|Monday, September 1, 2014

MDeC to improve successful Icon programme 

KUALA LUMPUR: Custodian of the MSC Malaysia initiative, the Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC), hopes to continue with the MSC Malaysia Integrated Content Development Programme (Icon).

MDeC does not yet know if it will have the budget to continue the programme, which was started in 2009 to engage, train and fund local mobile-content developers, but it is making plans on improving it.The funding comes from the Government, under the 10th Malaysia Plan, but there has been no decision on this yet.

 

“We’d like for Icon3 to happen and we’re talking with the telecommunications industry regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (SKMM), on how we can evolve the programme.

 

“We don’t want Icon3 to be too similar to Icon and Icon2,” said MDeC chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali at a press conference on the sidelines of the GoMobile content developers exhibition here.He said improvements will be made to better help developers get market access for their applications, and to increase collaborations with app developers in other countries.

 

“Collaboration with foreign developers is important to get local apps into the regional or even global markets because the demands may be different,” he said.

 

Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, SKMM chairman, said improving the marketing and promotions aspects of an app will require strong teamwork between MDeC, SKMM and the entrepreneurs.

 

“Breaking into the market is a tough struggle. You don’t make it in one or two tries but after several. Even the popular mobile game Angry Birds only made it big after 53 tries,” he said. MDeC said Icon has opened opportunities for Malaysians to take advantage of the rising trend in mobile apps and services. Since it was introduced three years ago, Icon has trained 1,115 Malaysians to develop applications for iOS and Android devices.

 

There are 69 Malaysian-made apps in the AppStore and Google Play, and these have been downloaded more than 170,000 times in total. Sharil said the training programme may also be of help to small-business owners who are already engaging in e-commerce, by enabling them to port their web applications to the mobile platform.

 

“With the help of telecentres, cottage industries in the rural areas and small towns have access to the larger regional market. With initiatives like Icon, they will have the opportunity to take their web business to a wider market,” he said.