Sunway, a leading Malaysian integrated property-construction company, wanted each of its 11 core business divisions to engage with customers to provide a single, powerful brand experience. In mid-2012, they created the Sunway Lifestyle application
for tablet devices, utilizing the new touch-interface capability in the Windows 8 operating system. Now, each business division can instantaneously channel news and promotions direct to customers on the application’s Live Tiles, enriching every customer interaction
with the brand. The application creates new cross-selling opportunities to increase customer transactions and satisfaction.
“Windows 8 reduces the need for expensive custom app integration: we can easily bring the app across to phones, laptops, desktops and tablets, for touch and mouse-keyboard interaction.” Cheah Kok Hoong, Chief Information Officer, Sunway Group
Malaysia-based Sunway is one of Southeast Asia’s leading property-construction groups. Founded in 1974 by prominent philanthropist, Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah, AO, the group has an expansive portfolio that includes property, retail, hospitality, leisure,
healthcare and education interests, as well as trading and manufacturing businesses.
||With this app, we add value to every customer visit, and our businesses generate value from every customer contact.
| Cheah Kok Hoong
Chief Information Officer,
As an early adopter of cutting-edge technologies, Cheah Kok Hoong, Chief Information Officer, Sunway Group, wanted to develop a new customer engagement portal. His aim: to provide a single point of access for information on Sunway’s businesses – including its
properties, multi-parks, hotels, medical centre, universities and shopping malls. The portal needed to be exciting and engaging, and easily accessible to over 36 million local and international visitors at the group’s flagship Sunway Resort City each year.
“We conceptualized a ‘lifestyle application’ that would provide customers with a holistic 360-degree brand experience,” says Cheah. “We wanted an app that enabled customers to seamlessly access updates, news and promotions, and one which our businesses could
use to promote their activities.”
Cheah had to ensure that the lifestyle application would appeal to customers’ fast-changing communication habits. “There is a clear trend towards constant connectivity, accessed on an expanding range of mobile devices often via social media sites,” says
Cheah. “The Sunway Board of Directors authorized me to utilize the latest technologies, and make this application one of the very first and best within the region.”
In mid-2012, Cheah reviewed the upcoming Microsoft operating system, Windows 8, for the Sunway Lifestyle application.
“Windows 8 reduces the need for expensive custom app integration: we can easily bring the app across to smartphone, tablet and desktop devices for touch and mouse-keyboard interaction,” says Cheah. “It provides seamless interoperability with other software
and applications. Also, the Live Tiles that appear on the user interface would enable us to display up-to-date information at-a-glance, without customers having to click in to open up the application.”
To build the Sunway Lifestyle application, Cheah approached web and mobile application development company, Rhingle, which specializes in user interface (UI) design.
“Windows 8 is a great platform for rapid app development,” says Jabez Gan, Project Manager, Rhingle. “The learning curve is easy, and the entire UI design can be managed via the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment.”
The project also included the development of a Content Management System (CMS) back-end, which enables employees from various Sunway business units to effortlessly push the latest news, information and promotions to the application in real-time.
In mid-October, Jabez submitted the Sunway Lifestyle application for Microsoft certification. On October 26, Sunway Lifestyle became the very first Windows 8 application from Malaysia to be commercially available in the Windows Store, and the first in Asia-Pacific
from the property-construction sector.
With the CMS’s fast, intuitive and easy-to-use interface, the new Sunway Lifestyle application is set to radically improve the company’s ability to engage with existing and potential customers.
Higher customer conversions
By providing a single platform for customer communication, the lifestyle application enables Sunway to present individuals, families and social groups with the wide range of services available during their visit to Sunway’s integrated communities including
Sunway Resort City, Sunway City Ipoh and more. As a result, visitors can plan their schedules effectively.
“From a customer’s viewpoint, we now appear as one integrated organization,” says Cheah. “At the same time, each Sunway business unit can promote its activities to our customers in one space, seamless and effortlessly. We add value to every customer visit,
and our businesses can generate value from every customer contact as well. It’s a win on all counts!”
Intelligent customer engagement
By offering the Lifestyle application on Windows 8, Cheah helps to ensure its use becomes widespread. “I can’t dictate which device customers may use to reach out to us, but with Windows 8, we can ensure they consistently achieve a rich and holistic
user experience,” says Cheah. “We can also use the interface design to communicate more subtly. The Live Tiles allow us to upload promotions and updates discreetly and continuously. So we don’t have to wait for customers to come to us – we can go to them instead.”
Great development potential
The Sunway Lifestyle application will eventually encompass a customer loyalty program and e-commerce capabilities, according to Tong Gin Chee, Assistant Manager, Group Corporate Communications, Sunway Group.
“The Windows 8 platform has opened up new directions for us,” says Tong. “It gives us the ability to present up-to-date information using the highly familiar Windows user interface.
“In the future, I believe we will see hybrid corporate-social communication channels emerging,” she adds. “Windows 8 will help us adapt by enabling us to create new customer communication channels in this emerging technological ecosystem.”
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