Sarawak has talent and resources to provide top-notch ICT support

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Comserv is among the first companies in Sarawak to offer software solutions services in the state, having been in operation since the mid-80s. Its MD Haji Andre Suharto said investors need not worry about ICT support. 

Sarawak-based ICT companies can serve the needs of potential Middle Eastern investors better than the major global players from West Malaysia, according to the head of the state’s pioneering software solutions firm, Comserv.

Mr Andre Suharto, Managing Director of Comserv, which was formed in 1985, said the kind of support offered by ICT companies with a physical presence in Sarawak is superior to anything KL-based players, no matter how big, could provide.

“There are bigger companies in West Malaysia but the problem is after-sales support,” said Mr Suharto, whose company has been providing solutions for the state government for more than quarter of a century.

“It is one hour and 45 minutes to get here from Kuala Lumpur. And their services are much more expensive. Today, most IT companies in West Malaysia do not have a presence in Sarawak.

“Even the ones that do, such as IBM and HP, only provide hardware. They don’t provide software and enterprise business support.”

Comserv provides ICT solutions to agencies and businesses in various industries, giving them the tools needed to grow, control costs and widen profit margins. The company started out as a joint venture between Malaysian and Australian concerns in 1985 but is now in collaboration with business solutions provider SAP Malaysia.

In 1986, Comserv created the computerised Land and Survey Information System (LASIS) for the state government, which allowed for easy access to information on specific pieces of land in Sarawak – who owns the land, title reference numbers and how the land can be developed.

The system was later extended to allow the public to access information on the status of land plots.

The company has since expanded its services and provides solutions for manufacturing and cross industry. Mr Suharto said Comserv is now developing an integrated log tracking system for the timber industry that can meet the needs of the various overseeing bodies in Sarawak.

He said organisations such as the Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Department of Forestry and Harwood Timber, which is a subsidiary of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, all monitor the harvesting of logs.

Information on logs such as serial number, species, who the concession holder is, and other important data must be established before an export permit can be issued.

“They have the job of checking and auditing work done in the field,” said Mr Suharto. “The problem is each organisation is using its own application and it is not integrated.

“We want to provide a solution in which everyone is using the same system.”

Mr Suharto said that Comserv is also working on a smart tag system for trees, so that someone can use a reader to click and check a tree’s species, its GPS position and other information that can detail the status of inventory over a specified area.

Enforcement officers can also use the reader, which is still in the prototype stage, to check logs that are being transported and identify whether the timber has been stolen or is legal.

He hopes that the government and various timber organisations would one day agree on funding for the system.

Mr Suharto said foreign investors, including those from the Middle East, can be assured that, given his company’s experience in serving government and private organisations, all their ICT requirements would be met satisfactorily.

“When investors come over here, they need a computerised system,” he said. “Either the investor already has one or they don’t. If they don’t we will provide them with the infrastructure, hardware, software, Wi-Fi internet connection and other support.

“We can even start from scratch, educate them and help them develop their business. The image we want to portray is that we are there to help them, we have the experience and we can serve their needs.”

Mr Suharto is also head of the Sarawak Chapter of Pikom, the Malaysian national IT and multimedia computer association based in Kuala Lumpur.

As its regional head, Mr Suharto is keen for the body to work with the state government to conduct a study on ICT penetration in Sarawak’s private sector.

He believes companies aligned with Pikom would enjoy more credibility with potential foreign investors who would need to work with partners that have been sanctioned by a government body.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Comserv is among the first companies in Sarawak to offer software solutions services in the state, having been in operation since the mid-80s. Its MD Haji Andre Suharto said investors need not worry about ICT support. 

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Comserv is among the first companies in Sarawak to offer software solutions services in the state, having been in operation since the mid-80s. Its MD Haji Andre Suharto said investors need not worry about ICT support. 

Sarawak-based ICT companies can serve the needs of potential Middle Eastern investors better than the major global players from West Malaysia, according to the head of the state’s pioneering software solutions firm, Comserv.

Mr Andre Suharto, Managing Director of Comserv, which was formed in 1985, said the kind of support offered by ICT companies with a physical presence in Sarawak is superior to anything KL-based players, no matter how big, could provide.

“There are bigger companies in West Malaysia but the problem is after-sales support,” said Mr Suharto, whose company has been providing solutions for the state government for more than quarter of a century.

“It is one hour and 45 minutes to get here from Kuala Lumpur. And their services are much more expensive. Today, most IT companies in West Malaysia do not have a presence in Sarawak.

“Even the ones that do, such as IBM and HP, only provide hardware. They don’t provide software and enterprise business support.”

Comserv provides ICT solutions to agencies and businesses in various industries, giving them the tools needed to grow, control costs and widen profit margins. The company started out as a joint venture between Malaysian and Australian concerns in 1985 but is now in collaboration with business solutions provider SAP Malaysia.

In 1986, Comserv created the computerised Land and Survey Information System (LASIS) for the state government, which allowed for easy access to information on specific pieces of land in Sarawak – who owns the land, title reference numbers and how the land can be developed.

The system was later extended to allow the public to access information on the status of land plots.

The company has since expanded its services and provides solutions for manufacturing and cross industry. Mr Suharto said Comserv is now developing an integrated log tracking system for the timber industry that can meet the needs of the various overseeing bodies in Sarawak.

He said organisations such as the Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Department of Forestry and Harwood Timber, which is a subsidiary of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, all monitor the harvesting of logs.

Information on logs such as serial number, species, who the concession holder is, and other important data must be established before an export permit can be issued.

“They have the job of checking and auditing work done in the field,” said Mr Suharto. “The problem is each organisation is using its own application and it is not integrated.

“We want to provide a solution in which everyone is using the same system.”

Mr Suharto said that Comserv is also working on a smart tag system for trees, so that someone can use a reader to click and check a tree’s species, its GPS position and other information that can detail the status of inventory over a specified area.

Enforcement officers can also use the reader, which is still in the prototype stage, to check logs that are being transported and identify whether the timber has been stolen or is legal.

He hopes that the government and various timber organisations would one day agree on funding for the system.

Mr Suharto said foreign investors, including those from the Middle East, can be assured that, given his company’s experience in serving government and private organisations, all their ICT requirements would be met satisfactorily.

“When investors come over here, they need a computerised system,” he said. “Either the investor already has one or they don’t. If they don’t we will provide them with the infrastructure, hardware, software, Wi-Fi internet connection and other support.

“We can even start from scratch, educate them and help them develop their business. The image we want to portray is that we are there to help them, we have the experience and we can serve their needs.”

Mr Suharto is also head of the Sarawak Chapter of Pikom, the Malaysian national IT and multimedia computer association based in Kuala Lumpur.

As its regional head, Mr Suharto is keen for the body to work with the state government to conduct a study on ICT penetration in Sarawak’s private sector.

He believes companies aligned with Pikom would enjoy more credibility with potential foreign investors who would need to work with partners that have been sanctioned by a government body.

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