Taiwan tech innovators target UK growth

Editorial Type: Interview Date: 2020-10-01 Views: 1,328 Tags: Networking, Secured Networks, 5G, IoT, AI, SMBs, CISA, Zyxel, SYSCOM Group
IT firms from Taiwan are seeing unprecedented interest in their solutions from UK end users and channel partners alike. Network Computing caught up recently with Brian Shen, Chairman of CISA (Taiwan's information service industry association) as well as Caroline Kuan of Zyxel and Davis Chen of SYSCOM Group


"CISA's role is to connect ICT organisations representing regions or economies to develop business with local industries. CISA has been working with international ICT associations and we are looking forward to working with UK organisations representing the software/IT industry for networking and more business opportunities to come." - Brian Shen, CISA

Network Computing: Brian, CISA has been going since 1983, but UK IT buyers could be forgiven for not knowing very much about who you are, and why the organisation exists. How would you summarise your mission overall, and then specifically in terms of the current focus on UK activities?

Brian Shen: CISA is Taiwan's representative body for software and information service industries, and one of the most time-honoured hi-tech associations in Taiwan. Its 750 corporate members comprise domestic, international companies and R&D institutes in software development, distribution, information and network service businesses.

Our mission is to facilitate and promote our government's digital transformation policies and IT applications, expand markets and promote Taiwan's solutions to the international market. Our aim is to improve the competitiveness of our industrial and commercial sectors, while also helping to form member consensus and line up common interests. We have specific associations or task forces focused on several key areas including Open Source, smart manufacturing, smart retail/logistics and supply chain, smart advertising and marketing, smart healthcare, digital governance, 5G and IoT, AI, blockchain, and cyber-security.

The UK of course is well known for its FinTech, smart city and startup incubation. CISA has categorised those software offerings and contactless solutions most appropriate for export. Longer term, the hope is for us to network and 'match-make' with all nations in the future.

Network Computing: Caroline, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the working practices of almost every organisation on the planet - and brought a renewed focus on technologies that allow us to communicate and collaborate easily, but securely, no matter where our staff are working from. How does Zyxel address these changing requirements, and how should we be looking to balance the need for mobile connectivity with the need for security and compliance?

Caroline Kuan: As remote working becomes popular, it is more difficult to ensure that all access is secured and does not bring any potential threats from elsewhere. Users are infected mostly from visiting phishing sites or triggering malware downloads without being aware of it. Therefore, if there is no firewall in place, the whole network can be easily compromised. New threats show up all the time, unless we are defending against them with advanced technology - how to manage and monitor each client or device in your network is more important than ever now.

Compared to some competitors, Zyxel Networks offers not only firewall but a complete network solution, helping SMBs to build their security network comprehensively and easily without hassle from installation to ongoing security analytics. Furthermore, how to monitor their network and take the right action when something does happen are also key for SMBs. This can be fulfilled by our cloud management solution which we aim to have available in Q1 next year.


"As remote working becomes popular, it is more difficult to ensure that all access is secured and does not bring any potential threats from elsewhere. Users are infected mostly from visiting phishing sites or triggering malware downloads without being aware of it. Therefore, if there is no firewall in place, the whole network can be easily compromised. New threats show up all the time, unless we are defending against them with advanced technology." - Caroline Kuan, Zyxel

Network Computing: Davis, let's talk about SYSCOM. Network management has come a long way in terms of ease of deployment and of use - users tend to expect a 'single pane of glass' view of their entire infrastructure, even as we extend our networks and move more data and applications into the cloud. How has SYSCOM's flagship NETCenter offering evolved to reflect these changes - and how will it change in the future?

Davis Chen: It is an obvious trend that global enterprises enhance their internal and external competitiveness by utilising digital technologies, including cloud, IoT, FinTech, Industry 4.0 and more. This trend has been speeding up and become more complicated since COVID-19 appeared. With over 45 years in business, SYSCOM fully understands the complexity of enterprises' IT environments, and took on these challenges by investing in and developing NETCenter. NETCenter integrates the monitoring of all IT facilities and applications of cloud, IoT, FinTech, and Industry 4.0 on one single and user-friendly platform to ease deployment and use of IT solutions and reduce the cost and load of IT personnel.

NETCenter has reached a pretty good installation base in Taiwan. We will be glad to have the chance of developing business in the UK and Europe and duplicating our successful model through working with local partners. Basically NETCenter can help any industry and enterprise manage and monitor IT infrastructures and applications.

Network Computing: A large part of CISA's remit is to promote international cooperation and to enhance awareness of Taiwanese information industries - Brian, can you explain something about how this also benefits organisations here in the UK? And building on from there, how would Zyxel and SYSCOM move forward from here in terms of expanding your user and partner bases here?

Brian Shen: CISA's role is to connect ICT organisations representing regions or economies to develop business with local industries. CISA has been working with international ICT associations and we are looking forward to working with UK organisations representing the software/IT industry for networking and more business opportunities to come. Caroline Kuan: At Zyxel Networks we are primarily targeting business users - SMBs - whose focus is more on easy set-up and a complete portfolio for secure access. At the same time Zyxel Communications is fully targeting ISPs or telcos. ISPs mostly may require further integration with their infrastructure or backend management systems which takes effort to fit in.

Davis Chen: Currently we are focusing on increasing enterprise's information automation by providing SYSCOM-developed IT solutions, including NETCenter, our IT monitoring and managing solution, OMFlow: an IT flow management tool, and DBMaker: a high performance database engine. SYSCOM is open to any partners in UK and Europe who are interested in or in demand of solutions for IT infrastructure monitoring/management, IT flow management, and database management.

Brian Shen: In conclusion, you can see how Taiwan's AI and cyber industry is seizing upon market trends and the opportunities they provide to develop more integrated, expandable and customised products, which will make comprehensive smart information management and a 'smarter life' a reality. NC