Powered by sensors, connectivity and smart machines, the Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping the manufacturing and industrial processes, effectively changing the paradigm from one of ‘repair and replace’ to more of ‘predict and prevent’. In an industrial scenario, unplanned equipment downtime can be extremely costly to business. Today, manufacturers and organizations in other asset heavy verticals cannot afford to wait till a machine or equipment breaks down in order to figure out what went wrong. On the other hand, enterprises also don’t want to spend costly time and resources doing unwanted maintenance to all of their equipment and machinery without really needing to do so.
Predictive Maintenance, in a nutshell, is all about figuring out when an asset should be maintained, and what specific maintenance activities need to be performed, based on an asset’s actual condition or state, rather than on a fixed schedule, so that you can maximize uptime and productivity. It is all about predicting & preventing failures and performing the right maintenance routines in order to reduce costly equipment downtimes.
So why is Predictive Maintenance gaining increasing importance today, especially among asset intensive verticals?
An American multinational developer of analytics software has committed to up-skill a minimum of 500 students in analytics across Malaysia by the end of 2020, in response to increased demand for data science expertise. Under the banner of the firm’s Software Certified Young Professionals (SCYP), the program will collaborate with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to help drive the adoption of emerging technologies across the country.
Central to such efforts will be enabling students to work towards the certification in programming, machine learning and visual analytics through e-learning courses, supported by access to online communities and webinars.
The Managing Director of Malaysia at the firm stated that the company has a deep-rooted history in academia. Launching a program to empower Malaysian students with the firm’s analytics knowledge and expertise helps in answering the rising demand for technology professionals in Southeast Asia.
Business organisations need people who can make sense of data, manage and analyse it, build models and determine what information delivers the most value. Students with an analytical skillset will be highly sought after.
Once students have completed the e-learning courses and attended the associated webinars, a certification exam will follow before connections with SAS customers seeking young data science professionals.
Within Southeast Asia, “free or heavily subsidised” online courses are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students who are enrolled at a university, business school or university college in Malaysia, Indonesia or Vietnam. There are currently three courses available for students in Malaysia and Vietnam, and five courses on offer in Indonesia, spanning data analytics, statistics, machine learning and virtualisation.
The CEO of MDEC stated that the agency’s strategic partnership with the software company aligns perfectly with its commitment to ensuring delivery of technology relevant programmes to Malaysian students and help Malaysians make the digital leap into the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The agency sees its public-private partnership initiatives such as the tech firm contributing to Malaysia’s overall growth of the data science skills required in the workforce to support the digitally-driven economy, which is also critical to meet the demand of the current and future job market.
Growing demand for tech professionals
OpenGov Asia earlier reported that Malaysians with niche skills in technology have far brighter prospects in 2020 as many sectors are hiring in their push forward with digitalisation. A Malaysia-based consultancy’s 2020 salary survey revealed that job opportunities and higher pay were expected for those in mid to high-level management positions in eight sectors.
Talents with niche skills who are changing jobs, on the other hand, are looking at an increment of up to 30 per cent due to demand outstripping supply, the firm’s Country Manager for Malaysia said in a statement accompanying the survey report.
The survey also encouraged as employers may be more open to hiring job seekers with the necessary tech skills but who may have less industry experience.
Moreover, as Malaysia invests more into its technological infrastructure, the more it will see tech talent flooding into the nation, thereby growing its digital economy and pushing forward its Industry 4.0 goals.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Cuban Ministry for Communications held an online training course: “Designing and developing big data systems” for Cuba. It was officially opened at Hanoi and La Habana. The training course took place within a week with the coordination of the Embassy of Cuba in Vietnam and two of Vietnam’s leading ICT groups: VNPT and Viettel.
According to a press release, the objective of the course was to provide advanced knowledge about big data such as analysing, designing, and developing big data systems for IT application and e-government development in regulatory agencies.
The course will aid Cuba to solve challenges and tools for big data as well as related content. It attracted nearly 50 attendants from Cuba’s Ministry of Communications, ministries, sectors, corporations, and ICT enterprises.
Topics conveyed by Vietnamese lecturers and experts from the Authority of Information Technology Application (MIC), VNPT, and Viettel included: general knowledge about big data; big data processing; the storage and handling of big data; infrastructure requirements; how to manage big data using IPv6; analysis and presentation tools, models, methods and techniques math for analysing and integrating big data, etc.
The event is one of the activities in a series of activities celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Cuba and the Vietnam – Latin America Relationship Development Plan in 2020.
In the framework of cooperation between the two ministries, in July 2019, MIC coordinated with VNPT, Viettel, and Bkav to organise training courses on cybersecurity in Havana for Cuba. Furthermore, to promote the specialised ICT cooperation between the two, MIC undertook several activities like participating in the La Havana international book fair in Cuba, publishing two books in Spanish and copyright granting activities, exchanging radio and television programs, and promoting images and the relationship between the two countries.
In the coming time, MIC will host an investment promotion conference in the field of ICT with Latin American countries in October and continue to host a 01 information security training course for Cuba, scheduled for November.
Vietnam has also been providing support to Laos’ digital transformation. As OpenGov Asia earlier reported, thanks to a program under Viettel, all citizenship data has been uploaded to the system, improving the capacity to manage data and information about people, and helping reduce administrative procedures. This is the first time that Laos has implemented the management of electronic civil status instead of the registration of civil status as before.
The unit in Laos was the first licensed by the Central Bank of Laos to officially deploy mobile money and is also the only company developing this service in the country, offering a new secure and quick payment method for more than six million people. This field is expected to generate 30-50% of Unitel’s telecoms revenue in the future. Founded in October 2009, the Viettel subsidiary operates across all 17 provinces and cities in Laos and has led the market for eight consecutive years. It is also the Laos government’s partner in implementing the country’s key e-government systems.
With increased demand and far wider usage, the pandemic has significantly impacted the financial sector in a multitude of ways. With stay-at-home advisories and lockdowns in place, reliance on online banking and digital commerce shot up astronomically. And the industry had to keep pace with this transactional mushrooming to stay intact, relevant and to meet the consumer requirement.
The latest OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 18 September 2020 explored how the financial sector industry in the Philippines is coping with the new normal and how it can better equip itself to last the long haul.
The packed OpenGov Asia virtual hub was a testament to the relevance and timeliness of the session. Senior digital executives from across the sector joined in to discuss and explore what has been done and what can be done in the field.
Data compliance for financial organisations as essential as ensuring the flow of money in the economy
The event opened with a welcome address from Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director, and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia and a quick round of introductions.
Mohit set the ball rolling by sharing how the pandemic has created a lot of chaos in the financial sector industry forcing the leaders to make the digital transformation as much a priority as ensuring the continued availability money in the system.
Data intelligence and governance are key issues for ﬁnancial industries in the post-COVID-19 era. Data strategy – whether to have an integrated approach or a siloed outlook – is dependent on each organisation’s culture and it’s thinking on how to survive in the current environment.
At the same time, of paramount importance in the GDPR era is for organisations to make sure their data strategy is compliant to industry and privacy regulations.
Since data compliance is of such significance, Mohit concluded by advising delegates to partner with champions in the field rather than trying to do everything in-house.
Drivers and pillars of data governance in organisations
After Mohit set the tone for the discussion, Sachin Tonk, Director, Data and Privacy Operations, Standard Chartered Bank shared his insights.
Sachin began by charting the journey of data governance and where it sits today. Data evolution is very challenging as, not only, is it complicated and complex, but the rate of change is also very fast.
He went on to address the question of why we need data governance in the first instance. The rationale sits in two main categories:
- Internal demand that includes in-depth analysis, agility for growth and real-time operations.
- External demand that comprises new data products, GDPR, MIFID ll and M&A.
All the factors under these two umbrellas make data governance both tedious and, often, convoluted.
Sachin opined that data governance and privacy is going to be the biggest priority for organisations in the coming year. He expounded on the major pillars of data protection policy in any organisation.
The first being robust governance framework, policies and processes. This must be complemented by the second pillar I.e. proper awareness and training to create a culture with compliance in its DNA. He also added that security and IT technology come are the glue binding all components together.
Continuing in the same vein, Sachin spoke about the various essential actors involved in the governance process. Data owners, data stewards and monitors have to come together and collaborate to get the right spirit of data governance.
He then shared that the key to having a robust data governance policy is creating a catalogue of questions related to the actors. When formulating the ideal governance policy, he advised teams to go for small wins rather than opt for prototyping and then scaling up across the organisation.
In closing, Sachin noted that data governance was not a one-time activity. He emphasised the importance of monitoring progress and measuring the success of the governance policy and constantly working to improve it.
Data governance is becoming increasingly challenging and complicated for organisations
After Sachin’s informative presentation, Varghese Mathew, Business Director, Hitachi Vantara, Philippines, spoke to the topic at hand.
Varghese began by sharing some interesting statistics s about the challenges faced by organisations in the data governance domain.
Almost 74% of organisations have difficulty in evaluating quality and reliability of data, 61% have too many data sources and almost 90% need an intelligent data governance strategy.
Varghese further explained the need for organisations to have data governance in place in the current digital era.
The sheer volume of data makes its governance enormously complex, inevitably driving organisations to go tech in order to manage data more efficiently.
Other drivers include technological silos and regulations like GDPR, MIFID etc. Moreover, increasingly, countries are formulating their own regulations around data protection, making it tough for organisations to survive amid the complexity. Companies that are not compliant across the board pay a heavy price.
Varghese explained that the objectives of having a data governance policy are to manage the huge volumes of structured and unstructured data, the data being kept in silos within organisations, multiple business goals and the rapid speed and demand for compliance.
He then went on to share the Hitachi Vantara approach. The goal is to help businesses deal with different types of data silos and to make sure it is visible and governed well and on an intelligent platform where it can be analysed.
Their solutions help organisations ensure every bit of their data is available, insightful and actionable – making it easier to govern.
Varghese also explained how the Hitachi Vantara solution can help organisations make better sense of their data. It can help organisations save time and resources by not indulging in unnecessary data forensics, regulator reporting, etc.
He underscored this by sharing a case study where Hitachi Vantara helped a customer organise and make sense of their data. He shared how Hitachi helped Rabobank reduce time to discovery of data for governance and regulatory reporting by automating communication monitoring.
After Varghese’s presentation, it was time for polling questions and to involve the delegates in an interactive discussion.
On the first question regarding the current primary reason for data governance projects, a majority of the audience voted for compliance and regulatory requirements (46%).
A senior delegate from a major Philippines bank shared that she voted for compliance and regulatory requirements because once this is done, a better quality of information, data security and privacy will obviously follow.
On the next question about a centralised data compliance strategy, delegates were divided between, data being stored and managed centrally (56%) and some data being centralised while some are managed by specific department/country/ business (44%).
Another delegate shared that they voted for option one as their data is managed centrally and integrated in one place. Governance, data quality and analysis are done in one place for the consumption of management and operations.
On the final question about rating your organisation’s biggest concern in meeting GDPR requirements, a major chunk of the delegates voted for data protection: needing clearer details on how data is processed and secured with timely notification if data is compromised (57%).
A delegate reflected that data protection is the biggest priority of their organisation currently; with employees working from home, the data is more vulnerable to disruptions than ever before. Thus, it is very important to ensure that the data we are working on is fully secure and protected.
After the engaging discussions and deliberations, the session came to an end with closing remarks by Verghese Mattew.
He thanked all the delegates for taking their time and participation in the Virtual Breakfast Insight. He concurred that their ideas and reflections were in-line with the trends in the global space where Hitachi is operating. He also echoed their sentiments regarding the struggle faced by organisations to make their data accessible as well as keeping it safe and protected from a compliance point of view.
In closing, Varghese assured the delegates that Hitachi Vantara solutions were available to assist them in the same way as they have done for numerous organisations thus far.
Use of technology has become more prominent than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began. With this in mind, the Australian Digital Health Agency urges people to consider the security of the devices being used each day.
People are relying on digital transactions in all spheres of life, including healthcare. The expression “Internet of Things” IoT was coined to describe this increasingly pervasive layer of smart device-to-device and device-to-network interaction.
More and more devices are gaining “smart” functionality, in which connectivity enables interactions with other devices to deliver a richer, easier to use experience for end-users. While smart devices offer enhanced functionality, they also increase potential exposure to cybersecurity risks.
The Internet of Things may have been an intangible concept a few years ago but is now an integral part of everyday life, work and business. Smart devices including watches, home monitoring devices, mobiles and tablets are widely used. For the most part, every aspect of life is, in some way, shape or form already a part of the Internet of Things.
The ease of transaction, 24×7 access and convenience IoT poses are incredible but it also greatly exposes people to an increased risk of cyberattacks. This cybersecurity risk must be taken seriously, but the good news is that in most cases a simple regular maintenance routine will greatly improve security. Australian Digital Health Agency has suggested some key tips for users of smart devices:
- Software updates routinely include security patches, so be sure to check regularly that the software on your smart devices stays up to date.
- If any of your devices are no longer supported by the manufacturer, consider replacing them or disconnecting them from the internet.
- If you replace your device, ensure that you change the manufacturer’s default password and enable multi-factor authentication (if offered).
The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s Tips to secure Internet of Things devices and the Australian Digital Health Agency’s Seven Steps to Securing Your Smart Health Devices have more information and guidance.
Healthcare providers can also refer to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s guidance on Cybersecurity for medical devices, as well as their information about news and updates. The Australian Digital Health Agency has also provided advice for software developers and IoT service providers. This is laid out in the ACSC code of practice.
Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy outlines the need for improved security practises for devices to reduce the risk of cyber compromise of Australia’s online community and critical infrastructure. In response, the Department of Home Affairs has developed a Voluntary Code of Practice for the industry to lift the security of Internet of Things devices in Australia2.
This document describes 13 principles, primarily targeted at:
- device manufacturers
- IoT service providers
- mobile application developers
The agency recognises that digital health skills and training are more important than ever with 29.6 million telehealth services delivered. A dramatic expansion in the use of telehealth has been a key element of the fight against COVID-19. Between 13 March and 9 September, 29.6 million Medicare-eligible telehealth services were delivered to 10.4 million patients, resulting in $1.52 billion paid in Medicare benefits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of these systems to ensure the delivery of quality patient care during an emergency. The government has invested in a range of areas to expand the use of digital health, including workforce training, incentives to providers, and support for telehealth, My Health Record and electronic prescribing.
As with every other sector, adoption of technology is critical for the healthcare system and the Roadmap sets out how the Australian health workforce of more than 767,000 registered healthcare providers (as of March 2020) can be transformed over the next decade.
A national digital health skills and training plan was released to empower the Australian health workers’ use technology and further drive the digital transformation of health services to meet community demand.
The development of the National Digital Health Workforce and Education Roadmap acknowledges people are the health sector’s most valuable asset and that we need to shape education and training to meet their needs and to support the provision of the best care possible to patients.
As part of the COVID-19 National Health Plan, the Australian Government also fast-tracked the start of electronic prescribing. This gives prescribers and patients the option to use an electronic prescription, sent by text message or email, as a legal alternative to a paper prescription.
The e-prescription contains an electronic token and other instructions which can be shown to or forwarded to the dispensing pharmacist, who scans the token to reveal the prescribed medicine.
OpenGov Asia achieved another significant milestone and a new industry benchmark with the launch of its first-ever OpenGovLive! Virtual Tech Day on 16 September 2020. The one-of-a-kind hands-on virtual workshop not only enabled a high degree of interaction among remote participants but also let them collaborate virtually in groups on an in-house, dedicated, customised platform.
OpenGov Asia’s innovative gamification model and novel delivery mechanism were one of the highlights of the event. As importantly, the topic of discussion and the problem addressed during the workshop was extremely relevant and timely. This was borne out by the hundred per cent attendance which comprised of delegates from various government agencies in Indonesia.
The innovative OpenGovLive! Virtual Tech Day had delegates address a very real challenge that the Indonesian government currently faces – the issue of appropriate distribution of social benefits to the citizens who are invisible digitally and for whom the government has almost no data.
Jakarta has 56,175 active COVID- 19 cases (data as on 15 September) and cases are constantly on the rise. Consequently, there is an urgent need for the government to act quickly as well as accurately and efficiently.
SAS’s smart data analytics solutions like its data investigator, proactive alerting, etc. can be of great assistance to the Indonesian government in this testing time and can help them in serving citizens far more effectively.
During the OpenGovLive! Virtual Tech Day, SAS was able to practically illustrate the power and effectiveness of its solutions through the simulations and demonstrations in the gamification sessions. Each scenario required intense collaboration and detailed discussion to arrive at possible resolutions of the problems at hand. While delegates thoroughly enjoyed the gamification, they realised how effective the heuristic methodology is for collaborative learning.
An interesting observation was that even though the problems presented were hypothetical, the delegates could not help but think of them in their current context. This allowed them to apply themselves diligently and passionately.
In addressing each of the three scenarios, the delegates had specific questions about SAS solutions. Their engagement the conversations, demonstration and simulations were an indication that they were keen to understand how the solution would suit their current reality. The interactive, real-life scenario approach generated a lot of interest and curiosity among the delegates; it also sparked a desire to learn more about how SAS solutions could help them on their journey.
Challenge for governments to support digitally invisible citizens
The workshop revealed powerful and practical ways to work with data at a country level. The session was opened by Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia.
Right off the bat, he raised a pressing challenge that governments all over the world are facing while dealing with the pandemic: supporting digitally invisible citizens.
Taking responsibility for the well-being of its citizens, governments earmarked generous amounts of stimulus and support packages. But lack of data on digitally invisible citizens – those who are not reflected in official digital records, that do not do online banking or do not have digital identities – led to misappropriation of resources and the most vulnerable being left out.
This digitally invisible population is unable to receive the benefits as there are no records or data on them making it impossible for governments to ensure that assistance reaches them.
The workshop addressed this problem though OpenGov Asia’s unique gamification model.
Delegates were divided into 5 different teams (Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor) allowing them to collaborate and devise relevant digital options and strategies that could assist governments to resolve these critical issues.
Data is of the essence to governments
After Mohit’s opening, Fauzi Efendi, Sales Director, SAS Indonesia spoke with the delegates. Taking the lead from Mohit, he shared how data is of the essence to governments as they are trying to help citizens through these trying times. He also shared how the SAS solutions have the potential to help governments better serve citizens effectively, efficiently and comprehensively.
Gamification: solving problems while playing
After Fauzi’s address the session geared into a more interactive and practical (and fun) exercise: learning through gamification.
The simulation was played out in three phases/scenarios where each one focused on a specific aspect that needed to be addressed to solve the hypothetical problem. OpenGov Asia’s platform is designed in such a way that contending teams are not privy to the discussions of other teams during the breakout sessions.
Scenario 1 emphasised the very first aspect of consideration in the process: Data Management and Data Preparedness. The teams worked together in a breakout session to chalk out detailed steps of how they would resolve the problem at hand.
After the breakout session, each team disclosed their answers to the moderator to inform a session of rich discussion and exchange among the different groups. Teams shared why they thought of certain options as optimal or non-optimal given the hypothetical problem.
Another attraction of these breakout sessions was the wild card that lets the teams propose a solution outside the given options. This makes the discussion even more insightful as OpenGov accepts the fact that no-one can have ALL the answers. Collaboration and outside-the-box thinking are the ultimate problem-solving methodology.
To give the delegates a better understanding of how exactly SAS can assist them in data management and preparedness, Wibowo Leksono, Senior Consultant, SAS demonstrated how their solution manages data smartly.
After the demonstration, it was time for our delegates to solve for Scenario 2 that highlighted the importance of Data Visualisation and Communication.
The teams again went into a breakout session to chart out their next steps for Scenario 2. After active engagement and participation, the teams came back with their answers to the moderator. The delegates once more engaged in reflections and discussions based on the answers revealed by different teams.
After the intense time of sharing and debate, Wibowo once again stepped up to demonstrate how the SAS’s visualisation solution can help delegates in this scenario.
Finally, it was time for delegates to address Scenario 3 that focused on Data Modeling and Analysis using AI and Advanced Analytics.
Once again, the teams went into discussion sessions to determine their immediate next steps for Scenario 3. After contemplation and discussion, teams shared their answers. This was followed by reflections on the optimal and non-optimal options by delegates representing different teams.
After the three scenarios team Captain America were declared the final winners of the day for their farsightedness and teamwork.
The declaration was followed by a final demonstration to help delegates understand how SAS’s visual investigator tool can help government agencies analyse citizen data better. With search, proactive alerting and analysis of inter-entity relationships, the tool is all-encompassing and powerful.
Wibowo also addressed questions from the audience to clarify and expound on the various solutions demonstrated during the session.
The Virtual Tech Day concluded with closing remarks from Febrianto Siboro, Managing Director, SAS Indonesia.
Febrianto thanked the delegates for joining the session and enthusiastically participating.
He clarified that the demonstrations were designed as slides and not videos intentionally as the concepts are complex and are best understood through interaction. He appreciated his colleagues for easy-to-understand and informative demonstrations.
He encouraged the delegates to believe in the power of data and the potential to derive insights from it. He solicited the participants’ contributions as their genuine information and data would be invaluable to SAS’s research.
Before signing off, Febrianto invited delegates to get in touch with him and the team to explore how best they could deploy any of the SAS solutions. In addition to what had been shared in the Tech Day, Febrianto shared that SAS has an AML solution with unlimited users.
He introduced Gumilar and Fauzi to the delegates as the right people to contact for further information and collaboration on data management strategies and solutions.
OpenGov Asia has a legacy of challenging the norm, constantly pushing boundaries and being ahead of the curve.
Entrenched in its functioning are a remote working culture and a structure that employs a global workforce. While OpenGov Asia could not foresee the scope and depth of the pandemic, it was already well-positioned to rapidly adjust as to the restrictions imposed.
None-the-less, OpenGov Asia knew it had to realign its offerings to suit the new norm. OpenGov Asia takes immense pride in the fact that it was among a select few organisations in the industry that reinvented themselves and were able to pivot from a F2F way of doing business to a virtual one.
Within weeks, the organisation reshaped its business model and invested heavily in infrastructure to transform all its content-platforms into virtual offerings – 100% audio-visually interactive. Over the last few months, OpenGov Asia has pioneered and championed delivery of its unique and powerful OpenGov Breakfast Insights into OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insights.
Not only did they take the offerings online, but OpenGov Asia was also determined to continue its tradition of service excellence and social responsibility. To truly make the events Virtual Breakfast Insights, they ensured that delegates received a real (not virtual) breakfast. Tying up with local partners in each country that they operate, they had real food delivered to participants in time for the start of each virtual event.
This not only ensured that they retained the integrity of the “breakfast” in their signature virtual offering but also ensured technology partners, food aggregators, restaurants and delivery companies got business in this difficult time.
The DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize at the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition (LKYGBPC) will be awarded to the most innovative business plans of start-ups or early-stage ventures that address pertinent urban challenges faced by cities of today.
In addition to the evaluation criteria for the LKYGBPC, qualifying applications for the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize are also assessed on:
- Clear identification of the social / environmental problem
- Creativity in addressing the identified challenge statement and stakeholders involved
- Ability to measure the social / environmental impact created
- Scalability and sustainability of solution and impact
The award worth SGD 150,000 includes prize money of up to SGD 100,000 and post-competition support, such as:
- Access to DBS Foundation’s capacity building programmes
- Brand awareness and marketing features on DBS Foundation’s website, brand campaigns, media stories etc.
- Use of DBS premises when in Singapore for launch or community events
- Network and connection to DBS Foundation’s social enterprise alumni community and partners
One of the start-ups to be shortlisted this year is SenzIQ Pte Ltd.
OpenGov recently had the opportunity to have a virtual chat with three of its founders Mr Azeem Khan, Mr CH Kong and Professor Rajesh Balan to find out more about their solution, its technology, how their products will improve sustainability, and plans for the future.
Back to where it all began
SenzIQ Pte Ltd has an interesting story, it all began with researchers at the Singapore Management University’s (SMU) LiveLabs Urban Lifestyle Innovation Platform, or LiveLabs for short.
LiveLabs was launched on 5 November 2012 and was funded by the National Research Foundation Singapore and run via the Interactive Digital Media Programme Office.
LiveLabs was conceived as a testbed to trial research prototypes in real-life environments. It ran for seven years, from 2012 until 2019
Among the technologies developed at LiveLabs, the one that received the most traction was the LiveLabs Indoor Location Tracking & Analytics solution, which allows venue operators to conduct indoor analytics of how people move inside indoor spaces using just Wi-Fi.
They have turned data from smartphones, wearable devices and the physical environment into powerful insights using advanced sensor technology and real-time analytics.
The technology from LiveLabs is now entering a new phase, in the form of a new startup founded by Professor Balan to commercialise the technology, called SenzIQ Pte. Ltd. Professor Balan is the former LiveLabs co-director, and is SMU Associate Professor of Information Systems.
Understanding how people move through spaces
Mr CH Kong, CMO of SenzIQ says it has one mission: “help businesses understand how people move through their spaces”.
To do this they can track each individual’s movement across space and time in an indoor location. This data is aggregated to understand how people utilise and move indoors.
SenzIQ is an Indoor Location Tracking & Analytics solution, which allows venue operators to conduct indoor analytics of how people move inside indoor spaces using just Wi-Fi.
The solution provides both retrospective insights, such as heat maps, visit durations and group sizes; and predictive insights, such as the locations they are likely to visit next.
The system utilizes the enterprise Wi-Fi networks of businesses to monitor the location of Wi-Fi based devices such as mobile phones and laptops.
The technology uses public Wi-Fi networks to track the location of smartphones in real-time as they move around. The data is fed back to a dashboard that building owners can then use to understand how people interact with the space and manage their operations and logistics accordingly.
The devices are a proxy for the person in most cases therefore tracking the Wi-Fi device provides an insight into the movement of the person carrying that device.
The unique proposition of the technology is that it is a pure software play, and this enables it to work with most enterprise Wi-Fi networks without infrastructure augmentation or modification.
Optimising buildings and office spaces and analysing traffic flow at events
Based on this technology, they have developed two separate products. One deals with space analytics and the other with event analytics.
The space analytics product helps offices understand the usage of key spaces such as meeting rooms, suggests measures to improve the utilization based on actual occupancy and proactively implement approved measures.
“For example, in a university, it is very important to figure out where to put your seminar rooms, meeting rooms and study spaces, and to know whether your meeting rooms are underutilised or over utilised,” Professor Balan said.
The event analytics product helps event organizers study, compare and contrast and run what-if analysis of layouts and movement traffic patterns during events.
Since both products are part of the workflows of the businesses utilizing them, it is expected these products to become a key component in the value.
With the use of these technologies, venue partners such as malls, convention centres, office campuses and airports, will enable businesses to customize and deliver relevant location specific messages to their customers.
This personalized location specific incentives allow customers market leadership through innovative technology driven solutions.
“From our own research and research papers published by Gartner and others, we know this is likely to be a potentially huge market worldwide. Indoor location tracking technologies alone is estimated to be worth USD $12B by 2021.”
“So far the technology has been deployed in major university campuses in Singapore, including SMU, in malls as well as at the Suntec Convention Centre, and at tourist attractions such as the Singapore National Museum and on Sentosa Island”, said Professor Balan Rajesh, Co-Founder, SenzIQ Pte Ltd.
Space optimisation driving sustainability
By analysing the use of public and private spaces, ‘Smart Buildings’ can use these data insights to reduce energy consumption, optimise the functionality of the space and identify opportunities to make the building more productive and efficient. This all leads to creating more sustainable spaces and buildings.
This is an attractive solution to organisations wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, to building developers wanting to reduce costs and create a more sustainable option, and for many existing large premises wanting to better understand how they can use their space more effectively and efficiently.
The next stage
Years of research has been done, many many years of expertise has been invested into the technology, the products and now starting the business – the next stage now is to accelerate the solution to market.
With the HSBC-SMU Sustainability & Innovation Grant, the funding can be used to do just that – fast track the SenzIQ journey to developing their sustainable solution and business model.
The national data portal was launched by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) during a ceremony in Hanoi on 31 August.
The portal provides data on state agencies in service of political and socio-economic activities, contributing to the process of e-government building in Vietnam. New digital services, in the process of a digital government building, as well as open data will be provided on the portal. This will make it easier for the public to use them to serve research, study, or product invention, as well as offer feedback to state agencies to improve operating efficiency.
According to a press release, at the event, leaders of the ministries of information and communications, natural resources and environment, science and technology, health, education, and training signed a cooperation agreement with the Vietnam Social Security, the Vietnam National University-Hanoi, and the Vietnam Post Corporation.
The organisations agreed to promote open data and develop the portal. Speaking at the event, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Thanh Hung, expressed his belief that Vietnam’s rankings of e-government building in the world, now at 86th place, will improve.
The national database on Vietnamese enterprises is essentially completed while the national population database will be completed next year, he said, adding that apart from the government’s determination and efforts, the involvement of leaders of ministries, agencies, and localities is also needed because they own important data.
The Deputy Head of the MIC’s Authority of Information Technology Application, Do Cong Anh, said the goal of building the portal is promoting data governance in state agencies towards developing data sustainably for the e-government.
Further, as OpenGov Asia reported, MIC announced that the Vietnam 2020 White Book on ICT is scheduled to be issued by 20 December. At a meeting in Hanoi on 26 August, MIC Deputy Minister, Phan Tam, requested relevant units of this ministry to ensure compilation quality and progress so that the document will be published before 20 December.
In the White Book, the first section will provide an overview of the ICT development in Vietnam and the world during the year, the message by the MIC Minister, along with the highlights and ranking of the country’s ICT sector in the world. It will also include articles on the importance of the national digital transformation program to national socio-economic development, as well as orientations for IT and telecommunication development.
The second section will feature data about the top 20 localities in IT revenue, the number of their IT businesses and workers, and the top 20 IT enterprises in terms of revenue, workforce, and contribution to the state budget. The last section will be reserved for introducing ICT agencies and organisations.
Apart from this, the 2020 White Book will also be added with the assessment of the main outcomes of the implementation of Vietnam’s IT industry development program for 2015-2019, an overview of the national digital transformation program, and statistics about foreign investment in the IT sector.