Star Alliance moves to AWS cloud

Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, will now move to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud .

Star Alliance, which boasts some of the world’s most well-known member airlines including Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS Airlines and Air Canada, will be moving all of its IT infrastructure to AWS.

The world’s first aviation alliance will also be using AWS’ portfolio of cloud services, including analytics, security, managed databases, storage, and machine learning to provide its member airlines with real-time insights that will enhance the travel experience of their passengers.

“We decided to go all-in on AWS to gain the reliability and scalability we needed to support the increasing number of global travelers joining the alliance each year, but the pandemic also proved how valuable it is to have a flexible and agile infrastructure in the cloud,” said Jeremy Drury, Head of Digital & Technology at Star Alliance.

“No one could have predicted what has happened so far in 2020, but because of our collaboration with AWS, we were able to quickly adjust our goals and scale back our expenses,” he continued.

This decision has saved the Alliance 30% of its expenses, a much needed move at a time where the global aviation industry is in shambles.

David Peller, Managing Director of Travel and Hospitality at AWS, said that Star Alliance’s decision to embrace the cloud is a prime example of a global organisation that has successfully embraced the cloud to steer through times of uncertainty.

“As the world anticipates opening up again, we are excited to work with Star Alliance as they leverage AWS’s comprehensive suite of services to innovate new offerings at scale while raising the bar for what is possible for the next era of global air travel,” he added.

SK Telecom launches the first 5G Edge Cloud service in South Korea

South Korea’s largest telecommunications provider, SK Telecom has launched the country’s first 5G cloud service that supports edge computing.

Named ‘SKT 5GX Edge’, SK Telecom joined hands with cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the launch.

SKT 5GX Edge uses AWS’ Wavelength technology, and the service will allow users to build and perform a variety of services and functions, including ultra-low latency mobile apps, video games, Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning tools.

Alongside this, the collaboration between SK Telecom and AWS has also seen the establishment of ‘AWS Wavelength Zones’, which are infrastructure deployments that facilitate, in this case, SKT 5GX Edge.

As of now, South Korea’s first AWS Wavelength Zone is located in Daejeon, the country’s administrative and transportation hub. Both companies plan to expand the Wavelength Zone to Seoul this year.

Amazon to train 29 million cloud-ready professionals by 2025

E-commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon announced a grand plan to roll out a worldwide training program that would produce 29 million cloud-ready professionals by 2025.

In a blog post written by AWS Worldwide Public Sector Vice President, Teresa Carlson, AWS will be investing ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ to provide free cloud computing training to individuals from over 200 countries and regions all around the world.

This latest initiative builds upon its job upskilling project last year, where the company invested US$700 million to train 100,000 Amazon employees in cloud computing fundamentals.

“Amazon focuses on building innovative programs that have a lasting, positive impact for the communities in which we operate, and designing STEM and skills training programs are central to this approach,” wrote Ms. Carlson.

“We intend to continue increasing access to skills training to give anyone who wants to further their cloud skills the tools to achieve this,” she added.

Amazon has also pledged to expand its 12-week AWS re/Start program to provide tech training for individuals from underrepresented communities. The program currently operates in 25 cities across 12 countries, and Amazon is planning to double the number of cities 2021.

As of now, AWS already has two free cloud upskilling courses online for interested individuals, the AWS Training and Certification program and AWS Educate.

Twitter moves to public cloud for the first time with AWS

Twitter is set to fly up to the clouds after selecting AWS to provide their infrastructure to deliver Twitter timelines in a multi-year deal.

 

The social media giant will work with AWS to create architecture that extends Twitter’s on-premises infrastructure to enable them to seamlessly run and scale the real-time service globally, increase its reliability, and rapidly move new features into production.

 

Matt Garman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at AWS, said that Twitter’s decision to rely on AWS infrastructure and services for its real-time workloads will help the company instantly scale their global footprint without compromising the user experience of those on the social media platform.

 

“By using AWS container services to create a seamless hybrid on-premises and cloud environment, Twitter can innovate and deliver new experiences quickly and cost-effectively,” noted Mr. Garman.

 

Twitter will take advantage of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud’s (Amazon EC2) processors, AWS Graviton-2, to power its cloud-based workloads.

 

Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer, also agrees that deploying AWS’ infrastructure will improve the performance of Twitter, and those who use it.

 

“In addition to helping us scale our infrastructure, this work with AWS enables us to ship features faster as we apply AWS’s diverse and growing portfolio of services,” added Mr. Agrawal.

 

Twitter will continue to use AWS’ other services, including Amazon CloudFront, its low-latency delivery network service, and Amazon Dynamo AB, a key value database that delivers single-digit millisecond performance.

Okta announces new AWS integration for Okta Identity Cloud

Okta has announced its identity verification software, Okta Identity Cloud, is now available on the AWS Marketplace.

The new integrations enable access with AWS Control Tower, providing a streamlined way to set up and govern a new, secure, multi-account AWS environment based on best practices established through AWS’s experience working with thousands of enterprises as they migrate to the cloud.

“As more businesses move a higher percentage of their application portfolio to the cloud, modernised identity and access management has become increasingly important,” said Dave McCann, the Vice President of Migration, Marketplace, and Control Services at AWS.

Identity platforms play a critical role in helping organisations securely and efficiently run their businesses in the cloud, enabling seamless access for employees while still maintaining visibility and control over sensitive data and information.

“By working together, we are ensuring that organizations have simplified access to our market-leading technologies that help them solve complex challenges, with better security and compliance,” said Frederic Kerrest, the Executive Vice Chairman, Chief Operating Officer, and Co-Founder of Okta.

Okta has been used by more than 9,400 organisations, including etBlue, Nordstrom, Slack, T-Mobile, Takeda, Teach for America,Twilio and Zoom

“Working with AWS and Okta helped us to deliver on our strategic technology initiatives to meet this goal. We look forward to tighter integrations and a more robust cooperation that ultimately makes it faster, easier, and more productive for us to digitally transform,” said Velchamy Sankarlingam, the President of Product and Engineering at Zoom.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Zoom continues cloud partnership with AWS

Video conferencing giant Zoom will continue its multi-year cloud partnership with its preferred cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Zoom will continue to leverage AWS’ cloud technology in compute, storage, content distribution, and security to maintain the quality of its data centers.

On top of that, Zoom and AWS will collaborate to develop new video conferencing solutions in order to deliver a smooth remote working and hybrid office experiences.

This could mean that Zoom may let go of its existing partnership with major cloud player Oracle. Just months ago, Oracle revealed that it is Zoom’s partner of choice for cloud operations. 

“COVID-19 changed everything for Zoom, putting demands on the company to meet the video conferencing needs of hundreds of millions of new participants around the globe, and AWS was there from the beginning to ensure Zoom could scale to meet these new requirements virtually overnight,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS.

Over the past year, Zoom has grown on AWS to accommodate an increase from 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019 to more than 300 million a day regularly since April 2020

“Faced with unprecedented global demand this past year, we’ve been able to handle it in significant part by running the substantial majority of our cloud-based workloads on our preferred cloud provider, AWS, and relying on AWS’s performance and scalability,” said Eric S. Yuan, the CEO of Zoom.

Back in August, Zoom opened its first data center in Southeast Asia with a new facility in Singapore to enhance its services in Southeast Asia.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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CDO Foodsphere cooks up digital transformation with Globe and AWS in the Philippines

As the trend towards cloud kitchens intensifies, CDO Foodsphere, one of the largest food enterprises in the Philippines, has worked with Globe Business and AWS to migrate the company’s warehouse management system from on-premise to cloud.

Prior to the migration, CDO Foodsphere was experiencing unexpected downtimes, which took longer than expected to restore.

“Our on-premise legacy system had become too tedious to maintain. A few days or even hours of downtime would have had a significant impact on the business,” said Ria Vidal, the Assistant Vice President of CDO Foodsphere.

Since migrating, there has been no application downtime and the business was able to reduce the time to resolve system incident reports from 150 days to a single day.

CDO Foodsphere reported a significant improvement in the performance and stability of the system amid the pandemic, a stark improvement from their experience in previous years.

“It was a good thing Globe came in to help us migrate our workloads to the Cloud, just before the pandemic otherwise it would have been more difficult to restore on-ground applications,” added Vidal.

Globe identified that aging hardware, performance issues, and scalability concerns are among the common challenges their customers face when dealing with applications developed in-house or stored on-premise.

“Add the complexities brought about by the pandemic – fixing systems on-ground becomes even more problematic,” said Peter Maquera, the Senior Vice President for Globe Business.

CDO Foodsphere’s migration is said to have paved the way for more digital transformation in Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service.

Globe said in a statement that it will continue to prioritise helping large corporations become cloud-first through their collaborations with AWS and Cascadeo.

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Is cloud hosting right for your business?

Hosting websites and applications on the cloud is becoming a popular choice for businesses, as it is believed to offer greater flexibility and speed in scalability as well as reliable uptime to keep your services live even if a server goes down.

But is it right for your business? Register now and join industry experts and peers for our Inside Asia digital event to get the answers!

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

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NETS and Singtel partner to transform digital payments using AWS cloud

NETS has announced plans to transform digital payment experiences by partnering with Singtel and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

As Singapore slowly opens up following the pandemic lockdown, allowing general travel to Brunei and New Zealand, the collaboration will enable Singaporeans to make purchases at more retail outlets whilst abroad in Asia Pacific using the Network for Electronic Transfers.

“NETS will be well-positioned to facilitate cross-border commerce by integrating ASEAN+ travel corridors whilst making payments simple and easy for consumers,” said Lawrence Chan, the CEO of NETS Group.

Foreign visitors in Singapore will also be able to make seamless payments using NETS’ merchants in the country using overseas e-wallets and services.

“The initiative will spur cross-border digital payment growth for overseas payments partners, particularly micro merchants, and help them leverage this to expand their market beyond domestic borders,” added Mr. Chan.

The Network for Electronic Transfers will leverage AWS’ cloud computing platform and Singtel’s ConnectPlus Managed Network to accelerate its expansion across Southeast Asia.

“Our ConnectPlus Managed Network will enable NETS to dynamically allocate enterprise resources across multiple locations, optimising network performance and operational efficiency to offer secure, swift and reliable cross-border financial transactions,” said Lim Seng Kong, the Managing Director for Singtel Enterprise Business and Group Enterprise at Singtel.

The cloud gateway service offered by Singtel will enable NETS to deploy and manage its virtual private clouds, while AWS cloud services are expected to provide NETS with quick and locatised connectivity for potential partners to access their cross-border payment services.

“We look forward to collaborating with NETS to innovate new services faster, maintain operational excellence, and provide secure and seamless payment services to customers around Southeast Asia,” said Conor McNamara, the Managing Director of ASEAN at AWS.

NETS will take advantage of AWS’ database, containers, serverless storage and security.

The collaboration between NETS, Singtel and AWS will look to tap into Southeast Asia’s unbanked population, which is forecast to be worth US$1 trillion by 2025. This population will need more access to digital financial services, as the region becomes more tech-savvy and more expectant of convenient and accessible digital services.

Image Credit: Yahoo News Singapore

Is cloud hosting right for your business?

Hosting websites and applications on the cloud is becoming a popular choice for businesses, as it is believed to offer greater flexibility and speed in scalability as well as reliable uptime to keep your services live even if a server goes down.

But is it right for your business? Register now and join industry experts and peers for our Inside Asia digital event to get the answers!

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

NETS and Singtel partner to transform digital payments using AWS cloud

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Toyota and Amazon Web Services partner to build cloud-based mobility services

Toyota and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced they are expanding their global collaboration to build a cloud-based platform.

Japan’s automotive manufacturer and Amazon’s cloud computing unit will develop Toyota’s Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) for the next generation of data-driven mobility services in their cloud-connected vehicles.

“Connectivity drives all of the processes of development, production, sales and service in the automotive business,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, the Chief Information and Security Officer as well as Chief Production Officer at Toyota Motor Corporation.

The collaboration with AWS will extend to Toyota’s entire enterprise, building a foundation for streamlined, secure data sharing and accelerate its move to Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) mobility technologies.

“Expanding our agreement with AWS to strengthen our vehicle data platform will be a major advantage for CASE activities within Toyota,” added Mr. Tomoyama.

The new platform will enable Toyota to collect data from connected vehicles to influence design and development as well as new services like behavior-based insurance, maintenance notifications, and ride or car sharing.

“Toyota is able to innovate quickly across its enterprise and continue to lead the automotive industry in delivering the quality of experiences that customers expect,” said Andy Jassy, the CEO of AWS.

The deal by AWS marks the e-commerce giant’s newest move into the transportation industry following last month’s partnership announcement with Volkswagen to build cloud platforms where business customers can buy and sell industrial applications.

AWS is also partnered up with automotive suppliers and providers like Aptiv, Panasonic Corp. Nvidia Corp., Uber and Avis.

Explore how edge data centers are driving future innovations

The advent of Industry 4.0 technologies like artificial intelligence, 5G and the Internet of Things is bringing increasing the number of connected devices and new innovations in autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality in retail and entertainment, and robotics for manufacturing and healthcare.

But to enable lower latency for vastly more connected devices, edge data centers are needed to bring IT resources closer to the user.

Register now to explore how we can work together to tap into the potential of edge data centers to transform your business.

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

DBS Bank and AWS join forces to digitally transform 3,000 staff with AI training

DBS Bank has joined forces with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to train more than 3,000 staff members in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), in an effort to digitally transform its business.

The Singapore-based bank and cloud computing giant will run tutorials and a virtual racing league on the newly launched DBS x AWS DeepRacer League where staff can compete with their own coded autonomous race car.

DBS’ Chief Data and Transformation Officer, Paul Cobban, said: “We have never believed in limiting digital expertise to a small team.”

The bank’s newest digital initiative follows their continuous efforts to scale up their digital learning tools to digitally transform their operations and stay ahead of the technology curve.

“We wanted to adopt a different approach from our previous digital and data skills revolutions. In line with our ethos of keeping work and learning fun, we sought to introduce gamification elements to better engage our employees,” added Mr. Cobban.

This is not the first time that DBS has been involved in AWS’ DeepRacer Leagues, as their Executive Director of Technology, Ray Goh, beat out other F1 professionals to become a global champion at the F1 ProAm Event in May.

“I’m delighted to be able to do Singapore and DBS proud, and more importantly, to inspire my colleagues to join me in developing a deeper level of mastery in AI and ML,” celebrated Mr. Goh.

Four other DBS employees successfully placed in the global top 20 at the same F1 event, and another six have successfully qualified for the AWS DeepRacer Championship Cup, which will be held in Las Vegas at the end of the year.

The new corporate league by DBS and AWS is expected to be the largest run by an Asia-based organisation.

How will cloud gaming impact the future of game design?

As we discovered in W.Media’s first GameTech digital event, our speakers from Tencent Cloud and OVHcloud revealed the critical importance of IT infrastructure and edge data centers in enabling a cloud gaming future with almost zero latency and lag.

In our next GameTech digital event on Tuesday 27 October, we will focus on how cloud infrastructures and cloud gaming will transform the way games are designed.

Register now to explore how we can work together to create your next favourite game on the cloud!

Get involved in the conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

AWS expands Asia presence, making Outposts available in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand

Amazon Web Services has expanded its presence in Asia by launching AWS Outposts in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, enabling businesses to gain greater native access to AWS services.

Customers can use the Outposts to help them with large projects requiring low latency access to on-premises systems as well as local data processing and storage.

“With AWS Outposts, our customers can benefit from the accelerated pace of innovation in the cloud, while securely storing and processing sensitive data on-premises,” said Conor McNamara, the Managing Director of ASEAN at AWS.

The Outposts enable businesses to work with the AWS Partner Network, assisting application migration to AWS.

“As AWS Outposts is fully managed by AWS, our customers can also focus on their end users, and driving innovation that differentiates their businesses, while leaving the responsibility of managing the infrastructure to us,” added Mr. McNamara.

Empowering hybrid cloud solutions

A number of businesses have celebrated the launch of AWS Outposts in Asia, which empower hybrid cloud solutions and transform customer user experience.

Our customers will benefit from AWS’s rapid pace of innovation in cloud infrastructure services while being able to store and process data on-premises,” said Mr. Ahmad Taufek Omar, the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of TM ONE.

The enterprise and public sector business solutions arm of Telecommunications Company Telekom Malaysia Berhad found AWS Outposts to be an important part of TM ONE Cloud Alpha’s hybrid cloud strategy.

“It will help us in our mission to enable the Malaysian public sector and enterprises to be more agile, while delivering better and more comprehensive services to end customers. This is in line with TM Group’s commitment in enabling Digital Malaysia,” said Mr. Omar.

Outposts enable customers to run services like Elastic Compute Cloud, which allows users to reduce demand on physical servers by running virtual servers as if they were in the cloud.

“Incorporating hybrid cloud will address the need for data residency and edge computing, all accessed through our leading next generation converged network. Our goal is to accelerate cloud adoption and digital transformation journeys for businesses,” said Claire Featherstone, the Head of Maxis Technology Practices and Maxis Cloud Centre of Excellence, a leading Malaysia-based communications provider.

AWS Outposts are replicas of hardware infrastructure, services and API that run in Amazon data centers. With the availability of Outposts, customers can connect to the nearest AWS Regions in Asia, including Singapore.

InfoFabrica, a Singapore-based IT hybrid cloud consulting and managed services company, welcomed the announcement.

“Many of our enterprise customers look for hybrid cloud solutions that will allow them to move workloads and data seamlessly between on-premises assets and the AWS cloud,” said Mr. Li Wen Chi, Managing Director of InfoFabrica Pte Ltd.

The general availability in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand follows the launch of AWS Outposts in Singapore and Indonesia earlier this year.

Image credit: Amazon Web Services

Looking to migrate your data to the cloud?

As more data center options become available throughout the world, you may be looking to migrate your data for optimum operational efficiency and digital transformation.

You might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and questions you may have: Will this enable my digital transformation plans? Will my data be secure? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how you can migrate your data effectively.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Pandemic fuels billion dollar growth for AWS, Microsoft, Google and more global cloud providers in Q1 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled the growth of global cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and more in Q1 2020.

More businesses are moving to the cloud to enable remote working and ensure their operations continue. And that’s not all, cloud computing and storage is also needed to empower our leisure time in the age of lockdowns and social distancing through gaming, watching videos and shopping.

More businesses are expected to adopt cloud computing and providers are aiming to increase investment in constructing infrastructure, including data centers, to enable this growth.

In Asia Pacific, the demand for cloud solutions is at a record high for Q1 2020, jumping by 25% to a record US$1.7 billion in annual contract value.

Scott Bertch, Partner and Head of Information Services Group Asia Pacific, said: “We continue to see growth in the IaaS segment as more and more enterprises shift their workloads to the public cloud, or to a hybrid cloud environment.”

As a result, we are seeing significant growth and investments in Q1 2020 from global cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, IBM Cloud and Tencent Cloud.

AWS makes history crossing US$10 billion revenue mark for the first time

Amazon Web Services continues to maintain its position as the largest cloud provider after it crossed the US$10 billion revenue mark for the first time in Q1 2020.

This represented a year-on-year net sales growth of 33%, which has slowed down from 41% in the same quarter of 2019. But the operating income from AWS grew by 38% from US$2.2 billion in Q1 2019 to more than $3 billion after expenses of US$7.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020. 

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s Founder and CEO, said: “From online shopping to AWS to Prime Video and Fire TV, the current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and durability of Amazon’s business as never before, but it’s also the hardest time we’ve ever faced.”

The total operating income for Amazon decreased to US$4 billion from US$4.4 billion in Q1 2019. AWS accounts for a huge 77% of their overall operating income.

Mr Bezos warned: “If you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat, because we’re not thinking small. Under normal circumstances, in this coming Q2, we’d expect to make some $4 billion or more in operating profit. But these aren’t normal circumstances.”

AWS has helped medical researchers in the fight against COVID-19 with a centralized repository of curated datasets as well as enabling small businesses to use the cloud with an AWS Free Tier.

Mr Bezos added: “We expect to spend the entirety of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more, on COVID-related expenses getting products to customers and keeping employees safe.”

The cloud provider also announced plans for three more AWS regions in Indonesia, Japan and Spain as well as making AWS Outposts available in Indonesia.

AWS now spans 76 Availability Zones within 24 geographic regions.

Microsoft’s solid quarter sees two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months

Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud revenue increased by 27% to US$12.3 billion in the quarter ending March 31 2020, similar to the previous quarter.

The overall server products and cloud services revenue increased by 30%, but Microsoft Azure’s revenue growth slowed to 59% in FY20 Q3 compared to 62% in FY20 Q2.

Amy Hood, the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft, said: “In this dynamic environment, our sales teams and partners executed a solid third quarter, with Commercial Cloud revenue generating $13.3 billion, up 39% year-over-year.”

As customers shift to working and learning from home during the pandemic, Microsoft has noticed an increase in cloud usage on Teams, Azure and Windows Virtual Desktop.

Satya Nadella, the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, said: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. From remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security.”

Microsoft’s cloud services have helped universities like Thammasat University in Thailand continue to teach their students, healthcare providers in creating more than 1,400 bots to assist millions in accessing critical health information and justice systems in the Philippines remain productive.

Google Cloud leads the charge to revenue growth and investment for Alphabet

Google experienced a 13% increase in total revenue, led by the continued strength in their Google Cloud Platform and G Suite offerings.

In Q1 2020, Google Cloud revenues increased by US$952 million to a total of US$2.8 billion. This represented a 52% year-over-year growth. The tech giant’s infrastructure, data and analytics products are said to be the largest drivers of growth for the cloud platform.

With this growth, the most sizeable headcount increases were found in Google Cloud for both technical and sales roles.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, said: “We see businesses thinking deeper about the shift to digital … Cloud and productivity software for businesses of all sizes is a deep area of investment.”

In their Q1 2020 report, Google revealed that US$12.8 billion is not yet recognised as of March 31 2020 due to ‘performance obligations associated with commitments in customer contracts, primarily related to Google Cloud, for future services that have not yet been recognized in revenue’.

Google recognises that ‘pricing and delivery models are competitive and evolving’, which could lead Google to not attain ‘sufficient scale and profitability to achieve our business objectives’.

Google is devoting significant resources to develop and deploy their enterprise-ready cloud services by incurring costs to build and maintain infrastructure that supports cloud computing services. 

The cost of revenues in Q1 2020 increased by $2,970 million compared to Q1 2019. This was largely due to a rise in data center and other operation costs. But the tech giant may reevaluate the pace of their investment plans for data centers, servers and network equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and slowing or stoppage of construction.

> Check out the Q1 2020 data center landscape

Mr Pichai acknowledged customers of Google and closing some larger deals have been impacted by the pandemic, but is excited about the longer-term trend, as CEO-level staff are now thinking about shifting to digital in a deeper way.

Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet and Google, said: “With respect to the implications of the global crisis for Google Cloud, we’re proud of the accelerated traction we achieved across sectors.”

Google Cloud has helped governments deliver critical health and social services as well as retailers on demand forecasting, media and communications to enhance customer service and more.

Huawei Cloud boasts faster market share growth among all service providers

Huawei boasted the fastest growth among all cloud service providers, maintaining stable service growth to empower its rapid development.

Overall, Huawei generated approximately US$25.7 billion in Q1 2020, representing a year-over-year increase of 1.4% compared to a 39% increase in Q1 2019. Their net profit margin in the first quarter of 2020 was 7.3%, down slightly from 8% in the year before.

Huawei did not publicly release a detailed breakdown of this revenue, but this growth is said to be in line with expectations.

To date, Huawei Cloud has launched over 210 cloud services, operates in 45 availability zones with partners in 23 regions, including recent launches in Singapore and Latin America.

In a press release, Huawei stated: “A seed that survives the storm will sprout and then blossom. Even though it is impossible to know when the tides of this pandemic will turn, we at Huawei believe that this challenge will be overcome by standing together.”

Huawei’s cloud and data center arm continues to make advancements with a data center interconnect solution to help Singapore’s enterprise market cope with huge increases in data flows, especially during the pandemic, as well as innovative power solutions to ensure always-on reliability and efficiency.

Much like other cloud providers, Huawei Cloud has helped healthcare providers using AI, schools and colleges with distance learning and enterprises with free services.

Looking ahead, Huawei Cloud will enhance its AI cloud services, Kunpeng processors and 5G capabilities to increase its market share and help businesses achieve digital transformation.

Alibaba remains the cloud computing leader in Asia Pacific

Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, maintained its leading position in the Asia Pacific cloud computing market for Q1 2020. The cloud provider revealed their revenue grew by 58% year-over-year to US$1.7 billion in the quarter ending March 31 2020 compared to US$1.15 billion in 2019.

Maggie Wu, Chief Financial Officer of Alibaba Group, said in a webcast: “Revenue growth of 35% year-over-year was driven by solid performance of our domestic retail businesses as well as robust cloud computing revenue growth.”

Alibaba Cloud’s revenue also increased by 62% year-over-year in the 2020 fiscal year to US$5.6 billion, driven by their public and hybrid cloud businesses. But Alibaba Group’s net income dropped by 99% year-over-year to US$49 million.

“Our overall business continued to experience strong growth, with a total annual active consumer base of 960 million globally, despite concluding the fiscal year with a quarter impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group.

During the pandemic, Alibaba Cloud’s business grew rapidly due to an increase in consumption of video content and wide adoption of remote working and learning.

Mr Zhang expects the pandemic will further accelerate digital transformation of enterprises with industries like public sectors choosing to move to the cloud.

Alibaba Cloud recently announced a US$30 million SME cloud adoption program along with US$28 billion worth of data center investments covering 21 regions, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to support digital transformation in a post-pandemic world.

Mr Zhang identified that the Software-as-a-Service market and wider ecosystem is more mature in the United States compared to countries like China where a developer ecosystem ‘is just starting to get going’.

To enhance cloud computing skills and ensure a cloud-ready future, the tech giant offers the Alibaba Cloud Academic Empowerment Program. Xiamen University Malaysia is one such organisation to partner with Alibaba Cloud for this program.

IBM sees continued cloud revenue growth to US$5.4 billion

IBM, the American-based multinational technology company, celebrated a total cloud revenue of US$5.4 billion in Q1 2020, which is up 19% year-over-year, but down from US$6.8 billion in Q4 2019.

IBM Chief Executive Officer, Arvind Krishna, said: “Our first-quarter performance in cloud is a reflection of the trust clients place in IBM’s technology and expertise today, and positions us to continue building an enduring hybrid cloud platform for the future.” 

IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software brought in revenue of US$5.2 billion with a 32% growth in Cloud and Data Platforms led by Red Hat for their cloud architecture.

IBM has a strong focus on deepening their understanding of clients’ journey to hybrid cloud and AI to create hybrid cloud as their fourth platform.

Mr Krishna said: “This is why services that clients rely on, to build and manage the hybrid cloud platform, is a massive opportunity for IBM. It’s nearly half of the $1.2 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.”

IBM’s Global Technology Services, which includes Infrastructure and Cloud Services, pulled in US$6.5 billion, down 6% in Q1 2020.

Mr Krishna added: “I believe we are going through a shift to remote work, automation and application modernisation that will accelerate our clients’ shift to hybrid cloud. This gives me immense confidence in our future.”

IBM has worked with banks, health insurance companies and doctors deal with the pandemic and digitally transform using cloud and AI.

James Kavanaugh, the Chief Financial Officer of IBM, said: “While we expect near-term pressure on transactions, we continue to invest in new development and innovation for our hybrid cloud and AI strategy.”

Over the last 12 months, IBM Cloud has brought in US$22 billion in revenue, as IBM looks to take over the hybrid cloud market.

Tencent experiences cloud revenue growth, but slower than the previous quarter

Tencent, a leading provider of Internet value added services in China, saw a total revenue increase of 26% to US$15.2 billion in the first quarter of 2020 compared to Q1 2019. 

Their revenue from FinTech and Business Services, largely driven by WeChat Pay and their cloud services, increased by 22%. This is down from a 39% growth in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Mr. Ma Huateng, the Chairman and CEO of Tencent, said: “So far, our businesses have proved resilient and cashflow-generative, enabling us to increase our investment to fulfill our mission of ‘Tech for Good’.”

Tencent Cloud’s project deployment and new accounts acquisition for cloud business, which caused the decline in revenue. Tencent expects the cloud industry to remain challenging in the short term, but they will continue to increase investment to encourage digital transformation and greater adoption from offline industries and public sectors.

The cloud provider also recently became China’s first company with more than one million servers and have expanded into 26 geographic areas with 53 availability zones.

Mr. Ma Huateng added: “We are allocating time and resources, including over RMB2 billion of donations, to contribute to COVID-19 relief initiatives in China and globally.”

Tencent continues to expand its market share by growing the business across verticals, including tourism, Internet services and cloud gaming.

Tencent’s online gaming revenue grew by 31% year-on-year to US$5.2 billion, and this may increase even more with Tencent’s move into cloud gaming.

The Chinese tech giant also announced on Tuesday 26 May that it will invest US$70 billion over the next five years in new infrastructure, including blockchain, big data centers, supercomputer centers and internet of things operating systems.

Will global cloud providers maintain this growth in Q2 2020? Or will a more conservative approach towards investment and tech spending by customers take over? Watch this space for a round up of next quarter’s results.