Cloud! Cloud! You can’t speak anything digital without mentioning cloud nowadays.
Especially in Indonesia where the digitalization runs at a fast pace, apps and services born and dies in a blink of an eye. All thanks to the smartphone penetration which enables the users to access the internet and reaps the benefit (and also the disadvantages). But beyond those apps and services, who actually has the potential to be the king of cloud player in Indonesia? Microsoft? AWS? IBM? Google? or the newcomer Alibaba Cloud?
I can still remember nine years ago when I attended Communicasia 2010 in Singapore. It’s all about optimism from the broadcast and communication industry. We all see potential for growth and transformation “to be more digital”. And that’s when I heard the word cloud spoken for the first time. It was vague and weird at that time.
It’s 2019, and now we are treating cloud like a basic infrastructure. We would assume that every digital service that we use are connected with a server and data center. And we use it wherever we are.
And now, all we discuss is about artificial intelligence, natural language processing, chat bots, automation, or which tech companies will acquire its competitor. We see old brands that struggles to stay relevant with digitizing itself.
Quoting the International Data Corporation (IDC) research, we will see a rise in IT spending in the future nationally. From US$32,7 billion this year, the research predicts spending will grow more than twofold at 2022, or about US$78 billion.
Yes the research or product development is nice, but at some point, they will face an impasse or a condition where progress is almost impossible to achieve during the digital transformation. IDC also said that 40 percent local companies will adopt cloud technology by 2022.
And who are the cloud providers at the moment that we should pay attention to? Well as far as I know, there are four names: Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, and Google.
I should mention another name: Alibaba Cloud. It was 2009 when they first opened their data centers in Hangzhou, Beijing, and Silicon Valley. And the next two months, they supported the first Single’s Day with 2,4 billion page views in 24 hours.
For those who are unfamiliar, Single’s Day (Guanggun Jie) is a shopping festival to celebrate their pride for being single. Hence they pick number one as a representation: November 11 (11.11). Think of it as a Chinese Black Friday, only it’s online.
Nine years later, during Single’s Day 2018, Alibaba Cloud once again supported the global shopping festival which handles US$30,8 billion worth of transaction in 24 hours. Why those numbers are important? well you need a good infrastructure to make sure all of those small or huge valued transactions can be processed and that’s where the cloud company are here for.
In the future, we can expect its name will be mentioned more often since Alibaba Cloud has struck some important partnership deals. Let’s start with the Olympic, Alibaba as the top partner will be the official cloud infrastructure and services and e-commerce platform partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through 2028. Let’s wait for Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, that’s where Alibaba Cloud will demonstrate its cloud infrastructure and services.
Alibaba Cloud announces its global business by opening their data center in Hong Kong in May 2014 and Singapore in August 2015. After US, Korea, Japan, and Europe, finally they also launched Malaysia, India and Indonesian data center at January 2017. The second data center in Indonesia were January this year. Both of them complies with Indonesian standards and powered by local partners to provide relevant solutions for the customers.
Some names and numbers for you: Alibaba Cloud has 56 data centers across 19 economic centers globally from mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, UK, and US. More specifically Asia Pacific, this company already operates 15 data centers. Alibaba Cloud may brag themselves as the sole company that provides local data centers in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Some of its customers are notable names such as Adira Finances which offers one stop solution for used or new motorcycles for its customers. One of the features is to monitor their loans, thanks to Alibaba Cloud hybrid-cloud model as a solution.
Ruangguru.com is an online education platform gives six million elementary to high school students access to educational courses through over 150.000 teachers in Indonesia. The secret behind that magic is Alibaba Cloud to improve network connectivity to their platform.
Indonet as a pioneer in information technology services in Indonesia is one of the distributors of Alibaba Cloud’s through its services along with PT Blue Power Technology and PT Sistech Kharisma.
Judging from their growth globally, I think this company will be a wildcard during the cloud company battle in Indonesia. There is a prediction that the big four will dominate 60 percent of the market by 2024, but Alibaba Cloud has an advantages in local data center to work with the ecosystem of Indonesian tech companies.
All of the tech companies are innovating. Now it’s just a matter of who will be able to create a relevant solution for local problems. Who can understand the Indonesian problem will have Indonesian favor.
And how Alibaba Cloud wins over the heart of Indonesian customers? Technology and solution alone isn’t enough. They need to present it as a message that can be understood with ease. That’s where mantra comes in.
“In Indonesia For Indonesia”
I had the opportunity to attend “Alibaba Cloud Appreciation Dinner” 6 August. That’s where I heard about their new mantra: “In Indonesia For Indonesia” from a presentation by Jessie Yu, Senior Product Manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International. It was their new branding for Indonesian market.
“In Indonesia” is defined by local appliance and partner ecosystem, means they show compliance to Indonesian government regulation, one of them is by opening local data center. And “For Indonesia” means Alibaba Cloud will provide Top-of-the-line customer support and best in class product and solutions.
Success are defined not by winning but learning, said Yu ending her presentation.
I’ll write more about this branding message in the next article.