Technology vital for SMEs to survive post-MCO, says SAP Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur, 19 May 2020 – The movement control order (MCO) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how critical technology’s role is both as an operations enabler and for business continuity purposes.

SAP Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Hong Kok Cheong said the MCO has changed the way businesses operate with individuals, teams and entire organisations scrambling to adjust to working remotely.

“The MCO has demonstrated how technology continues to play an ever-increasing important role in supporting business continuity, while increasing the accuracy and accessibility of data, information management and reporting analysis,” said Hong in a statement today.

“The MCO also demonstrated the importance of digitisation and moving away from human managed interfaces and toward machine learning and automated processes,” he said.

Hong foresees, even post-MCO, technology advancement would continue to grow in significance.

“That said, people and their expertise are still much needed for decision-making and communications process to protect and enhance brand, operations, customers and various stakeholders,” he said.

He also encouraged local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to start viewing technology as an investment and not a cost if they are to survive before realising sustainable growth.

“Technology serves as a business enabler that paves the way for greater productivity, operational efficiencies and cost-savings,” said Hong.

Although many solutions were once the exclusive domain of large corporates, technology has been scaled in capacity – and price – and are now within reach of local SMEs.

“This is a crucial point of a digital transformation journey which SMEs should recognise to overcome the fear that such a process might incur unexpectedly high cost,” he said.

Hong emphasise that ‘SAP is for everyone’, including SMEs with the aim of making businesses ‘intelligent enterprises’.

“Intelligent enterprises better address challenges with technology-enabled capabilities to collect and connect data that was previously unrecognised. They are also able to respond faster to changes in the market,” Hong said.

“What’s more, intelligent enterprises are able to better collect insights from customers, employees, products, and brands at every touch point, use powerful technology to sense opportunities, risks, and trends and turn this intelligence into action across every part of the business,” he added.

He cited the SAP Business One SAP B1 as an example of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software platform specifically intended for SMEs.

“What SAP B1 does is automate key business functions in financials, operations, and human resources so that SMEs can derive greater efficiencies within their operations,” said Hong.

“SAP is at the forefront of 25 various industries, and we can help SMEs learn from larger enterprises such as making their supply chain process shorter and more effective,” he said.

-New Straits Times