Microsoft is set to establish its first data centre region in Malaysia as part of its ‘Bersama Malaysia’ (Together with Malaysia) initiative.
The data centre region, planned for the Greater Kuala Lumpur area, will deliver Azure Availability Zones and provide access to the full Microsoft Cloud stack, including Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform in addition to Azure.
In line with Microsoft’s global commitment to shift to renewable energy by 2025, the vendor will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100 per cent of carbon-emitting electricity consumed by all its data centres, including the planned Malaysia data centre region.
Microsoft’s ‘Bersama Malaysia’ initiative, of which the new data centre region plays a core role, marks a significant commitment by the vendor to help empower Malaysia’s inclusive digital economy and advance the nation’s digital transformation across the private and public sectors.
In conjunction with the initiative, Microsoft plans to skill an additional one million Malaysians by end of 2023 to help create economic opportunities for people and businesses in the digital era. The vendor has also stated its commitment to equip individuals with equal opportunities to thrive in a cloud and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled digital economy.
This commitment is a continuation of Microsoft’s global skills initiative since July 2020, which has reached more than 110,000 Malaysians to date.
The technology giant also plans to help form the ‘MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council’ to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations, supporting the Government of Malaysia’s MyDigital goals to transform the country into a regional leader in the digital economy.
“We are proud to cement our partnership with the nation to accelerate its digital economy,” said K Raman, managing director of Malaysia at Microsoft. “Public-private partnerships are key enablers to propel Malaysia’s digital economy forward. “Microsoft’s Bersama Malaysia initiative reflects our joint commitment in support of the nation’s MyDigital aspirations, as we empower every person and every organisation in Malaysia to achieve more."
“With over 200 employees and 2,000 partners in the country, we will continue to support a digitally-enabled government, empower businesses to build resilience digitally, and bridge the digital opportunities for Malaysians. Together, we stand with Malaysia."
Broadly, the initiative will see Microsoft work with the government, start-ups and enterprises to support the country’s digital transformation goals.
The MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council, established in partnership with the Social & Economic Research Initiative (SERI), will see the company collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations. The Alliance’s first meeting has already taken place, discussing the virtues of using digitalisation in the education sector to nurture a globally competitive Malaysian digital workforce.
Moreover, two of Malaysia’s largest companies, Petronas and Celcom Axiata, have committed to helping advance Malaysia’s nation building and digital ambitions, as well as using Microsoft Cloud from the new data centre region when available.
“Today’s announcement represents a major milestone for Microsoft in the 28 years we have been operating in Malaysia,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft. “We share the Government’s commitment that digital transformation must be inclusive and responsible.
“As such, we pledge to empower one million Malaysians with digital skills, helping them to take advantage of the opportunities this new investment will bring. Building digital infrastructure is fundamental to advancing a nation’s digital economy.
“The upcoming data centre region will be a game-changer for Malaysia, enabling the government and businesses to reimagine and transform their operations, to the benefit of all citizens."
Microsoft, together with local partner Enfrasys Solutions, has been appointed by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) to provide cloud services to the Malaysian public sector agencies until 2023.
Microsoft will also partner with Censof Holdings, Silverlake Group and Web Bytes to accelerate digital transformation in the nation’s key industries, including financial services, retail, food and beverage, as well as the public sector, the company said.
In February, Microsoft unveiled plans to launch its first data centre region in Indonesia, going head-to-head with Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a landmark move designed to deliver cloud services locally, aligned to in-country data security and privacy laws.