Once Singapore began Circuit Breaker measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic by locking down the country in April, Alibaba Cloud saw a 50% surge in demand for cloud-based technologies.
Businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, embraced cloud computing to continue operations and enable remote working when Singapore’s general mobility came to a standstill.
“When COVID-19 stuck, we felt the struggle and the pain faced by Singaporean local companies,” said Derek Wang, the General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Singapore.
Alibaba Cloud sought to guide local enterprises in Singapore through digitalisation and digital transformation journeys by sharing their know-hows and expertise.
Despite the unprecedented impact caused by COVID-19 on the economy and businesses, Singapore’s SMEs demonstrated their resilience and willingness to embrace cloud computing technologies.
Feeding Singapore on the cloud
With panic buying spreading across the world and shoppers being stranded at home during the pandemic, food and goods delivery services played a critical role in feeding Singapore.
To support the spikes in demand, RedMart, a leading online supermarket in Singapore under Alibaba subsidiary Lazada, ran Alibaba Cloud’s digital infrastructure to maintain delivery records and customer satisfaction.
“Alibaba Cloud has helped RedMart manage our software applications in a flexible, reliable, and cost-effective manner,” said Ashish Awasthi, the Executive Vice President of RedMart.
RedMart implemented Alibaba Cloud database and Elastic Compute Services to virtualize, store, network and secure their infrastructure, which increased their efficiency.
The online supermarket was said to be able to keep costs down for customers by achieving a low total cost of ownership.
Keeping Singaporean retailers in business
As queues reduced to almost zero and shutters closed on shops, heartland retailers were tragically affected by lockdown.
To maintain business continuity and reach customers, traditional brick-and-mortar organisations were forced to go digital.
Alibaba Cloud partnered with SCash to help businesses become an omnichannel operation to enable rapid digital transformation.
“Our partnership with Alibaba Cloud will provide our customers with much needed infrastructure, skills and cost-effectiveness to go digital,” Michael Lee, the Chief Executive Officer of SCash.
More than 170 heartland enterprises signed up for the Alibaba Cloud-SCash initiative, including traditional Chinese medicine halls, fashion outlets, and hawker stalls.
Ensuring staff health and well-being
The health of all individuals is of critical importance, making social distancing, temperature checks and contact tracing paramount during the pandemic.
Alibaba Cloud partnered with JET Workflow to assist SPACElogic, an interior design service in Singapore, in conducting self-check-ins and temperature monitoring from smart devices much like the SafeEntry services implemented by the Singaporean Government.
“Our workers are our greatest asset; therefore, we are very pleased to work with Alibaba Cloud to use technology to help ensure their safety at the workplace,” said Roland Ang, the Regional Director of Strategy and Development at SPACElogic.
This cloud-based solution enabled SPACElogic to look after their workers’ well-being while continuing normal business activities.
Educating Singapore’s students
Once schools closed to contain the spread of COVID-19, students and teachers turned to online learning.
BambooCloud, a cloud-based online learning platform in Singapore, experienced pressure on their existing digital infrastructure due to the sudden increase in online traffic.
“We believe online learning is the future of education. By equipping ourselves with the reliable technology infrastructure provided by Alibaba Cloud, we are able to expand our business to serve more customers on demand especially during COVID-19,” said Yu Hao, Chief Executive Officer of BambooCloud.
BambooCloud deployed Alibaba Cloud’s elastic, scalable and flexible infrastructure to deliver a smooth learning experience that is cost-effective and easy to deploy.
Back in 2003, when the SARS epidemic hit, Alibaba decided to go all-in on technology investments when they were still a SME on the verge of launching their Taobao e-commerce platform.
With this similar experience, Alibaba Cloud launched a US$30 million Anti-COVID-19 SME Enablement Program to accelerate cloud adoption and provide much-needed relief during the pandemic.