Maxis’ mega acquisition of MyKRIS Asia emphasises managed network and security potential in Malaysia

Largest acquisition to date strengthens digital transformation portfolio.
Gokhan Ogut (Maxis)

Gokhan Ogut (Maxis)

Maxis is gearing up to capitalise on heightened demand for managed network and security services in Malaysia following the acquisition of MyKRIS Asia, billed as the “largest” yet by the technology giant.

Terms of the deal -- which could rise up to RM157.5 million (S$51 million) -- will see Maxis take control of a managed service provider (MSP) housing “end-to-end” field delivery and support capabilities, supported by a talent pool of experts comprising 70 qualified engineers and support team members.

Operating as the main operating subsidiary of MyKRIS International Berhad -- a holding company listed on the Bursa LEAP market -- MyKRIS Asia is expected to strengthen digital transformation offerings aligned to the Maxis Programmable Network, spanning private network to 5G fixed wireless access.

“Our latest acquisition reinforces Maxis’ position as the leading converged solutions provider in Malaysia,” said Gokhan Ogut, CEO of Maxis. “Importantly, it represents our commitment to investing in the nation and supporting the digital economy.”

According to Paul McManus -- chief enterprise business officer of Maxis -- managed network and security services represent “vital components” of digital transformation strategies, providing the connectivity and protection capabilities for organisations to innovate at scale.

“With MyKRIS Asia coming onboard, we look forward to expanding our suite of network solutions and technical capabilities built on top of our best-in-class Maxis Programmable Network,” McManus outlined.

“MyKRIS Asia’s team of technical specialists who are certified by global technology providers bring with them competencies in delivering end-to-end services, including design and consulting, implementation, testing and audit, as well as monitoring and incident management. This is augmented with its 24x7 security and network operating centre.”

Founded in 2000, Kuala Lumpur-based MyKRIS Asia has more than 20 years experience delivering managed services across the country with deep expertise in network, connectivity and security solutions.

The integration will aim to complement Maxis’ MEF 3.0 certified managed network with hybrid network capabilities, built to provide both wired and wireless connectivity networks for businesses. Coupled with MyKRIS Asia’s managed network security capabilities, the transaction aims to allow improvement in service agility, time to market and flexibility at an enterprise level.

“Since our inception, MyKRIS Asia has grown its extensive customer base across multiple industries such as manufacturing, hospitality, aviation and services to become a reputable managed network service provider today,” added Chew Choo Soon, executive chairman and CEO of MyKRIS Asia.

“We are pleased to be integrating with Maxis to empower more Malaysian businesses to leverage industry-leading technologies and help them accelerate their digital aspirations.”

The acquisition is expected to complete by the first quarter of 2022 subject to the fulfilment of pre-agreed deal conditions including approvals by MyKRIS Asia shareholders.

Powering digital projects

Partners such as Maxis in Malaysia specialising in digital transformation have reported a surge of projects during the past 12 months -- despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions -- with more than a third of customers indicating increased appetite to kick-start innovation agendas.

This is according to Forrester findings, which found that although a minority of firms in Malaysia were actively implementing digital transformation projects or expanding their implementation at the start of the year, more were planning to kick off such projects during the rest of 2021.

The data -- drawn from surveys that Forrester ran late last year -- found that only 46 per cent of organisations in Malaysia were currently on a digital transformation journey.

However, as in other markets, COVID-19 is accelerating such initiatives, spurring the plans of 34 per cent of customers to start on such a journey before the end of this year.

“More interestingly, of those currently driving a transformation effort, more than half say that they actually increased their spending on [digital transformation] in 2020 -- despite the economic crisis,” said Achim Granzen, principal analyst of Forrester in March.

Yet challenges still exist for organisations to overcome before embarking on digital projects due to ongoing roadblocks in relation to budget, security and technical skills -- heightening demand for ecosystem expertise and justifying acquisitions such as MyKRIS Asia in the process.

“Most struggle to demonstrate the business value of their [digital transformation] and securing the budget required to drive it,” Granzen observed. “Key challenges also include securing their digital transformation, a common situation throughout Asia, which remains behind on adopting security frameworks such as zero trust.”

The latest acquisition of MyKRIS Asia follows a series of “acqui-hires” by Maxis during the past two years following plans to establish a market-leading converged solutions business in Malaysia.

Key acquisitions include Infrastructure Consulting & Managed Services (ICMS) and Peering One for end-to-end professional and managed cloud services, in addition to Audeonet to strengthen voice and unified communications solutions.

Meanwhile, Maxis also unveiled plans to enhance back-up-as-a-service (BaaS) capabilities in May through a strengthened cloud partnership with Commvault and Microsoft.

Incorporating Office 365 and endpoint protection functionality, the enterprise-grade offering is designed to help customers ensure data is safeguarded and compliant with industry standards. From a technology standpoint, the solution is managed by Commvault and housed within Microsoft Azure, with the MSP delivering the product via a subscription model.