Microsoft announces plans to build its first data center region in Malaysia as part of the ‘Bossama Malaysia’ initiative to support inclusive economic growth

Microsoft Corporation today announced its “Malaysia Damascus” initiative (with Malaysia), which marks a major commitment to enhancing Malaysia’s inclusive digital economy and advancing the nation’s digital transformation in both the private and public sectors. As part of the plan, Microsoft will build its first data center region in the country to provide trusted cloud services locally with world-class data security, privacy and the ability to store data domestically. Microsoft also announced plans to upskill an additional 1 million Malaysians by the end of 2023 to help create economic opportunities for people and businesses in the digital age. Finally, Microsoft will help form the MYDigital Alliance Leadership Council to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native strategy recommendations.

Today’s announcement represents a major milestone in Microsoft’s 28-year history in the country and supports the Malaysian government’s MyDIGITAL goal to transform Malaysia into a regional leader in the digital economy.According to IDC research[1]Microsoft’s investment in Malaysia will bring up to $4.6 billion over the next four years to the country’s ecosystem of local partners and cloud consumers[2]new income. Additionally, the study estimates that Microsoft, its partners and customers using the cloud will collectively contribute more than 19,000 new direct and indirect jobs.

Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said: “As we solidify our partnership with Microsoft today, I hope this is just the first green shoot in a broader investment in Malaysia by Microsoft and other data players. This major investment comes from Microsoft further strengthens Malaysia’s position as a potential regional data hub, and we stand ready to welcome more such partners as we work with stakeholders to continuously improve Malaysia’s value proposition in this big data space.”

“Today’s announcement is a major milestone in Microsoft’s 28 years of operation in Malaysia. We, like the government, are committed to digital transformation that must be inclusive and accountable. We are committed to providing digital skills to one million Malaysians to help them make the most of this Opportunities brought by this new investment, the construction of digital infrastructure is the foundation to drive the development of the country’s digital economy, and the upcoming data center region will be a game-changer in Malaysia, enabling the government and businesses to reimagine and transform their operations, all the interests of citizens,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of Microsoft Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Operations.

“We are proud to fortify our partnership with the nation to accelerate its digital economy. Public-private partnerships are a key driver in driving Malaysia’s digital economy forward. Microsoft’s Bersama Malaysia initiative reflects our shared commitment to supporting the nation’s MyDIGITAL aspirations , because we empower everyone and every organization in Malaysia to achieve more. We will have more than 200 employees and 2,000 partners in the country, continue to support digital government, support enterprises to digitally build resilience, And to provide digital opportunities for Malaysians. We stand with Malaysia,” said K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.

Digital infrastructure and partnerships to boost Malaysia’s digital economy

Microsoft will establish its first data center region in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area and provide access to the entire Microsoft Cloud, including:

Microsoft Azure, which enables anyone to make purposeful inventions using cloud services and capabilities spanning computing, networking, databases, analytics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things;

Microsoft 365, using innovative productivity tools to connect, collaborate, work remotely and learn online;

Dynamics 365 and Power Platform to rapidly build and manage critical enterprise business solutions at scale with intelligent business applications.

The new data center regions will also offer Azure Availability Zones, providing additional resiliency options for high-availability applications and supporting Microsoft’s sustainability goals. Microsoft has pledged globally to increase its supply of renewable energy to 100% by 2025. This means that Microsoft will enter into a power purchase agreement with Green Energy for all of its data centers, buildings and campuses, including the planned Malaysia data center area.

Microsoft will work with the government, start-ups and businesses to support the country’s digital transformation goals. Specifically, Microsoft partnered with the Socioeconomic Research Initiative (SERI) to establish the MYDigital Alliance Leadership Council to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native strategy recommendations. The coalition’s first meeting discussed digitalisation in the education sector to develop a globally competitive Malaysian digital workforce. In addition, Malaysia’s leading companies Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) and Celcom Axiata Berhad are committed to helping advance Malaysia’s nation-building and digital ambitions, using Microsoft Cloud in new data center regions where available.

“Partnership with Microsoft underlines PETRONAS’ commitment to nurturing a future-ready sustainable pipeline that supports Malaysia’s digital economy. As a progressive energy and solutions partner, enriching lives for a sustainable future , continued human capital development will be an integral part of our operational and competitive capabilities. We look forward to accelerating the ability of local talent to create an inclusive digital future for the benefit of the people and the country.” President and Group Chief Executive Tengku Muhammad Taufik said, Petronas.

“The telecommunications and technology industries are the key lifeblood of the nation’s digital economy. World-class cloud services will be the epitome, shaping our future path on the road to becoming a digital economic powerhouse in the region. We highly commend Microsoft’s plans to build its Malaysia A first-of-its-kind data center area that provides government and multiple industry verticals with access to secure, scalable, highly available, resilient and sustainable cloud services. As a major telecom tenant, we hope to bring the benefits of this data center to the fore To our customers and partners. In partnership with Microsoft, we will continue to serve our customers by delivering secure and reliable cloud services that drive a thriving digital ecosystem and realize the digital aspirations of a sustainable America.” Celcom Axiata Berhad chief executive Idham Nawawi said.

Microsoft and its local partner, Enfrasys Solutions, have been appointed by Malaysia’s Administrative Modernization and Management Programme to deliver cloud services to Malaysian public sector institutions by 2023. Microsoft will also partner with Censof Holdings, Silverlake Group and Web Bytes to accelerate the digital transformation of key U.S. industries, including financial services, retail, food and beverage, and the public sector.

Empowering Malaysians with Inclusive Opportunities

As part of the Bersama Malaysia initiative, Microsoft is committed to providing equal opportunities for individuals to thrive in cloud computing and an AI-based digital economy. To achieve this, Microsoft will increase the skills of another 1 million Malaysians by December 2023. This includes working with Human Resource Development Fund, Social Security Organisation, Youth Achievement Malaysia, TalentCorp Malaysia, MAMPU, Grab Malaysia, Biji-Biji Enterprise and local universities. Reach people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, including young people and people with disabilities. This commitment is a continuation of Microsoft’s Global Skills programme, which has benefited more than 110,000 Malaysians so far since July 2020.

  [1] IDC Information Snapshot, Sponsored by Microsoft, Microsoft Cloud Dividend Snapshot: Malaysia, Documentation. #US46918020, October 2020

  [2] RM19 billion based on Bank Negara Malaysia (Malaysian central bank) exchange rate: US$1 = RM4.1405 as at 5 April 2021

Author: Yoyokuo