Tencent announces Q4 2020 results, rakes in $20.5 billion

China’s Tencent has released its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020. The tech giant has earned $20.5 billion (133.7 billion Yuan) in Q4, reporting a 26 percent year-on-year increase.

Of its total revenue, value added services (VAS) raked in the most revenue for the company at $10.2 billion (66.9 billion Yuan), a 28 percent increase year-on-year.

Revenue from cloud computing and other business services showed a similar 29 percent year-on-year increase to $5.9 billion (38.5 billion Yuan) thanks to Tencent’s penetration into the industrial internet with its flagship Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products and upgraded cloud infrastructure.

The company also invested in enhanced Internet-as-a-Service (IaaS) technology, including its ‘Star Lake’ customised cloud server solutions that are able to power the latest AMD chips, and self-developed ‘T-block’ data centre technology.

“While 2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges, solid results across all our businesses testify to our focus on user value, technology innovation and business sustainability,” said Tencent Chairman and CEO Ma Huateng.

“We extended our leading position in the consumer internet space with enriched content and innovations across our products, while making notable progress in international expansion, starting with games,” he added.

Tencent also said that it will continue to invest in cloud infrastructure and technology, and work with partners to upgrade its aaS solutions.

India’s IFI Techsolutions expands cloud presence in Australia

Indian cloud solutions firm IFI Techsolutions, alongside Microsoft, has launched its first office in Australia.

The company has set up a new office in Hoppers Crossing, 30 minutes west from the city of Melbourne.

As a Gold Microsoft Partner, IFI Techsolutions will offer a range of next-generation tech services to help clients in their digital transformation journey. Aside from cloud solutions, their range of offerings include data center transformation, big data and analytics, DevOps, cybersecurity and compliance, and Microsoft business applications.

Citing a report by Gartner on the increase in cloud spending levels for the next 2-3 years, Ankur Garg, founder of IFI Techsolutions, explained that the current market scenario presents a huge opportunity for cloud growth and expansion.

“I am glad that we have support from a strong Microsoft ecosystem, and IFI Techsolutions is all set to expand globally,” he added.

Besides Australia, IFI Techsolutions has also launched offices in the US, UK, and United Arab Emirates.

South Korea’s SK Group to expand cloud and big data business in Georgia, US

South Korean tech conglomerate SK Corporation is expanding its footprint in the US with a new $1.8 million office in Duluth, Georgia.

Its de facto holding company, SK Holdings C&C, will be collaborating with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett, an economic development initiative for Georgia, to launch the office.

The new office will be offering services in AI, cloud computing, and big data applications.

“We are pleased SK Holdings C&C chose Gwinnett to be its new home,” Partnership Gwinnett Project Manager Jassy Ji said in a statement.

“Our community is a hub for technology and manufacturing and continues to be a place where businesses thrive.”

Pat Wilson, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, added that the investment is an example of the intersection of Georgia’s tech prowess and its status as a preferred beachhead for Korean firms entering the U.S. market.

The office will be located at 2915 Premiere Parkway, in the three-story Duluth Spectrum Building.


KR | CH | JP | TW | HK

When: 20-22 April 2021

Where: Online

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France’s Teleperformance opens cloud campus hubs across the Philippines

French business outsourcing company Teleperformance (TP) has opened three Cloud Campus hubs in the Philippines, covering the north and south of the country’s capital city Manila.

Its two sites, named TP Aura and TP Fairview, combines TP’s technology in cloud and analytics and will serve as operational command centers to respond to the demands of remote working in the Philippines.

“The Teleperformance Cloud Campus model was designed to help businesses who are looking at remote work as part of their growth plans in the new digital economy,” said Mike Lytle, CEO of Teleperformance USA, Canada, and the Philippines.

“It thoughtfully addresses the main concerns of companies for processes that are to be handled from a home environment, such as security, performance and control, and engagement of remote teams,” he added.

Mr. Lytle also pointed out that the Cloud Campuses also allows companies to ensure the health and safety of their employees, which remains a priority now and most certainly in the future, without compromising business continuity.

The Cloud Campuses in Philippines will also have tech-optimised training rooms for businesses to recreate the experience of onsite training, such as video conference systems, digital whiteboards, and wallboards with performance dashboards.

To monitor employees’ internet speed and pay more attention to any special needs, the Cloud Campuses will also have a dedicated employee dashboard and an IT Helpdesk Support platform.

Teleperformance entered the Philippines market in 1996. To date, the company has over 47,000 employees in the country in 22 business sites, including Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

Australia’s Vault Cloud and Aruba form cloud security alliance

Australian cloud vendor Vault Cloud has announced a partnership with US-based Aruba to strengthen the company’s network control system for its public service clients.

The collaboration will see Vault Cloud leverage Aruba’s policy management platform, ClearPass to keep networks secure.

Vault Cloud’s very own Network Policy Manager as-a-Service (NPMaaS) solution will also be adopting Aruba’s Zero Trust Security offering, which enables wired and wireless devices on a network to be easily identified and assigned identity-based policies to keep corporate and campus networks safe.

“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with Vault Cloud to deliver a faster and more secure network control system for our public sector,” said Pat Devlin, Director of Aruba South Pacific (ANZ).

“The partnership will not only see the ClearPass experience further streamline user network connectivity across the public sector to those who need it most, but it will fundamentally transform how government personnel work and operate across the state,” he added.

Linton Burling, General Manager of Vault Cloud said that the partnership will enable full mobility for participating government agencies in the state of New South Wales.

“This new infrastructure is designed and tested to support these emergency service workers and government agencies to do their job wherever it may be, in their quest to help keep Australians safe,” he said.

“We are dedicated to continually enhancing our cloud solutions in response to a rapidly evolving and sophisticated IT landscape,” Mr. Burling added.

BetaShares will offer Australia’s first cloud computing ETF

BetaShares, one of the main ETF providers in Australia is now offering ETFs of cloud computing companies.

An ETF, or an exchange traded fund, is a basket of securities — bonds, commodities, stocks — that can be bought and sold in the stock market. If you invest in an ETF, you are spreading your money in a range of different stocks, thereby diversifying your investment portfolio.

Named BetaShares Cloud Computing ETF, the new ETF is now trading with the ticker code CLDD on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). As of now, major cloud-based companies including Zoom, Shopify, and Dropbox will be on the ETF.

“Cloud computing has been one of the strongest-growing segments of the technology sector, and given much of the world’s digital data and software applications are still maintained outside the cloud, continued strong growth has been forecast,” wrote BetaShares on its official website.

The company also states that by investing in a cloud ETF, investors will be able to obtain diverse and cost-effective exposure to the cloud computing industry in Australia, one that is still underrepresented in the ASX.

The ETF requires no minimum investment, and clients can buy and sell units just like any other share on the ASX. Globally, ETFs tracking the SaaS sector have outperformed the broader market in 2020. The Global X Cloud Computing ETF has climbed 63.4 per cent in 2020 and has gained 5.7 per cent since the start of 2021 (as of 17 February’s close), according to data from CMC Markets.

NVIDIA brings GeForce cloud gaming to Australia

Global chipmaking giant NVIDIA has brought its flagship cloud gaming service, GeForce NOW, to Australia.

It has partnered with Perth-based internet service provider (ISP), Pentanet, which will be joining NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW Alliance where partners work together to deliver low latency, high speed gaming experiences. Some well-known members of the Alliance include Japan’s SoftBank, South Korea’s LG UPlus, and Taiwan Mobile.

As part of the alliance, Pentanet will be hosting NVIDIA’s RTX servers that function to power game streaming, the first ISP in Australia to do so. The service will also bring real-time ray tracing to video games, a graphics rendering technique where characters in video games look more realistic and lifelike.

Aside from Australia, the service will also be arriving in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, where telcos Turkcell and Zain KSA are set to join the GeForce NOW Alliance.

Report: Worldwide IT Spending to grow 6.2 percent in 2021

As the world continues to accelerate digital transformation at breakneck speed, worldwide spending on IT infrastructure is expected to grow by 6.2 percent this year.

Market research firm Gartner Inc.’s latest report in its 4Q20 Market Databook revealed that despite the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic will continue to spur significant IT spending in 2021 up until 2022.

“With the economy returning to a level of certainty, companies are investing in IT in a manner consistent with their expectations for growth, not their current revenue levels. Digital business, led by projects with a short Time to Value, will get more money and board level attention going into 2021,” revealed John-David Lovelock, Distinguished Research Vice President at Gartner.

Among the top five IT segments researched, enterprise software and IT devices will see the highest growth in 2021 with spendings increased by 8.8 percent and 8 percent respectively. Data center systems came in third, with a 6.2 percent increase in spending.

Overall, the total IT spending for 2021 is projected to reach $3.9 trillion.

High spending in the devices market can be attributed to remote education and remote work from students and employees, which pushed the demand for tablets and laptops. Global IT spending for remote work, therefore, will reach $332.9 billion in 2021, a 4.9 percent increase from 2020.

Mr. Lovelock also added that digital business will remain the dominant technology trend in late 2020 and 2021, with areas such as cloud computing, core business applications, security and customer experience at the forefront.

“Optimisation initiatives, such as hyperautomation, will continue and the focus of these projects will remain on returning cash and eliminating work from processes, not just tasks,” he added.

Salesforce to launch Vaccine Cloud to better manage COVID-19 vaccinations

US-based cloud computing major Salesforce has announced that it will be launching a Vaccine Cloud to help governments and healthcare institutions better manage COVID-19 vaccinations.

Operating via an end-to-end management platform, governments, healthcare providers, and organisations are able to plan, manage, and track vaccination efforts at scale, the company said.

From recipient registration, to inventory management, to monitoring of post-vaccination results, Vaccine Cloud is able to provide better support to vaccination programmes, it added. When globally, COVID-19 had reached its peak in March last year, Salesforce came up with a COVID-19 Response Package — a solution that can be deployed quickly and at no charge for six months.

This solution granted free access to technology for emergency response teams, call centers and care management teams for health systems affected by coronavirus. It included a Pre-Configured Health Cloud Org- to help manage increased volume of health-related requests via phone and chat with an emergency response contact center solution.

Further, it included the privacy and security of data to meet internal and external compliance requirements like HIPAA in the US. Powered by Salesforce Shield, a personalized, self-service resource center to help inform HCPs, patients, members and communities and help offset the higher call volumes and a learning platform to quickly distribute the latest safety and testing protocols to enable staff and ensure certification through an on-demand, learning platform.

“The biggest challenge the world faces right now is orchestrating the distribution of billions of vaccine doses. Technology can play a critical role,” said Salesforce President and COO, Bret Taylor.

The company revealed that as of now, partners that are on board the Vaccine Cloud include global consulting firms Accenture, Deloitte, and KPMG.

The race to vaccinate the world

COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have been administered for emergency use in the US, having efficacy rates of 95 per cent and 94.1 per cent respectively when it comes to preventing the illness. At the time of writing, the Joe Biden administration has announced the purchase of 200 million more doses to vaccinate the American population.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore became the first country to start its vaccination program, administering Pfizer and BioNTech to frontline healthcare workers at the end of December last year.

Malaysia’s Time dotCom cashes in on cloud computing, buys 60% stake in local firm

TIME dotCom Berhad, one of Malaysia’s leading internet service providers, have revealed that it is investing in the tech potential of a homegrown cloud computing provider.

The company has acquired a 60% stake, or $14.5 million (RM58.7 million), in AVM Cloud Sdn Bhd, a private cloud computing company to drive its business.

As Malaysia continues to battle COVID-19, remote work has gradually become the new norm in the country. Therefore, surging demand for data storage, greater connectivity, and other internet services can only be handled by cloud technology.

With the acquisition, TIME said that cloud computing is now the latest pillar of its business.

“We believe we’ve found the right partners in AVM, considering their comprehensive product suite and customer base,” said TIME commander-in-chief Afzal Abdul Rahim.

Meanwhile, AVM CEO David Chan said that TIME’s decision has given AVM the opportunity to scale and grow its existing products and services, and expand the company’s footprint for its regional cloud business.

As for the remaining 40% stake, TIME said that AVM has acquired the rest via local cloud computing company Integrated Global Solutions Sdn Bhd (IGS), making IGS its wholly-owned subsidiary.

There has been significant growth in the adoption of cloud for high-performance computing. At present, nearly 25% of enterprises are using cloud high-performance computing, and the number tends to increase rapidly over the forecast period.

Globally, half of the enterprises ae evaluating the usage statistics of cloud technology for positive values and higher efficiency.

Huawei launches Datacom certification globally

Chinese tech major Huawei has launched Datacom Certification globally, with an aim to develop 150,000 Datacom professionals in the next three years.Huawei Datacom Certification is a set of standards for cultivating Datacom talent. In the next three years, Huawei aims to certify 150,000 Datacom engineers, increasing the size of the Datacom network talent ecosystem and shaping the future of intelligent IP networks, it said.

As digital transformation proceeds, companies are posed with new requirements for networks and network architecture. To meet the demand for new network talent and adapt to the changing capability model for network practitioners, Huawei is developing a set of talent cultivation standards based on its experience in the data communication industry.

Huawei Datacom Certification is an upgrade of the previous Routing & Switching Certification, which features advanced technologies, various fields, capabilities, and practical skills. It not only provides knowledge about traditional routing and switching technologies, but also delivers the cultivation solution (which combines Huawei’s Datacom network solution and new technologies). Certified professionals will be able to plan, deploy, operate, maintain, and optimize networks in different scenarios.

Advanced technology certification

Huawei Datacom Certification includes knowledge about cutting-edge Datacom network technologies, such as Software Defined Networks or SDN, VXLAN, SR/SRv6, and network programming and automation.

Capabilities certification focuses on how technologies can be applied to real-world scenarios. Certified professionals will be able to design, deploy, operate, maintain, and optimize networks.

Additionally, practical skills certification is developed with reference to the development trends of the Datacom network and the network construction needs of companies. As such, certified professionals will be able to meet industry needs. To build a prosperous Datacom network talent ecosystem in collaboration with customers and partners, over the next three years, Huawei will organize 10 Datacom competitions, develop 30 excellent online courses and textbooks on Datacom networks, hold 30 online forums, and certify 150,000 Datacom engineers.

The Huawei Datacom Certification is classified into three levels:

HCIA–Datacom, HCIP–Datacom, and HCIE–Datacom. The HCIA–Datacom certification aims to develop network engineers with entry-level Datacom knowledge and skills.

The HCIP–Datacom certification has one core technical direction (HCIP–Datacom–Core Technology) and six optional sub-directions (HCIP–Datacom–Advanced Routing & Switching Technology, HCIP–Datacom–Campus Network Planning and Deployment, HCIP–Datacom–WAN Planning and Deployment, HCIP–Datacom–SD–WAN Planning and Deployment, HCIP–Datacom–Enterprise Network Solution Design, and HCIP–Datacom–Network Automation Developer). The HCIP–Datacom certification is designed for aspirants who want to become senior engineers in the field of cross-domain solution planning and design or single-domain planning and deployment.

The HCIE–Datacom certification aims to cultivate network experts with theoretical knowledge of solutions and the ability to deploy networks across domains.

To date, HCIA–Datacom, HCIP–Datacom–Advanced Routing & Switching Technology, and HCIP–Datacom–Network Automation Developer certifications have been released, and other certifications are set for release in 2021. By Q4 2021, the Huawei Datacom Certification will completely replace the Routing & Switching Certification, Huawei said.

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Mitsubishi to build 1,400 MW power plant in Thailand

Japan’s Mitsubishi Power has signed a 25-year, full turnkey contract with Thailand’s Hin Kong Power to construct a 1,400 MW power plant.

A subsidiary of Japan’s famous Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Power will provide two gas turbines for Kin Hong’s power plant, which is a natural gas-fired turbine combined cycle (GTCC) facility.

This agreement will be of immense benefit to Thailand. As an emerging tech market, the construction of power plants means more electricity generated, and more electricity means more capacity to power a wide array of technology solutions.

Kin Hong’s power plant will be built approximately 100 kilometres west of Thailand’s capital city Bangkok. As a GTCC facility, the power plant will generate the cleanest and most efficient source of energy among systems that use fossil fuels. 

The plant will also reuse excess gas from the turbines to drive the steam turbine, producing electricity in the process. So, compared to conventional coal-fired thermal power plants, CO2 emissions can be reduced by 70%, providing an annual reduction of seven million tonnes of CO2 from the 1,400 MW of generating capacity.

The power generated will then be sold directly to the state’s Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand.

Commercial operations of both gas turbines are projected to begin in March 2024 and January 2025 respectively. Mitsubishi Power will also provide maintenance support for the gas turbines for the next 25 years.

This is not the only time Mitsubishi Power has worked with Hin Kong Power’s parent company RATCH Group and Gulf Energy Development, two major independent power producers in Thailand. 

Including this project, Mitsubishi Power will have supplied a total of 22 gas turbines for the two companies, totalling over 15,000 MW of power generation capacity. The track record established between Mitsubishi Power and these two companies led to this current contract.

Thailand is one of few Southeast Asian nations that show strong growth potential in data center and cloud industries. In September, it was predicted that the cloud computing industry will create 24,000 new jobs in the country by 2024.

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Court rules mostly in favour of Oracle during Rimini Street copyright infringement battle

The District Court in Nevada, USA, has ruled in favour of Oracle on a number of motions during the Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle International battle.

The Court found that certain past Rimini Street third-party support practices infringed at least 17 Oracle copyrights. On top of that, certain support practices that Rimini Street described as ‘new’ were also found to continue infringing upon Oracle copyrights.

“We are grateful for the Court’s thorough and well-reasoned opinion, which finds that Rimini Street infringed in the past, and continues to infringe Oracle’s intellectual property,” said Dorian Daley, Oracle’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel in a press release by the tech giant.

Oracle stated that the court dismissed various Rimini Street claims and defenses, which means that Rimini Street will have no claims for damages, while Oracle will proceed with numerous damages claims when the case goes to trial.

“Customers considering Rimini Street should understand that this serial infringer continues to disregard Oracle’s copyrights, and we’ll be seeking additional substantial damages at trial for this unlawful conduct,” said Mr. Daley.

Rimini Street retains right to provide aftermarket support

During the ruling, the Court was said to reiterate Rimini Street’s legal right to still provide aftermarket support for Oracle’s enterprise software, which has been adopted by the likes of Kakao in South Korea, Hyundai-Kia Motors and Proton in Malaysia.

“The Court also resolved some of the issues the parties have disputed, ruling in some instances for Rimini Street and in some instances for Oracle. Rimini Street is continuing to evaluate the order and looks forward to a jury trial on the remaining issues,” said Rimini Street in a press release.

In total, Oracle stated the District Court for the District of Nevada ruled in their favour on seven separate motions for partial summary judgment, granting in full or in part every Oracle motion and denying in full every Rimini Street motion.

The Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle International lawsuit was officially brought by Rimini Street against Oracle in 2014, and the summary judgements delivered yesterday (September 15 2020) had been pending with the court since December 2018.

Oracle and Rimini Street have been caught in a legal battle since January 2010. Oracle filed the suit against Rimini Street alleging software copyright violations. 

A jury ruled in favour of Oracle in 2015 on one count of “innocent infringement” meaning that Rimini Street did not deliberately infringe on copyright laws. 

A United States District Court in Nevada handed Rimini Street a permanent injunction in August 2018 ordering Rimini Street to not reproduce or distribute Oracle software. This court battle has led to Rimini Street paying out more than US$100 million to Oracle.

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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.

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NTT looks to the cloud to digitally transform businesses in Thailand

NTT has announced its business direction to deliver cloud services to help businesses in Thailand accelerate their digital transformation.

The global technology services provider will implement its Digital Solution, Managed Service, and Intelligent Cybersecurity as part of its key strategy to penetrate the Thailand market along with a new Client Experience Center to showcase their innovations from across the world.

“It’s now a crucial time for digital transformation and we see that technology is a crucial part to help businesses achieve the goal, differentiate themselves from competitors, and develop in-depth information to generate higher incomes and profits,” said Sutas Kongdumrongkiat, the CEO for NTT in Thailand.

NTT predicts the cloud market in Thailand shows high potential, as demand and growth continues in the country, giving the country the opportunity to leapfrog more mature economies due to improvements in connectivity and data center risk.

“We think from now on, the use of the cloud in Thailand will grow higher. And it is expected that the total market value of the cloud in Thailand will continue to grow,” added Mr. Kongdumrongkiat.

And NTT might be right as the Government approved a US$146.6 million state cloud, AWS has expanded their services in the country and cloud computing may generate more than 24,000 jobs in Thailand.

The solutions NTT will aim to provide Thailand with data center interconnectivity across the world through their SD-WAN solution, a cloud system to ensure stable and fast connections and a cybersecurity system to remain safe from cyberthreats and compliant in protecting data.

NTT’s new 393 square meter Client Experience Center located on 17th Floor, Column Tower in Bangkok will also showcase innovations, including advanced digital technology used in the Tour de France, a Robotic Process Automation system, and Realwear – the wearable voice operated Android computer.

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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!

> View all W.Media digital events

NTT looks to the cloud to digitally transform businesses in Thailand


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Rapid cloud adoption fuels 100% data center workload revenue growth in Asia Pacific and Japan for Druva

Druva, a leading cloud data protection and management company, announced its data center workload revenue has grown more than 100% in the last twelve months.

Based in California, Druva’s impressive growth can be attributed to its providing support to over 135 enterprises in Asia Pacific and Japan. This includes helping Adani Wilmar in India, Gold Peak in Hong Kong, and NTT Data and UNIADEX in Japan navigate their digital transformation.

“As businesses in Asia Pacific and Japan adopt remote operating models, there is an urgency to adopt new technologies, maintain business continuity and secure organisational and dispersed workforce data,” said Pete Yamasaki, Druva’s Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan.

It is no surprise by now that businesses are turning to cloud computing to reimagine their operations, especially in the trying times in the pandemic-hit world. And that’s not the only trend, as governments across the world are enforcing data protection regulations with greater stringency to ensure their citizens’ most sensitive details are safe and secure, even on the cloud.

“Regardless of the industry, sector or legacy, companies are turning to the cloud for the scale and technology it has to offer,” added Mr. Yamasaki.

Druva identified more than 700 businesses in Asia Pacific looking to ‘break free from the shackles of the data center and embrace a cloud-first approach for rising data protection needs’, as they ‘move away from investment-heavy and legacy approaches to data protection’.

“Druva’s powerful platform has enabled the region’s expanding businesses to protect data where it is being created – in the cloud – from anywhere with on-demand scalability, robust compliance capabilities and industry-leading security standards,” said Mr. Yamasaki.

To further accelerate Druva’s growth in the region, the company is also expanding its partner program, Druva Compass, to continue to empower digital transformation through enhanced training.

“Customers are increasingly drawn to the public cloud infrastructure as they embark on their digital transformation journey,” said Nathan Lowe, the Managing Director ASI Solutions, a Druva Compass certified partner in Australia.

In the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, Druva’s partners will be critical for the successful deployment of their technology for reliant customers looking to take the digital transformation leap.

“With Druva’s service-oriented model, we can easily add new data sources and make decisions based on our business objectives rather than the restrictions of our legacy backup solution,” said Wai Chung, IT backup administrator for AmorePacific in Hong Kong.

As businesses in Asia Pacific and Japan are managing far more data than two years ago and are being pushed to adopt remote working models under the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud data protection is fast becoming a significant concern to prevent the rising number of threat actors from accessing their data. 

A mid-year report by market intelligence firm IDC projected revenue from cloud systems and services in Asia Pacific to outpace both the Americas and the EMEA region by 2024. Druva Inc.’s latest revenue number serves as strong evidence on the region’s growth potential.

The success of platforms such as Druva once again highlight the importance that businesses place on data protection. Compared to traditional hardware architectures, companies now want security and scalability in the same way that it is being created, on the cloud.

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Discover Japan’s exciting cloud and data center markets

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Cloud computing to create 24,000 New Jobs in Thailand by 2024

Thailand, a new and rising player in the cloud computing industry, will see more than 24,000 new jobs by 2024.

This is thanks to cloud-based software company, Salesforce, which was one of several tech firms that enjoyed tremendous success during the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

A recent addition to the 2019 Salesforce Economic Impact White Paper projected US$1.6 billion in new business revenue by 2024. 

With COVID-19 forcing businesses around the world to shift to cloud services and remote working, its predictions are coming true, as one of Salesforce’s ecosystems in Thailand is feeling the positive economic impacts.

“The Salesforce ecosystem is capable of generating business and job growth, even during a pandemic,” said Sujith Abraham, the SVP and General Manager for ASEAN at Salesforce.

Spending on public cloud softwares in Thailand is expected to increase from US$299 million in 2020 to US$579 million in 2024. Assuming that this trend continues, cloud services are predicted to grow faster than general information technology, with nearly 50% of global cloud software spending tied to digital transformation.

Source: IDC white paper sponsored by Salesforce, The Salesforce Economy in Thailand: 24,260 Jobs, $1.6 Billion in New Business Revenue from 2018 to 2024 (May 2020)
Source: IDC white paper, The Salesforce Economy in Thailand. 24,260 Jobs, $1.6 Billion in New Business Revenue from 2018 to 2024 (May 2020)

On top of the 24,260 new local jobs within the Salesforce and partner ecosystem, another 33,570 indirect jobs will be created through supply and distribution chains serving Salesforce customers. This number illustrates the impressive scale of a network effect by cloud computing firms in the country.

“Because we’re all working remotely, our solution,and our partner ecosystem, answers the need for digital transformation and is essential for our customers as they continue to deepen relationships, and ready for their place, in the post-pandemic economy,” added Mr. Abraham.

Building the workforce of the future in Thailand

To make sure that Thailand continues to be on track for exponential growth, Salesforce states that there is still a lot that local business could do. Alongside increased spending on cloud computing services, introducing new products and providing more pleasant customer experiences, are two main goals that should be worked on.

First, Thailand needs to nurture a workforce that is ready to support digital transformation efforts. The World Economic Forum predicts a significant shift, with no less than 54% of all employees requiring re-skilling or up-skilling to prevent talent shortages and mass unemployment. This is especially important now that the global pandemic has fast tracked digital transformations and caused countless retrenchments. 

“The pandemic ensures cloud computing spend will increase in ASEAN and beyond. And, we know job growth in the region is dependent on a skilled workforce,” said William Sim, the VP of  Salesforce’s Trailhead Academy for APAC.

Secondly, entrepreneurs and innovators in Thailand should identify the goldmine of opportunity for inventing revolutionary cloud-based applications, as forecasts show significant returns from investment in cloud computing by 2024. Yet, only 5% of the total IT spend in Thailand will be on public cloud computing, meaning there is a wealth of opportunities for almost ‘unlimited cloud computing growth’.

If all is achieved, Thailand’s cloud computing market could propel the country into becoming a key provider of tech services in Southeast Asia.

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Explore the state of Thailand’s cloud and data center market with W.Media

With 61% of Thailand’s gross domestic product expected to be digitalised by 2022, join the W.Media Thailand Cloud and Datacenter Digital Summit to find out how you can be a part of the country’s digital future by maximising opportunities amid the technological advancements taking place.

Register now to find out by joining W.Media’s action-packed Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Digital Summit on Wednesday 4 November!

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

> View all W.Media digital events

Vietnam’s agriculture industry is looking sweeter as top sugar manufacturer moves to the cloud

SBT, a top performer in Vietnam’s sugar industry, has adopted Oracle Cloud ERP to support its mission in globally producing clean agriculture products.

The agriculture corporation chose to adopt Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning to optimise their supply chain and improve financial management efficiency.

“Our goal is to lead smart agricultural development in Vietnam within the next three years,” said Dang Huynh Uc My, Vice Chairman for the Board of Directors at SBT.

SBT, also known as Thanh Thanh Cong Bien Hoa Joint Stock Company, will implement Oracle Cloud ERP across their business units in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Singapore.

“SBT will continue to align our in-depth agricultural experience and skilled manpower with smart technologies,” added Ms. Dang.

The sugar manufacturer looks to meet its goal of harmonising the interests of farmers, factories and customers by implementing Farmer Relationship Management, Customer Relationship Management and eOffice applications whilst remaining compliant with current regulations.

“The agriculture industry in Vietnam is on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, with digital transformation leading the way for businesses like SBT to realise their goals,” said Nguyen Thi Mai Hoa, the Head of Applications at Oracle Vietnam.

Vietnam’s digital economy grew by 40% in 2019 and could add US$162 billion to its GDP by going digital. The Government is also supporting digital transformation campaigns by increasing investment, speeding up reforms encouraging businesses to adopt new technology, committing to building smart cities and providing universal internet connectivity.

“However, today’s business climate remains unpredictable. To better respond to changing market conditions, organizations can’t be held back by disparate on-premise business systems – they need to have a clear view of their business on a single data platform,” added Mr. Nguyen.

Along with their partnership with Oracle, SBT reached a strategic cooperation agreement with KPMG Vietnam to drive forward their digital transformation plans.

SBT was also named as one of the top 50 leading brands in 2020 and in the list of 100 largest public companies by Forbes Vietnam.

Picture credit: Idan Robbins

Make cloud-first happen with Oracle

Adopting and migrating to cloud technologies is becoming a top priority for many organisations in Malaysia.

The Government has been active in encouraging cloud adoption by creating a data exchange hub for ministries and plans for smart cities. As a result, the cloud computing market in the country is expected to be worth US$3.7 billion by 2024, growing at a rate of 13% per year.

Register now to discover how you can be a part of Malaysia’s cloud-first future on Tuesday 25 August!

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

Powerhouse products like 7-Eleven in Philippines and Nissan turn to Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle is seeing an increasing number of powerhouse products in Asia Pacific turning to their Cloud Infrastructure and Autonomous Database services, including 7-Eleven in the Philippines and Nissan in Japan.

In the last year, the cloud services provider opened eight new cloud regions in Asia Pacific countries like Japan, South Korea, India and Australia as well as a Microsoft Azure cloud interconnect location in Tokyo.

“It is increasingly clear that customers perceive Oracle as a strategic partner for their cloud requirements,” said Garrett Ilg, the Executive Vice President and Head of Oracle Japan and Asia Pacific.

Oracle’s cloud services and license support revenues also increased by 1% year-over-year to US$6.8 billion in 2020.

“Given the current circumstances and operating environments across the world, customers are responding with commitment to Oracle cloud technology to reflect their support of the value being offered,” added Mr. Ilg.

Overall the cloud market in APAC is expected to grow 117% from US$133 billion to US$288 billion by 2024, according to a report by GlobalData in April 2020. This growth could be further increased by accelerating cloud adoption due to rising data volumes as well as greater remote working and digital transformation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As one of the largest convenience stores in the Philippines, with over 2,900 stores distributed across the country, Philippines Seven (7-Eleven) needed robust and resilient IT infrastructure to constantly meet customer demands.

“With growing volumes of data is growing, our systems were under pressure,” said Jeru Andrade, the Systems Support Team Leader of IT division, Philippines Seven (7-Eleven).

Philippines Seven selected Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for their cloud native security features, serverless services and ability to automate tasks to minimise human error.

Other organisations in Asia Pacific have also started to adopt cloud infrastructure for their digital needs, including Nomura Research Institute, Nissan and Medicom as well as rapidly growing independent software vendors like Japan’s Creansmaerd, Itochu Cable Systems, TIS Hokkaido, Australia’s Emersion, iliveit, and Applied Precision Medicine, South Korea’s Dain Leaders, Astems and CIP Systems, and India’s Comviva.

Oracle also recently unveiled the ‘industry’s first fully-managed, on-premises’ cloud region to bring all their second-generation cloud services directly to customer data centers.

Image Credit: Oracle PR

Make cloud-first happen in Malaysia with Oracle

Adopting and migrating to cloud technologies is becoming a top priority for many organisations in Malaysia.

The Government has been active in encouraging cloud adoption by creating a data exchange hub for ministries and plans for smart cities. As a result, the cloud computing market in the country is expected to be worth US$3.7 billion by 2024, growing at a rate of 13% per year.

Register now to discover how you can be a part of Malaysia’s cloud-first future on Tuesday 25 August!

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

Hundreds tune in for Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking of first data center in South Korea

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Hundreds tune in for Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking of first data center in South Korea

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Hundreds from across the technology industry tuned in to witness Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking of Digital Seoul 1 (ICN10), the company’s first data center in South Korea.

Digital Realty’s expansion into South Korea looks to make digital ambitions a reality by providing a truly carrier-neutral platform.

Why did Digital Realty choose South Korea?

We kicked off the Virtual Groundbreaking ceremony with an interview from Digital Realty Korea’s Country Manager, Jay Weon Khym.

Mr. Khym highlighted key factors driving Digital Realty’s decision to invest in Seoul, including the city’s high population density with young, tech-savvy individuals who have a higher amount of disposable income and access to ‘excellent high-speed infrastructure’.

Seoul is also the fifth largest data center market in Asia Pacific and is forecast to continue to grow, driven by demands in e-commerce, social media, the Internet of Things and gaming.

“The market is at the beginning of a growth cycle and starts showing signs of installisation. However, very few true carrier-neutral data centers exist with a global operation standard,” said Mr. Khym.

EMBED VIDEO – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vsloGmOFTs

Digital Realty’s hybrid cloud solutions and new state of the art facility will support domestic business growth and empower more international companies to expand their digital assets into the South Korean market, as demand and advancements in cloud computing grow to allow businesses the ability to scale up, modernise and make better use of their data.

Hybrid cloud solutions enable customers to grow as their business develops in their early stage by making use of public cloud infrastructures to minimise capital expenditure, then in later stages of growth, migrating portions of their IT workload to the private cloud minimises the expense of storing large amounts in the public cloud.

“Our investment in South Korea reiterates our commitment to powering our customers’ digital ambitions across a truly global platform,” said Mr. Khym.

Mr. Khym also shared his excitement for their aim to expand their footprint to 80-100MV within five years.

Mr Khym added: “We are humbled to have an opportunity to provide a trusted foundation for the nation’s technology roadmap.”

Breaking ground on Digital Realty’s first data center in South Korea

It was a real pleasure to celebrate the Virtual Groundbreaking of Digital Seoul 1 with the Digital Realty team who shared more on their exciting plans for the first truly carrier-neutral data center in Seoul.

> Watch the Virtual Groundbreaking ceremony on demand

Mark Smith, Digital Realty’s Managing Director, said: “Seoul is particularly interesting to us because we’re a company that listens very carefully to the needs of our customers. Our investment in Seoul is very much driven by the voice of our customers. This a response to what they have been telling us.”

Digital Realty’s customers, which include tech giants such as Facebook, Uber, IBM, Oracle and LinkedIn, told the global data center provider that they see ‘a lot of opportunity in the Korean market’.

“They are looking for a provider such as ourselves that can bring global standards and a true carrier-neutrality to the Korean market,” said Mr. Smith.

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To be truly carrier-neutral, Digital Seoul 1’s key aspect is to be not only carrier-neutral, but also fiber neutral.

Robert Davidson, the Head of Network Strategy at Digital Realty, said: “We are the first international data center that is going to come into the market and be able to offer a global experience in Seoul that allows you to interconnect with any of the carriers that are local to the Korean market without any intermediary restrictions.”

Digital Realty will have their own set of carrier licenses whereby they will control all of their ingress points and the fiber within those points for the data center, without the need for a third party. 

Traditionally, international players entering the market would need more than one location to access all of the connectivity footprints required.

“Now for the first time, there will be one hyperconnected data connectivity hub in Seoul, where you will be able to use your global MSA, your global contract vehicle with Digital Realty to enter Seoul and get access to everyone in one spot,” said Mr. Davidson.

Digital Realty chose the location of Digital Seoul 1 to give customers a ‘solid footprint for fiber connectivity and positions you well to interconnect with other data centers’. 

“This is really a game changer from a connectivity standpoint. As a network guy by trade, this is what I would have always wanted in all of my markets,” said Mr. Davidson.

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Digital Seoul 1 will be built on a 22,000 square foot land parcel in the Sangam Digital Media City in Seoul, which is a newly developed urban planning zone with a high concentration of technology and media companies aiming to promote South Korea’s digital economy, much like Digital Realty itself.

The data center is also set to be equipped with Korean Telecom Licensing and ISMS Certification as a Tier 3 Green Grid Data Center, by complying with local regulatory requirements.

Once the facility is completed in approximately 2021, the tallest purpose-built data center that Digital Realty has ever constructed will include up to 2,200 cabinets, a target PUE range of 1.32 to 1.4 for cooling, and a twelve-megawatt IT load for 50% Scale and 50% Scale-lite/enterprises.

The move into the South Korean market also marks a significant expansion of PlatformDIGITAL across Asia Pacific, enabling customers to rapidly scale digital transformation.

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Empowering the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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The South Korean Government is set to invest billions in Fourth Industrial Revolution technology, with a focus on DNA: Data, Network and Artificial Intelligence.

We were joined by Professor Yunmook Nah from the Korea Data Center Council, who emphasised the critical importance of data centers to support the upward trend of technological advancements in the country.

“The data center market is growing fast because of enabling technology like big data, AI, cloud and smart cities,” said Professor Nah.

The COVID-19 pandemic was also identified as an accelerator of cloud computing adoption and opened a new market of cloud services.

‘This is the first step of several’

Mr. Mark Smith expects this will be just the beginning of Digital Realty’s investments in Korea, as the global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions’ continues to listen to their customers.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with where we are in this exciting moment in terms of virtually launching the facility in Seoul. We have a large number of people dialing in, which shows really well the amount of interest and demand.

“I couldn’t be more excited to enter the Korean market,” said Mr. Smith.

> Watch all the celebrations of Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking on demand now

Which data center is the best for your digital transformation needs?

As digital transformation continues and we enter into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, you may be looking at data centers for the first time or migrating to a different facility to enable your businesses’ growth.

But there are likely a lot of choices and questions: Will my data be secure? Is the connectivity reliable? 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 to choose the best data center for your digital transformation needs.

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

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Stuart Crowley

Editor, W.Media


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Digital Realty breaks ground on first data center in South Korea

Digital Realty has officially broken ground on their first carrier-neutral data center in South Korea, following a Virtual Groundbreaking ceremony hosted by W.Media.

The Digital Seoul 1 (ICN10) twelve-megawatt facility will be built on a 22,000 square foot land parcel in the Sangam Digital Media City in Seoul.

“The groundbreaking of Digital Seoul 1 (ICN10) is a significant milestone for us at Digital Realty. Our investment in Korea reiterates our commitment to powering our customers’ digital ambitions across a truly global platform. We are humbled to have this opportunity to provide a trusted foundation for the nation’s technology roadmap,” said Jay Weon Khym, the Country Manager for Korea at Digital Realty.

Making digital transformation a reality

The current pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation and adoption of cloud services across the world. South Korea is also a leader of innovation, with big data, AI, 5G and the Internet of Things quickly gaining momentum.

“Customers in the Asia Pacific region are set to gain from our new ICN10 facility, as they ramp up their own digitalisation efforts,” said Digital Realty’s Chief Executive Officer, A. William Stein.

The move marks a significant expansion of PlatformDIGITAL across Asia Pacific, enabling customers to rapidly scale digital transformation.

“Our investment in South Korea is an important milestone on our global platform roadmap, adding coverage, capacity and connectivity capabilities to enable our customers’ digital transformation strategies while demonstrating our commitment to supporting customers’ future growth on PlatformDIGITAL,” added Mr Stein.

PlatformDIGITAL is Digital Realty’s platform that hosts critical infrastructure and interconnect digital ecosystems.

Once the facility is completed in approximately 2021, the tallest purpose-built data center that Digital Realty has ever constructed aims to support domestic business growth and broaden opportunities for more international companies to expand their core digital assets into the South Korean market.

South Korea is a perfect place to set up a data center and is one of the fastest growing markets in APAC.

Mark Smith, the Managing Director of APAC for Digital Realty, said of the market: “[It is] a strategic market for us to enter as the first global provider to build from the ground up.”

The Digital Realty data center in South Korea will add to the global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions’ portfolio of Asia Pacific facilities located in Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne.

More than 500 registered to discover more about the 162,000 square feet, twelve level facility at Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking event hosted by W.Media.

Watch this space for highlights from the event and more details on Digital Seoul 1.

And you can still get involved on social media using the hashtags #DigitalRealtyLaunch, #CongratsDigitalRealty, #DigitalSeoul1 and #WMediaEvent.

Princeton Digital Group targets untapped potential for hybrid cloud data centers amid rapid cloud computing growth in Indonesia

The data center landscape in Indonesia is growing exponentially, as industry players like Princeton Digital Group look to tap into a market full of large domestic enterprise customers, SMEs and a broad swath of global  multinational corporations.

To keep up with demand, Princeton Digital Group, a leading investor, developer and operator of Internet infrastructure, is developing two new hyperscale greenfield builds that are slated to be ready by 2022. One will be adjacent to their Cibitung facility in Jakarta and the other new build will be interconnected to their existing site in Surabaya.

Stephanus Tumbelaka, Princeton Digital Group’s Managing Director of Indonesia, said: “This market is quite dynamic and it has a significant amount of upside growth potential.”

Due to rising digitisation and Internet traffic, Indonesia’s data center market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 11%, with more than US$1 billion in investments.

Mr Tumbelaka said: “As you look across the entire country, Indonesia has many metro markets outside of Jakarta that have limited data center facilities and overall capacity.”

Along with the new facilities, Princeton Digital Group plans to upgrade their five existing facilities.

PDG has the most carrier neutral facilities in Indonesia, covering both Java and Sumatra islands and servicing customers across four different markets: Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Pekenbaru. 

Mr Tumbelaka added: “Indonesia is the world’s 14th largest country by land mass, therefore operators who only operate in a single metro or perhaps a single facility have a limited view of customers throughout Indonesia.”

Cloud computing boom creates untapped potential for hybrid solutions

Indonesia is projected to witness the fastest growth for cloud computing among the ASEAN countries, with tech giants like Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure entering the scene.

Mr Tumbelaka said: “The growth of the cloud computing market should help facilitate the growth of the data center infrastructure sector. This has been seen in other markets throughout Asia Pacific that PDG operates in.”

The Government’s proposed data protection law and recent data localization regulations may also positively impact both the local data center and cloud services market, as companies will be required to store their data locally in Indonesia.

This uptake in cloud computing reveals untapped potential for hybrid cloud solutions that require third party data center facilities like Princeton Digital Group’s to provide enterprise customers with global leading operational support and flexible commercial structures.

“We don’t feel that PDG competes with cloud service providers, rather they are our customers,” said Mr Tumbelaka.

Princeton Digital Group noticed more enterprise and public sector customers are active in all metros they operate in, indicating that customers are considering migrating infrastructure into third party colocation facilities.

Princeton Digital Group takes a proactive stance to overcome the challenges of rapid growth 

A rapidly developing market like Indonesia’s requires Government support to help investment climates. 

Data center operators should deploy to multiple metro markets to capture a significant amount of the domestic business.

Mr Tumbelaka said: “As the largest carrier neutral data center operator in Indonesia with facilities across four different metro markets, we have a unique perspective.”

PDG takes a proactive stance in the industry by reaching out across many different government agencies and industry groups to ensure their perspective is heard and that they are engaged in various discussions.

He added: “In addition to the hyperscaler cloud providers, we feel that we are well positioned to also be able to assist local enterprise customers and MNCs with their data center infrastructure requirements.”

Operators should look to enable the entire ecosystem of the data center community to achieve long term success since Indonesia’s market is less established compared to other countries.

PDG removed a lot of uncertainty away from entering new markets by having a strong local partner, XL Axiata, which gave them a strong foundation to grow their business.

The challenge of having sustainable sources of electricity to cope with the scale of the market may also impact Indonesia’s market

To overcome this, Princeton Digital Group focuses on building data centers towards global standards of energy efficient building codes such as BREEAM and LEED.

“Princeton Digital Group operates data centers across Asia Pacific and we align our operations and construction processes to meet or exceed local regulations and building codes,” said Mr Tumbelaka.  

PDG has conducted operations optimisation programs focusing on energy efficiency within the core mechanical and electrical systems in their five existing facilities since taking over operations in December.

Their new developments in Jakarta and Surabaya will look to meet or exceed local regulations and building codes by working with technology and construction partners to ensure compliance with PDG’s practices during the entire life cycle of the project.

Princeton Digital Group aims to continue their strategy to deliver high-quality data centers to both the Indonesian enterprise market and the global hyperscale community with their new and existing facilities.

> Find out more about Princeton Digital Group

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Is Asia Pacific at risk of losing out on post-pandemic economic recovery by not leveraging on next-generation cloud computing?

The Asia Cloud Computing Association revealed markets in Asia Pacific risk losing out on post-pandemic economic recovery by not taking advantage of next-generation cloud computing technologies.

In the current economic climate affected by the pandemic, some markets seem to have paused on technology and digital infrastructure investments, despite cloud readiness advancing in APAC.

The Executive Director of the Asia Cloud Computing Association, May-Ann Lim, said: “These observations are of concern to us at the ACCA.”

The findings were detailed in the ACCA’s 2020 Cloud Readiness Index. The CRI 2020 discovered that some of the hardest-hit economies with high infection rates were also some of the top scorers, including Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Ms Lim added: “Cloud readiness and adoption is very intimately linked with economic recovery from COVID-19, mainly because cloud readiness is a measure of digital resilience.”

Cloud computing technologies in Asia have seen an increase in usage as a result of work from home orders caused by the pandemic.

While cloud readiness scores advanced for all 14 economies in APAC, the lowest scores were found in Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and China.

“Every economy has been impacted, and everyone would have had some slowdown of the economy, but I would say that cloud readiness is one of the measures which would contribute to a faster economic recovery,” said Ms Lim.

The low scores were found due to many economies’ fragile core capabilities in managing natural risks, privacy and cybersecurity.

Ms Lim added: “[Markets] have decided to put in regulatory restrictions around data flows at a time when the freedom to use cloud productivity tools is needed the most to recover from the economic fallout from COVID-19.”

These data localisation regulations enforced by governing bodies obstruct cross-border data flows and international connectivity required to empower the use of global cloud applications and growth of digital businesses.

The ACCA’s Cloud Readiness Index ranked 14 countries in Asia Pacific against parameters, including international connectivity, power sustainability, data center risk and cybersecurity.

Here are some highlights and recommendations to increase cloud readiness across the region.

South Korea rises through the ranks

South Korea moved up to fifth place in 2020 from seventh in 2018. The Land of the Morning Calm saw notable improvements in privacy, cybersecurity and regulatory environment, but a significant fall in data center risk and a low score in international connectivity.

Data center risk consists of natural hazards, terrorism, the quality of electricity supplies, airport connectivity and more defined by TRPC Data Center Security Risk Index.

Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, is set to enter into South Korea with their first carrier-neutral facility in Seoul. Following its completion in 2021, the data center will aim to boost the country’s digital economy.

Digital Realty CEO, A. William Stein, said: “South Korea is incredibly well positioned as a digital hub and center for innovation within the region, given the growing global demand for big data, mobile services and connected devices.”

> Register now for Digital Realty’s historic virtual Seoul Data Center Launch

The Asia Cloud Computing Association believes the strict data localisation rules of the Korea Internet & Security Agency has slowed the availability of cloud services, despite their Cloud Computing Act in 2015 and investments to empower digital transformation through AI and 5G. As a result, only five cloud service providers have received cloud security certifications required to provide services to the public sector, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and LG CNS.

Indonesia sees a drop, despite a promising digital economy

Indonesia was described as a highly promising and dynamic digital economy. 

But the ‘Emerald of the Equator’ dropped one position to 12th due to its fall in broadband quality and little improvements in parameters apart from connectivity and cybersecurity.

Upcoming updated cybersecurity and data protection laws in Indonesia may help the country rise in the rankings by harmonising the fragmented regulation environment that exists, empowering businesses to adopt and develop new technology.

Despite relaxed data regulations, the country is also expected to experience investments worth over US1$ billion and an annual growth rate of 11% in the data center market, driven by the rise in cloud adoption.

Malaysia stays solid, but regulations slow progress

The good and possibly not so good news for Malaysia is that it was the only APAC economy not to move in the rankings since 2014, retaining its 8th place position.

The country saw sharp improvements in many parameters this year, including connectivity, energy sustainability, data center risk and connectivity. 

The Government has been active in encouraging cloud adoption by creating a data exchange hub for ministries, plans for smart cities and a digital identity platform known as MyIdentity.

But Malaysia was left in the same position due to restrictions caused by the regulatory environment, privacy laws and intellectual property protection.

The country’s position may begin to improve once it begins to tackle cybersecurity issues and educates younger generations on cloud computing.

The Philippines’ Cloud First policy couldn’t break its fall

The Philippines fell from 9th in 2018 to 11th in 2020. 

Weaker international connectivity, sustainable energy, data center risk and cloud security were amongst the reasons for this drop. 

The fall could not be saved by the country’s ‘Cloud First’ policy and regulations launched in 2017, which is still in the implementation stages today.

There may be hope for the Philippines with more connectivity coming from DITO’s new data center and an e-store to help agencies compare cloud services expected to be released this year and renewed optimism for improving broadband connectivity with initiatives like the Philippine Digital Transformation Strategy.

Singapore loses first place to Hong Kong

The Little Red Dot lost the top spot to Hong Kong in the CRI rankings, falling to second place.

Singapore missed out on first place after seeing falls in international connectivity and freedom of information beyond second place in these parameters.

The country’s proposals for floating data centers could boost its position once again by overcoming the struggles in connectivity, land sparsity and property prices

On the other hand, broadband quality and regulatory environment in cybersecurity and data protection remained strong for the country, with a progressive approach to technology.

The ACCA predicts that Singapore’s top-down approach and weaknesses in cloud governance might hinder digital competitiveness in the future, as it may struggle with adopting new technology like 5G and Internet of Things in a nimble, fast paced manner.

Could Singapore lose its top spots to emerging markets that can take advantage of these technologies and leapfrog the competition?

Thailand could be on the verge of greatness

Thailand has improved its position to ninth place after bettering its international connectivity, data center risk and privacy policies. But with improvements in connectivity and getting more of the population online comes falls in broadband quality and energy sustainability.

The ACCA predicts that Thailand is ‘on the verge of “leapfrogging” ahead of more mature economies’, but creating a flexible regulatory landscape and market dominance from tech giants over smaller, local startups might slow down the country’s digital economy.

Support for cloud readiness may come from the Thai Government after its announcement to approve funding for a $146m state cloud and data center. This will include cloud computing courses for 2,500 government officials.

Vietnam remains in last place

For the third consecutive Index, Vietnam has placed last out of 14 countries in APAC.

While the country does not rank in last place for all parameters, it has fallen behind on international connectivity, data center risk and its difficult to coordinate regulatory environment. Yet, these parameters could be improved following the completion of the country’s biggest data center by FPT Telecom.

However, Vietnam is making strides to improve its sustainable energy and cybersecurity, which is a good sign, as the country looks to power its own Silicon Valley with billion dollar investments.

How can we strengthen cloud computing readiness across Asia Pacific?

Cloud readiness enables industries and markets to get ahead of mature economies by taking advantage of ‘leapfrog’ technologies like 5G, Internet of Things, AI, automated devices, and more.

Since 2018, there has also been no new ‘Cloud First’ policies launched in any country in Asia Pacific even though these measures are recognised as the key driver for digital economies looking to harness the technological advancements empowered by cloud computing.

The ACCA recommended that those economies with ‘Cloud First’ policies focus on making them a reality, while those without these initiatives should consider doing so by supporting cloud vendor accreditation schemes and guidelines for security standards.

The cybersecurity shortcomings of one economy also jeopardise the economic dynamism of another, therefore, countries in APAC should consider aligning cybersecurity regulations with a harmonised approach.

We have seen many countries begin to adopt 5G and make investments in AI, but data localisation measures are restrictive of cloud technology and the free, inexpensive, uncomplicated flow of data across borders.

Ms Lim suggested that we need a cross-disciplinary team to provide review and advice to cross-border trade discussions. This would include both trade negotiators and cybersecurity experts, as well as the borders and customs department.

“A starting point would be to establish a structured cross-border data flow framework for data, such as the APEC CBPR. However, the discussion of cross-border data flows needs to be expanded beyond just APEC economies, and move into some other forums which include all digital economies,” said Ms Lim.

Bridging the gap between mature and emerging markets requires APAC economies to work together to enable innovation and investment in a competitive and sustainable manner.

To effectively recover from the pandemic, APAC economies should implement policies that allow data-driven businesses to thrive without having to choose between innovation and disruption.

Ms Lim advised: “One thing which governments should also focus heavily on is that cloud infrastructure and internet capacity is not evenly distributed.”

When cities went into lockdown mode, with remote working becoming commonplace, a true digital divide in Asia Pacific became apparent, Ms Lim believed, as not everyone has internet connectivity or access to cloud computing in their homes.

Ms Lim said: “Governments in SEA should look closely into the digital gaps … and look beyond the urban-rural divide, but also within cities where there may be a difference between bandwidth available for business connections, and home connections.”

To strengthen cloud readiness, Ms Lim recommended investment in data centers, any technology allowing better computing power to be managed like edge computing, as well as cybersecurity since this is the ‘the key to the castle of personal data’.

Ms Lim had an optimistic view of the future: “There is a funny meme going around at the moment, with the question ‘Who led the digital transformation of your company?’ On the list, the CEO and CTO are not selected, COVID-19 is the circled answer. I think that COVID-19 and the need to implement more remote-access to data, and more work-from-home arrangements, is going to push cloud computing usage, not just in Asia, but all over the world.”

What do you think APAC economies should do to leverage on cloud technologies while remaining compliant with government regulations?

Find out how data centers and cloud can boost digital economies

The demand for data centers is continuing to grow with the adoption of more cloud services.

In South Korea, businesses are predicted to spend a huge US$3 billion on cloud services in 2021, making the country a perfect place to expand data center operations.

Digital Realty is one such data center provider that looks to boost South Korea’s digital economy by meeting connectivity demands and empowering digital transformation through a new Seoul data center.

Be part of history, as Digital Realty virtually launch their first South Korean data center on Wednesday 17 June.

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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.

Alibaba Cloud and Xiamen University Malaysia look to enhance cloud skills

Students and staff of Xiamen University Malaysia will have their cloud computing skills enhanced after signing a partnership with Alibaba Cloud.

The data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group announced on May 20 that the University’s cloud computing curriculum will be delivered through the Alibaba Cloud Academic Empowerment Program.

Jordy Cao, the General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Malaysia, said: “As more businesses embark on digital transformation, the demand for IT and cloud professionals is expected to rise exponentially.”

The memorandum of understanding signed by both parties aims to empower more students to stay ahead so they can boost their career prospects in the digital economy. Students will be able to receive a certification from Alibaba Cloud after the completion of the education program.

The President of Xiamen University Malaysia, Professor Wang Ruifang, said: “We aim to nurture high-quality IT talent capable of contributing to the digital transformation of Malaysia, China and the broader region.”

The University currently has 11 ICT labs with industry-leading software and 1,011 are enrolled in three ICT-related bachelor’s degree programs, including Computer Science and Technology, Software Engineering, and Digital Media Technology.

The university will soon kick start a Bachelor of Engineering in Artificial Intelligence and a new Data Science program.

A dozen universities have also joined Alibaba Cloud Academy’s virtual learning community on DingTalk to benefit from certified online training.

The cloud provider launched a US$30 million Anti-COVID-19 SME Enablement Program to accelerate cloud adoption and provide much-needed relief during the pandemic. Alibaba Cloud also opened their first local data center in Malaysia in 2017 and is the largest public cloud service provider in Asia Pacific.