- SEA a strong performer in the best-performing market of Asia Pacific
- Region’s diversity can be tackled by addressing the core of enterprise IT needs
VIRTUALISATION and cloud giant VMware Inc is still upbeat about its prospects in South-East Asia, an optimism driven by the growing adoption of cloud and mobile technologies, especially amongst the emerging economies in the region.
“Markets like Thailand and Vietnam have moved up the ranks in last year’s Cloud Readiness Index, pointing to increased cloud adoption in emerging markets,” VMware Asean vice president and general manager Ron Goh told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
“With markets like Indonesia taking the lead in mobile adoption, and Thailand’s smartphone penetration forecast to reach 50% in 2015, the opportunity for Asean is significant,” he added, referring to the Association of South-East Asian Nations bloc.
The happy story does not hold true for VMware’s overall international market. For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2015, its business in the United States outgrew its international business.
US revenue jumped 12% to US$2.36 billion from US$2.11 billion in the same period in 2014, while international revenue rose only 5% to US$2.33 billion from US$2.22 billion.
While the company did not provide a breakdown of its South-East Asian revenue, its president and chief operating officer Carl Eschenbach said that Asia Pacific was the best performer, followed by the United States and Europe, Middle East and Africa.
And “South-East Asia is a strong performer in our best performing region of Asia Pacific,” he said in VMware’s quarterly results announcement.
Mobile and cloud moves
At its inception, VMware revolutionised the way enterprises managed their servers. Before then, companies needed multiple servers if they wanted to run multiple operating systems (OSes).
The company introduced technology akin to that which allows a PC to run both Windows and Mac OS, but on a bigger scale. With VMware’s virtualisation software, different OSes can be run simultaneously on a ‘hypervisor’ which sits on top of a server.
Such a capability is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s business world. According to Goh (pic), businesses have increasingly shifted to the software-defined enterprise model, on the back of the explosive adoption of cloud computing and mobile apps.
“While businesses look to the cloud to enjoy the benefits of agility, flexibility and scalability, creating and provisioning apps often result in multiple challenges and complexities – such as the risk of cloud silos, or having to manage multiple cloud environments,” he said.
Goh said he expects the growing adoption of smartphones and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend to further fuel demand for VMware’s solutions.
“Findings from the VMware ‘MeConomy Index 2014’ reflected a gap in the support given by companies to support employees’ preference in working outside the office, pointing to the huge business mobility opportunity in the region.
“In Malaysia, 70% of the workers expect their employers to provide equipment and hardware that allow them to work anywhere and enable access to apps on their devices,” he said.
According to Goh, citing IDC’s Enterprise Mobility 2013 Market Sizing Forecast, the total addressable enterprise mobility solutions industry in Asia Pacific would be US$384 million in 2016.
VMware is also girding itself for the increasing adoption of the hybrid cloud, where enterprises manage their IT from both their private cloud infrastructure as well as public cloud platforms.
“With the opportunities and adoption challenges in mind, the new model of IT needs to be flexible, agile and fast at provisioning services to drive the business forward.
“This is where VMware’s OneCloud unified hybrid cloud platform looks to provide the region with the capabilities to deliver services and applications required in a fluid, instant and secure manner,” said Goh.
With OneCloud, first announced in March, IT departments can also move workloads and applications from one public cloud to another public cloud or private cloud.
While VMware may be upbeat about its prospects in South-East Asia, the region comes with its own set of challenges.
One of these is that the company cannot apply a one-size-fits-all strategy, as South-East Asia is made up of countries with different levels of maturity in terms of their IT adoption rate.
But Goh argued that the key to growing the South-East Asian market lays in understanding enterprises’ IT challenges.
“South-East Asia is experiencing high growth and increasing maturity in its mobile and cloud adoption despite the market diversity …
“While the pace of adoption may differ across the region, challenges remain fairly similar – costs, integration of old and new infrastructures, security concerns, and others,” he said.
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