The Celtic Dragon: Irish tech’s foray into Asia gathers pace

1 Jun 2018

2018 Chinese New Year dragon dance. Image: Pran Thira/Shutterstock

Two Irish tech firms have secured significant game-changing deals in Asia.

The advance of Irish technology into Asia is gathering momentum as two leading tech firms announced significant deals this week.

An online and mobile access solution to SAP Business One developed by Dublin based Enterpryze is to be rolled out by one of Asia’s largest banks to up to 200,000 users within two years.

‘We have had and continue to have huge support back home that is making this happen, not least from Enterprise Ireland. This is testament to their work also’

Meanwhile, mobile technology player Anam has secured a deal with Hong Kong-headquartered Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) to deploy mobile security technology to defend against SMS fraud in Vietnam.

The deals seriously raise the bar for Irish technology, most notably because Asia is the epicentre of major advances in areas such as digital banking, fibre technologies and the oncoming 5G revolution, which means Irish technology is up there with the best of them.

Banking on Irish tech

three men announcing a deal

From left: Ng Chee Meng, secretary general, National Trade Union Congress (NTUC); Morgan Browne, Enterpryze CEO and founder; and Mervyn Koh, country head of Business Banking, UOB Singapore. Image: Enterpryze

The United Overseas Bank (UOB) – a multinational bank headquartered in Singapore – has adopted the Enterpryze platform as a key element of its BizSmart initiative to help customers digitise its business. Enterpryze is one of two management solutions selected by UOB, which will invest €4m per annum in BizSmart, providing a discount to its business customers across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam to help them enhance efficiencies.

Enterpryze will deliver the bulk of the services, including invoicing, inventory management and expenses, with a pay-roll system delivered separately by Singapore-based HReasily.

“This is a very big moment for Enterpryze as, having launched less than a year and a half ago, it is global validation of our solution,” said Enterpryze founder Morgan Browne.

“That one of Asia’s best-known banks chose our solution, which gives access to SAP Business One, shows the progress we are making. This opens us up to a market of 40,000 companies and 200,000 users by the end of 2019 which, in its own right, is a huge opportunity for the business, but it’s also what will flow from this thanks to the global recognition the partnership will give Enterpryze.

“Banks all over the world will be looking at this move by one of the biggest players in the industry to support their customers. We have had and continue to have huge support back home that is making this happen, not least from Enterprise Ireland. This is testament to their work also,” he said.

The announcement is in addition to Enterpryze going live in seven countries in east Africa in August. The company, which is on target for the 200-job announcement made at its launch in late 2016, is now working with 30 banks globally thanks to the partnership with SAP. It acquired 5,000 users across 24 countries in its first 12 months of activity.

Securing mobile revenues

two men and a woman announcing a deal

From left: Irfan Abubaid, assistant vice-president for HGC’s Global Messaging International Business; Clive Steady, Anam’s director of sales; and Joanna Kuligowska, head of sales, messaging services, Anam. Image: Anam

Fast-moving mobile security player Anam has secured a partnership with Hong Kong’s Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) to deploy its SMS firewall and A2P (application-to-person) managed services platform to its mobile network subsidiary in Vietnam, Vietnamobile.

The joint initiative will generate increased A2P revenues and deliver improved customer satisfaction by addressing SMS spam on the back of a secured SMS infrastructure.

Across global deployments, Anam’s technology has on average generated incremental revenues in excess of $2m per annum for every 1m subscribers.

HGC was seeking a strategic partner with complementary A2P security capabilities.

Irfan Abubaid, assistant vice-president for HGC’s Global Messaging International Business, remarked that the A2P opportunity for mobile network operators (MNOs) is best addressed by a combination of filtering, reporting and analytics that feed into insightful business-level decision-making.

“Anam bring substantial technology credentials and business knowledge in the A2P SMS securitisations area and we are confident [of] that, with HGC being a global A2P hub that leverages on its well-established international network of MNOs and its knowledge of A2P aggregator community. We are looking forward to engaging with mobile operators in Asia and across the globe in helping them to swiftly monetise A2P opportunities and put in place a robust securitisation program with our world-class technology partners.”

Announcing the contract, Anam’s director of sales, Clive Steady, said that being selected by HGC provides a strong seal of approval for Anam’s technology and endorses Anam’s position as the leading SMS firewall vendor in the market.

“The potential to rapidly monetise SMS traffic is enormous and we are very excited to secure this opportunity with the HGC team,” he said.

2018 Chinese New Year dragon dance. Image: Pran Thira/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years