Alibaba Cloud trains its sights on Southeast Asia: Page 2 of 2
By Sharmila Ganapathy-Wallace September 28, 2017
Working in partnership
To penetrate the Southeast Asian market, Alibaba Cloud will use channel partners as well as go directly to customers, he says. “We cannot cover everything; some areas we will serve direct and some industries we will partner with local companies such as our partnership with Fusionex.”
He declined however, to disclose the number of channel partners they have in Southeast Asia.
Under the Fusionex-Alibaba Cloud partnership, Fusionex will deploy its award-winning big data solutions on Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure, and will become the key Alibaba Cloud go-to-market partner in Asean.
Fusionex will combine Alibaba Cloud services with its offerings to provide joint solutions to their clients.
Going beyond the basics
We also asked Ma what kind of features Alibaba Cloud will provide companies in this region. For example, beyond providing IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service] and PaaS [Platform as a Service], will they also provide BDA [big data analytics], AI and machine learning services?
Ma said they will, noting that they have technology like facial recognition and image search which can be applied to the application layer. “It’s not purely infrastructure or just PaaS technology, it’s partly SaaS [Software as a Service] as well.
He explained that from the machine learning and AI perspective, they will focus on the platform and carry out some demo applications to show its capabilities.
“But we mostly encourage our partners to develop their own SaaS solution based on our platform,” he adds.
Then there is the issue of data security and data sovereignty. When asked what his views are on the matter, given that its competitor Google is facing an anti-trust crackdown in Europe, Ma stressed that the company will comply with the local law where it is doing business.
“Secondly, until now we have a lot of data certificates and compliance just like last year, when we got the MTCS T3, the Singapore’s government standard on data security. We’ve also passed the PCI DSS, which is the financial sector’s standard. We have a CSA Star and have passed the ISO 27000. We have a lot of data compliance, we will never touch customer data. Customers will choose where to store data in Alibaba Cloud and we will never access that data,” he adds.
A future in the cloud
Ma also shared his views on the market outlook for cloud in Southeast Asia. “I think people underestimate the potential of this market. Southeast Asia is a developing market and there will be more requirements for IT infrastructure.
“Also, more and more people have noticed that cloud is the future. Cloud can bring equivalent opportunities to the big enterprises and the SMEs.”
And from his observation, he says, people are willing to use cloud and the next step will be BDA and AI.
“Because these two things will help them optimise their businesses and become more efficient. So, I think in the future, cloud plus data analysis and AI, that is the future. With the technology improvement, it will be easy for small enterprises to adopt AI technology,” he concludes.