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Alibaba Cloud fast becoming leading cloud player in Malaysia

  • Ranked Top 3 IaaS provider globally by Gartner, top cloud provider in AP
  • 58 availability zones across 20 economic centres, with global coverage

Cloud computing conversations in the early years of the decade would invariably revolve around the big three of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud when it came to the top service providers. But since 2015,with the opening of a data centre in Singapore and making the island nation its international HQ, eCommerce giant Alibaba has begun appearing in cloud conversations as well and today already is top of mind, when executives talk about cloud computing.

Not a bad achievement when considering that Alibaba Cloud was only established 10 years ago in 2009 as the data intelligence backbone of the Alibaba Group, on the 10th anniversary of the group. It is the youngest of the global cloud players.

And in fact, when it comes to Asia-Pacific, its rise has been nothing if spectacular, where it is now rated as the top player in the region (see chart below) by Gartner in an April report which also rated it one of the world’s top three IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) providers. This is the second consecutive year it has achieved the top spot.

Alibaba Cloud fast becoming leading cloud player in MalaysiaNot surprisingly it is also the top provider of public cloud services in China, according to IDC, with one estimate putting its market share at over 40%. Alibaba Cloud has achieved market leadership while competing with established global competitors by providing a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services to businesses globally, including hundreds of thousands of merchants doing business on Alibaba Group marketplaces, to start-ups, corporations and public services.

These services are backed by Alibaba Cloud building the largest infrastructure footprint in Asia Pacific, with 15 availability zones outside mainland China, covering Singapore (three availability zones), Hong Kong (two zones), Australia (two zones), Malaysia (two zones), Indonesia (two zones), India (two zones) and Japan (two zones) markets.

Global footprint: Alibaba Cloud’s global availability zone including Asia Pacific where it has 15 availability zones outside of China.

Fast growing presence and impact in Malaysia

In Malaysia, Alibaba officially began its presence with a collaboration with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall in launching its AI-driven City Brain initiative in Jan 2018.  The initiative was significant as it was the first by Alibaba Cloud outside of China. Subsequently, a number of other developments, such as becoming the first global cloud player to have a direct presence in Malaysia, cemented Malaysia’s place as an important market for Alibaba Cloud, including some major customer wins.

AirAsia for one, credits working with Alibaba Cloud’s security professionals and implementing its CDN (content delivery network) and WAF (web application firewall) for helping AirAsia identify that 90% of its traffic was coming from bots which were compromising airline bookings and revenue. Today, Alibaba Cloud provides AirAsia with weekly security reports and regular updates which then enable the leading Asian low-cost carrier to focus on its customers.

Another key customer win was Resorts World Genting which worked with Alibaba Cloud to create a convenient and customized solution for the resort's migration that can efficiently handle massive volumes of data, manage heavy traffic and provide additional security. As of today, the company continues to move more and more or their workloads to Alibaba Cloud. As more companies adopt the cloud as part of their operational policies, it is imperative that they truly and thoroughly check all the options out there to see which companies are beneficial to them in both the short and the long term before choosing a partner to deploy with.

[Ed: Paragraph updated for accuracy.]

Alibaba continues to see the value of and emphasises the strategic importance of Malaysia to their Asian business by opening its first Southeast Asian office in KL in June 2018.

Alibaba Cloud Malaysia general manager Kenny Tan on stage during the recent Alibaba Cloud Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

Alibaba Cloud’s increasing market penetration in Malaysia offers a microcosm of its impact in other countries it has expanded to as well.

The introduction of its suite of cloud services and increasing market leadership has been reflected in its revenues as well with analysts hailing the 76% YoY rise in its latest quarterly results in May. As a result of increased diversification as well as growth in the cloud space, Alibaba’s total revenue is expected to grow by double-digit percentage rates.

Clearly, any cloud player cannot hope for such success without having the highest cybersecurity levels and compliance and here, Alibaba Cloud has worked to gain 70 security and compliance accreditations worldwide. This makes them compliant with leading international best practices in security, from the Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue (C5) assessment from Germany to the Singapore Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) standard level 3.

Its robust security protocols and measures have seen it become the first cloud provider to secure the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)’s Outsourced Services Providers Audit Report (OSPAR) validation, and fully compliant with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Independent Assessment guidelines.
Such security measures ensure that clients ranging from Malaysian SMEs to some of its largest companies sleep easy at night knowing that the cloud experts at Alibaba Cloud have their backs. And with South East Asia’s cloud market expected to be worth US$40.32 billion by 2025, expect Alibaba Cloud to continue to build on its regional leadership.

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