Photo - Mohd Rasidan Mohd Taher, Country Director of Avaya in Malaysia
From Avaya's perspective, 2012 has been an exciting year. Customers continue to look for creative ways of using technology to streamline business costs and enhance efficiency. We have seen more and more adoption of real-time collaboration tools to ensure people are fully connected at all times and from any location. And video collaboration is at the top of many people's agenda. They want to unshackle video from the boardroom, and use it across the organisation. Customers have also shown huge interest in mobile video that is accessible from any device, simple to use, interoperable with desktop and room based systems, and fully integrated into the company's UC [unified communications] environment.
Furthermore, 2012 was the year of 'Bring Your Own Device' trend. This is the most far reaching in the context of 2012. The phenomenon's importance is no long debatable - in line with Gartner's report outlining its Top Predictions for 2012 highlighting that by 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets and enterprises offering appliance-level support for enterprise mail and calendaring. Cloud adoption remains a key priority for businesses in 2012, as companies look for the right way and platforms for Cloud orchestration to align resources in a manner that boosts productivity and overall efficiency in their communication systems.
The high point has to be how technology is truly helping to support and in some cases define business success. Investment decisions are driven increasingly by business imperatives. Customer service is talking its rightful place as a critical priority, and companies serious about retaining customers and growing both loyalty and reference have invested in multichannel, multimedia customer contact facilities that deliver an exceptional, integrated customer experience. The ways in which technology has helped enhance efficiency and save costs at a time when companies are reducing their spending in many cases has also been a plus. Video collaboration, better integration of systems and processes, and more efficient management of data have all contributed to this in 2012.
The low remains the uncertainty in the global economic environment. This continues to impact the spending of larger companies, as some important technology decisions are delayed. But the good news for Malaysia and for many countries in the ASEAN region is that smaller companies and those in the mid market segment have been less impacted by global economic pressures, and are taking advantage of that fact to make strategic investments in technology to help grow their business and compete more effectively with larger players.
In 2013, The Asia Pacific region is an economy driven by small and medium businesses - and this is reflected in Malaysia as well. The drive to succeed that characterises many Asian businesses requires an equally dynamic and determined communications infrastructure. In 2013, Malaysian SMEs will want access to the sophisticated real-time collaboration tools that bigger businesses are getting but at a price point they can afford to compete more effectively against peers and larger competitors. SMEs require solutions that provide the competitive innovation they need to effectively compete and support their increasingly mobile workforce. At Avaya we've already made a commitment to focus on this market in 2013 and it's a huge opportunity for our partners.
Furthermore, 2013 will see the enterprise IT sector continue its shift from a technology-centric to user-driven IT environment and will culminate in three major trends that will make a big impact: As organisations look to gear up on productivity this year, video will continue to be the winning solution that saves time and increases productivity in 2013. Taking Video out of Boardrooms will be key.
According to The International Monetary Fund International Economic Forecast 2012-2013, Asia in 2013 will stay positive with emerging markets taking the lead in driving the economy forward and continue to face immense pressure to improve business performance, productivity and higher levels of efficiencies.
With the mounting pressure to succeed and compete globally, Asian companies look to channel IT investments wherever there is a compelling return in terms of efficiency gains, cost savings or service enhancement. Travel cost savings and efficiency gains through mobile video collaboration, customer retention and increased advocacy through effective customer experience management; direct cost savings through better integrated, more efficient and better performing Unified Communications and Networking solutions will all continue to drive customer investments in 2013.
In an economic environment which is still uncertain for many, total cost of ownership (TCO) remains very high on people's lists. Customers will want solutions, which protect their existing investments, help them to improve business efficiency, reduce costs and requirements for travel, and enhance compliance control for many companies and customer service for almost all.
As such the ICT industry is on the path to a robust year. Analyst firms like Canalys predict total IT investments to grow an average of 5 percent per annum to reach US$152 billion by 2016.