the country.

However, most are unaware of the benefits of ICT and how it can be leveraged upon to further enhance their business operations.

"Business customers need a higher level of understanding of the package before making the decision as it will greatly affect their business operations. That is why we continuously organise on-ground events such as BizFest, BizBrigade abd BizFiesta to provide them with better understanding of the products and services as well as gain their acceptance and trust in our UniFi service," Azizi says. "We have a comprehensive suit of more than 40 innovative ICT products and services designed to increase productivity and operational efficiencies."

Business wisdom as a X’mas gift


Can you get smart by reading 75 books recommended by a magazine?

CHRISTMAS is less than three weeks away. What can you get for the entrepreneurs and executives who seem to have everything? How do you shop for those who already own the latest gadgets and the most stylish clothes, and who regularly enjoy fancy meals and exotic getaways?

How about buying them some business wisdom? Of course, it's not something you can pick out at a department store and hand to the clerk at the courtesy counter for gift wrapping. But Fortune magazine offers an option close enough to that.

Actually, it's not a new idea. To celebrate its 75th anniversary back in 2005, Fortune published three special issues. The first came out in March and it focuses on business wisdom. One article, titled The Smartest Books We Know, immediately grabbed my attention, and since then, I've gone back to it many times.

You can read it at money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/03/21/8254826.

It has an irresistible selling point. Twenty-one writers had come together to produce short reviews of 75 books that will "stir your brain – and maybe even stir you to action".

The standfirst to the article is in itself a great (but hyperbolic) hook: "Fortune offers the ultimate reading list: 75 books that teach you everything you really need to know about business."

Writer Jerry Useem likens a book to a wise counsellor at your disposal – "one that will sit patiently until called upon and even fit in your bag".

"You can't always have the perfect book at the ready. But you can have the perfect reading list on hand," he adds.

You expect wisdom to emanate from everywhere, and fittingly, the list is a mixed bag. The oldest book is Sun Tzu's The Art of War, published circa 500 BC. The most recent (bearing in mind that the article originally ran in 2005 and hasn't been updated) are two that were released in 2004.

The list is arranged according to topics – booms and busts; the corporation; decision-making; economics; ethics; globalisation; investing; leadership; negotiating and managing; office politics; power; project management; strategy; technology and innovation; Wall Street; and work and life.

Best of all, many of the books are not the sort you'll find in the business section of bookstores. For example, four of the five titles that Fortune recommends under the category of decision-making, have nothing to do with the running a company.

These four are about a mountain-climbing expedition, the aftermath of the sinking of a whaling ship, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

Also in the list are books that tell the stories of non-business landmark events and undertakings, such as TV show Saturday Night Live; the Manhattan Project, which gave birth to the atomic bomb; the horrific Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia in 1993, which claimed the lives of almost 20 US soldiers (and one each from Malaysia and Pakistan); and the civil rights movement in the US led by Martin Luther King Jr.

This eclecticism is both delightful and enlightening. The diversity of subject matters ensures that there's plenty of discovery, learning and novelty as one ploughs through the books.

At the same time, the list underscores the fact that business is a lot more than just making and selling goods and services. It's a cliche, yes, but business is indeed about people and what they do.

I have no problems accepting that there's an enormous amount of business wisdom within the covers of these 75 books. I'm sure it's not "everything you really need to know about business", but if you want somebody to gain an insight or two about business, you can't go wrong by presenting that person with these books.

The most convenient way is to hunt down the books online and try to get them all in one go. It's expensive and the recipient will end up with a huge pile of unread books. Fortune reckons, maybe half seriously, that you'll need 75 years to devour the entire list of books.

I want the books for myself, and I prefer the collector's approach. It's about patience and the thrill of the hunt. It's fun to search the shelves at the bookshops to see if I can spot any book that's on the list.

The joy is doubled when I can get it cheap, which means I don't mind foraging at second-hand bookstores, warehouse sales, flea markets and charity bazaars. The condition of the book is secondary; it's the words on the pages that truly count.

To date, I've read 13 of the 75 books. That's only a 17% progress, but still, I should feel a little smarter, right? And maybe I do. After all, having a reading habit is always a wise choice.

  • Executive editor Errol Oh is feeling weird about writing in the first person. It's worse now because he just referred to himself in the third person.

Cyberview and Gadang team up for RM1.06bil development


CYBERJAYA: Government-owned Cyberview Sdn Bhd and diversified firm Gadang Holdings Bhd will team up for a RM1.06bil project here, to be developed over nine years.

The project will comprise 794 units of the 1Malaysia Housing Programme, or PR1MA houses, 142 two-storey link houses, 340 stratified two-storey link houses, 1,074 apartment units and 150 government quarters.

It also includes developing one plot of commercial land. The entire development will comprise four phases.

Cyberview managing director Faris Yahaya said that earthworks were expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, with sales of the first phase starting in the third quarter.

The first phase, he said, would comprise 325 units of PR1MA houses and 142 two-storey link houses, which would begin from RM500,000 each.

"Cyberjaya has a total investment gross development value (GDV) of RM35bil to-date, and the GDV over the next five years is expected to be at RM20bil, with an RM8bil investment from Cyberview," Faris said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

He noted that apart from the PR1MA houses, all other housing units under the nine-year project would also be priced "more competitively" than similar properties in the market.

Cyberview is the land owner of Cyberjaya Malaysia, an information and communications technology-focused township.

It has the mandate to spearhead the entire development of Cyberjaya Malaysia, which currently hosts more than 700 companies.

Gadang is its joint-venture partner-cum-developer for this development.

Gadang executive director Kok Pei Ling said that details on the profit sharing for the project between the two parties were still being finalised.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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