Malaysia’s Datacentre Hub receives major RM1.5 billion boost from DHL

AvantiKumar | Nov. 24, 2017
As well as noting that the digital economy is a key engine of growth for Malaysia, MDEC's Dato' Ng Wan Peng said, 'In addition to employment creation, this move by DHL will greatly boost and strengthen the digital infrastructure and ecosystem crucial for a thriving innovation powered socio-economy.'

DHL MDEC Datacentre hub

Photo (official): (From left) Yogananthan S, Site Head of IT Services Cyberjaya, and VP Business Relations for IT Services, Asia Pacific, Deutsche Post DHL Group; Dato' Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); and Alexander Pilař, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, IT Services, Deutsche Post DHL Group at the announcement of DHL's investment for their IT Services Data Centre.


  Digital Malaysia's hub strategy is to receive another major nod worth almost RM1.5 billion from Germany's logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL (DHL), which is marking its 20th anniversary in Malaysia.

DHL's RM1.5 billion (EUR 296.7 million) new investment - between now and 2020 -  in its IT Services Data Centre is on top of the German logistics group's RM4.7 billion (EUR 941.1M) investment to date in its Cyberjaya IT hub investment.

Speaking in Kuala Lumpur (23 November 2017), Alexander Pilař, who is executive vice president and managing director, IT Services, Deutsche Post DHL Group (part of Deutsche Post DHL Group), said that the IT Services Data Centre is providing critical IT infrastructure, business application development and support for the company's Asia Pacific and  global operations.

Over the past two decades, DHL Malaysia's staff base has also increased from 120 staff to more than 1,440, Pilař explained.

This growth has been fed by digital transformation. "Digitalisation plays an increasingly strategic role in helping global logistics networks achieve the speed, reliability and accuracy needed to keep pace with today's demands," he added.

"The investment we have made in Cyberjaya demonstrates our commitment towards enhancing our capabilities - and helping our customers improve their market positions through best-in-class IT infrastructure and skilled talent," Pilař said.

How this aligns with Digital Malaysia

Welcoming the move, Dato' Ng Wan Peng, who is chief operating officer of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), said, "We are heartened by the continued support from DHL, which reflects its unwavering commitment to Malaysia and its digital transformation agenda - as we race towards becoming a developed digital economy by 2020."

"In addition to employment creation, this move will greatly boost and strengthen the digital infrastructure and ecosystem crucial for a thriving innovation powered socio-economy," she said. "We look forward to the journey ahead with DHL, in our quest to make the digital economy a key engine of growth for Malaysia."

MDEC, as the lead agency in establishing Digital Malaysia, has stepped up efforts on strengthening Malaysia's position as a hub for key digital and industry activities. (See - Malaysia's battle plan for digital disruption: part 1 of an exclusive with MDEC's Datuk Yasmin and Disrupting the disrupters in Malaysia: part 2 of an exclusive with MDEC CEO Datuk Yasmin)

Earlier this year in April , Computerworld Malaysia asked national agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation's (MDEC's) vice-president (growth development ecosystem) Norhizam Abdul Kadir to join some of the strategic dots as well as the whys and wherefores of Malaysia's Digital Hub strategy.

The Hub programme has been seen as a master cog (see - MDEC adds another master cog to Malaysia's Digital Economy), an initiative that also has a global aspect as it is open to both local and foreign startups and entrepreneurs.

Norhizam emphasised that - with strong partnerships from industry - the MDEC-initiated Digital Hub programme will be able to speed up growth, a vital aspect of crystallising Malaysia's Digital Economy. (Also see - MDEC exclusive: Can Malaysia really become a Data Centre hub?)

 DHL's next moves

Yogananthan S, sure head of IT Services Cyberjaya, and VP Business Relations for IT Services, Asia Pacific, Deutsche Post DHL Group, explained how the Malaysian team of more than 1,440 employees operated the Cyberjaya IT Services Centre, and - together with their peers in Prague, the Czech Republic and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, deliver 24/7 IT support across all DHL divisions - DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding, DHL Supply Chain, DHL eCommerce operations.

He added that DHL is hoping that this platform "level# the playing field for talent, particularly for women looking to succeed in IT."   The team in Malaysia includes members from 27 different nationalities, with nearly 70 percent coming from Malaysia, while women make up almost 40 percent of the entire team here.

"We started our IT Data Centre in Malaysia 20 years ago, occupying a floor in a suburban shopping mall with just 120 staff, facing risks of disruption from flooding to the building's car park," said Yogananthan.

"Since then, we've not only relocated to Cyberjaya but also established it as a key pillar in DHL's regional and global logistics strategy, backed up by one of the most diverse and high-performing workforces in the country and globally," he continued.

"Over the past 20 years we've focused on not only building up the local IT talent market - including hiring almost 500 new graduates since 2006 - but doing so in a way that encourages diversity and equal opportunity for all," said Yogan. "These values are not only at the core of DHL's corporate culture - they also play a crucial role in how we effectively we serve our global 'customer' base in more than 220 countries and territories."

He said the IT Service Data Centre in Cyberjaya will now invest in a range of platform renewals and technical innovations through to 2020, including adoption of hybrid cloud, and higher-efficiency or renewable energy sources.

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