Friday, 13 January 2017

(The Star) Prestariang, Alibaba and Conversant form IT tie-up

PUTRAJAYA: The collaboration between Alibaba Group’s cloud computing arm Alibaba Cloud, Prestariang Bhd and Singapore’s Conversant Solutions Pte Ltd marks Alibaba Cloud’s first venture into the education sector for the international market.
The three parties signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday to build an integrated education platform known as EduCloud.
EduCloud, a cloud-based platform for education and related services, will be launched in Malaysia, with eventual plans to market it to other parts of Asia-Pacific.
The collaboration leverages on each party’s strengths, namely, Alibaba Cloud’s cloud computing capabilities, Conversant’s digital media enablement, as well as Prestariang’s talent and education customer base and deployment expertise.
Prestariang president and group CEO Abu Hasan Ismail said the tripartite collaboration is very much aligned to Prestariang’s new corporate growth strategies.
“EduCloud will capitalise on our existing footprint, help grow our customer base and expand our offering to include not just licensing and training but also online application and services.
“It will enable us to journey into new areas such as digital platfrom, big data analytics and providing end-to-end solutions and services to the whole education market via the cloud,” said Abu Hasan.
He added that Prestariang would divulge more information on the collaboration next month, when terms have been finalised and EduCloud officially launched.
EduCloud entails campus management, teaching and learning, entertainment, digital payment, as well as online services and applications.
With more than six million students in schools and higher learning institutions in Malaysia, EduCloud stands to shape Malaysia’s education system through the digitalisation of education, cultivating mobile-first cloud-enabled future entrepreneurs, establishing lifelong partnerships with education communities, as well as encouraging students to drive new ideas and innovation.
Prestariang will play the roles of platform owner, app developer and service provider, as well as training and certification delivery, among others.
RHB Research expects Prestariang to own at least 50% in this new venture and does not discount the possibility of roping in other education-related partners at equity level for further value enhancement of the proposal.
“The initial investment from Prestariang is envisaged to be around RM40mil to RM60mil, on the assumption that it holds a 50% stake. This could involve debt as well as equity financing.

“In our view, this initiative could help to further bump up Prestariang’s recurring earnings stream and reduce dependence on government-related contracts,” the research house said in a report.