MuleSoft Vice President of Japan Will Bosma says the first brands to integrate their technology stack through an application network and deliver meaningful consumer experiences will take the lead in Southeast Asia markets.
The Smart Nation initiative is an ongoing priority for Singapore and the country ranks first in the Asian Digital Transformation Index, owing to its well-developed digital infrastructure.
The government continues to play a key role in the development of Singapore’s digital transformation, with its ICT and regulatory policies over the years being in sync with business demand and its encouragement of digital development.
Over the past decade, many tech businesses have delivered on their expansion plans into the Asia Pacific region with Singapore often being first choice for regional headquarters given its digital friendly outlook.
According to MuleSoft Vice President of Japan Will Bosma, the company is on track to meet its next milestone of USD 1 billion in revenue by 2021. Currently some of MuleSoft partners include Accenture, Agile Digital, Capgemini, Datacom, Deloitte Digital, Infront, Leidos, NEC and Veritec.
In light of all sectors undergoing some form of digital transformation to remain competitive, we asked Bosma how critical is it for SMBs and SMEs to undergo digital transformation now – particularly with the impending arrival of 5G in Singapore by 2020.
“It’s critical that businesses of all sizes begin digital transformation efforts now so that they can increase the profitability of their business and streamline operations in order to better respond to disruptive technologies like 5G. New technologies are at the core of how businesses in Southeast Asia will compete and thrive in the global marketplace and require the integration of disparate applications and data to create meaningful consumer experiences,” says Bosma.
According to Bosma, digital transformation also a great leveller.
“If done well, it allows organisations of any size to not only compete effectively but to participate in what we call the convergence economy in wholly new ways. It’s also become obvious over the past decade or so that it’s no longer the big that ‘eat’ the smaller but rather the fast that ‘eat’ the slow,” says Bosma.
Bosma says Mulesoft’s recent global research of ITDMs revealed that while 97 percent of organizations are currently undertaking or planning to undertake digital transformation initiatives, integration challenges are hindering efforts for 84 percent of them. An API-led approach to integration is critical to accelerating digital transformation as it allows businesses to reuse APIs as composable building blocks instead of building point-to-point integrations to connect technologies.
In terms of MuleSoft’s presence in APAC, we asked Bosma what their three-year horizon looks like in the region.
“MuleSoft is significantly investing in APAC with a concerted focus on growing our business in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. There remains significant growth in each of these core markets with Japan being our newest team investment. Obviously, with the acquisition by Salesforce, we are seeing significant interest from their customers as well as demand from the rest of the spectrum coming directly to us. And our significant partnerships continue to drive robust growth across all sectors,” says Bosma.
While Singapore is acknowledged as a leader in digital transformation, Bosma says other countries in South East Asia are up and coming and says the factors driving their growth are multi-faceted.
“We see tremendous opportunity for brands of all sizes to drive digital transformation across Southeast Asia. With access to cloud technologies levelling the competitive field, companies can begin experimenting with technologies like IoT, blockchain, mobile and AR/VR to win the hearts and minds of consumers. We believe the first brands to integrate their technology stack through an application network and deliver meaningful experiences with these technologies will earn a significant leadership position in their home country and Southeast Asia,” says Bosma.
With many economies in South East Asia driving significant changes in the regulatory environment, as well as improving access to some of the supporting technology like Cloud, significant developments in digital transformation is happening across all sectors. Bosma shares a recent, positive case study on who is doing it right.
“Lane Crawford is a great example of a MuleSoft customer using an API-led approach to integration to fuel meaningful customer experiences. As part of an initiative to advance the omnichannel experience Lane Crawford pioneered in Greater China, the company selected MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform to launch its first mobile shopping app. With MuleSoft’s full lifecycle API management capabilities, Lane Crawford built an API integration layer to expose access to the CRM and eCommerce applications. Exposing these systems through APIs enabled Lane Crawford to create a data-as-a-service platform to orchestrate 360-degree views of customers and inventory, such as up-to-date loyalty balances and shopping history. The same APIs are leveraged across digital channels including their new mobile app, website, and WeChat, one of China’s most popular text and voice messaging apps. This ability to reuse APIs has enabled Lane Crawford to easily and quickly deploy new technologies and build new experiences to earn consumer loyalty,” says Bosma.
According to Bosma, failure to achieve digital transformation will negatively impact businesses across industries. Without a clear way to easily integrate diverse technologies and data sets businesses will be slower to build connected customer experiences and face increased competition from brands that are able to deliver digital transformation faster.
“In retail, brands won’t be able to streamline their supply chains, offer real-time inventory and shipping visibility or enable new technology-driven experiences without an API-led approach to connectivity. Similarly, in finance, institutions won’t be able to leverage fintech ecosystems and drive their open banking initiatives, and in healthcare providers won’t be able to accelerate clinical processes, delaying improvements in patient care. We are firmly in an era of hyper-specialisation. We see every industry being impacted by this with large organisations being disrupted by an array of highly specialised competitors offering deep capability in one specific area. Being able to digitally transform so that you can adapt to this and participate in the convergence economy on an agile basis is fundamental to future success for all organisations – large or small,” says Bosma.
(Ed. Featured image of MuleSoft Vice President of Japan Will Bosma courtesy of Mulesoft.)