Microsoft announces Malaysian datacenter

Photo by Patrick Langwallner

“Microsoft has announced its “Bersama Malaysia” (Together with Malaysia) initiative”. As part of the plan, Microsoft will establish its first datacenter region in the country to deliver cloud services locally, with the ability to store data in-country.

Microsoft also announced plans to skill an additional 1 million Malaysians by end of 2023 and will involve itself in the MYDigital Alliance Leadership Council to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations.

This announcement revealed the company’s support of the Government of Malaysia’s MyDIGITAL goals to transform the country into a regional leader in the digital economy. According to IDC’s research, Microsoft’s investment in Malaysia will help generate up to USD 4.6 billion in new revenues for the country’s ecosystem of local partners and cloud-consuming customers over the next four years. Additionally, the research estimates contribute more than 19,000 new direct and indirect jobs will be created.

YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister of Malaysia said, “As we cement the Microsoft partnership today, I hope this is just the first green shoots of a broader meadow of investments in Malaysia, for Microsoft and other data players. This significant investment from Microsoft further fortifies Malaysia’s position as a potential regional data hub and we stand ever ready to welcome more such partners as we work with our stakeholders to continually improve Malaysia’s value proposition in this big data space.”

 “Building digital infrastructure is fundamental to advancing a nation’s digital economy. The upcoming datacenter 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,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations.

Digital infrastructure and partnerships to advance Malaysia’s digital economy

Microsoft will establish its first datacenter region in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area and deliver access to the full Microsoft Cloud, which includes Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, and the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

The new datacenter region will also deliver Azure Availability Zones, providing additional resilience options for highly available applications, and  support Microsoft’s sustainability goals. Microsoft has a global commitment to shift to 100 percent supply of renewable energy by 2025.

This means Microsoft will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100 percent of carbon-emitting electricity consumed by all its datacenters, buildings, and campuses, including the planned Malaysia datacenter region.

Microsoft will work with the government, startups, and enterprises to support the country’s digital transformation goals. Specifically, Microsoft in partnership with the Social & Economic Research Initiative (SERI) has established the MYDigital Alliance Leadership Council to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations.

The Alliance’s first meeting discussed digitalization in the education sector to nurture a globally competitive Malaysian digital workforce. Additionally, Malaysia’s leading companies, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) and Celcom Axiata Berhad have committed to helping advance Malaysia’s nation building and digital ambitions, as well as using the Microsoft Cloud from the new datacenter region when available. 

Microsoft, together with its local partner Enfrasys Solutions, has been appointed by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit to provide cloud services to the Malaysian public sector agencies through 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.

 Empowering Malaysians with inclusive opportunities

As part of the Bersama Malaysia initiative, Microsoft is committed to equipping individuals with equal opportunities to thrive in a cloud and AI-enabled digital economy. To achieve this, Microsoft will skill an additional 1 million Malaysians by December 2023. This includes work with the Human Resources Development Fund, Social Security Organization, Junior Achievement Malaysia, TalentCorp Malaysia, MAMPU, Grab Malaysia, Biji-Biji Enterprise and local universities to reach people of all socio-economic backgrounds, including young adults and people living with disabilities.

Accelerating Asia’s post-pandemic economic growth via Cloud

This effort is part of Microsoft’s ambitions to accelerate Asia’s post-pandemic economic growth via Cloud. As Asia moves out of the pandemic, cloud is not only a critical foundation for business resilience but will also be a key driver of the region’s next wave of economic growth.

Recent research by IDC, shows that Microsoft’s most recent datacenter expansions in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan alone, in partnership with its ecosystem, are set to generate more than $21 billion in new revenues and will create 100,000 new jobs in the next four years.M

Over the past year, digital transformation has occurred on an unprecedented scale. Entire industries have been reimagined, people have connected differently to work, live, learn and be entertained, resulting in real structural change that will outlast the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, Microsoft has accelerated the growth of its cloud datacenter footprint in Asia, expanding from seven to eleven markets to better support and co-innovate with customers and partners. As part of this expansion, the company announced the addition of cloud regions to four new markets across Asia – MalaysiaIndonesiaTaiwan and New Zealand.  This expansion was combined with additional cloud infrastructure investments, empowering customers with faster access to the cloud and allowing for in-country data residency.

“There is no doubt that during the past year we have seen the acceleration of digital transformation efforts across all industries,” explains Ahmed Mazhari, President, Microsoft Asia. “Asia now accounts for sixty percent of the world’s growth and is leading the global recovery with the digitalization of business models and economies.

“Cloud will continue to be a core foundation empowering the realization of Asia’s ambitions, enabling co-innovation across industries, government and community, to drive inclusive societal progress.”