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Old July 9th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #101
rizalhakim
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I-Bhd plans to sell i-City en bloc
By FINTAN NG


SYDNEY: I-Bhd is close to clinching an en bloc sale of the first phase of its 72-acre freehold i-City integrated commercial project in Shah Alam.

Deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong told reporters the company was close to signing a deal comprising 44 units of three- and five-storey shop-offices.

“We're in an advanced stage of negotiation and will be making an announcement in the next few weeks,” Lim said.

“It would be on a sale-and-leaseback option as the company would prefer to have control of the tenant mix”, he added.


Lim Boon Siong

The RM2bil project, scheduled for completion in 2012, will comprise a shopping mall, two corporate towers, shop- offices, serviced apartments, data centres, a five-star hotel and an innovation centre.

It will be equipped with seamless wireless access, integrated information and communications technology and building networks, and multimedia and collaborative tools.

He estimated that the en bloc sale would bring RM15mil to RM20mil in net profit to the company. “We believe we can command at least 20% to 30% premium or RM400 to RM500 per sq ft for the shop-offices,” Lim added.

The company signed an agreement last week with Servcorp Ltd, the world's second largest managed office operator, in which Servcorp and 65%-owned subsidiary i-Office2 Sdn Bhd would provide state-of-the -art concierge services.

I-Bhd has also partnered with US-based Cisco Systems Inc for the Cisco Connected Real Estate that will be used as the vehicle to provide the services.

Lim said the company was also negotiating to sell the project's mall component on an en bloc basis.

“We’ll announce towards the end of the third quarter our joint venture with a foreign shopping operator, that is one of the largest in Asia, which will also be managing the mall.”

Lim said recurring income from property management and fees from i-Office2 would form 20% to 25% of revenue going forward.

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Old July 9th, 2008, 06:28 AM   #102
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I-Berhad seeks foreign investors for mall project
By Vasantha Ganesan Published: 2008/07/09




I-BERHAD (I-Bhd) is in talks with several foreign institutional investors to set up a joint venture to develop the shopping complex component of the i-City project's second phase in Shah Alam, Selangor.

I-Bhd hopes to set up a 70:30 joint venture (JV), with the foreign institution holding the majority, to build an international class shopping complex which has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM500 million.

"We will set up a JV and sell the land to the JV partner. We will then develop it together and let our partner manage the shopping complex," I-Bhd deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong said.

"We are looking at shopping centre partners who have the expertise in managing shopping centres for this joint venture," he said.



Lim, in a recent press conference in Sydney, Australia, said that I-Bhd could make an announcement on the development in the third quarter of 2008.

"The mall will have one million square feet gross lettable area which is comparable to the Mid Valley Mega Mall in Kuala Lumpur," he said.

i-City, Lim said, is creating an entire new community which is IT advanced and is a lifestyle hub. As such, a mall which services this community is required.

To be ready in 2011, the mall will cater to about 30,000 office population within the i-City township and 50,000 when the entire project is completed in 2012.

I-Bhd believes that the mall will be successful as there is no such shopping destination between Shah Alam and Klang. The catchment for the mall, based on a 15 km radius, is estimated to be around 1.5 million.

On the corporate towers within i-City, which are now at the planning stage, Lim said the company has received enquiries from institutional investors from Korea, the Middle East and Singapore.

"They are interested in buying either one tower or to manage it as a business park," he said.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 07:04 AM   #103
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Better Results Expected By I-Bhd This Year

From Siti Hawa Othman

SYDNEY, July 8 (Bernama) -- I-Bhd is expected to report better results this year, following contributions from the first phase of its "i-City" smart city project.

Deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong said the company is expected to gain between RM15 million to RM20 million in profit from the sale of its cybercentre office suites.

"If everything goes well we will see better results than last year, both topline and bottomline, and this is good news for our shareholders," he told Malaysian reporters on an i-City study tour to Sydney recently.

The company's major I-City project had just completed its first phase of development comprising 44 cybercentre office suites and it was currently talking to potential buyers, both local and overseas.

Unlike other developers who had committed to buyers before they were caught in the turmoil of rising raw material prices, Lim said I-Bhd was lucky that it adopted a build-and-sell concept for its first phase office suites.

As such, it had yet to sell its units and could still make adjustments to its prices, he said.

I-Bhd, which reported a pre-tax profit of RM1.9 million on a revenue of RM4.067 million in 2007, is on track to complete the whole project by 2012 despite the current scenario of rising prices.

However, it might be revising the gross development value (GDV) of the project.

I-City had a GDV of RM1.5 billion when it first started before being revised upwards to RM2 billion and Lim said the GDV could go up by 20 to 30 percent following the 20 percent rise in construction material prices, compounded further by the higher oil prices.

Its first phase had a GDV of slightly above RM100 million and the potential GDV could be between RM120 million and RM150 million, as it is at advanced stage of negotiating at RM400-RM500 per square feet for its total first phase area of 300,000 square feet.

The company expects to formalise en-bloc sales for the phase one office suites by the third quarter of this year and at the same time announced its joint venture with operators of its shopping mall project.

The shopping mall at one million square feet is comparable to the Mid-Valley mall as it will be an international class shopping centre with tourist attractions and talks with foreign operators are at an advanced stage.

When completed, I-City will be a community, information technology (IT) and lifestyle hub. It has a joint venture with Servcorp Ltd of Australia, providing the fibre-optic backbone with Cisco's network.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 13th, 2008, 02:40 AM   #104
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I-Bhd Open To New Ventures Although Focus Remains On I-City Project
July 12, 2008 15:22 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 (Bernama) -- While the focus right now will be on its technology-based i-City commercial township project, Bursa Main Board listed I-Bhd says it is open for any new ventures.

In fact, the company has been invited to invest in similar projects in countries such as Korea, Taiwan and even Mexico, its deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong said.

He said the interested parties viewed I-Bhd as not being merely a property developer but one that offers added value to its development with technology.

Lim said the company would continue to look out for landbanks locally especially in big cities as well as in overseas.

He said the I-City project would keep its plate full for the next six to 12 months.

The RM2 billion i-City project is the first private initiative to be awarded the MSC Malaysia Cybercentre status.

Located on a 28.8-hectare land in Section 7, Shah Alam, it recently completed the first phase development of 44 cybercentre office suites.

Speaking to Malaysian reporters on an I-City study tour to Sydney recently, Lim said I-Bhd also had a 0.4 hectare land at Jalan Kia Peng, earmarked for a luxury, serviced residential property to be known as "The Peak".

The company is currently in talks with several hotel operators including the Hilton group, Mariott and Starwood, to manage the property.

The project, to be funded by internally-generated funds, will house 104 units.

It is expected to be launched by year-end if market conditions are better with its completion due in three years.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:10 AM   #105
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I-Bhd takes intelligent city project to next level



IF you were a new kid on the block but eager to show that you have what it takes to turn vision into reality, what would you do?

For I-Bhd, it got world renowned architect Jon Jerde to design its RM2bil i-City in Shah Alam, entered into strategic partnerships with Intel, Telekom Malaysia and Universiti Industri Selangor, won an MSC status for the freehold commercial township and positioned itself as an ICT-based developer.

It showed its sound finances by completing Phase 1 of its Cybercentre offices in i-City under a “build-then-sell” concept. A party is going to buy the offices en bloc while an international shopping centre operator is looking at developing the mall in i-City.

Come September, tenants will be moving into its 44 Cybercentre offices.

The public-listed company recently hosted a 20-member media study tour to Sydney to visit the offices of its latest partners, Servcorp (world's second largest managed serviced office operator) and Cisco (worldwide leader in networking).


Lim Boon Siong (right) exchanging documents with Marcus Moufarrige

The aim was to show the advanced technology to be offered by Servcorp and Cisco in i-City, dubbed the No. 1 Technology City in the region. It also showed the Concierge services, wireless 10mbps and the One Network technology powered by Cisco, to be provided in i-City.

After a six-day trip, I must say I was “blown away” not so much by riding a Harley-Davidson over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sliding down a giant sand dune in Port Stephens, having lunch in the observation deck of Sydney Tower nor even dining in The Great Cask Hall of Hope Estate in Hunter Valley.

Indeed, all the five-star experience as part of I-Bhd's branding exercise, including jetting in the A380, dolphin watching or hand-feeding sharks, probably threw some of us off our feet.

What blew me over was the IT experience at Servcorp and Cisco that showcased cutting edge IT that can be applied to offices and the homes.

For example, at Servcorp, the media saw how its Concierge service could offer human and technical help to firms at a much affordable cost.

As I-Bhd chief innovation officer Ricky Lim said with i-City's MSC status, tenants could enjoy many benefits including super broadband with Gigabit connectivity, no import duties for multimedia equipment, 15 minutes emergency response, no restriction on recruitment of foreign workers, and 10-years tax exemption.

“We are also providing 100% power backup supply in 15 seconds. All buildings in i-City will be connected,” he said. It would also have an integrated data centre (under construction), online portal for one bill payment, concierge, plug-and-play services, redundant broadband and Cisco Unified Communications.

I-Bhd and Servcorp signed an agreement during the trip for Servcorp to provide the concierge service, the first of its kind in Malaysia.

The media was also shown Cisco's latest telepresence technology where reporters talked to a virtual life-size manager from Cisco Singapore in an identical boardroom as the one in Sydney.

We also visited Australia's most intelligent strata office building, the new 10,000 sq m, seven-level Nexus Norwest in Norwest Business Park. Developed by Capital Corp with Office Squared (a Servcorp subsidiary), it has an integrated managed network and advanced Protocol (IP) telephony system from Cisco.

Interviews with several tenants indicated a high level of satisfaction.

Bet Choice Corpo CEO Mark Morrissey praised the fast-speed broadband for his horse-betting business.

For Jacqui Gibbs, director of a small marketing firm, relocating her business from home in the city to Norwest enhanced her firm's image, saved her travelling expenses and time, enabled her to tap into a pool of clients in the business park and run her business more efficiently.

As Office Squared CEO Marcus Moufarrige said organisations could save 30% to 55% per-workstation costs by having a pre-installed infrastructure and a managed network.

This trip showed that real estate is not just brick and mortar but to compete, developers must differentiate and IT can add value to property and is the way to go.

“I-City is on track. We are creating a special niche by investing in technology that can add value to our property and benefit our tenants and purchasers,” said I-Bhd deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong.

Like Nexus Norwest, i-City is about doing business in a faster, cheaper and simpler way and relocating to a new growth suburb has its advantages.

The difference between the two is that Nexus Norwest is merely a third the size of i-City's Phase 1. The 72-acre i-City will be a connected “intelligent city” that will take the next generation of business space to another level.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 03:01 AM   #106
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Al Rajhi buying office suites in i-City for RM95m
Published: 2008/07/29

AL RAJHI Bank (Malaysia) is purchasing 36 units of i-City Cybercentre 1 Office Suites for RM95 million, marking its first property venture in the country.

The purchase accounted for 80 per cent of the units completed in the first phase of i-City, a RM2 billion integrated and sophisticated township on 72-acres of land in Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor.

“The investment of Al Rajhi in i-City demonstrates its real value and an increasing interest among Middle Eastern companies in our property market,” I-Berhad director Eu Hong Chew said.

I-Berhad is the developer of i-City.

Speaking to reporters after the signing of a sales and purchase agreement between the company and Al Rajhi yesterday, he said the bank had already paid ten per cent of the purchase price.

The entire exercise involving the purchase is to be completed over the next two to three months.

The first phase of i-City comprises 44 units of cybercentre office suites totalling 300,000 square feet. I-Berhad will retain 20 per cent of the units for local information, communication and technology companies.

Eu said i-City, which is expected to take five years to complete, is the only commercial property in Malaysia with a “last-mile fibre optics to the units” network. It will have a capacity up to 10Gbps.

The network thus supports a wide range of Internet Protocol-based services and applications, making i-City an efficient place to work, play and live in.

Meanwhile, Al Rajhi chief executive officer Ahmed Rehman said the investment represented the bank’s first foray into real estate investments in the country. It was a strategic decision for the bank.

Al Rajhi Bank, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, is the largest Islamic banking group in the world with a network of more than 600 branches. — Bernama
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Old July 29th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #107
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Al Rajhi Bank buys property


KUALA LUMPUR: Al Rajhi Bank (Malaysia) is purchasing 36 units of i-City Cybercentre 1 office suites for RM95mil, marking its first property venture in the country.

The purchase accounted for 80% of the units completed in the first phase of i-City, a RM2bil township on 72 acres in Section 7, Shah Alam.

“The investment of Al Rajhi in i-City demonstrates its real value and increasing interest among Middle Eastern companies in our property market,” I-Bhd director Eu Hong Chew said after the parties signed a sale and purchase agreement yesterday.

I-Bhd is the developer of iCity.


I-Bhd director Eu Hong Chew (left) and Al Rajhi Bank (Malaysia) CEO Ahmed Rehman posing with the signed documents for the purchase of RM95m worth of office units in i-City, Shah Alam, by the Al Rajhi Bank.
The purchase is to be completed over the next two to three months.

The first phase of i-City comprises 44 units totalling 300,000 sq ft. I-Bhd will retain 20% of the units for local information and communications technology companies. – Bernama

....alrajhi do not need to buy it but built a new tall tower...
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Old July 29th, 2008, 06:39 AM   #108
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Al Rajhi To Buy Office Units In I-City For RM95 Mln


KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (Bernama) -- Al Rajhi Bank (Malaysia) is purchasing 36 units of i-City Cybercentre 1 Office Suites for RM95 million, marking its first property venture in the country.

The purchase accounted for 80 percent of the units completed in the first phase of i-City, a RM2 billion integrated and sophisticated township on 72-acres of land in Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor.

"The investment of Al Rajhi in i-City demonstrates its real value and an increasing interest among Middle Eastern companies in our property market," I-Berhad director, Eu Hong Chew said.

I-Berhad is the developer of i-City.

Speaking to reporters after the signing of a sales and purchase agreement between the company and Al Rajhi here Monday, he said the bank had already paid ten percent of the purchase price.

The entire exercise involving the purchase is to be completed over the next two to three months.

The first phase of i-City comprises 44 units of cybercentre office suites totalling 300,000 square feet. I-Berhad will retain 20 percent of the units for local information, communication and technology companies (ICT).

Eu said i-City, which is expected to take five years to complete, is the only commercial property in Malaysia with a "last-mile fibre optics to the units" network. It will have a capacity up to 10Gbps.

The network thus supports a wide range of Internet Protocol-based services and applications, making i-City an efficient place to work, play and live in.

Meanwhile, Al Rajhi chief executive officer, Ahmed Rehman said the investment represented the bank's first foray into real estate investments in the country. It was a strategic decision for the bank.

Al Rajhi Bank, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, is the largest Islamic banking group in the world with a network of more than 600 branches.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 30th, 2008, 03:51 AM   #109
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I-Berhad aims to sell i-City office towers by year-endBy Sharen Kaur Published: 2008/07/30
BusinessTimes

PROPERTY developer I-Berhad is confident of selling off two office towers at its RM2 billion i-City intelligent township in Shah Alam by the end of this year, following its first en bloc sale on Wednesday.

Al Rajhi Bank (Malaysia) Bhd is buying 36 units of the i-City Cybercentre 1 office suites, one of the many components of i-City, for RM95 million.

"This is the first en bloc sale for i-City. We are in discussions with interested parties from Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and with serious buyers from South Korea and Australia.

"We are optimistic of closing one or two new deals by December," I-Berhad deputy chief officer Lim Boon Siong told Business Times after the signing of a mutual cooperation agreement with Kompakar Group in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The signing was witnessed by Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.

Lim said Al Rajhi has indicated that it would invest in other properties within i-City, but did not elaborate.

The 30.28ha i-City, which started in mid-2007, will feature 12 office towers, a 1 million-sq ft shopping mall, office suites, three data centres, a five-star and a boutique hotel, and two blocks of 24-storey residences.

The integrated development, which is envisaged to be Selangor's knowledge hub and in the league of the Dubai Internet City in the United Arab Emirates, will offer 7.5 million sq ft of built-up when completed in 2012.

For the hotels, Lim said the company was still talking to international hotel chains with strong roots in Malaysia to operate the properties.

They include Starwood, Hilton, Marriott and Accor.

"We are at the design and discussion stage now. We hope to finalise the details by year end and launch the hotels in the first half of 2009," Lim said, adding that it was also in talks with an international hospital group that wants to operate at i-City.

Lim also said the data centres are one of the key selling points for i-City.

"Ours is the first township in this region to have world-class Tier 4 ready data centres connected to the whole 30.28ha real estate via giga-speed fibre-optics network. This is one piece of the puzzle that will enhance i-City's value," Lim said.

Earlier, Kompakar chief executive officer Dr Ahmad Fikri Hussein told reporters that the company and I-Berhad will invest RM100 million to build and equip the data centres, which consists of a 3,500 sq ft hosting facility for the local small and medium enterprises, and two 70,000-sq ft Tier 4 ready data centres.

The hosting facility and the first data centre are already operating, while the second data centre will be ready by 2011.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 04:53 AM   #110
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cool!!!!


i-City to offer world class data centres


KUALA LUMPUR: I-Bhd's i-City project in Shah Alam will be the first commercial development in Malaysia to boast of three world class data centres following a strategic alliance forged with Kompakar Inc Bhd, an integrated solutions provider, yesterday.

At the agreement signing, Kompakar chief executive officer Dr Ahmad Fikri Hussein said Kompakar had decided to become one of the anchor tenants in Selangor’s first digital city.

“We are investing and will be providing world class data centre service expertise in the design, set up, management and operation of the data centre equipment and facilities.”

I-Bhd deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong said I-Bhd planned to invest close to RM50mil in the data centres based on the company's business plan and projected demand.


Deputy CEO Lim Boon Siong speaking at the signing ceremony between i-Bhd and Kompakar on Tuesday. - Starpic by Ong Soon Hin
The data centres comprise a 3,500 sq ft hosting facility catering to local small and medium enterprises and two 70,000 sq ft world-class Tier 4 purpose-built ready data centre catering to global information and communications technology companies.

Al Raji Bank (Malaysia) agreed Monday to purchase 36 units of i-City Cybercentre 1 office suites for RM95mil.

The purchase accounted for 80% of the units completed in the first phase of i-City, a RM2bil township on 72 acres in Section 7, Shah Alam.

On the balance units that I-Bhd said it would hold for local information and communications technology companies, director Eu Hong Chew said long-term investment had always been part of the company's commitment to nurture the information technology industry.

In terms of investor response, Lim said besides the Middle East, i-City had received tremendous response from Australia and South Korea, although talks were still at the preliminary stage.

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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:33 AM   #111
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Model development: I-Bhd chairman Datuk Lim Kim Hong (right) briefing Ka Chuan on a model of i-City while Kompakar Inc Bhd group chief executive officer Dr Ahmad Fikri Hussein looks on yesterday.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #112
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I-Berhad & Kompakar Investing RM100 Mln In I-City's 3 Data Centre


KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 (Bernama) -- I-Berhad and Kompakar Group are investing RM100 million for the development of three data centres in i-City.

I-Berhad deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong said the data centres are an integral component of i-City's development to cater the needs of the information and communications technology (ICT) community and its other related communities.

"i-City will have three data centres -- a 3,500 square feet hosting facilities catering to the local small and medium entrepreneurs and two 700,000 square feet Tier-4 ready data centres catering to the global ICT companies," he told reporters after a signing ceremony on the mutual cooperation agreement between I-Berhad and Kompakar Group here Tuesday.

Kompakar will be the operator for the data centres, he addded.

The new i-City is a RM2.0 billion integrated commercial development on 72-acre of freehold land along the Federal Highway in Section 7, Shah Alam, Selangor.

It is designed as a fully integrated township of commercial-cum-residential development comprising shopping mall, corporate towers and offices, cybercentre office suites, data-centres, hotels and serviced apartments.

Kompakar CRC Sdn Bhd's chief executive officer Andy Yau said the first data centre called hosting facility has been completed and will be operational next month.

The second Tier-4 ready data centre will be operational in first quarter 2009 while the third data centre is planned to be completed by 2010, he said.

Yau said the data centres will serve as a platform for the company's expansion plan in the growing data centre and business continuity services industry.

Currently, Kompakar has a data centre in Petaling Jaya, he said.

The Kompakar group was incorporated in 1998 in Malaysia as a player offering seamless ICT solutions and services to its extensive network of clients, both locally and internationally.

The group currently presence in seven countries regionally, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Brunei, China and Hong Kong.

It also has proven experience in integrated ICT solutions for the retail, healthcare, oil and gas, banking and finance, manufacturing, trading, e-commerce, government, utility and telecommunications industries.

-- BERNAMA
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Old August 1st, 2008, 06:17 AM   #113
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i-City in Malaysia sold before it is built
by News DeskAdvertisement

I-Bhd’s i-City project in Shah Alam, will be the first commercial development in Malaysia to boast of three world class data centres following strategic partnerships with Intel, Telekom Malaysia and Universiti Industry Selangor, won an MSC status for the freehold commercial township and positioned itself as an ICT-based developer.

The data centres comprise a 3,500 sq ft hosting facility catering to small and medium enterprises and two 70,000 sq ft world-class Tier 4 purpose-built ready data centres catering to global information and communications technology companies. Al Raji bank (Malaysia) agreed on Monday to purchase 36 units of i-City Cybercentre 1 office suites for RM95mil. The purchase accounted for 80% of the units completed in the first phase of i-City.

Like Nexus Norwest, Australia’s most intelligent strata office building, i-City is about doing business in a faster, cheaper and simpler way. The difference between the two is that Nexus Norwest is a third the size of i-City’s Phase 1.

Ricky Lim, I-Bhd chief innovation officer, said with i-City’s MSC status, tenants could enjoy many benefits including super broadband with Gigabit connectivity, no import duties for multimedia equipment, 15 minutes emergency response, no restriction on recruitment of foreign workers and 10-years’ tax exemption. I-Bhd is also providing 100% power backup supply in 15 seconds. All buildings in i-City will be connected.

Lim Boon Siong, I-Bhd deputy chief executive officer, adds: “I-City is on track. We are creating a special niche by investing in technology that can add value to our property and benefit our tenants and purchasers.”
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Old August 25th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #114
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AmBank to expand wireless services at i-City branch
Published: 2008/08/25



AMBANK (M) Bhd, which has 183 branches throughout the country, is planning to offer more convenience and cost-efficient banking services like wireless phone banking and wireless ATMs at its new branch in i-City, Shah Alam.

AmBank managing director for retail banking Mohamed Azmi Mahmood said the high technology branch will offer a full suite of both traditional and innovative financial products and services to fulfil the needs of i-City community.

"The cost of setting up this branch would be much higher than the conventional ones," Mohamed Azmi told reporters after signing a memorandum of understanding with I-Berhad on the smart partnership in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Also present was I-Berhad chief executive Datin Tey Siew Thuan and her deputy Lim Boon Siong.



This smart partnership will look into providing a new kind of banking experience for customers.

"i-City's infrastructure will help us test wireless phone banking, wireless ATMs before we roll these services out to other branches," he added.

i-City, a RM2 billion information communication technology (ICT) based premier commercial development in Shah Alam, Selangor will comprise cybercentre office suites, shopping malls, data centre, hotels, office towers and serviced residences.

In the next 12 months, AmBank plans to open another 10 new branches in the Klang Valley, Johor Baru, Penang, Kuching and Sabah.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 08:11 AM   #115
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Tomorrow’s business centre today
By RONALD BYRNE
We take a look at i-Berhad’s ambitious i-City smart city development project.

[img]http://star-techcentral.com/archives/2008/8/26/itfeature/i-City%201aaa.bmp[/imf]
CITY VIEW: A section of i-City in Shah Alam. Linking all the services at i-City is Cisco Systems Inc’s connected real-estate solution. This reduces the cost and complexity by replacing disparate networks with a single simplified, flexible and scalable Internet Protocol (IP)-based network.

IT WAS a six-day study tour to Sydney, Australia, to get a look at how the latest information technologies can make it easier for just about anyone to start and run a small- to medium-scale company, and bigger.

The “study” part was several eye-opening show-and-tell sessions by the technology partners of our host, but it was the “tour” part of the trip that was particularly poignant in getting the message across.

And that was about how human services when coupled with innovative technology can be a big help to businessmen who need to focus on the business instead of on the running of it.

Think of the tour as a business process and the participants as the businessmen. As with a business, there are goals (getting a diverse group to move as one, deadlines to be met, timetables to be followed, goals to be reached. etc). But like any business, the journey is fraught with potholes — unexpected situations and other kinds of setbacks — as well as the handling of mundane tasks, such as forms, registrations, rendezvous times, and so on.

The solution is a concierge service, which is not new in the hotel and travel industry. But when applied to the managing of a business, opens all kinds of avenues for the businessman, especially those with smaller outfits.


THE SETUP: i-City’s Concierge service centre for businesses. The concierge services are divided into two areas — human services to be provided by Servcorp and innovative technology services, under the purview of i-Office — a joint-venture company by I-Berhad and Servcorp.

Our group breezed through the events lined up for the tour because we had expertise and technology on our side. Paperwork and arrangements were done via the Internet ahead of time, and the tour leader (a personal concierge) handled everything.

Arrival and departure forms had been pre-filled for us; we just had to check and sign the documents. We were pre-registered at the hotel and only had to collect our room key when we arrived.

And when one of us left his passport in the room after checkout (a heart-stopping realisation for the fellow since we were many miles away from the hotel by then), that problem was solved in 30 minutes, without interrupting our timetable and itinerary.

This allowed us to concentrate on what we had been brought to Sydney to see; with everything else relegated to the backseat. It was “No worries, mate,” literally.

Having such capabilities on hand in a modern business environment is quite literally worth its weight in gold.

This is the corner stone that property developer i-Berhad is building on at its RM2bil i-City development in Shah Alam, Selangor.

The 72-acre ICT (information and communications technology) based commercial project in Section 7 — comprising cybercentre office suites, shopping mall, datacentre, hotels, office towers, and serviced apartments — will be “geek heaven” when completed in 2012. But the technologies embedded in the property will be transparent to its users, i.e. flesh and blood businessmen who will not need to have binary code running through their veins to appreciate and use the facilities and capabilities of i-City.

“Technology, no matter how innovative, should always take a backseat to business processes and this is what we aim to do with our smart city,” says i-Berhad’s deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong.

“All that matters is that the technology be on tap whenever it is needed, like water and electricity now.”

The developer is building the smart city from the ground up and is the first in Malaysia, if not Asia, to place so much emphasis on technology in such a project.

A fibre-optic network will run through every part of every structure and will also link each edifice.

This promises to create a very efficient backbone for the transmission of digital data — a necessity for the provision of facilities like broadband Internet, intelligent buildings and datacentre services, as well as centralised control systems.

“There’s been a paradigm shift,” says Lim. “Companies can no longer operate as standalone entities in a world that is becoming increasingly connected. Similarly, we cannot continue to build standalone business centres.”

Plug and play

i-Berhad has partnered with several information technology industry vendors in order to provide the premium facilities at i-City.

It has agreements with not one but three of the country’s Internet service providers (ISPs) — Telekom Malaysia, Maxis and TIME — to provide broadband at a speed of 1Gbps (gigabits per second); that’s 1 billion bits (of data) per second.

In comparison, Internet access speeds in other parts of the country now only range between 56Kbps (56 thousand bits per second) and 4Mbps (4 million bits per second).

“A speed of 1Gbps is ‘super broadband,’” Lim points out. “If regular broadband is like driving to work during a typical Kuala Lumpur rush hour, then super broadband is like being the only vehicle on a three-lane highway in Kuala Lumpur.”

Having three ISPs also means triple redundancy for I-Berhad’s super broadband service.

“In the event of a service disruption involving one ISP, there are two others to pick up the slack,” Lim says.

“Should a disruption occur, our tenants will never even know it, thanks to the built-in redundancy.”

When the first tenants at i-City move in next month, they’ll enjoy 10Mbps broadband at the onset, and I-Berhad announced that the service will be free for the first six months. By the time the project is completed, they’ll have the 1Gbps service.

At the heart of i-City is a 3,500sq ft Tier-1 datacentre managed by another partner, ServCorp Ltd which is based in Sydney, and a higher-end Tier-3 datacentre that is managed by homegrown Kompakar CRC Sdn Bhd.

A Tier-1 facility offers a 99.671% uptime and annual downtime of 28.8 hours while the Tier-3 facility guarantees a 99.982% uptime and an annual downtime of just 1.6 hours.

There are other differences, but these should be enough to show the difference between the two tiers.

Anyone interested in finding out more on datacentres can go to http://tinyurl.com/65rdxv.

The Servcorp-managed datacentre is within i-City while Kompakar’s datacentre is in Petaling Jaya, some 50km distant, which also provides disaster-recovery facilities for the tenants at the high-tech business complex.

Decades of expertise

Servcorp is Asia’s largest managed-office operator; it is currently looking after 72 locations in 15 countries. It will employ its three decades of expertise to provide i-City’s Concierge service for businesses.

The concierge services are divided into two areas — human services to be provided by Servcorp and innovative technology services, under the purview of i-Office — a joint-venture company by I-Berhad and Servcorp.

Among the key services to be provided are reception greeting, call management, facilities management and, customer service and support, according to announcements made in Sydney last month.

IN TALKS: Lim shaking hands with Moufarrige to mark i-Berhad's clinching a deal with Servcorp in Australia last month.
“This Concierge services concept will be the first of its kind in Asia, making i-City the No 1 technology city in the region,” says Marcus Moufarrige, chief information officer at Servcorp.

The Australian company is investing US$30mil (RM99mil) in i-City over the next five years.

i-City’s preinstalled infrastructure helps aggregate techonlogy costs for its tenants, says I-Berhad’s Lim. This offers a huge reduction in the operating costs of any business in the city.

Studies in the United States and Europe have shown that connected real-estate can save up to 30% in total cost of ownership when it comes to technology-related costs, according to I-Berhad.

Businesses are always attracted to cost savings, which in turn is making such high-tech development projects attractive to real-estate developers and managed-services operators.

Another reason for Servcorp’s interest in i-City is the Malaysian Government’s long-standing support for technology initiatives. “This is also what attracted us to deploy in Malaysia,” says Moufarrige.

Government support is a confidence booster, especially for one-of-a-kind projects, such as i-City.

Servcorp has been providing managed network services in Kuala Lumpur since 1988. With i-City it is offering companies a choice of enhanced services — such as the best web connectivity to the global market, even paperless invoices — which are all tailored to make it easier to run a business.

“By themselves, most SMEs would not be able to afford a 10Mbps connection to the Internet but they’ll have it at i-City,” Moufarrige cites as an example.

He says there’s also the benefits of having a single point of business management, seamless access to every facility, as well as the ability to move into an i-City office and be running a business within hours, if not minutes.

“Everything from the reception desk to the phone system to the ethernet cables to the electronic storage system for your office is there even before you move in. All we need to know is where you want your desk,” he adds.

To illustrate his point, he demonstrates how a tenant can even set up a virtual office, complete with reception desk, online in just five minutes.

This involves going to the Servcorp webpage, keying in personal and company details, choosing where you want your office from more than 60 locations worldwide, and then paying by credit card.

Minutes later, the virtual office is up and running. Calls to the business contact number provided on the webpage go to Servcorp’s secretarial pool and are forwarded to the recipient listed for the brand new company.

“That’s the kind of flexibility that we offer,” says Moufarrige. “And the business enjoys faster go-to-market capability.”

A more comprehensive suite of managed services is available from a fixed location.

Getting connected

Linking all the services at i-City is Cisco Systems Inc’s connected real-estate solution. This reduces the cost and complexity by replacing disparate networks with a single simplified, flexible and scalable Internet Protocol (IP) -based network, it says.

Today’s convergence of the various Internet and communications technologies makes building intelligent properties possible, according to Steve Briscoe, business development manager for connected real-estate development.

Employing open standards and a wide area network means you can have intelligent buildings and business parks that can be equipped with remote centralised control of IP communications, lighting, elevators, fire alarms, visitor access, security services, utilities, monitoring systems, as well as ventilation and air-conditioning.

“The network is the platform that connects all these intelligent services,” Briscoe says. Cisco’s solution is also being utilised in healthcare facilities in parts of the world.

“We are not new to connected real-estate. We started developing this years ago and employ it ourselves,” says Briscoe. “As a result, we save about 30% on our energy costs in our smart buildings.”

The segment itself holds a massive market potential for Cisco. Some US$4.5 trillion (RM15 trillion) is spent annually on property construction worldwide, according to figures quoted by the networking solutions vendor.

“The total addressable amount from that is in the region of US$20bil (RM66bil),” says Briscoe.

Property developers that lay the groundwork today (for such technologies) are making it easier for these kinds of services to be implemented tomorrow, adds Servcorp’s Moufarrige.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #116
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I-City Development Timeline*

1. CityPark: 44 units of office suites (3-, 3.5- and 5-storey) - 100% sold, en bloc. Certificate of fitness (CF) expected in May and handover of vacant possession in June/July.

2. 34 units of strata retail suites: Construction stage with 20% completed, to be ready by mid-2009.

3. Tier 4 Data Centre: Construction to be completed by end of the year. Confirmed tenants.

4. Regional concept shopping mall: Advanced design stage. Construction to commence by August 2008. Official launch by 2011, in time for Hari Raya sales.

5. Corporate towers, office suites: Design to be concluded by end- 2009.

6. i-Residence Service apartments: Design to be concluded by end- 2009.

7. Hotel: Design stage.

* Whole project is targeted to be completed in five years.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 06:39 AM   #117
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I-City taking shape in Shah Alam

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With the cost of construction materials increasing coupled with the recent fuel hike, real estate prices can only move in one direction — up. While some in the industry may be concerned over this development, I-Bhd deputy CEO Lim Boon Siong seems confident that its build-then-sell (BTS) approach will work out well for the company.
I-Bhd announced on July 28 that it has signed a sale and purchase agreement with Al Rajhi Bank (Malaysia) Bhd for the bank to acquire 36 office suites at the first phase of i-City in Shah Alam for RM95 million.
The first phase comprises 44 units of CityPark Cybercentre office suites totalling 300,000 sq ft. The RM2 billion ICT-enabled development takes up 72 freehold acres of land fronting the Federal Highway. The integrated commercial development also includes shopping mall, corporate tower, serviced residences, hotel and data centres.
"We are fortunate to have adopted the BTS approach as we can now take into account the new prices for our development. We believe that the demand for niche development, such as our information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled integrated commercial development, continues to be strong. We are still receiving overwhelming enquiries for our projects," Lim tells City & Country. The office suites are targeted at Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and knowledge companies, which require 600 to 15,000 sq ft of office space. The suites are expected to be fully operational by this month.
According to Lim, many prospective tenants, including banks, are impressed with the infrastructure such as the high-speed broadband fibre optic connections and Cisco-based networking system. It is understood that more than RM6 million worth of IT components have been spent on phase one, making i-City the only commercial property in Malaysia with a "last-mile fibre optics to the units" network, with a capacity of providing broadband at a speed of up to 10 gigabits per second.
Lim says the network supports a wide range of Internet protocol-based services and applications, making i-City an efficient place to work, play and live in.
"The network also has a super-broadband redundancy where a multi-telco environment exists, enabling owners and tenants of i-City to enjoy continuous uninterrupted broadband connections and simplicity of integrated billing system," he adds.
But that's not all. The icing on the cake has to be the concierge services that will be made available to tenants. This is divided into two areas — human services to be provided by ServCorp Ltd and innovative technology services under the care of i-Office. Established in 1978, ServCorp is a public-listed company in Australia pioneering innovative international serviced and virtual office services. It is the second largest serviced office provider in the world, currently managing more than 9,000 clients in 13 countries.

Earlier in July, I-Bhd signed an agreement with ServCorp to provide a comprehensive concierge services to i-City. Among the key services that ServCorp will provide are reception greeting, call management, facility management, and customer service and support.
i-Office was formed earlier this year by ServCorp and I-Bhd on a 65%:35% equity respectively. The technology will allow tenants to experience the fastest broadband in Malaysia provided by multiple carriers and a Web 2.0 customer service experience delivered through i-City's unique services portal.
According to ServCorp chief information officer Marcus Moufarrige, US$30 million (RM103 million) will be invested in the next five years, starting with the office suites.
"Based on our current valuation and after taking into account the MSC cybercentre status I-City received in February, we are looking at RM450 to RM500 psf for the office suties," says Lim.
"To date, our products have drawn positive response from ICT companies and food and beverage outlets. We are closer to realising our vision of creating a lifestyle in an eco-friendly environment with improved convenience, accessibility and quality of interaction for our tenants. Simultaneously, it will improve the standard of living of our tenants," he adds.
The success of phase one has given I-Bhd the confidence to start work on the second phase. This comprises a Tier-4 ready datacentre occupying 50,000 sq ft of space and 34 units of Cybercentre office suites (which are almost completed). They will be ready for occupancy by end-2008 and mid-2009 respectively. The Tier-4 ready datacentre, also known as "hotel for servers", will be managed by Kompakar CRC Sdn Bhd, a company with more than 20 years of experience in managing solutions and business continuity solutions. Another Tier-4 datacentre is planned for completion in 2010.
Meanwhile, groundwork for the shopping mall is scheduled to start in September. It will have cosmopolitan lifestyle outlets to cater for the needs of the i-City community. "We are working with a foreign mall investor to fine-tune the design to incorporate the latest trends, fashion, and concept," says Lim.
On the development of its office towers, hotels and serviced residences, Lim says the company is still fine-tuning the plans. "We have received a preliminary proposal to build two hotels, one business class and one five-star boutique hotel. i-City will invite international hotel operators to manage these hotels," he adds.
i-City is designed by world-renowned award-winning architect Jon A Jerde, who is responsible for projects like Cyberport Hong Kong, Mall of America Minnesota, Universal Studio City Walk in Los Angeles, Fremont Street in Las Vegas and Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. i-City is expected to take five years to complete. It is accessible via four major highways — Federal Highway, North-Klang Valley Expressway, Guthrie Corridor Expressway and West Coast Highway — and surrounded by an established neighbourhood of residential, commercial and industrial developments as well as universities.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 08:15 PM   #118
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I-Berhad eyes double-digit profit growth
Published: 2008/10/23

PROPERTY developer I-Berhad aims to achieve double-digit growth in net profit by year-end, driven by its unique information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, said its director, Eu Hong Chew.

“These are the kind of services office users are looking for and they are market-driven,” Eu told reporters after the preview of its RM2.0 billion integrated commercial development, i-City, in Shah Alam today.

For the financial year ended December 31, 2007, the company recorded a pre-tax profit of RM700,000 on the back of RM1.631 million in revenue.

Eu said i-City was designed as a fully-integrated township, comprising a shopping mall, corporate towers and corporate offices, office suites, shop offices, office and retail suites, hotel, apartments, a data centre and an innovation centre.

“Concierge services are also provided in i-City, which is equipped with meeting rooms and event halls in order to cater to the needs of tenants.

“All meeting rooms and event halls are equipped with wireless broadband connection and state-of-art audio visual facilities,” he said. — Bernama
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:08 PM   #119
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I-Berhad sasar untung bersih dua angka
24 Oktober 2008

SHAH ALAM 23 Okt. - I-Berhad menyasarkan pertumbuhan untung bersih dalam dua angka pada tahun kewangan berakhir 31 Disember 2008.

Pengarahnya, Eu Hong Chew berkata, sasaran itu dibuat berdasarkan sambutan hangat terhadap projek pembangunan hartanah teknologi maklumat dan informasinya (ICT), i-City di Shah Alam.

''Apa yang kami tawarkan di i-City adalah sesuatu yang diperlukan oleh pasaran bukan sahaja infrastruktur tetapi juga kemudahan lain.

''Pada masa ini, fasa pertama pembangunan i-City menyaksikan 20 peratus daripadanya telah dibeli dan kami menganggarkan kesemua 44 buah pejabat dalam fasa itu dijual sepenuhnya pada pertengahan tahun hadapan,'' katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang akhbar selepas taklimat terhadap perkembangan pembangunan projek hartanah i-City oleh I-Berhad di sini hari ini.

Selain itu, I-Berhad juga mengumumkan perkhidmatan concierge di i-City kini telah siap sepenuhnya dan boleh digunakan.

Perkhidmatan concierge merupakan perkhidmatan yang terbahagi kepada dua peringkat iaitu sumber manusia yang disediakan oleh ServCorp Ltd. (ServCorp) dari Australia dan teknologi inovatif yang disediakan oleh i-Office2 Sdn. Bhd. (i-Office2).

Hong Chew berkata, perkhidmatan itu menyediakan kemudahan infrastruktur (IT) termasuk penyambut tetamu, pengurusan panggilan, pengurusan kemudahan, perkhidmatan pelanggan dan sokongan.

''Selain itu, ia juga dilengkapi dengan bilik mesyuarat dan dewan acara yang disediakan untuk pengguna yang dilengkapi dengan rangkaian jalur lebar tanpa wayar serta kemudahan audio visual,'' katanya.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:24 PM   #120
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PNB To Be Selective In Stock Investments
October 23, 2008 19:59 PM

SHAH ALAM, Oct 23 (Bernama) -- Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), the country's largest fund management company, will be selective in looking for good stocks for its investment portfolio, said its president/group chief executive, Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman, Thursday.

"We are always in the market, whether when it is down or up because we are an investment house. We will be selective.

"If we feel there is an investment opportunity, we will definitely grab it because the fundamentals are still strong and we are not in financial crisis," he told reporters at the preview of i-City, I-Bhd's RM2.0 billion integrated commercial development here today. Also present was I-Bhd Chairman, Datuk Lim Kim Hong.

Hamad Kama Piah said although there were some effects from the global financial crisis on the local equity market, there were still a lot of opportunities.

"Whatever happens in the outside world will affect our market. If the market is down, we have to be selective in looking for good stocks for our portfolios," he said.

He said PNB was pleased with the development of i-City, which used unique information, communication and technology infrastructure.

"I hope with this development, as shareholder, we will get something in the future, and the partnership with the Australia's ServCorp Ltd will be benefical," he said.

On whether PNB would increase its stake in I-Berhad, he said there was no plans yet.

PNB currently holds about 18 percent in I-Bhd.

"We will see the long- and short-term opportunity and will seek advice on the matter," he said.

-- BERNAMA
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