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In realising our vision to become a high-income state, the Penang State Government is now focusing towards high value-added sector which involves in high technology and innovation based activities to help diversify economic activities in the state. The Shared Services & Outsourcing (SSO), Creative Multimedia and Info Tech (IT) have been identified as the 3 focus sectors in creating the Technology Hub in Penang.


Penang: The Preferred Technology Hub


Penang is an ideal location for all types of high value added activities supported by a skilled workforce in Info Tech, Internet Based-Business, Application Software, Hardware Design, Shared Services & Outsourcing (SSO) , Creative Multimedia, Animation, Game Development, Research & Development (R&D), Design E-learning, Mobile Content, Interactive Content and many more.


1)      Shared Services & Outsourcing (SSO)


According to Gartner & EvalueServe


- The worldwide BPO service is expected to grow from USD$126 billion in 2010 to USD$162 billion in 2015. Since 2000, BPO has grown at CAGR of 6.3%.

- The worldwide ITO services on the other hand are expected to grow from USD$225 billion in 2010 to USD$281 billion in 2015. Since 2000, ITO has grown at CAGR of 5.9%.

- In 2010, the market size of the global KPO industry was estimated to be USD$8.9 billion. It is predicted to grow at CAGR of 24% from 2010-2014, reaching a market size of USD$17 billion in 2013-14.

A.T Kearney’s Global Services Location Index which measures the people skills, financial attractiveness and availability and business environment has ranked Malaysia as the world’s third most attractive location for SSO since 2004. Today, SSO industry in Malaysia has created more than 65,000 high-value jobs with an average net salary of RM5700 per month. (Source: MDeC).


It might not have been obvious to many, but Penang has earned herself a spot as one of the 31 cities globally by one of the Big Four auditors – KPMG, that has the potential and emerging cities in South East Asia to be a BPO-ITO hotspot due to talent pool of skilled English speaking, multi-lingual workforce and strong presence of E&E sector. SSO activities can be categorized as:-


I. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) - Transactional-type internal business process either back-end and/or front end operation such as human resources, finance & accounting and customer-related services such as marketing , technical support and contact center services.

II. Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) - Transactional-type IT and IT-related functions such as programming, web content management,  technical support, desktop and server support, network and security systems etc.

III. Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) - Value-added processes which are highly complex and require the talent of professionals with widespread educational backing. The profile essentially requires specific and advanced knowledge of a particular domain or specialty. In the KPO context, the emphasis will be far more on talent than on physical infrastructure. Therefore, it will be more knowledge centric rather than capital centric.


Penang has become a host to several global SSO players including the likes of AirAsia Global Shared Services, Advanced Micro Devices, Citigroup, Dell Malaysa, Jabil Sdn Bhd, Thomson Reuters, Toll Global Forwarding, Wilmar GBS and several more. These MNCs operate sites in various parts of the world and they are using Penang as their base for Share Services activities such as accounts payable, accounts receivables, inventory management and costing, human resources, trade bills processing, call centre, IT outsourcing services, data intelligence, design and development and supply chain management. From Penang, these firms, who are employing more than 7,000 people for these services, are serving global destinations, which include Asia-Pacific, the European Union and the United States.



2)      Creative Multimedia Content (CMC)


The creative multimedia industry is making its mark as one of the most sought-after industries in the world, with prospects ranging from post production, special effect studio, publishing, animation, computer games, interactive content, mobile content, applications, and also interactive media. In another words, the creative multimedia industry acts as glue that bonds technology and arts together in harmony. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), global consumer spending for the industry's output including film, television, music, games and educational content is expected to touch US$966 billion (about RM3.17 trillion) in 2016.


Penang is an ideal place to develop the creative industry as it has a business environment that helps promote innovation and inspiration. State policies are focused on incubating cultural creativity in order for this sector to be an active player in the economy and to encourage innovation. Penang has the potential to become a major player for Malaysia in the future as we have universities, colleges and academies such as The One Academy, Equator Academy of Art, KDU University College, Segi University College, Wawasan Open University, Disted College, Han Chiang College, Cosmopoint College of Technology, Atec Art Technology Education Centre and Two Studio Multimedia Academy that train creative multimedia talents. Our talents are deep in creativity in areas such as arts, 3D animation and animation touches, not just illustration and artistry.


As of today, Penang has several exciting companies involved in the game development and animation industry, with the likes of Akeetoons Sdn Bhd, Game Pro Networks, and Lemon Sky Animation to name a few.