By JO TIMBUONG
KUALA LUMPUR: Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) is partnering with software giant Microsoft Corp to accelerate the development of locally-made cloud software and services under MDeC's MSC Malaysia Cloud Onboarding Programme (COP).
The partnership which comes in the form of the Azure Power Programme will see an investment of RM1.1mil by both parties to boost the cloud ecosystem for small and medium businesses.
The programme is designed to provide comprehensive end-to-end assistance for Malaysian independent software vendors (ISVs) to develop solutions using Microsoft's cloud platform, Azure.
Azure allows developers to build applications using various programming languages, including Python, Ruby, Eclipse, Java, PHP and Microsoft's .Net and Visual Studio.
According to Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, MDeC chief executive officer, 64% of Malaysian companies have either started or are actively planning cloud initiatives.
"COP's main aim is to prepare the Malaysian cloud ecosytem by enabling ISVs with the skills, mindset and technology they need to provide world-class, cloud-based services," he said at the launch of the programme here.
The entire programme will be done in three steps which Microsoft and MDeC will help ISVs through. The first step is to help ISVs adopt a cloud-based business model and this is known as the cloud onboarding phase.
"This first step is particularly important because most ISVs assume that providing cloud services merely means putting applications and solutions on the Web," said Microsoft Malaysia managing director Ananth Lazarus.
Once this step is completed, they move to the next, called the SaaS (software as a service) acceleration phase, which is designed to reduce initial operating costs and risks.
In this phase, each ISV can receive up to RM27,000 worth of subscription funding for the Azure platform to develop their applications. They will also receive product certification to help them establish credibility before going to market.
ISVs that are ready to market their solutions will then enter the cloud to market phase, which seeks to assist ISVs to commercialise their products. In this phase, ISVs will receive the necessary commercialisation support.
Ten ISVs are already part of the Azure Power Programme. Microsoft hopes to get 40 ISVs into the programme over the next three months. There are now 20 applications waiting to be processed, according to the software giant.
ISVs present at the launch said the partnership will enable to them to take their business further by allowing them to offer their customers cloud-based solutions.
Trevor Keegan, managing director of Taxsaya.com said the cloud will change the way things work for his customers. "There is no longer a need to create and test installers or download anything. It will make operations more cost effective," he said.
Wilfred Yeo, managing director of Nexoft which provides ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions to timeshare companies, said the programme will let his company deliver a solution that can be used straight from the box.
"My customers don't have to spend time maintaining the system and can concentrate on their core business. It also allows us to build systems faster," he said.