Prestariang moving into big data sector

PUTRAJAYA: Prestariang Bhd, which yesterday announced the set up of an education platform with China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, is aiming to become a big data company.

“We have very much engaged with the government, the next is to go to the consumers by moving into big data and eventually we’ll be a big data company,” group president and CEO Dr Abu Hasan Ismail told reporters after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday.

Prestariang is partnering with Alibaba’s cloud computing arm Alibaba Cloud and Singapore’s Conversant Solutions Pte Ltd to build an integrated education platform known as EduCloud, which will be launched in Feb 14 to enhance the education system.

It will feature campus management, teaching and learning, entertainment, digital payment and other services, as well as online applications.

“It’s a platform-based service, I think this is where the future is. The education platform is the first-of-its-kind in the region,” he said, noting that the platform will start in Malaysia before expanding into the Asia Pacific market, in particular Asean.

Prestariang is a provider of ICT services in talent and software solutions, technology and services as well as education.

Abu Hasan said the partnership will enable the group to grow its customer base and expand its offering to include not just licensing and training, but also online application and services.

However, he declined to disclose the equity structure and investment for this new business venture pending a definitive agreement.

“The investment has started and it is a long-term investment. It would be quite substantial for us,” he said.

Abu Hasan highlighted that the big data venture will also reduce the group’s reliance on the public sector.

“Currently, almost 100% of our revenue is from the government, this is not healthy. We want to have a better revenue mix. We used to have 10% revenue from overseas. This is the way to go. This is more scalable and sustainable,” he noted.

Prestariang saw a 47.1% drop in net profit to RM7.48 million for nine months ended Sept 30, 2016 against RM14.12 million in the same period last year, due to lower margin from the software and services businesses.

Its shares were up 9 sen or 4.13% to close at RM2.27 on some 1.72 million shares done.