Helping Customers Succeed
Mesiniaga Berhad has been a mainstay in Malaysia’s technological story – the company has been providing best-in-class IT products and services since it was established in 1981
Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki
Malaysia’s IT sector is no small contributor to the nation’s economy.
According to a Gartner estimate, spending on technology products and services reached $15.5 billion in 2019, an increase of 4.6 percent on 2018 which is well above the global average (3.2 percent).
Malaysia’s National Industry 4.0 Policy is the country’s action plan for catalysing the adoption of emerging technologies to increase productivity and competitiveness across industry sectors, the vision being to elevate the country to a primary destination for high-technology industries.
A constant throughout the nation’s recent technological rise has been Mesiniaga Berhad.
“Mesiniaga was established on December 17, 1981 at a time when the country’s IT industry was still in its infancy,” explains Datuk Wan Mohamed Fusil, the firm’s current CEO. “The establishment was in response to the government’s aspiration to increase local participation in the technology industry.”
Fusil explains that a plan was developed to cultivate local entrepreneurial talent and involved utilising a pool of readily available talents in IBM, and incorporating a company that would serve as IBM’s sole dealer and agent in Malaysia.
“The team was headed by the late Ismail Sulaiman, who was formerly the General Manager of IBM Malaysia,” he continues. “With a team of 50 ex-IBM personnel, Mesiniaga became fully operational on January 1, 1982 with a paid-up capital of RM500,000 ($120,000).
“Since then, Mesiniaga has been in the technology business for almost four decades. What started out as a company selling IBM office products has now evolved into a multi-platform business solutions provider with a paid-up capital of RM60.4 million ($14.5 million).”
Indeed, today the firm stands proud as an enterprise solutions integrator specialising in complex IT solutions and project management for its customers, along with post-implementation services and nationwide technical support to clients who have branch operations throughout Malaysia.
Key offerings include IT outsourcing services, ranging from total IT operations to cloud management and security services.
Mesiniaga’s technical expertise spans numerous categories such as in system infrastructure, security, enterprise and telco networks, customised application development and change management, its current team standing at more than 1,200 people spread across the country. Key sites include its HQ at Subang Jaya and offices in Pulau Pinang, Johor Bahru and 22 other nationwide service locations.
“Traditionally we have been a technology company that serves the large enterprise and public sector market space,” adds Fusil.
“However, as of this year, we have begun expanding our portfolio of services to include technologies that will be able to assist SMEs, as we have realised that pockets of solutions that we have developed for the larger enterprises can be repackaged to provide comprehensive enterprise grade solutions at affordable prices for the SME market.”
Adaptable and agile
This year has also shown Mesiniaga’s ability to adapt to the unexpected.
With 2020’s agenda disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEO explains how the company has had to accelerate adoption of more flexible and remote working, all the while being able to serve its customers without any drop in the level of service.
“As simple as the idea of working from anywhere may seem, the actual mechanisation of the processes, equipment, policies, culture, productivity measurements all had to be taken into account and fine-tuned to allow for operations to run smoothly,” Fusil explains.
“Not to say everything is perfect at this stage; we are constantly in a state of improving and enabling a better experience for our employees, our partners, vendors and ultimately our customers to ensure that they are accorded an even better experience than before the pandemic when working with us.”
Although movement restrictions under the government’s Movement Control Order (MCO) are not as severe as they were earlier in the year, Mesiniaga is continuing to embrace flexibility, adopting a hybrid approach towards working with offices serving as collaboration hubs and most work being completed remotely.
Such a shift has required buy-in and commitment from the company’s 1,200 staff, who Fusil describes as the heart and soul of the organisation.
“Recently, due to the shift in how we work because of the new normal, we have noticed individuals in the company that have delivered above and beyond expectations,” he adds.
“Senior management of the company has taken it upon us to recognise and deliver hand-written notes of commendation to those who excel during these trying times. Other than this, we have always had recommendations from managers and given out respective awards or a token of appreciation to employees.”
To keep employees engaged with company leadership, Mesiniaga organises several activities including fortnightly tea sessions which occur on a rotation basis, the CEO recognising the challenge of maintaining this regular dialogue while enabling colleagues to work remotely.
"As simple as the idea of working from anywhere may seem, the actual mechanisation of the processes, equipment, policies, culture, productivity measurements all had to be taken into account and fine-tuned to allow for operations to run smoothly"
Helping Customers Succeed
Maintaining a motivated, dedicated team will be critical for Mesiniaga moving forward in its mission to Help Customers Succeed.
This drive, for Fusil, is what enables the company to stand apart in the field.
“Technology trends constantly evolve, resulting in innovation fluidity with how companies do business,” he says. “Across the board, companies these days are always on the lookout for solutions that will give them an edge over their competitors. As such, Mesiniaga strives for ways to provide our customers with an experience that will allow them to achieve their business goals.
“This is the reason we have made it our mission to Help Customers Succeed, by delivering technology and business solutions to improve customers’ business efficiency, productivity and competitive edge, as well as to create new business opportunities for them.”
Client understanding and engagement is crucial to this end, Mesiniaga basing its customer interactions around professionalism and empathy at all stages of projects.
“Another important element in enhancing customer experience is through managing customer satisfaction,” Fusil adds. “Hence, we have implemented multiple initiatives that are aimed at improving service delivery and our understanding of customer needs.
“Our people are already acknowledged as having superior technical skills, mainly because we actively encourage them to pursue or upgrade their professional certifications. They also undergo numerous soft skills training sessions in order to improve their understanding of customer requirements and how best to meet them. The end objective of these initiatives is to give our customers full confidence to deal with Mesiniaga.”
And such customers are likely to include more small and medium-sized enterprises, a priority for the coming year very much being to serve a greater range of customers.
This has involved developing a range of products and services suitable for the SME market. Here, the central theme is to create an offering revolved around helping SMEs to enter the digital world in a way that is easy to enact and affordable.
For example, among the products primed for such clients include XyberGuard, Mesiniaga’s all-in-one cybersecurity solution. Another example is Chup, a reservation management application for any business premises, while Lele serves as a digital enablement application for food and drink retailers.
Whether for smaller or large clients, Mesiniaga is also acutely aware of the potential to develop products and services based on how it runs itself as an enterprise.
This is another priority for the CEO moving forwards. “We feel that the expertise and capabilities that we have built throughout the years can be capitalised on in the form of developing in-house systems and applications to serve the market better,” Fusil says.
“Our approach is to develop better and more affordable digitalisation, monitoring, security, network and infrastructure tools suitable for the different segments of the Malaysian market.”
The CEO cites several examples that will be introduced in the near future, the first being NetSys Care, a predictive IT infrastructure and device monitoring and maintenance software solution.
Workforce+ is another product due for launch, this being a system that allows remote engineers to be assigned jobs on the go, refer to a knowledge base and create job reports in quick time.
In the area of cloud computing, MB Cloud and Mesiniaga EverGreen are Mesiniaga-managed cloud services that adapt a hybrid cloud framework to deliver the lowest total cost of ownership for every enterprise’s computing needs.
Finally, Mesiniaga will also offer cybersecurity monitoring as-a-service via its Security Operations Center, recognising that demand for integrated security services will always be a high priority for the company’s customers.
These far-reaching developments leave the CEO full of optimism regarding the next chapter of Mesiniaga’s development, the conversation coming to a close with Fusil looking ahead to what the upcoming year has in store, both in terms of its offering and how this is communicated to the market.
He concludes buoyantly: “To offset the decrease in demand and to offset potential losses in some business segments, Mesiniaga will strategically focus on technologies that may surge during and after COVID-19.
“We will be strengthening our product and service offerings to take advantage of opportunities in the migration of a traditional to a mobile and remote workforce, in ecommerce, in data analytics, in cybersecurity and in cloud services.
“In order to achieve a foothold into the market with our products and services, we have embraced digital marketing as a means to create greater awareness among those who might not have been familiar with the products and capabilities that we bring to the table.
“We also conclude that our marketing and selling should be enhanced with digital marketing, including emails, SMS, instant messaging, radio, television and online media. This entails an enhancement of our capacity in content writing, to convince potential customers that we are the right choice and that we will ‘Help Customers Succeed’.”