Gamuda, Google Cloud partner to deliver AI for engineering and construction

Malaysia’s Gamuda Berhad has expanded its collaboration with Google Cloud to make enterprise-grade generative AI (gen AI) capabilities accessible and useful to every Gamuda employee, empowering them to more efficiently and innovatively deliver engineering, construction and public infrastructure projects in the region.

The adoption of gen AI for Gamuda is “another step forward in our continuous digital innovation journey to transform a highly traditional industry, which is engineering and construction. Through the Gamuda Innovation Hub, we’re breaking new ground with a digital and data-driven approach for construction while upskilling talent in Google Cloud competencies to set them on new career paths in our industry,” explained John Lim Ji Xiong, group chief digital officer at Gamuda Berhad.

“Google Cloud is our cloud provider of choice because of their vast expertise in planetary-scale data management and cutting-edge AI, coupled with the intuitiveness of their developer platforms and tools. These make it very easy for our workforce to even build their own gen AI tools to address challenges in their work – in a manner that is private and secure.”

A unified data platform to drive agile decision-making

To give employees enhanced operational visibility and lay the groundwork for gen AI adoption, Gamuda developed the Gamuda Digital Operating System (GDOS), which is a standard ecosystem of tools for every Gamuda project where enterprise data is consolidated and underpinned by a unified data cloud platform. This includes data from mission-critical systems like Autodesk Construction Cloud and SAP S4/HANA. Notably, this follows the successful migration of Gamuda’s SAP S4/HANA systems from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Google Cloud in 2023, supported by Google Cloud partner Cloudspace.

“Moving all our compute workloads, including SAP S4/HANA to Google Cloud, allowed us to harmonise our compute and data in a single cloud platform, thereby enabling the team to focus on driving value-creating use cases and shifting the focus away from managing infrastructure. Google Cloud’s BigQuery data warehouse and workload-optimised infrastructure delivers cost savings, is easy to use, and helps us derive more value from our data footprint,” said Mr Lim.

A unified data cloud provides Gamuda’s design, engineering, finance, supply chain and field operations teams with a holistic, integrated and real-time view of all project workflows. This enables agile, data-driven decision-making throughout the process of delivering complex, long-term projects in Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan.

To safeguard its enterprise data and core digital systems, Gamuda has implemented Google Cloud’s Security Command Center Premium platform, which is powered by machine learning, for advanced threat detection and prevention, attack path simulation, and upholding regulatory compliance.

Integrating gen AI for safer and faster tunnelling

One initiative that digs deep into the core of Gamuda’s tunnelling competencies is the use of Google Cloud’s Gemini models on the Vertex AI platform to build and integrate a gen AI-powered conversational agent into its cloud-based Tunnel Insight platform, with support from CloudMile, a Google Cloud partner.

Powered by Google Cloud, Tunnel Insight ingests, presents and analyses sensor data from the world’s first autonomous tunnel boring machines (A-TBMs) developed in-house by Gamuda. Guided by sophisticated algorithms to automate repetitive operational tasks like machine steering, and advance and muck excavation, these A-TBMs are being used for better tunnelling in construction projects like the Defu and West Coast Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations and tunnels in Singapore and the Sydney Metro West-Western Tunnelling Package in Australia.

The vast amount of data that is continuously generated by such operations can make it challenging for staff to extract insights at pace for timelier responses to geological changes or maintenance needs. The gen AI-powered conversational agent is therefore being used by staff to quickly extract relevant summaries and instructions from a vast repository of machine documentation to ease the maintenance process, and easily interpret data charts on machine performance in natural language.

Embracing gen AI-powered future

Gamuda has also been using Vertex AI Search and Conversation to build generative search and chat applications for its market intelligence, design and technical teams. These employees can now synthesise thousands of pages of research documentation into crisp summaries within minutes and query data from hundreds of past projects for insights to inform new project tender proposals.

This marks the start of Gamuda’s efforts to empower more employees to build customised generative search and chat applications – with just a few clicks – to support their specific role or function, and make them accessible to the rest of the workforce through an internal marketplace called BotUnify. With Vertex AI Search and Conversation, Gamuda and its employees retain full control over what information sources their generative applications access, ingest and index. This allows them to ground these applications’ outputs in enterprise data and implement features like source citations, thereby boosting user confidence in the relevance and quality of their responses.

“Google Cloud’s enterprise AI stack has accelerated our gen AI innovation cycles, allowing us to go from concept to impact much faster than we had hoped. With Vertex AI’s out-of-box capabilities, even employees with zero specialist AI knowledge can build, deploy and gain value from functional generative applications in a matter of weeks. With access to world-class foundation models and easy-to-use APIs, Google Cloud enables Gamuda to lay the groundwork for a marketplace of expertise and insight at our fingertips,” said Mr Lim.

“Construction has traditionally been a labour- and process-intensive industry with lengthy project cycles, but Gamuda has swiftly transformed this paradigm by embracing digitalisation and gen AI at scale on Google Cloud. They’re merging diverse data streams to solve real-world challenges, while saving time and costs – and they’re setting a powerful example for enterprises seeking rapid innovation through the convergence of modern infrastructure, data analytics, security and AI,” said Patrick Wee, country manager for Malaysia at Google Cloud.

“We’re excited to be supporting Gamuda’s gen AI-powered advancements across autonomous drilling, building information modelling, augmented reality, and more, equipping its 4,200-strong workforce with future-forward tools to shape the built environment in Malaysia and beyond.”