PLUS collaborates with Microsoft to transform the highway experience

On 25th June 2019, Malaysia’s biggest expressway service provider, PLUS Malaysia Bhd (PLUS) announced a partnership with Microsoft (Malaysia) to incorporate Microsoft’s Azure cloud system into its highway toll network to transform the Malaysian highway experience.

The partnership would make PLUS the first in Malaysia to leverage on the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics and cloud computing to improve its highway network.

The framework provided by the Azure platform unlocks the future of Big Data Analytics and AI-enhanced operations, contributing to improved congestion prediction, better journey planning and provides a better and safer experience on PLUS’ highways.

“We at PLUS firmly believe in taking care of our customers, every step of the way,” said PLUS Malaysia Managing Director Azman Ismail.

PLUS’ partnership with Microsoft marks the first step in the company’s digital transformation journey, as it intends to improve efficiency and lower costs on its highway network.

“As our highway networks continue to expand across Malaysia, servicing an ever-growing number of road users, we acknowledge the need to not just digitally transform, but to also embrace a new organisation culture,” said Azman.

Moreover, PLUS will adopt Microsoft Azure to tackle numerous complex challenges such as server capacity, flexibility and security.

“By collaborating with industry leaders like Microsoft, we aim to bring our businesses to the frontier of innovation, locally and regionally, whilst addressing all the challenges brought forth by the 4th Industrial Revolution,” he added.

By employing the Azure cloud-based platform, PLUS will be able to build and expand on-premise resources to improve internal performance and enhance the customer experience, without worrying about server capacity.

In addition, this allows PLUS to cut down the costs of building and expanding on-premise infrastructure, allowing the company to focus on improving its services instead.

PLUS will also be leveraging on Azure’s Key Vault to protect data on the cloud through the use of cryptographic keys. As a result, PLUS will be able to reduce data discrepancy, enhance its operations and electronic toll collection reconciliation. This ultimately leads to improved efficiency by 40%, or 600 man-hours, each month.

In average over 1.7 million vehicles pass through the PLUS’ highway network daily. Therefore, the company needed to find a solution that is capable of efficiently and effectively analysing large amounts of data.

With the help of AI and Big Data Analytics, Microsoft Power BI will allow PLUS to visualise the data collected and interact with it through a user-friendly interface. These technologies will provide valuable insight to help with critical business decision making and strategising.

By using Azure as its base, PLUS aims to release a series of future improvements in its operations including integrated video analytics, which is expected to reduce staff requirements and tackle financial leakage of an estimated RM2.7 million in annual lost revenue.

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