Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Telkom, Microsoft partner to scale digital transformation in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia – ​Indonesia-based telco Telkom has partnered with tech giant Microsoft to accelerate Indonesia’s digitalisation and strengthen intelligent infrastructure. This partnership is a continuation of the memorandum of understanding signed by Telkom and Microsoft in August 2021.

The partnership aims to support Telkom’s vision as the digital telecommunications company of choice in order to advance society and empower the country’s digital economy, as well as support Microsoft’s Empower Indonesia initiative. It will also explore new opportunities in the market, and empower organisations in various industry segments by leveraging the telco’s infrastructure.

Moreover, the partnership will see Telkom accelerating the level of enterprise adoption of cloud-based services and a secure cloud environment, as well as increasing competence through training and Microsoft certification. This will help TelkomGroup to increase employee productivity, simplify the collaboration process, automate work processes, increase customer engagement, and create innovation, as well as increase the efficiency of operational activities safely.

In terms of intelligent infrastructure, Telkom and Microsoft will also collaborate in developing national intelligent infrastructure. The cooperation being explored, for example, includes the use of Telkom’s Hyperscale Data Center infrastructure assets to support the country’s digital transformation journey and several operational activities for Microsoft’s upcoming data centre region in Indonesia as announced in 2021.

Ririek Adriansyah, Telkom’s president director, shared that the initiative to establish strategic partnerships with a number of global tech companies is expected to have a positive impact on Telkom’s business development, especially in the digital platform and digital services domain.

“We really welcome this collaboration with Microsoft in the hope that it will not only bring benefits to both parties, but more importantly, it can provide the greatest benefit to the digitisation of Indonesia,” said Adriansyah.

Meanwhile, Dharma Simorangkir, Microsoft’s president director for Indonesia, said, “Technology is the cornerstone of industrial digital transformation. Through strengthening collaboration with Telkom, we hope to be able to further assist Indonesia in every stage of the national digital transformation, and build personalised services that bring us closer to Digital Indonesia.”

Technology Featured Global

MoEngage, Microsoft team up to empower customer-centric enterprises

Singapore – Global customer engagement platform MoEngage has partnered with tech giant Microsoft to allow enterprises to gather insights and run personalised, omnichannel campaigns for different customer segments to boost engagement, retention, and revenue.

Through the partnership, brands can now use Microsoft to bring together transactional, behavioural, and demographic data to create multi-dimensional customer profiles and export them to MoEngage to engage them with push notifications, emails, text messages (SMS), Whatsapp messages, mobile in-app messages, or website messages.

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, a consent-enabled CDP, helps brands deliver personalised customer experiences by providing 360-degree views of their customers and AI-driven insights based on unified customer profiles. 

Meanwhile, MoEngage’s Insights-led Engagement platform, a CEP, on the other hand, allows brands to reach their customers across their preferred communication channels at the right moment in their customer journey.

Raviteja Dodda, CEO and co-founder of MoEngage, said, “With our collaboration, enterprises can transform their business into customer-centric organisations by creating delightful and memorable experiences across multiple touchpoints. We’re happy to add Microsoft into our ever-growing partner ecosystem and are excited about co-creating the modern norms of customer engagement.”

Technology Featured APAC

FIS’ modern banking platform now available on Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform in Thailand

Thailand – Global fintech FIS has partnered with tech giant Microsoft to integrate its FIS modern banking platform into the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, aimed at expanding digital online banking to financial institutions in the Thailand market, as well as in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. 

This offering combines the latest advancements in cloud security, monitoring, resiliency, and operational analytics with a modern, cloud-native core. 

The FIS Modern Banking Platform helps banks design, build, and deploy new products and services. Through a platform that’s fully API-enabled, FIS’ real-time solution is cloud-native and provides financial institutions with advanced analytics. ‘Modern Banking Platform’ uses artificial intelligence and component-based architecture and is built to be highly configurable while providing next-level security for financial institutions and their customers.

Andrew Beatty, FIS’ head of enterprise banking, commented that they are incredibly excited for financial institutions in more countries to experience the Modern Banking Platform that is cloud-native through Microsoft Azure.

“Teaming with Microsoft allows us to provide a secure, scalable, and compliant SaaS solution in the cloud that helps financial institutions adapt to complex and changing regulations in multiple jurisdictions. Deployment via Azure also provides our clients with elasticity, meaning banks can quickly update their infrastructure to adjust to the volume of business. It’s a solution that allows us to offer the same high level of support and operations that we currently provide with the FIS private cloud,” said Beatty.

Meanwhile, Bill Borden, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of worldwide financial services, shared that they are pleased to partner with FIS to help more financial institutions modernise their payments and core banking to meet rising customer expectations and drive new value.

“Running on Microsoft Azure, FIS’ Modern Banking Platform delivers a flexible, data-driven solution to deepen customer relationships and roll out products more quickly, while managing risk effectively,” said Borden.

Technology Featured APAC

Outbrain expands partnership with Microsoft

Singapore – Global web recommendation platform Outbrain has expanded its global partnership with tech giant Microsoft, to utilise cloud computing service Microsoft Azure and encompass business, technology, and services.

Outbrain has been a long-standing Microsoft partner, through technology and advertising integrations that span MSN, Microsoft 365, Xbox, gaming, and Microsoft Bing. The expansion of the partnership will entail a multi-year Azure engagement to further enable the fast-paced innovation of Outbrain’s media platform. 

Through this, Outbrain aims to leverage Azure to further its global expansion, accelerate development cycles, and improve connectivity between advertisers and publishers, particularly with Outbrain’s programmatic bidders. This will also continue to drive forward the partnership through continuous innovation, enhancing Outbrain’s extensive data estate with a rich set of tools and services, ultimately helping Outbrain’s customers improve their business outcomes.

David Kostman, Outbrain’s co-CEO, commented that they are excited to further expand their strategic partnership with Microsoft, as they both share the mission of supporting independent journalism and the open web.

“Over the course of the last decade, we have worked together to serve publishers and advertisers with high-quality solutions across the globe. Extending our partnership with Microsoft to include Microsoft Azure technology as part of our hybrid cloud platform will drive innovation and deepen the relationship between our companies,” said Kostman.

Meanwhile, Andrew Burke, Outbrain’s managing director for APAC and growth markets, namely India, China, and Brazil, said, “This partnership represents another significant milestone in our efforts to provide innovative solutions to publishers and advertisers in our local markets”

Tara Brady, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of strategic partnerships, said, “We are pleased to expand our established partnership and look forward to partnering with Outbrain’s technology teams as they leverage Microsoft Azure’s most advanced technologies to service their customers.”

Rob Wilk, Microsoft’s vice president of advertising, commented, “We’ve been impressed by Outbrain’s platform, scale, and technology and are pleased to see Outbrain embrace Microsoft Azure and look forward to how it will improve performance for advertisers in Microsoft’s growing advertising ecosystem and on the open web.”

Technology Featured Global

Microsoft to acquire AT&T’s Xandr

New York, USA – Tech giant Microsoft has announced that it will be acquiring Xandr, the advertising and analytics division of multinational telecommunications company AT&T. Said acquisition is built on a decade-long relationship between the two companies, including its predecessor companies, and Microsoft for delivering global digital media solutions for advertisers. In fact, Microsoft had recently partnered with Xandr this year as its global media space monetization partner.

With Xandr, Microsoft aims to accelerate the delivery of digital advertising solutions for the open web by combining Microsoft’s audience understanding, technology and global advertising customer base with Xandr’s large-scale, data-driven platforms for advertising.

Some of these platforms include first-party data-centered buying platform Xandr Invest, full funnel marketing offering Xandr Monetize, and native ad buying solution Microsoft Audience Network.

Mike Welch, executive vice president and general manager at Xandr said, “Microsoft’s shared vision of empowering a free and open web and championing an open industry alternative via a global advertising marketplace makes it a great fit for Xandr. We look forward to using our innovative platform to help accelerate Microsoft’s digital advertising and retail media capabilities.”

Microsoft and Xandr both said that they share visions and complementary strengths to empower the open web, where everyone can thrive and do so in a way that is consistent with their commitment to strong data governance and consumer privacy practices.

Mikhail Parakhin, president of web experiences at Microsoft, commented, “With Xandr’s talent and technology, Microsoft can accelerate the delivery of its digital advertising and retail media solutions, shaping tomorrow’s digital ad marketplace into one that respects consumer privacy preferences, understands publishers’ relationships with consumers and helps advertisers meet their goals.”

Technology Featured Global

Microsoft taps Xandr anew as partner for media space monetization

Singapore – Microsoft, which has multiple consumer properties such as Microsoft News, MSN, and, has renewed its global contract with Xandr as its sell-side (SSP) and demand-side platform (DSP) for expanding and diversifying its ad space inventory and augmenting its marketing spend, respectively. 

The renewed contract is an extension of over ten years of partnership with Xandr. On the sell-side, Microsoft will be extending its use of Xandr’s sell-side platform, Xandr Monetize. It aims to widen its monetization strategy, focusing on increasing Microsoft’s unique audiences for advertisers across premium display, video, and native supply in more than 100 countries. 

“We always seek to align our partnership opportunities to serve the best interests of and to directly benefit the marketers and agencies looking to drive growth through our unique Microsoft audience. Our renewal with Xandr, after ten successful years of partnership, extends globally-scaled programmatic access to Microsoft’s audience that marketers rely on today,” said Kya Sainsbury-Carter, VP of global partner sales at Microsoft.

As digital advertising budgets shift to video, Microsoft ramped up video monetization efforts supported by Xandr’s video technology solutions and unique video demand. Initially, Microsoft launched Xandr Monetize with a single video ad format in one market and quickly expanded to three formats and into over 60 global markets. 

Those three video ad formats include instream pre-roll, outstream in-article, and ‘BannerStream’ which enables multiple media types to participate in a single unified auction.

Most recently, Microsoft was an early adopter of Xandr’s simplified server-side header bidding solution, Prebid Server Premium. With the technology, Microsoft consolidates its demand for video and native through the tools on Xandr Monetize to enable efficient private marketplace (PMP) buying and providing advertisers a unified path to access Microsoft supply. 

On the buy-side meanwhile, Microsoft will be augmenting its media spend through Xandr’s Invest DSP as one of its primary DSPs for marketing campaigns.

Dave Osborn, Xandr’s SVP for North America commercial & global partnerships, said that its holistic relationship with Microsoft is one entrenched in innovation and collaboration. 

“We deeply value their continued trust in our platform and team to support formats that are so critical to the future of our advertising business,” said Osborn. 

“Microsoft’s international growth on Xandr, across the buy- and sell-sides, and across leading formats like video and native, are critical components of our global marketplace as Xandr builds to support campaigns that span screens,” he added. 

In 2020, Xandr joined the Microsoft Audience Network, which serves ‘Microsoft Audience Ads’, the only native advertising solution built by its trusted search platform, Microsoft Bing. Xandr has integrated premium third-party supply in the network, giving buyers the ability to target Microsoft’s unique audiences at scale across premium international native supply through Xandr Monetize.

Marketing Featured East Asia

The Hoffman Agency to handle Microsoft HK’s PR duties

Hong Kong – Integrated communications agency The Hoffman Agency has been recently appointed by the Hong Kong arm of tech giant Microsoft to handle its public relations business, effective 1 July. Said appointment comes in line with the company’s 30th anniversary and the upcoming launch of Azure Availability Zones in Hong Kong.

Through the agency appointment, The Hoffman Agency will work to strengthen Microsoft Hong Kong’s position as a leading technology partner for Hong Kong businesses with a focus on cloud computing, hybrid workplace and cybersecurity. In short, this will bring a fresh perspective to strengthen Microsoft Hong Kong’s communications efforts.

In addition, the agency will be responsible for developing external communications programs, aimed at showcasing how Microsoft Hong Kong is using its technologies to empower individuals, businesses and organizations across different sectors, and its partner network, to emerge stronger in the post-COVID world. 

According to Kevin On, general manager for Hong Kong at The Hoffman Agency, both companies share the same vision of empowering companies to solve business problems. He added that the agency will take a fresh, innovative approach to communications and support Microsoft Hong Kong to achieve more as they celebrate 30 years in the city

“Microsoft plays a key role in helping businesses transform globally and locally, and we are excited to be a part of this. There are unique and powerful stories behind every technological advancement, and our mission is to bring these to the fore and convey Microsoft’s empowered Hong Kong narrative in a compelling way,” On stated.

The Hoffman Agency has also been recently appointed by Shutterstock earlier this year to handle the company’s communication accord from March to December 2021.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab PH, Microsoft to offer learning opportunities via new GrabAcademy

Manila, Philippines – Super-app Grab in the Philippines has partnered with Microsoft to launch the GrabAcademy online platform, with the aim to provide its driver and delivery partners free and equitable access to new learning and development opportunities to enhance their skills and become competitive in the digital-first economy.

The GrabAcademy has three learning pillars, namely ‘Safety across the platform’, ‘Growing within the platform’, and ‘Thriving beyond the platform’. In addition, topics such as taxation and vehicle sanitation will also be migrated online. 

Interested participants can easily register within their Grab Driver app, and will receive a completion certificate upon accomplishing the courses.

Grace Vera Cruz, the country head of Grab Philippines, shared that the super-app’s driver and delivery partners have spent many years providing essential services to all their kababayans (fellow countrymen), and as a community partner, they are committed to supporting their everyday needs and their long-term success. 

“Our GrabAcademy is a clear expression of our long-term commitment to the development and well-being of our partners – both within and beyond our platform, and we are blessed and excited to be with Microsoft on this journey. Through this partnership, we hope to deliver these programs that will provide more holistic training support for our partners to help them become more competitive in a digital-first Philippines,” said Vera Cruz.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Philippines’ Country Manager Andres Ortola commented, “We’re excited to join hands with Grab Philippines in this effort, which will be the first of many more programs to drive positive outcomes and economic recovery for the Philippines.”

Just recently, Grab Philippines has also launched ‘GrabBayanihan Vaccination Support Program’, in an aim to motivate all its consumers, drivers, and delivery partners to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Platforms Featured Global

WPP to launch ‘Cloud Studio’ across global network via Microsoft tie-up

London, United Kingdom – Creative transformation company WPP and tech giant Microsoft have recently entered a new partnership to launch ‘Cloud Studio’, an innovative cloud platform targeted to transform creative content production.

Cloud Studio aims to allow creative teams from across WPP’s global network to produce campaigns for clients from any location around the world. It is also the advertising industry’s first bespoke platform for virtual production that arms creatives with the technology to collaborate and create impactful work for clients, moving content creation, production and editing out of on-premises environments and into the cloud.

WPP will roll out Cloud Studio to 5,000 employees across its network, notably within WPP’s creative production operation Hogarth, giving them the ability to access production tools and services from standard Internet-connected devices via Azure without the need for the traditional hardware or physical equipment.

In the longer run, WPP has plans to expand the platform more broadly, with a potential deployment of up to 25,000 users.

For Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft, digital technology is rapidly transforming every aspect of the media and advertising industry, including how content is produced.

“Together with WPP, we will apply the power of Azure’s scalable, intelligent infrastructure to support next-generation content production and ensure thousands of WPP employees remain agile, collaborative and creative from anywhere,” Nadella stated.

Cloud Studio enables WPP to fully embrace today’s new world of hybrid working environments while providing business continuity and the ability to deliver outstanding work for clients across teams and markets. This intelligent categorization of content will enable WPP to give teams the assurance of version control, eliminate duplication of content and empower creatives working across markets and time zones with access to the right assets for the right product or market.

“Technology is what powers WPP’s creativity; it allows us to realise our ideas, uncover insights and embrace innovative ways of working. The pandemic has shown how WPP teams can successfully collaborate to create extraordinary work for our clients, all while being physically apart,” said Mark Read, CEO at WPP

He added, “Partnering with Microsoft on Cloud Studio is the next step in our journey to arm creative teams with the latest in cutting-edge production tools, and draw upon the best talent, regardless of where they are.”

SME Featured Southeast Asia

MY’s Cyberjaya Startup Summit goes virtual this year with rebranding to boot

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – As the pandemic wears on and all previously in-person events pivoted to digital, the Cyberjaya Startup Summit in Malaysia has decided to join the bandwagon, rebranding the event as the ‘KL Startup Summit 2021’ (KLSS). 

Previously held editions of the summit were in 2018 and 2019. This year’s inaugural KL Startup Summit will be in partnership with Microsoft Malaysia, to be conducted this 26 to 28 March. 

The summit aims to support the early-stage startup ecosystem and create opportunities for founders to build and grow their startups, with the event to carry the theme ‘Talk Less, Do More’.

The various sessions at KLSS 2021 will include insightful talks, interactive discussion panels, as well as a series of masterclass workshops by successful startup founders, ecosystem builders, investors, corporates, and government partners.

Furthermore, this year’s summit will be structured along several confirmed themed tracks, such as healthtech, lawtech, fintech,and blockchain tech, as well as mobility tech, and edtech, with various partners such as DoctorOnCall, Fintech Association of Malaysia (FAOM), Blocklime, and Access Blockchain Association, as well as SOCAR Malaysia, and Forward School, among others.

The Microsoft Developers Day by Microsoft Malaysia will kick off the KLSS 2021 on 26 March, which will be open and free to all developers, CEOs, CIOs, IT professionals, and startup students, as well as educators, and partners and all tech enthusiasts. 

This Microsoft virtual program will bring together keynote speakers, industry champions, community leaders, business owners, and developers over the course of the day, to inspire and educate the builders of tomorrow.

Within the KLSS event, a ‘Shark Tank’ style event for on-the-spot fundraising will also be hosted, in partnership with STARTFUND. The segment is curated especially for good-fit investors who are passionate about supporting early-stage startups and are able and willing to pledge their investment on the spot.

According to the Director of Summit, Inbaraj Suppiah, this year’s summit is going to be action-oriented with all stakeholders and partners committed to providing resources for the growth of the Malaysian startup ecosystem, saying that they are grateful that Microsoft Malaysia has shown their full commitment and support for the local ecosystem.

Meanwhile, K Raman, managing director of Microsoft Malaysia, said, “Startups play a vital role in our economy as innovators, disruptors, and first-movers. We’re excited to be part of the KL Startup Summit, to help enable local startups to make a real impact in their markets and drive digital innovation in the region. We look forward to walking with more founders along their growth journey and supporting them to scale and achieve more.”

KL Startup Summit has recently announced via social media that due to strong support from sponsors and partners, the virtual access to the summit is now free for all startups. Participants can still get their ‘swag kit’ with an optional RM50 ticket, while corporate and investor tickets are priced at RM300. All tickets can be purchased from the KLSS 2021 website.