Software Park Thailand 2/2011


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Readiness of THAI Software Industry for AEC2015

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Software Park Thailand 2/2011

  1. 1. Vol.2/2011Readiness of THAI SoftwareIndustry for AEC 2015
  2. 2. EditorialThe game is about to changeIt is said that only a few things are certain in this world, Thai software industries should set their positioningand they are death, taxes and change. through SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities As modern business people operating in a dynamic and threats) analyses and identify niche or un-servedenvironment, we should be inured to the need for agility, areas in which to concentrate future business. Apart fromenabling us to not only foresee and accept change, but to gathering new technical knowledge, software companiesuse change for our own benefit. also need to upgrade the skills of their human resources, In three years’ time, Thailand will undergo a with emphasis on language and analytic capabilities.fundamental economic change. On January 1, 2015, the Ready support and advice can be found in local10 member countries of the Association of Southeast industry organisations such as the Association of ThaiAsian Nations (Asean) will be integrated into a single ICT Industry (ATCI), which is working to reinforce themarket and production base called the Asean Economic industry’s readiness in close cooperation with theCommunity. There will no longer be barriers to trade; Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organizationthere will be nothing but the creativity and competence of (ASOCIO).Thai business people to stand against a tide of new and The Thai Software Export Promotion Associationpowerful competition. (TSEP) is also working to help local software exporters to We must be ready not only to compete, but to take the prepare for the Asean Economic Community, especiallylead in what will be a vastly bigger market, with with regard to the legal aspects of doing business inchallenges, opportunities, and bigger profits to be made. member countries. The software industry is being seen as one of this Local software and ICT-industry companies that docountry’s flagship industries in the coming bid to take nothing to prepare for implementation of the Aseanadvantage of expanded opportunities in the new Economic Community run the risk of being overwhelmedeconomic community. Our “domestic” market will by strong cross-border and overseas competition. Alleffectively leap to a population of 583 million, or 9 per relevant private-sector and government organizationscent of the world’s people, with a gross domestic product must be alerted to the urgent need for wider awareness of(GDP) of US$1,275 billion – only 2 per cent of world GDP. the looming economic change, so that Thai industries can The opportunities for enterprising Thai software be encouraged to bolster their capabilities and face 2015companies are huge. as competent, innovative and competitive organizations, However, it seems that awareness has not yet soaked eager to reap the benefits of the Asean Economicin, that the entire game is about to change, and many of Community.our software businesses are not ready to compete on thenew international stage. The government, as the maker of policy, should make Table of Contentsurgent additional efforts to build awareness of the new 3-6 Gearing up for AEC 2015:business environment that is just around the corner. Software industry prepares forAcross all Thai industries, it should be actively new business environmentencouraging readiness and a capacity to compete. Thegovernment’s second ICT master plan, which sets thenational agenda for the software and information and 7-8 In the run-up to AEC 2015…ICT Ministry sets the stagecommunications technology industries under the themeSmart Thailand, runs only until 2013. Countdown to AEC: Some government organisations, including SoftwarePark Thailand, have adopted the role of building 9-10 Opportunities outweigh threats, but much remains to be doneawareness of the changes ahead and helping local MFEC Group seeks partnerships tosoftware businesses to prepare for the onslaught ofunfettered competition from the other nine countries ofAsean. 11 bolster regional role Group plans full range of information technology services, first in Thailand, then across Asean SSC IT Group heads in to AEC with 12 three new subsidiaries Focus on Thai leadership of regional IT Services Software Park Thailand Newsletter is produced by Software Park Thailand under the National Scienceand Technology Development Agency, Address: 99/31 Software Park Building, ChaengwattanaRd., Pakkred, Nonthaburi 11120, Thailand. Tel. +662 583 9992 Fax: +662 583 2884;
  3. 3. Gearing up for AEC 2015 Software industry prepares for new business environment Bigger market: More opportunities, The Asean Economic Community will be More competitorsimplemented in 2015, integrating the 10 member nationsof the Association of Southeast Asian Nations into asingle market and production base. Software Park Thailand’s director Thanachart AEC 2015 will bring both opportunities and threats Numnonda says that AEC 2015 represents both anfor Thailand’s software industry, depending on the opportunity and a threat for the Thai software industry.preparation and readiness of individual software The park’s role is to build awareness among localbusinesses. software businesses of the changes ahead and to help For those companies that are aware of AEC 2015 them to prepare for the onslaught of unfetteredand are well prepared to meet its challenges, the new competition from the other nine countries of Asean.economic community will bring big opportunities in the Thailand’s ICT market is the largest in Southeastform of a hugely expanded market for their products or Asia, and it is projected to grow at a compound annualservices. On the other hand, local software companies growth rate of 12 percent up to 2014. Total domestic ITthat are not alert to the changes that will come with a spending, included IT products and services, is expectedsingle open market, and do nothing to prepare for AEC to reach US$8.7 billion (Bt269.78 billion) by 2014.2015, run the risk of being overwhelmed by strong Thanachart says the important aspects of the AECcross-border and overseas competition. are the hugely bigger market it will offer – and hence This risk is particularly acute in light of the fact that opportunities for local software firms – and theforeign companies will be able to enjoy all the freedoms of competition it will bring to local players. In its efforts totrading within the open market if they register their educate the software industry and prepare localbusiness in any one of the Asean nations. businesses for the new open market, the park is focusing The establishment of the AEC as a single market on software development, ICT project management,and production base will of course encompass the enterprise architecture design, network and systemtechnology sector, including software. The development administration, information systems and network security.goals associated with the economic community will While AEC 2015 will mean a larger ICT market andinclude enhanced infrastructure and communications more opportunities, it will also bring a free flow of humanconnectivity across the region, development of electronic resources across the Asean region. Therefore,transactions through e-Asean and integrating industries Thanachart says Thailand’s software industry will need toacross the region to promote regional sourcing. The develop and upgrade the quality of its human resourceseconomic community will transform Asean into a region with international certifications and specialized educationwith a free flow of goods, services, investments and about emerging technologies such as mobile applicationsskilled labor, as well as free movement of capital. and cloud computing. 3
  4. 4. Be prepared bypositioning andtraining Thaicom’s chief executive Suphajee Suthampun, who has longexperience in technology businesses in the Asean region, says ICT isone of the priorities in creating the economic community because of itsrole as an “enabler.” Moreover, the AEC is not only about the 10 Asean nations, but also the regional grouping’s dialogue partners –China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India (Asean +3 and Asean + 6). She says Asean’s 10 countries have 583 million people, or 9 per cent of the world’s population, but its grossdomestic product (GDP) is US$1,275 billion, or only 2 per cent of world GDP. However, Asean +3 (including China,Japan, and Korea) has 2.06 billion people, or about 31 per cent of the world’s population and its GDP is US$ 9,901billion, or about 18 per cent of the world’s GDP. Asean + 6 (adding Australia, New Zealand, and India) has apopulation of 3.28 billion people – half of all the people in the world – with a GDP of US$12,250 billion, or about 22per cent of world GDP. Suphajee says the 21st-century economic landscape – in a flat world – is going to feature global resources,production and infrastructure in an open business environment with economic and expertise value. Therefore, thelocal software industry should prepare the competitiveness of its businesses by firstly positioning them throughSWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analyses and then identifying niche or un-served areas. Apart from technical knowledge, software companies need to upgrade the skills of their human resources, withemphasis on language and analytic capabilities, and then provide them with training through collaboration withvendors, universities and associations, she says. However, to be successful within the AEC, global industry standards such as IEEE, service-orientedarchitecture (SOA) and compliances are required as a key factor. Suphajee says government-incentive schemes are required, such as tax incentives and programs fordevelopment of skills and tools.ICT professionalsmust prepare:ICT Ministry The second ICT master plan, which has the theme: Smart Thailand (2009-2013), aims to develop AEC 2015 will allow a free and highly-skilled ICT professionals to comply with Aseanseamless flow of skilled labor and regional standards. The master plan also aims to makeprofessionals throughout the 10 countries of ICT accessible to at least 50 per cent of the population andAsean. to generate about 15 per cent of GDP. An inspector with the Information and To achieve these goals, the plan aims to promote theCommunications Technology Ministry, networking of ICT-skills development, includingMethinee Thepmanee, says that to cope with cyber-security skills, and to facilitate the establishment of athe challenges of AEC 2015, Thailand has to regional mechanism to promote ICT-certification programsfocus on developing both the quality and and the cross-certification of these programs by ICT-skillsquantity of local ICT professionals. competency centers or agencies. 4
  5. 5. The ICT Ministry has promoted two sets of ICT standards in Thailand. The first comprises core standards initiatives covering such areas as project management, systems analysis and security specialists. The second comprises professional certifications, with special certifications for competence in selected areas. These include regional ICT professional standards such as those of the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization – a grouping of ICT industry associations representing the Asia-Oceania region – and Thailand’s industry standard certifications. Methinee says Asean should unify ICT standards and establish professional standards for the region, to set Moreover, it aims to facilitate mutual-recognition ICT competency levels. Moreover, Asean should establisharrangements for qualifications in IT professional skills, its own professional certification for special competence inand plans to conduct a workshop on standards selected areas, such as standards for network anddevelopment for Asean ICT skills. computer-security specialists, as a first priority. Industry must be aware of AEC 2015’s impact He says the business area with big potential for Thai software companies is applications for mobile devices and for cloud computing. “The past 10 to 15 years has been about Internet-based technology, but from now on, for the next 10 to 15 years, it will be about cloud-computing technology. So, local software companies should learn the new technology, as well as the new business models,” Adirek says. The association plans to work with local partners to develop skilled workers for the ICT industry and to approach the government, as the biggest local customer and the best reference site, to give preference to local The local software industry is both aware of and software. It will also ask the government to offer tax preparing for the chances and challenges that will arrive incentives to local companies that invest in IT systems by with the AEC’s single ICT market in 2015, according to purchasing local software products and services the Association of Thai ICT Industry (ATCI). The association’s president Adirek Patithat says the “If we are strong in our own market, we will be ready AEC should bring more opportunities than threats to both welcome newcomers to the local market and to because Thailand’s ICT and software industries are in the compete with the others in overseas markets,” Adirek middle range when compared to the other Asean says. countries. Meanwhile, the Thai Software Export Promotion Local software associations will work closely Association (TSEP) says it will concentrate on together to test conditions in cross-border and overseas persuading the local software industry not only to be markets. ATCI will play an important role as a link aware of the impact of AEC 2015, but also to study the between these local associations and the laws and regulations of other Asean countries, Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization particularly those related to investment, labor and capital (ASOCIO), of which ATCI is a member. flow. 5
  6. 6. It offers maximum tax incentives for investment of more than US$1 million (Bt31.22 million) in high-technology projects where products are made in Thailand, and exemption from import duties on raw materials and components used in producing electronic goods. Moreover, the BoI’s regional operating and headquarters incentive offers an excellent opportunity for setting up ICT service and software headquarters, competency centers and shared services. TSEP president Pirason Punyagupta says theselegal aspects of doing business will change from countryto country, so the software private sector needs to learnmore about them. “For the local software industry, AEC 2015 will beboth an opportunity and a threat. But for [members of]TSEP – most of us have been preparing ourselves for acouple of years. We have experience in doing softwarebusiness in other countries. For us, there will be moreopportunities than threats. But we have to prepare in suchareas as laws and regulations, which might be different ineach country,” he says. Currently, most of the 30 software companies thatmake up TSEP’s total membership are aiming to sell theirsoftware services abroad. Some are now concentrating The Association of Thai Software Industry (ATSI)on the domestic market, but they will be ready to compete believes local software companies are ready to dowith others throughout the Asean region by 2015. business both within Thailand and the region. Its Pirason says the local software industry must also president Somporn Maneeratanakul says ATSI is playingrapidly increase the numbers of qualified human a role in securing the place of the main local softwareresources. If Thailand is to become the “hot base” for businesses in the domestic market, so they will be readysoftware development in Asean, then it must have in 2015 to welcome competitors from other Aseanmassive numbers of qualified people. countries. “People are the key, and the most important factor ATSI plans to establish local standards for eachfor software companies to succeed in large markets like kind of software, such as enterprise-resource planningthe AEC. Software companies need to develop skilled (ERP) and finance and accounting, in order to help bothworkers, as well as lifting their software-development software developers and users. With the standardprocesses to comply with global standards. Software established, local software companies will find morecompanies must make themselves strong in those areas domestic-market opportunities, while users will feel morein which they specialize,” Pirason says. “Members of comfortable with software products and services madeTSEP are willing to partner with software companies and locally and certified as measuring up to a benchmark.other associations to approach Asean markets together.” “Around 95 per cent of local software companies in Pirason says the industry also needs to prepare Thailand are small- and medium-sized companies thatlocal infrastructure, including telecom infrastructure such focus on both the government and private sectors. If weas broadband and 3G networks, and soft infrastructure have a mechanism to help certify their products, it willsuch as incentives and facilities. help to create confidence when users are buying local Related to Pirason’s comments about incentives, software,” Somporn says.the Thailand Board of Investment (BoI) already offers He says ATSI is planning to help to educate its 300inducements for investment in information and member companies so that they can deal successfullycommunications technology (ICT) and software projects. with the changes that will come with AEC 2015. 6
  7. 7. In the run-up toAEC 2015ICT Ministry sets the stage The Information and Communications Technology(ICT) Ministry is playing a major role in preparingThailand’s business community for the changes that willcome with implementation of the Asean EconomicCommunity (AEC). The biggest concern is that Thai companies will beable to compete in the new regional market and willtransform smoothly to participate in the changed tradingenvironment. The Executive Director of the Ministry’s Policy andStrategy Bureau, Areewan Haorangsi, says committeeswith representation from both government agencies andthe private sector have been set up to initiate activities upgrading the competitive capacity of the ICT industry torelated to the economic transformation, people add value and increase earnings, promoting the use ofempowerment and engagement, innovation, ICT as a means of building sustainable competitivenessinfrastructure development, human capital development for Thai industries and developing human resources forand bridging the digital divide. the ICT industry – a task that will be aided by increasing Importantly, the Ministry is also working with ICT literacy in Thailand.regional and international partners to develop standard The development and management of ICTdefinitions and certifications for ICT skills within Asean. infrastructure in Thailand sets out to provide universalThese will apply to software development, ICT project broadband access to all businesses and ordinary citizensmanagement, enterprise architecture design, network around the country, including the disadvantaged andand system administration and information system and people with disabilities, via secure information systemsnetwork security. The aim is to develop a system of and networks. This strategy aims, among other things, atstandards across Asean that will enhance the status and reducing the “digital divide” – the gap between access forrecognition of the region’s ICT professionals to well-off urban dwellers and that for remote andinternational levels. underprivileged people. The Ministry is also developing an Intra-Asean Businesses and service providers are expected toSecure Transactions Framework and an Asean ensure that their infrastructure is capable of keeping upe-Government Development Action Plan to support with technological evolution, in order to meet increasinge-government services among member countries of the consumer demand. Their infrastructure should supportAsean Economic Community. multimedia services, electronic transactions and other Areewan says that by using the government’s major services that are useful to people enjoying moderndevelopment strategies, the ICT Ministry has formulated lifestyles in a knowledge-based society.plans to prepare for implementation of the AEC. The The Ministry’s target is a high-speed broadbandgovernment strategies include the Second Thailand network with minimum speed of 4 Mbps at a fair price forInformation and Communications Technology Master the service rendered. It wants at least 50 per cent ofPlan 2009- 2013, The National ICT Policy Framework households and businesses in the Muang districts of all2011-2020 and National Broadband. The Ministry’s plans provinces to have access to the high-speed broadbandinclude developing and managing ICT infrastructure, network. 7
  8. 8. Moreover, the Ministry plans to set up 1,000 ICT Areewan says the Ministry’s goals for laying downCommunity Centers around the country that will provide the country-wide high-speed network infrastructuree-learning facilities in order to create ICT literacy in local include covering 80 per cent of Thailand’s population bycommunities, Areewan says. 2015 and 95 per cent by 2020. This will enable the Meanwhile, in its efforts to upgrade the competitive widespread use of ICT to create competitiveness for thecapacity of the ICT industry – to add to the industry’s country’s businesses, improve the country’s productivityvalue and increase its earnings – the Ministry says it will and support medicines and medical services for longerdrive though research and development and domestic life.innovation by the public, academic and private sectors. Among its other goals, the ICT Ministry wants 95 perThis is expected to lift the annual value of the domestic cent of Thailand’s total workforce to be ICT literate; it aimssoftware market to more than Bt100 billion, and more for ICT industries to generate 18 per cent of Thailand’sthan half of this market will be taken by local software gross domestic product (GDP); and it wants at least halfcompanies. of the Thai people to be aware of the important role ICT Areewan says this will increase and enhance the has in supporting economic growth and achieving a greennational standard of products and services, create market environment.opportunities and lift competitiveness. It will also promote All along, it will encourage government andthe local ICT industry both domestically and overseas. private-sector organizations to support small- and Thai manufacturers of all kinds will be encouraged medium-sized enterprises by consuming their goods andto access and use ICT to help them make and trade services.products and services that are knowledge-based, use "I think that the AEC will create economic strengthinnovation, and are environmentally friendly. This will be and efficiency among Asean countries in global markets,aimed at developing the competitive capacity of which will create competitiveness, productivity andbusinesses by creating and adding value domestically. It competitive advantage for Thailand as well," Areewanwill also create confidence among both businesses and says.consumers to buy and sell goods and services via theInternet, and will enhance the productivity and efficiencyof small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), bypreparing them to compete in the future free-tradeenvironment. Areewan says the Ministry will work to develop ICTliteracy in Thai society. This will provide a basis fromwhich to develop human resources to support the ThaiICT industry as it enters the AEC. However, it will also support cooperation betweenThailand and other Asean countries in the establishmentof an Asean Center of Excellence. This center will hostregional cooperation in research and development aswell as innovation among Asean countries. 8
  9. 9. 3 1 Countdown5 to AEC4 2 Opportunities outweigh threats, but much remains to be done Over the coming three years, excitement andanticipation will build as implementation of the AseanEconomic Community draws closer. It will be a time of intensive rethinking andadjustment by all of Thailand’s industries, preparing themfor the totally free flow of goods, services, investment,skilled labor, and capital that the hugely expanded marketplace will bring. For many years, Thailand’s software industry hasbeen eager to find prosperity by approaching lucrativeforeign markets. In 2015, the foreign markets will,instead, come to them. The Asean Economic Community(AEC) will bring about the economic integration ofThailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the All of these changes, due to occur simultaneously inPhilippines, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and 2015, will bring big opportunities and serious challengesBurma (Myanmar). Together, they have a gross domestic to Thailand’s software industry. The market will be vastlyproduct of US$1.5 trillion (Bt46.8 trillion). larger, but there will be much more competition. While the Along with economic integration will come quick AEC may appear to be overwhelmingly threatening, therechanges in corporate regulations, including ceilings on are plans afoot to take advantage of the open regionalownership, changes to tax regulations, and an expected market by leading Thailand’s software industry into an eraincrease in the movement of investment funds. of expanded overseas trading. One of these changes will be the lifting of the The Chairman of Software Park Thailand’s board,foreign-ownership ceiling in service businesses – Manoo Ordeedolchest, says ICT will be a key enabler forincluding software businesses – to 70 per cent. the social and economic integration of the Asean region. According to Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic By developing next-generation ICT infrastructuresIntelligence Center, the information and communications and skilled human capital, promoting content andtechnology sector, including the software industry, is innovative industries, and establishing an enabling policyscheduled for priority liberalization of equity participation, and regulatory environment, Asean will employ ICT toallowing up to 70 per cent of foreign ownership. The transform the region into a single market.current rate of foreign ownership in Thailand’s IT-services Manoo says software is now emerging as aindustry is only 7 per cent, while the current ceiling is set potential area in which Thailand will be able to competeat 49 percent. when the open regional market begins, rather than The Asean Economic Community will also bring telecom services or hardware.other changes to the Thai software industry, including However, while the process of softwarecollaboration between domestic and multinational ICT development has changed, many local softwarebusinesses, universities and technical researchers, the developers remain “stuck in the mindset of the lastmovement of skilled labor, and salaries for ICT century”. The new era of software development isprofessionals. focused first on the needs of end-users. Software services in the era of cloud computing and social networking have the characteristics of no time, no space and no matter. This means users can perform business transactions, empowered by software, anytime, anywhere and on any device. 9
  10. 10. “Instead of developing software to servebusinesses’ back-office systems, with the aim of helpingorganizations to increase their efficiency, softwaredevelopment is now aimed at helping organizations toincrease their productivity and competitiveness, and thatmeans helping them to minimize the ‘transaction costs’ ofany service,” Manoo says. He warns that if Thai software companies remainstuck with an “expired mindset” they will lose in the newbusiness-software game – especially in the single marketof AEC 2015. The government should be helping to createawareness of the new software-development mindsetand also providing support to encourage change in thelocal software industry, which is made up mostly of small-and medium-sized enterprises. “Understanding the process of any business “To improve their ICT competencies, they can bringtransaction is powerful knowledge that can help SMEs together to cooperate and synergize with local anddevelopers to successfully create software and international partners. They should perceive themselvesapplications to serve users’ needs,” he says. as being part of an Asean regional and global partnership, Moreover, the government should set up a social rather than doing business alone. In this way, they cannetwork to conduct crowdsourcing in the software learn from the successes of others and take short cuts,”industry and to develop human-resources management. Pirasan says.This will help to integrate the strength of local software Federation of Thai Industries Vice Chairman Tanitcompanies, so that together, they can compete with Sorat says Thailand will take advantage of the singlesoftware developers from overseas. Asean market to become a regional industrial and service “Social networking is now playing an important role hub, including IT and software-service centers.on the business bandwagon. Software developers need To achieve this goal, priority must be given toto understand this first, and then they have to embed a creating skilled ICT human resources at all levels ofsocial-network philosophy into their software services education, starting in the universities. There must also beand applications,” Manoo says. a parallel effort within the industry to develop a skilled ICT Cloud computing is another key factor steering the labor force. The government is required to play a key rolenew direction of software development. Developers by integrating policies and support to turn theshould focus on software design and development to human-development plan into reality. Importantly, it hasserve this new environment. Operating from a to be done in a timely platform, software-as-a-service is a “The government is also expected to play a key rolecrucial model for software service providers. Additionally, by supporting the development of competency standardssoftware developers should think of developing software and local software park facilities and services, as well asand applications to serve mobile devices, Manoo says. developing the country’s ICT specialist database, Meanwhile, Thai Software Export Promotion establishing a regional data center and an ICT regionalAssociation President Pirasan Punyagupta says that for network and so on,” Tanit says.the ICT industry, especially the software sector, thebiggest threat is a creative brain drain and a consequentshortage of ICT and software professionals. To face the challenge successfully, the Thaisoftware industry should be asking itself what areas ofICT and software development it should focus on. Itshould then establish Thailand as a hotspot for that kindof business, he says. Thai software businesses should concentrate oncoming opportunities, rather than quailing at the threats,and should prepare their ability to compete with regionalrivals. They should improve their ICT competencies byintroducing training, coaching and certification for ICTpersonnel, while at the same time improving their ICT andsoftware work standards and processes. 10
  11. 11. MFEC Group seeks partnerships tobolster regional role Group plans full range ofinformation technology services,first in Thailand, then across Asean Bangkok-based information-technology servicescompany MFEC Group regards the approaching AseanEconomic Community as a huge opportunity, not only toexpand its business, but also to find international partnerswith whom to build up the strength of the ICT industry inthe Asean region to serve its population of 600 million. The president of the SET-listed group, SiriwatVongjarukorn, says that in preparation for the openregional market, MFEC has acquired local companies asits subsidiaries, including Soft Square 1999, MotifTechnology, Business Application and A-Host. The group will provide a range ofinformation-technology services, such as end-to-endapplications on mobile devices and support for customersranging from individuals to large enterprises, as well asoutsourcing services. "I believe the acquisitions will create synergy,blending and combining the strong points of eachbusiness, as well as transferring knowledge between thebusinesses, before we enter the market. The acquisitionswill also help to reduce operating costs and enhance the The group is not only building its business strengthproductivity of our business,” he says. “The group aims to as 2015 approaches, but is also planning to take ansupport its customers as full implementation of the Asean active hand in building up the local ICT industry’s humanEconomic Community approaches in 2015. But at this resources and technical skills. MFEC is planning tostage, I think we will focus our business domestically, so cooperate with 28 universities in the training of aboutthat we can create opportunities in the local market." 5,000 skilled IT graduates capable of meeting local Siriwat says MFEC Group is still looking for local demand over the next five years. It will link up with Maepartners to form joint ventures, to grow in incubation, or Fah Luang University and Khon Kaen University as theas candidates for merger or acquisition. It seeks by these first institutions in this program. The group currently hasmeans to build the strength of local operations so they are about 1,500 employees.capable of competing with international IT services and “I think the AEC market is important for us in theICT companies that will enter the Thai market or the near future because the ICT market and industry will noAsean common market after 2015, when will no longer be longer be limited to Thailand, but will cover all countries inbarriers to trade. the Asean region. On the other hand, there will be heavy “I think we need to prepare ourselves, so that we will competition because international companies will enterbe able to cope with both domestic and international the Thai market as a new opportunity for them. Therefore,competitors. Those businesses that do not prepare we are preparing our business and are ready to createthemselves might lose the opportunity to compete and partnerships with local and international companies tobrave conditions in the new market,” Siriwat says. enter the new AEC market,” Siriwat says. 11
  12. 12. SSC IT Group heads into AEC with three new subsidiaries Focus on Thai leadership of regional IT services As the Asean Economic Community looms, onewell-known Thai IT company, SSC Solutions, hasundergone a complete restructuring and has spun off itsbusiness units to become subsidiary companies. The firm will enter the Asian Economy Community in2015 as SSC IT Group, heading up three new andsingle-minded subsidiaries: Sense Water, Thai SoftwareOutsourcing and Anise Asian Thailand. SSC Solutionshas, itself, become a member of the group. Chief Executive Trirat Chatkaew says Sense Wateris expected to be the groups flagship company, since ithas a strong track record in providing water-management Anise Asian Thailand is SSC IT Group’s most recentsoftware, not only in the local market, but also overseas. operation, aimed at providing cloud-computing servicesIt aims to be the leading source of water-management to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).software in the Asean region – making Thailand the In a first step, the firm will provide private cloudleader of this field – by 2015. services by using a platform from Canadian "This company has registered capital of Bt60 cloud-computing vendor Joyent. Later, it will join withmillion. It is a global independent software vendor (ISV) Internet Data Center to provide a public-cloud servicepartner of IBMs Smarter Planet-Smarter Water," Trirat brand named Star Anise. Its services will includesays. solutions and software related to accounting, payroll and Currently, Sense Water provides enterprise resource planning (ERP) for SMEs.water-management solutions for water operators in Moreover, the firm will join Anise Asian IndonesiaMalaysia, and is looking for customers in Taiwan, and Anise Asian Philippines to provide both private andAustralia, the Philippines, Finland and Indonesia. public cloud-computing services across the Asean Meanwhile, Thai Software Outsourcing is involved business matching and creating portfolios with local “I think there is a continuing growth market forpartners to help them build the standards of Thai software information-technology services in Thailand. Meanwhile,developers so they will be able to make the transition to accessing IT services by using software-as-a-servicethe wider market and find work from other Asean (SaaS), via cloud computing, is helping businesses andcountries. customers to reduce their investment costs. Therefore, Trirat says the new company will look for there is an opportunity for Thai software businesses toopportunities in this market and will not only seek jobs as provide their solutions and develop software to serve thean outsourcer, but will also outsource those jobs to local Asian Economy Community in the near future,” Triratsoftware companies or freelancers. says. "We will match customers and developers, and will SSC IT Groups preparations aim not only toalso play the role of an outsourcer in big jobs where prepare for the Asean Common Market, but also to drivecustomers require a project manager. In this business we Thailand to become the leader in the Asean market forwill work closely with the Software Industry Promotion water-management solutions, software outsourcing andAgency and Software Park Thailand," he says. knowledge management, he says. 12