Malaysia’s largest expressway service provider, PLUS Malaysia Berhad (PLUS), recently announced a partnership with Microsoft (Malaysia) to integrate Microsoft’s Azure cloud system into its highway toll network to transform and modernize the Malaysian highway experience. The partnership would make PLUS the first in Malaysia to leverage future-ready technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics and cloud computing to improve its highway network.
The framework provided by Azure platform unlocks a future of Big Data Analytics and AI-enhanced operations, contributing to improved congestion prediction, better journey planning and provide safer, more enjoyable experiences on PLUS’ highways. PLUS’ partnership with Microsoft also signifies the first step in the company’s digital transformation journey, as it aims to drive efficiency and lower costs on its highway network.
“We at PLUS firmly believe in taking care of our customers, every step of the way,” said Datuk Azman Ismail, Managing Director, PLUS Malaysia Berhad. “As our highway networks continue to expand across Malaysia, servicing an ever-growing number of road users, we acknowledge the need to not just digitally transform, but to also embrace a new organisation culture. By collaborating with industry leaders like Microsoft, we aim to bring our businesses to the frontier of innovation, locally and regionally, whilst addressing all the challenges brought forth by the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
Through this partnership, PLUS will adopt Microsoft Azure to tackle a number of complex challenges such as server capacity, flexibility and security. Using the Azure cloud-based platform, PLUS will be able to build and expand on-premise resources to improve internal performance and enhance the customer experience, without having to worry about server capacity. This also allows PLUS to save costs on building and expanding on-premise infrastructure, creating more room for the company to focus on improving its services instead.
PLUS will also be leveraging Azure Key Vault to safeguard data on the cloud through the use of cryptographic keys. As a result, PLUS will be able to reduce data discrepancy, enhance its operations and electronic toll collection reconciliation and ultimately improve efficiency by 40%, or 600 man-hours, each month.
“Our partnership today marks the beginning of a wave of change that will transform the Malaysian highway experience,” adds Datuk Azman. “With the insight provided by Power BI and the flexibility afforded by Azure, we are able to continuously evolve and adapt to the changes occurring in the landscape within which our business operates, enabling us to remain competitive in this digital age.”
With over 1.7 million vehicles running on PLUS’ highway network daily, the company needed a solution that is capable of efficiently and effectively analysing large amounts of data. Through the power of AI and Big Data Analytics, Microsoft Power BI will allow PLUS to visualize the data collected and interact with it through a user-friendly interface, providing valuable insight to help with critical business decision making and strategizing.
By using Azure as its foundation, PLUS aims to roll-out a series of future improvements in its operations including integrated video analytics, which is expected to reduce staff requirements and tackle financial leakage of an estimated RM2.7 million in annual lost revenue.
Commenting on the partnership, K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia said, “Since establishing ourselves in Malaysia over 25 years ago, Microsoft has helped move the digital transformation needle for businesses and organisations across the nation. Our partnership with PLUS today is a testament to our vision to empower every person and every organisation on this planet to achieve more. We would also like to congratulate PLUS for being the first expressway service provider in Malaysia to successfully integrate Azure into its highways. To this end, we hope to continue collaborating with PLUS to enable them achieve more than ever before.”