Celcom Acquires Specialist Microsoft MSP Infront, Targets Cloud Growth in Malaysia


Idham Nawawi (Celcom)

Credit: Celcom

Celcom Axiata acquired Infront Consulting Group to strengthen cloud and digital capabilities in Malaysia, underpinned by increased focus on managed services and Microsoft technologies.

The terms of the deal – which were not disclosed financially at the time of publication – will see the telecommunications giant leverage Infront’s expertise in cloud and managed networks to deliver “digital one-stop-shops”. unique ”cloud-based solution to help local customers accelerate transformation plans.

Operating as a cloud consulting specialist within the Microsoft ecosystem – housing Gold Partner status in Cloud Platform and Cloud Productivity – the buyout of Infront will aim to complement Celcom’s recent affiliation with Microsoft in Azure cloud services .

In short, the acquisition will provide Celcom with an opportunity to “compete effectively” by delivering Azure cloud services and solutions to the Malaysian market, supported by Infront’s InSuite offerings that provide operational efficiency tools to help businesses achieve success. accelerate their growth.

“The decision to acquire Infront further strengthens Celcom’s strength as a connectivity and solutions provider for Malaysian businesses,” said Idham Nawawi, CEO of Celcom. “By building on the strengths of both companies with cloud technology, SMBs will soon be able to access an affordable, all-in-one digital solution kit for all of their business functions.

Founded in 2003 as a specialist in systems management and virtualization, Selangor-based Infront turned to the cloud in 2015 to create a consulting company built on three main service pillars: adoption consulting cloud, managed application and security services as well as data and artificial intelligence (AI) development.

“In addition, with the upcoming 5G, Celcom will continue to collaborate with the right digital players and invest in the best digital solutions and services,” added Nawawi. “By defending our role as digital advocate, we want to help local businesses prosper digitally and enable them to operate sustainably under the new standard. “

In addition, Infront is present in Malaysia and Singapore with a total of 25 full-time employees – excluding four outsourced employees in Sri Lanka – of which 16 are Microsoft certified as of March 31, 2021.

Through this acquisition, Infront will provide Celcom with in-depth technical capabilities in systems integration, development and sales, helping it deliver local strengths in cloud services and solutions.

“I am excited about the future because I believe this partnership will open up new avenues for us in the ability to provide more useful solutions and improve business in the market,” said Raymond Chou, CEO of Infront.

“All businesses must take advantage of technology to advance the new wave of commerce and Celcom and Infront’s aligned vision to bring more efficiency in business growth to our customers has been the key driver of this business. . “

Go deep into Azure

The acquisition comes 10 months after Celcom rolled out a new enterprise-grade cloud service designed to accelerate digital adoption in Malaysia, backed by a strategic partnership with Microsoft.

Under the Celcom Cloud Suite banner, the offering specifically focuses on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to drive market demand at the enterprise level, by leveraging Azure party in the process.

As reported by Asia Channel, the suite of solutions covers expertise in applications, infrastructure, data storage, software networking and security, complemented by a digital kit in the form of Celcom Business Suite. Malaysian customers can also customize Basic, Standard, and Pro / Pro Plus package offerings, with storage requirements starting at 50TB and bandwidth offerings up to 100GB.

“As the country’s economic landscape struggles to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, local businesses of various sizes are urgently seeking reliable and affordable digital solutions to optimize their business operations, especially when many are still implementing “working from home” to keep their employees safe, ”Nawawi said, speaking in January.

“Holding our role of supporting local businesses and providing innovative digital solutions such as Celcom Cloud Suite can go a long way to help businesses thrive again in these difficult times. “

More recently, the local branch of Indian integrator Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) deepened its partnership with Celcom through a core business support systems transformation project. The offering will see TCS use its TCS HOBS and TCS TwinX solutions, which will be hosted on Azure.

The TCS HOBS product is a plug-and-play digital business platform for subscription, device and data management, delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. TCS TwinX, on the other hand, is an AI and digital twins-based simulator designed to build hypotheses, model entities, and test the results of business decisions in a virtual A / B testing mode.

It is hoped that the new technology will enable Celcom to further improve its digital and platform positioning through advanced digital capabilities such as AI-based business simulations and machine learning (ML), a product catalog enterprise and the activation of the ecosystem of partners.

Meanwhile, in June, the Axiata Group and Norwegian telecommunications provider Telenor finally signed the dotted line to pave the way for the merger of their respective Malaysian mobile operations, Celcom and Digi.

As reported by Asia Channel, the two parties successfully completed due diligence in June and signed the transaction agreements for the proposed Celcom and Digi merger, which, for merger purposes, will be consolidated as “MergeCo”. Once the combination is complete, Celcom and Digi will become Celcom Digi Berhad.

The signing signifies confirmation of intention to establish what the companies jointly describe as a “commercially stronger and more resilient digital converged service provider, and a Malaysian telecommunications operator positioned to drive Malaysia’s digital ambitions.”

The MergeCo entity will serve, on a pro forma basis, approximately 19 million customers and claim revenue of RM 12.4 billion, profit before tax (EBITDA) of RM 5.7 billion and profit after taxes of RM 1.9 billion. The deal sees Axiata and Telenor become equal partners in the group, with a 33.1 percent stake each in MergeCo, which will continue to be listed on Bursa Malaysia.

Tags MicrosoftManaged ServicesMalaysiaCelcom AxiataCloudInfront Consulting Group

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