Alibaba Cloud opens doors for APAC SMEs with China Gateway Programme
By Tan Jee Yee June 3, 2019
- Launches more than 10 new products and features
- Announces partnership with WeWork
THE Alibaba Cloud APAC Summit, was a showcase of what leveraging on Alibaba Cloud (the data intelligence arm of Alibaba Group) can do for organisations and businesses.
These advantages will soon be available to more people across the Asia Pacific region, as Alibaba Cloud unveiled a slate of new collaborations and products during the Summit. The idea is to deploy a number of Alibaba-proven technologies to both APAC customers and ecosystem partners across the region.
Taking centre stage of this is the China Gateway Programme (CGP), which is described as a programme leveraging on the accumulated technological knowledge and experience of Alibaba Cloud to help local businesses capture and capitalise on growth opportunities in Asia and China.
“Alibaba Cloud has been paving the way for a digital era across Asia Pacific by building a world-class cloud infrastructure. It is our mission to build an inclusive cloud service that will drive a highly integrated, best-in-class technology ecosystem,” says Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International president Selina Yuan (pic, right).
“Together with our partners, we are confident in helping local businesses of all sizes and from all backgrounds to grow in the region.”
There are already partners for Alibaba Cloud to shout about, most notably the collaboration between Alibaba Cloud and Sena Traffic Systems in Malaysia, in which Sena leveraged on Alibaba’s tech to implement smart traffic control systems.
Alibaba Cloud has the largest infrastructure footprint in the Asia Pacific region, with 15 availability zones outside mainland China covering the Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong and Japan markets. It is also the sole global cloud provider with local data centres in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Proven tech for all
The Summit saw more than 10 new products and features under Alibaba Cloud that was being unveiled to the regional market. One of them is PolarDB, a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud that is said to offer the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases at a much lower cost.
PolarDB can scale up to 100TB in storage, as well as scale up to 88vCPUs and 710GB of memory. Users can pay for usage by the minute.
The Alibaba Log Service (SLS), allows customers to automatically collect logs from all of their services, applications and platforms, irrespective of whether they are on-premises or in the cloud – the log data can then be tagged with context derived. Additionally, SLS allows decisions to be taken on the data in near-real time, which is helpful for trend analysis, alerts and visualisation.
As for security features, Alibaba Cloud is providing “Bring Your Own Key” (BYOK) support. This is an end-to-end security service which provides customers encryption controls on both hardware and software. Essentially, cloud users will be holding the encryption keys for their own cloud data, adding to the security. The new BYOK feature under Alibaba Cloud now supports ECS Cloud Disk, OSS and RDS.
Perhaps the most interesting new product launched at the Summit is the SaaS (Software as a Service) Accelerator. This is a platform allowing technology partners to build and launch SaaS applications, allowing SaaS providers to quickly deploy and test their applications on the cloud, which can help shorten the implementation lifecycle.
The SaaS Accelerator enables ecosystem partners, especially enterprises in the e-commerce, lodging and travel industries to reach their customers on Alibaba platforms.
These products are mostly already available in China. They won’t instantly be available to all regions and markets, but – according to Alibaba Cloud Product and Solution Management general manager Ma Jin – the products will be available in different country at different dates, depending on demand and market needs.
WeWork in the midst
The Summit also saw the announcement of a partnership between Alibaba Cloud, SoftBank Telecom China and shared workspace provider WeWork.
This collaboration will see all three work together as a platform offering cloud-based technology solutions, enterprise services, flexible working space and business consulting for businesses looking to enter China or scale up their presence in the country’s booming market.
While it won’t technically benefit WeWork clients who have already parked their operations at their respective countries, WeWork Asia vice chairman Christian Lee notes that this partnership benefits startups and businesses looking to tap into China but are not sure of how to proceed or where to base their operations at, not to mention scaling it accordingly.
“The partnership is significant to WeWork because we ourselves have been through the journey of setting up and scaling our business in China,” he says. “When we began our journey here in China back in 2016, we had to adopt a very localised approach to navigate this very unique business environment.
“Leveraging on our own experience and our partnership with Alibaba Cloud, we are confident to support and empower companies to enter and scale in China through our holistic offering of space, community, employee experience as well as accessibility to meaningful business connections and partnerships.”
Part of the partnership includes professional IT consulting services provided by Softbank Telecom China, with addition to go-to-market support, access to local tech companies and other business support from all three partners.
Tan Jee Yee reports from the Alibaba Cloud APAC Summit 2019 in Singapore, at the invitation of Alibaba Cloud. All editorials are independent.