Princeton Digital Group invest US$1B to built 100MW Data Center Campus in Japan

Singapore-based Princeton Digital Group (PDG) today announced its plan to build one of the largest hyperscale facilities in Tokyo, Japan, with a total investment value of USD 1 Billion. Japan is the fifth market that the company has entered in since its formation 4 years ago. With this investment, PDG marks a major milestone in its plan to build a 600 megawatts (MW) portfolio across the region.

The new campus at Saitama City will have close to 100 MW of critical IT capacity across two phases of 48.5 MW each. Saitama City is one of the major commercial centers of the Greater Tokyo area. Located 30 km north of central Tokyo, the PDG Saitama campus has a total land area of 33,047 m². The facility is designed to serve leading hyperscalers in Japan, one of the most dynamic cloud markets in the world. 

PDG has already secured the land and power with construction to begin later this year. The facility will be built to the latest hyperscale design and standards, with unrivalled scalability, connectivity and reliability.

Also Read: https://w.media/princeton-digital-group-sets-aggressive-data-center-expansion-plans-to-complement-new-infrastructure-strategy-china

“The Asia Pacific region is set to be the largest data center market in the world, and this announcement underscores our vision to be the market leader in this region,” said Rangu Salgame, Chairman and CEO of Princeton Digital Group. “Over the last four years, through our unique three-pronged strategy of acquisitions, carve-outs and greenfield development, we’ve built a strong portfolio of data centers across key Asian markets such as China, Singapore, Indonesia and India. PDG has become a partner of choice for hyperscalers across multiple countries. Our entry into Japan and, in particular, Tokyo demonstrates our continued ability to enter new markets that matter to our customers.”

Tokyo is the largest data center market in Asia outside of China and is still in the early stages of growth, particularly in terms of entry and expansion of global hyperscalers. According to Structure Research, Greater Tokyo’s hyperscale colocation market is expected to reach USD1.6 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 25.1% between 2021 and 2025.

“The Greater Tokyo market is projected to see accelerated demand from hyperscale data center deployments moving forward from what we believe is a convergence of several critical factors that include Japan’s sizeable addressable market as the 3rd largest country in the world by GDP, the absence of a domestic hyperscale cloud platform that presents an ideal competitive landscape between both US and Chinese hyperscale cloud providers, as well as being a key connectivity aggregation and distribution hub for submarine cables landing from the US West Coast to access the rest of the Asia Pacific region”, said Jabez Tan, Head of Research, Structure Research.

Nomination Window: 1st June – 31st July

The W.Media Asia Pacific Cloud & Datacenter Awards is the region’s flagship awards programme, recognising achievements and excellence across all mission critical technology sectors. We are opening the awards to organisations four regions and nineteen categories to encompass the entirety of APAC’s Cloud & Datacenter ecosystem.

Is there a team, project, or individual who you believe has made outstanding contributions to the industry this year? Find out more about how to submit your nomination here.

 

Tencent Cloud Opens Four New Internet Data Centers

Hong Kong, June 3, 2021 – With growing customer demand and increasing cloud computing spending all over the globe, Tencent Cloud, the cloud business of Tencent, today announced the launch of four new internet data centers (IDC) in Bangkok, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The addition of the new IDCs places Tencent Cloud’s operation in 27 regions and 66 availability zones worldwide, ushering in the opening of the second availability zones (AZ2) in Bangkok, Frankfurt and Tokyo and the third (AZ3) in Hong Kong in order to addressing the ever-growing business needs around the world.

According to data from Frost & Sullivan1, 52% of organizations globally are using cloud services as of 2020, with another 34% expected to add cloud infrastructure within the next two years. The latest information from Gartner2 also indicates that worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecasted to grow 23.1% in 2021 to total US$332.3 billion, up from US$270 billion in 2020, signifying more growth in the already burgeoning cloud industry in which Tencent Cloud intends to further flourish.

Read: Cloud & Datacenter Awards Summit 2021 Starting in July

Poshu Yeung, Senior Vice President, Tencent Cloud International, said, “The cloud industry is quickly evolving and growing, making Tencent Cloud look forward to further demonstrating its commitment to provide customers with more diverse cloud products as well as stronger redundancy and backup options. The launch of the new IDCs in Bangkok, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Tokyo at the same time is a significant development in our strategy to rapidly and efficiently expand our international portfolio. We are also planning to have over 30% growth in terms of our IDCs all over the world by end of this year.”

Keeping up with Tencent Cloud’s momentum of providing groundbreaking and state-of-the-art technologies, the new IDCs are all tier-3 design facilities and are located in prime network hub locations, providing highly-reliable and high-quality BGP integrated with major local and international network operators.

The launch of the new IDCs is the latest step forward in Tencent’s robust growth strategies in terms of global infrastructure. In late 2020, Tencent Cloud has opened its second availability zone in Korea, followed by the first IDC in Indonesia as well as the third availability zone in Singapore in April 2021. The company is set to launch its second Indonesian IDC and its first in Bahrain by the end of the year.

Nomination Window: 1st June – 31st July

The W.Media Asia Pacific Cloud & Datacenter Awards is the region’s flagship awards programme, recognising achievements and excellence across all mission critical technology sectors. We are opening the awards to organisations four regions and nineteen categories to encompass the entirety of APAC’s Cloud & Datacenter ecosystem.

Is there a team, project, or individual who you believe has made outstanding contributions to the industry this year? Find out more about how to submit your nomination here.

 

Tencent earns $20.6 billion in Q1, cloud and fintech profits surge 65%

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings has earned $20.6 billion (135.3 billion Yuan) in revenue this year, with much of its profits from a near 65% surge in cloud, gaming, and fintech businesses.

The company released its latest financial figures for the first quarter of 2021, and said increased revenue represents a 25% growth year-on-year.

Much of Tencent’s Q1 revenue came from two streams: one, its cloud and fintech businesses, which reported a 47% surge to $6.06 billion (39 billion Yuan); and two, its value added services (VAS) including mobile games, subscription-based entertainment platforms, and WeChat, one of the largest social messaging apps in China — VAS revenue rose 16% year-on-year to $11.3 billion (72.4 billion Yuan).

CEO Ma Huateng commented that Tencent will continue to enhance product and service offerings in areas including business services and enterprise software, high-production-value games, and short-form videos.

“As we look into the future, we see expanding opportunities in the various verticals in which we operate, enabled by technology innovation and increasing acceptance of digital solutions among users and businesses,” he added.

Tencent’s rapid expansion in East Asia

Tencent’s substantial growth in cloud and fintech illustrate the company’s commitment to the expansion of its services both domestically and beyond. In February, its video-sharing mobile app Kuaishou went public on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Kuaishou, up-and-coming in China, is widely considered to be the main competitor of Douyin, China’s version of TikTok.

Tencent’s cloud computing arm, Tencent Cloud, has also recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MoU) with the metropolitan government of Seoul, South Korea to develop an app for Chinese tourists.

South Korea’s NAVER Cloud partners with Software Industry Association for cloud growth

NAVER Cloud, the cloud computing arm of South Korea’s web search giant Naver, has announced a partnership with the Korea Software Industry Association (KOSA) that will see the formation of a cloud ecosystem in the country for further industry growth.

Both parties have signed an agreement to promote South Korea’s software industry by leveraging NAVER Cloud’s cloud platform and its corporate networks.

According to South Korean media, KOSA will also be pushing for more collaboration between local tech giants such as Kakao Enterprise and KT.

APAC’s cloud-based services market is worth $2.6 billion

This move by NAVER and KOSA will likely contribute to the continued growth of APAC’s cloud services market. A recent report by ISG revealed that spending on cloud-based services in the region reached $2.6 billion in 2021, with record increases in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technologies.

In South Korea, despite still being in its early stage of development, the country’s SaaS market is currently being supported by big-name international brands including Salesforce and Workday.

“Mutual growth in the SaaS market through cooperation with platform companies will not only help us secure a competitive edge but it is also a life-or-death decision.” said Cho Joon-hee, Chairman of KOSA.

“As transition to SaaS in South Korea continues to become slow when the global SaaS market is growing at a rapid rate, there are growing concerns about foreign SaaS companies dominating the country’s SaaS market.” he added.

“Korean Google” Naver Corp earned $73.4 million in cloud revenue in Q1

South Korea’s Naver Corporation reported an operating revenue of $73.4 million (81.7 billion KRW) for its cloud computing services, a record 71.1 percent increase year-on-year.

The internet services company, which owns and runs South Korea’s national search engine Naver, released its latest financial results for the first quarter of 2021. The Naver search engine, fintech, e-commerce, and cloud, raked in a total revenue of $1.35 trillion (1499.1 billion KRW), a 28 percent increase year-on-year.

Naver’s dramatic revenue increase in its cloud business can be attributed to continued remote work in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the previous quarter the company also supported cloud infrastructure adoption for Korea University Anam Hospital by migrating a Personalised Hospital Information System.

Naver Corp’s international tech expansion

Founded in 1999, Naver Corporation owns South Korea’s national search engine Naver, which is commonly referred to as “Korean Google” due to its dominance in the country. The company also owns Line, a popular instant messaging app widely used in South Korea and parts of Asia.

Most of Naver’s revenue comes from its domestic services, but in mid-April it was revealed that the company is planning for an international expansion.

Chief Financial Officer Park Sang Jin revealed in an interview that Naver is considering an IPO in the US. Its webtoon publishing arm, Naver Webtoon, has also recently acquired Wattpad, a Canadian creative writing platform, for $600 million.

South Korea’s LOTTE Data Communication Company launches fourth global cloud data centre

South Korean conglomerate LOTTE Data Communication Company has announced the completion of its fourth cloud data centre in the country.

The Yongin Global Cloud Data Centre (“Yongin”) is located in the capital city area of Seoul, and is LOTTE Data Communication Company’s latest facility after data centres in metropolitan cities Gasan and Daejeon.

The facility has a floor area of approximately 16,350 square metres and is 9 storeys tall.

Yongin is also a green data centre that features sustainable infrastructure, such as pre-cooling systems, containment systems, and eco-friendly air circulation, all of which will work to reduce the facility’s energy consumption by 25 percent.

Further, the green technology will also be applied to LOTTE Data Communication Company’s three existing data centres.

With the launch of Yongin, LOTTE Data Communication Company now provides a complete suite of tech and data-driven services to its clients: it now has three operational bases across South Korea, namely the Group Integration Centre in Gasan, Disaster Recovery Centre in Daejeon, and an SDDC-based Uninterrupted Service Realisation Centre in Yongin.

The company also plans to further establish a data hub for each base to support the country’s rapid digital transformation.

Taiwan is spending $100 billion to solve global chip shortage

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), one of the world’s largest chipmakers, has unveiled plans to invest $100 billion to increase the output of semiconductor chips to keep up with rising global demand.

This announcement comes after US semiconductor leader Intel’s decision last week to spend $20 billion to boost semiconductor production both domestically and in Europe.

TSMC CEO, Wei Che-Chia, said that the company will start building new fabrication plants and expanding existing ones for both leading-edge and specialty technologies.

“We have started hiring thousands of new employees, acquired land and equipment, and started construction of new facilities at multiple sites globally,” he added.

Semiconductor chips are integral to the global cloud and data centre industry. As demand for cloud services continues to grow exponentially and more data centres are being built all around the world, semiconductor chips are seeing such a sharp rise in demand that the global market is heading towards a shortage.

Said shortage also appears to be spreading to the electronic hardware industry, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

In January, TSMC had set aside a budget of $25 billion to $28 billion for chipmaking. The company’s quadruple increase in investment shows the urgency of chip shortage in the semiconductor industry.

On top of technological expansion, CEO Wei also promised clients that TSMC would suspend wafer price discounts throughout the whole of 2022.

Taiwan is currently the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer, alongside South Korea’s SK Hynix. In March, Japan had to source semiconductor chips from Taiwan after a fire devastated a production plant in northeast Japan.

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.

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.

How Big Corps & SMEs are shaping Vietnam’s digital economy

Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) constitute 96 per cent of Vietnam’s business activities.

Meanwhile, big corporations, including multinational enterprises (MNEs), have impacted the ecosystem with their high capacity in technologies, finance, as well as their overall knowledge.

Add to the mix – government – which is still leading the digital transformation, urges businesses to step up the game and push forward the current estimated $14 billion worth digital economy of Vietnam.

First movers are big corporations and MNEs

Geopolitical issues can be added to the digitalisation push. In Vietnam, the European Union–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the trade war between China and the U.S. are bringing new businesses coming to the country, said Tanguy Le Barber, founder of strategic consulting company Roadenn, at 2021 SEA Digital Week.

A positive effect is that when foreign companies come, they invest in local talent instead of using staff from their home countries.

Take South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung as an example. In 2017, the company launched the Samsung Talent Program, which offered VND 8.5 billion (approximately $ 369,350) in the types of scholarships, specialised courses, and research and career opportunities for Vietnam’s information technology and electronics-telecommunications talent.

The company also has started constructing a new $220 million research and development (R&D) centre in Vietnam since 2020, increasing its research workforce in the country from 2,200 to 3,000 by 2022.

That is because it is an economic model at work, stated Bryan Carroll, CEO of TNEX, a Vietnam-based digital bank. “It’s positive, not just on GDP. This is an opportunity.”

Over the past years, capital has been pouring into the Vietnamese market. In January, foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in Vietnam reached $1.51 billion, representing a rise of 4.1 per cent year-on-year, as per a report of the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

“It is driving the push for the digital transformation of the country,” Barber said.

Data source: World Bank

According to the e-Conomy Southeast Asia 2020 report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, analysts estimate Vietnam’s digital economy to reach $43 billion by 2025. But for the country to become competitive and be a major player in the region, or even worldwide, the government and local companies should understand the need for radical changes, Barber underlined.

Some prominent local corporations are taking the lead and eager to optimise their activities to regional levels. FPT Group, for example, is working with multiple partners and vendors to find options to reduce energy consumption at data centres, which then minimises negative impacts on the local environment.

“We applied a lot of new technologies to make sure that how we can reduce the PUE [Power Usage Effectiveness] down as much as we can,” said Khoa Doan, executive vice president of FPT Smart Cloud.

The same story goes with Vinfast, the first local car brand in the country, which has deployed a recognised world-leading production plant in Vietnam with automation and robotic processes.

SMEs can play alongside big players

When Internet users in Vietnam account for nearly 70 per cent of the population and spend an average of 6 hours 30 minutes online every day, SMEs in Vietnam are still not ready for digital transformation and the digital economy.

Among all small and micro-enterprises, which account for 96 per cent of firms and 40 per cent of national income (GDP), more than 45 per cent has not engaged well with technology, informed Ralf Matthaes, founder and managing director at Infocus Mekong research.

“SMEs have barriers to join this digital revolution which is happening in Vietnam,” said Carroll.Vietnam digital adoptionIn the case of cloud adoption, insiders found that most business people in Vietnam thought that adopting cloud computing means giving their data to cloud providers. The recent MaturityScape benchmark study of IDC ASEAN in 2018 also noted that 85 per cent of enterprises polled in eleven countries in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, are only rated at two out of five in IDC’s cloud maturity model.

“But now they are starting to understand that moving to cloud should be thought from a long-term investment point of view, which is the best solution for smaller business in Vietnam,” said Robert Tran, cybersecurity and technology risk leader at consulting company Ernst & Young Vietnam.

As the situation is changing exponentially due to the acceleration caused by the pandemic, Anthony Lim, regional principal consultant at Fortinet, said that cloud computing services availability could increase the efficiency and innovation capacity of small businesses in Vietnam.

“It will actually help a lot of small businesses get up to speed and play alongside big players,” Lim commented.

Digital Economy in Vietnam: From Government to Private Sector

As businesses are still approaching cloud computing cautiously, experts reach a consensus on the government’s role in the digital transformation stories, not only in Vietnam, but also in previous cases in the U.S., the Middle East, or Singapore.

“I don’t see so far the possibility of the transformation emanating from companies to the government. It has to be the other way around,” said Barber in a discussion at Digital Week.

In Vietnam, the Prime Minister has approved the national digital transformation programme to 2025 and orientation to 2030, which states various objectives, including developing a digital government, boosting the Vietnamese digital economy to account for 20% of GDP, and narrowing the digital gap by universalising fibre-optic Internet services, 5G mobile network, and electronic payment.

But while Singapore and Hong Kong are small city and states, most key digital infrastructure in the region, say data centres, are implemented there. Vietnam is still trailing behind with only 3.5 per cent of the total number of data centres in ASEAN, according to Frost & Sullivan’s “ASEAN and Taiwan Data Center Services Market, Forecast to 2025.”

“The reason is that their regulations [Singapore and Hongkong] are very clear and protect customer and data privacy,” said Tran. “Vietnam technically becoming a powerhouse is not a problem, but regulation could be a problem.”

Last year, in an effort to improve digital safety, the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam provided guidelines on cloud computing for e-government, which Doan commented, could act as a critical reference for businesses in Vietnam in terms of understanding the requirements and standards of technical and information securities.

“How can they [organisations and companies] react and implement this direction from the government?,” said Carroll. “That comes down to the fact that digitalisation is more about people than technology.”

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AWS provides cloud services for TNEX, aims 60M Vietnamese underserved in digital banking

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is selected to provide cloud service for TNEX, the first full-digital bank of Vietnam and a subsidiary of Vietnam’s Maritime Bank (MSB). This is an official statement from the bank as it is originally built based on AWS platform in ten months before launching last year.

According to the economy Southeast Asia 2020 report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, analysts estimate that Vietnam’s digital economy is worth $14 billion and to reach $43 billion by 2025. When Internet users in Vietnam account for nearly 70 per cent of the population and spend an average of 6 hours 30 minutes online every day, companies in Vietnam, mostly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), have still not been ready for technology adoption.

“Digitization is happening here,” Bryan Carroll, CEO of TNEX, said at W.Media’s 2021 SEA Digital Week last week, along with his concerns over the impediments of Vietnam’s digital transformation. “I think the big challenge is on the financial infrastructure underneath to support that.”

The CEO valued AWS as it helped the bank accelerate the delivery of innovative financial services products that meet the burgeoning demands of customers, as well as the tools and services needed for the company’s affiliate agents to expand their businesses in the digital age.

In Vietnam, as recorded in 2018 by Euromonitor, World Bank and Bain and Temasek, 69 per cent of the adult population do not have a bank account, the highest rate in Southeast Asia.

In only a few months of operation, TNEX has clocked 78,000 micro merchants joining its platform, Carroll informed.

“This is a huge opportunity because it’s a marketplace that already exists,” added Carroll.

Conor McNamara, ASEAN Regional Director of AWS commented that TNEX has been “setting a new standard for providing a banking ecosystem and innovative lifestyles, with proven security and optimised customer experience.”

Accordingly, TNEX will harness the diversity and depth of AWS cloud services, including machine learning, to better understand their customers in Vietnam, and develop personalised products and services at a large scale.

This move is among various collaborations announced between Vietnamese banks and international technology giants to improve digital operations. Last week, Sacombank also announced its partnership with IBM to transform its cybersecurity operations centre.

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Dilemma of building data centres in APAC: Need vs Capacity

The COVID-19 pandemic urges countries to adopt online activities, generating huge amounts of data that needs storing on cloud and setting in data centres. The dilemma which is staring at the face of countries seems to be that while building a data centre seems to be irresistible for countries under rapid digital transformation like Vietnam, there is not enough talent pool. Add to that cultural aspects and business services, which are needed to sustain the development of this industry, is still in the evolutionary stage.

According to a survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), spending on cloud of most APAC businesses has risen from approximately 3 per cent of their IT budget in 2016 to 5 per cent in 2018, and is expected to jump to 10 per cent by 2023. Although this rate is higher than in the U.S. and Western Europe, the APAC market’s cloud penetration lags behind at just 20 per cent, opening a gap between the intentions to transition to cloud technology and the requisite infrastructure in the region.

“There’s some level of capacity planning and the national infrastructure level required to meet this need of the smart nation, cloud computing, and digital transformation,” said Anthony Lim, regional principal consultant at Fortinet.

Data centre infrastructure in APAC faces constraints with the current electricity and connectivity. In bigger countries like Vietnam, they have to lay cables longer along the way and in smaller countries like Singapore and Hong Kong, they need to fill the power supply crunch.

On top of that, the pandemic has galvanised investment in data centres, but it lacks harmony with a significant uptake of computing services in the region.

“You don’t just build and build data centres and start having cloud services,” he added. “What if you don’t have enough businesses to sustain all the infrastructure in the long run?”

Another issue is that the APAC markets have not prepared the requisite digital skills for rapid digitalisation across the region. Vietnam and the Philippines bottom the chart as not being able to develop both cloud talent internally and externally, as per Boston Consulting Group (BCG) ‘s report.

“We would all agree that the hardest part of digitisation is the culture of people,” said Bryan Carroll, CEO of TNEX, a Vietnam-based digital bank, at 2021 SEA Digital Week. “We need to look at how do we give them the right talent because talent leads to a mindset as well leads to a culture.”

In Vietnam, experts agree that although the country has a young and digitally obsessed population with 15 million Generation Z joining the workforce by 2025, it suffers from the lack of high-quality engineers with enough digital and cybersecurity skills.

As university is the determinant in providing skills and knowledge, Vietnam still needs “a period of time” before reaching that effective education in schools, Carroll pointed out.

Robert Tran, cybersecurity and technology risk leader at consulting firm Ernst & Young Vietnam, noted that many talented Vietnamese engineers even go to Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand because of higher salaries and better working conditions.

The 2021 State of Threat Intelligence report also found that deep and dark threat intelligence is gaining traction across the cybersecurity industry, but registers a lack of related expertise.

“The cybersecurity skills shortage is not just Vietnam problem, it’s a global problem,” Tran underlined.

 

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Study: 69% Singapore enterprises embrace hybrid cloud

69 per cent of Singapore enterprises plan to do away with traditional data centers for hybrid cloud in the next 5 years, 20 percentage points higher than that of the global average, a study by Nutanix revealed.

Nutanix, Inc. a private cloud, hybrid, and multi-cloud computing specialist, released its third Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI), an annual research on the state of global enterprise cloud deployments and adoption plans.

This year’s ECI especially sought to understand the progress with adopting private, hybrid, and public clouds and explored the impact of COVID-19 on current and future IT decisions and strategy.

It also revealed that more than half (67 per cent) of Singapore respondents have increased investments in the hybrid cloud as a direct result of the pandemic.

Ho Chye Soon, Singapore country manager, Nutanix, commented: “The global health crisis has accelerated adoption of cloud technology as enterprises prioritized business continuity and support remote workers. As enterprises here cautiously steer towards economic recovery, they will also be navigating into a new business reality that requires great operational agility. The agility to quickly test and launch new applications as they adapt to fast market changes for instance. To achieve this, enterprises will be looking to having in place a cohesively managed hybrid cloud environment with unified visibility, management, security, and application mobility.”

Diving into the drivers behind cloud initiatives in Singapore, enterprises reported IT to resource control (60 per cent) as a reason for the change, followed by increased flexibility (52 per cent) and better customer support (49 per cent). More Singapore enterprises cited cost savings as a reason for moving to the cloud (40 per cent) than both APJ (26 per cent) and global averages (27 per cent).

The report also showed that four-fifths of Singapore respondents have viewed IT more strategically as a result of the pandemic, slightly ahead of the global average of 76 per cent. Improving remote working capabilities (52 per cent), IT infrastructure (45 per cent), and automation (45 per cent) have emerged as the three top priorities in Singaporean IT departments.

“The pandemic has forced businesses to recognize the significance of digital transformation, especially driven by cloud trends, and this will remain a top priority in 2021. Having the right level of digital ability will continue to be vital for business resilience. CIOs and their IT teams will become more prominent in business decisions and leadership. Every business is now a technology business, even if they don’t realize it yet,” Ho added.

Despite Singapore’s readiness for a new reality, the research identified some key challenges in maintaining a hybrid environment.

Security concerns (57 per cent) and managing costs across environments (45 per cent) were cited as top challenges for Singapore enterprises, higher than both APJ and global averages.

Furthermore, a slightly higher percentage of respondents in Singapore said that their IT department lacked skills for managing hybrid cloud environments (42 per cent) than the global average (37 per cent).

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.

IBM and Tech Mahindra join hands to create hybrid cloud system

IBM and Tech Mahindra on Tuesday said they are deepening their collaboration, especially in areas like 5G, hybrid cloud, automation and cybersecurity, as the two tech giants work towards building a billion-dollar ecosystem over the next three years.

Some key initiatives underway include the launch of Tech Mahindra’s Blue Marble on IBM Cloud for Telecommunications to drive 5G momentum, collaboration to grow cybersecurity business with IBM Cloud Pak for Security, and strengthening and expanding portfolio through cloud-based offerings.

The partnership will also see co-creation and co-innovation through innovation labs and Centres of Excellence as the two companies strengthen their partnership to pursue the USD 1 trillion Hybrid Cloud market opportunity.

“We see the opportunity in three things. In the near term, we see the opportunity around hybrid cloud and AI. And then in the medium to longer term, we see an opportunity in quantum,” IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna told reporters during a virtual briefing.

He said hybrid cloud is the destination for most enterprises and governments as these organisations continue to use a mix of multiple public clouds and on-premise infrastructure for various reasons like economics and regulations.

“That (hybrid cloud) opportunity is over a trillion dollars for the industry…artificial intelligence (AI) will unlock between USD 14-16 trillion of global productivity,” he said adding that the partnership with Tech Mahindra brings in a “potential revenue of a billion dollars for each of us”.

About 40 per cent of the revenue will be driven by Telco and 5G, powered by Hybrid Cloud; while 60 per cent will be driven by other industries. The five strategic focus areas include 5G, automation, hybrid cloud, cybersecurity, data and AI.

“We will be adding a lot of value to each other as we build almost a billion-dollar ecosystem for each other. We are building this on the success of the customers by solving some of their critical challenges,” Tech Mahindra CEO and Managing Director C P Gurnani said. He added that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology.

Krishna noted that in 2021, IBM is doubling down to elevate its ecosystem through its new go-to-market model making it easier for partners to work with IBM and make the transition to a multi, hybrid cloud platform seamless for clients. Through this approach, IBM is looking at driving a multi-billion dollar portfolio with its ecosystem partners over the next three years.

India has a significant advantage and IBM India will continue to be at the forefront, driving innovation that is made in India, for India and the world, he added.

“We have an incredible focus on India. First, India as a source of great talent and the proof of that is our employee base in India, and how much service, and intellectual property they provide. And with a lot of collaboration, with a lot of the regulations in India that promote the export of both software and services from India,” he said.

Krishna said IBM is focussed on the India market itself and services top private sector banks and public banks, telecom services providers, industries, and it is on a “path to expand”.

“I think the Indian market is really vibrant… I really believe that remote delivery is going to offer Indian companies a great ability to expand their market share globally. But that implies that they all have to think about what is their digitalisation infrastructure and that is an opportunity for all of us to go in and help them expand,” he added.

The global partnership between Tech Mahindra and IBM spans over two decades. The companies have developed unique solutions and accelerators by leveraging IBM Blockchain, Data and AI and Security capabilities.

This is the latest collaboration between these two firms in hybrid cloud adoption, which started in 2015 when two signed a strategic teaming agreement.

In April of last year, In April 2020, Tech Mahindra had joined IBM hybrid cloud ecosystem with the aim to help customers transform operations by enabling them to migrate core business applications to the IBM Cloud.

In July, Tech Mahindra launched a new digital platform that leverages IBM blockchain for the global media and entertainment industry to enable production houses and content creators to track revenue, royalty payments, manage rights and address content piracy.

Currently, 60.9% of organisations globally are already using or are in the process of piloting a bridge cloud solution, and a further 2.7% plan to implement a hybrid solution within the next 12-24 months, according to a recent report by NTT.

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Pre IPO, Malaysia’s Bank Islam accelerates digital transformation

Bank Islam, which is set to become the first publicly listed Islamic Bank in Malaysia, before its IPO, has decided to accelerate its digital transformation efforts with local telco, TM One.

Both organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see TM One deploy digital solutions in cloud, big data analytics, cybersecurity, and data centers to optimise the bank’s operations.

Muazzam Mohamed, CEO of Bank Islam, said that the partnership with TM One will improve the bank’s functions and services to its customers, which are important parts of the business especially ahead of its listing.

“These solutions will intensify BIMB’s information technology (IT) infrastructure and centre for digital experience (CDX) digital banking products, by allowing new buying experience, away from the traditional banking approach,” he added.

On being selected as Bank Islam’s preferred digital partner, Ahmad Taufek, Executive Vice President and CEO of TM One, said that the company is honoured to be given the opportunity to extend its digital expertise to Bank Islam. “We are fully aware that digital transformation, data security and protection are the top priorities, especially for the banking sector,”

“This befits our role as part of TM Group, as the enabler of ‘Digital Malaysia’,” he continued. With a rapid increase in tech adoption post-COVID, countries such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the country is looking to establish itself as a digital hub in the region.

Equinix plans to develop a $91 million DC in Sydney

Equinix plans to develop a $91 million data centre in central Sydney.

The New York-listed company has submitted its plans, which include a facility, to be built across a 26,000 sq m site at 506 Gardeners Road in Alexandria. This was submitted to the Council earlier this week, the company said.

Equinix plans to provide up to 15,500 sq. metre of new rack space and offices in a new stand alone facility that will link directly with the first stage of its 9,220 cabinet SY5 centre and its existing SY4 centre on Bourke Street.

It will also benefit from direct fibre connect capability between its neighbouring IBX data centres SY1, SY2 and SY3. It will also connect with a new data centre, the SY6 IBX, in Silverwater, Western Sydney.

The new facility will give its users secure connections to more than 1,800 participants across all regions around the world, linking them to major cloud providers such as Alibaba, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, SAP Cloud, Oracle, and SoftLayer.

With this Equinix’s national footprint will go up to 19 data centres across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Globally, Equinix comprises more than 200 data centres across 26 countries, providing data centre and related services for 10,000 businesses, which includes more than 50 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies.

Perth has been highlighted by Equinix as a strategic location due its proximity to two 4,600 kilometre submarine cables linking to Singapore—the Australia Singapore Cable and Indigo cable.

In Perth, Equinix recently announced plans to develop a $76 million data centre, the third such facility. That first phase of that facility, to be located adjacent to its existing PE2 centre, will offer an initial capacity of 650 cabinets and a collocation space of more than 1,830 sq. metre by the end of this year.

When fully built, the facility will offer 1650 cabinets and a collocation space of more than 10,600 square metres. A day back, ExtraHop, a cybersecurity firm that specialises in cloud-native network detection and response, opened data centre facilities in Sydney to enhance access to its native security platform, Reveal(x) 360. 

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ASM technologies and Lavelle Networks set up a new CoE for SD-WAN

ASM Technologies Ltd, a global Engineering Services provider, today announced that it was going to set up a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for software-defined networking, in partnership with Lavelle Networks Inc., an India based enterprise networking company.

SD-WAN (Software-defined networking in a wide area network) simplifies the management and operation of a WAN (wide area network) by decoupling the networking hardware from its control mechanism. It makes hybrid infrastructure deployments easier to manage and therefore more common.

The explosive potential for SD-WAN in emerging economies and their massive public and private sector digital transformation initiatives have created the need for rapid innovation and agile software development on one of India’s leading SD-WAN software platforms – the Lavelle Networks’ ScaleAOn technology.

Towards this end, the new CoE aims to solve cutting edge networking technology problems to drive better and better results for application experience in a rapidly digitising customer landscape.

The companies are excited to announce that in their 11.0 (latest software release), the results of their collaboration have already gone to several production networks, and customers are happy to see the results in such a short time.

SD-WAN is the fastest-growing enterprise networking segment, with APAC having the highest CAGR, compared to the rest of the world. A report by Avant Communications, a leading IT decision-making platform, titled 2021 State of Disruption Report, recently concluded after surveying more than 500 US-based enterprise technology professionals, that nearly 60% of enterprises would significantly increase their SD-WAN usage this year.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Rabindra Srikantan, Managing Director, ASM Technologies Ltd., said, “We are extremely thrilled with the setting up this CoE in partnership with Lavelle Networks and are confident that it will unlock huge value for our customers going forward. Our longstanding relationship with Lavelle has given ASM deeper insights into the SD-WAN space and in knowing how Enterprises / OEMs are adopting to SD-WAN and Edge Computing.”

“The Center of Excellence at ASM Technologies has enabled us to look at emerging use cases and trends in the industry, and enhance our SD-WAN capabilities to cater to new business cases for the future. For instance, ASM Technologies is a key partner for us with regard to the work we are doing to address the networking needs of the Edge Computing environments.” – said Karthik Madhava, Founder & Chief Technology Officer, while commenting on the establishment of the Center of Excellence for Software-Defined Networking Technologies.

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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.

Malaysian companies boosted private cloud investments: Nutanix survey

Nutanix, a leader in a private cloud, hybrid and multicloud computing today announced the findings of the Malaysian edition of its third annual Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) Report. In mid-2020, U.K. researcher Vanson Bourne surveyed 3,400 IT decision-makers around the world to measure the state of global enterprise cloud deployments and adoption plans.

This report is supplemental to the global Third Annual Enterprise Cloud Index master report and focuses on cloud deployment and planning trends in Malaysia.  It highlights key data points gleaned from IT professionals in Malaysia and how they compare to enterprise cloud experiences and plans in both the Asia Pacific (APJ) region and around the world.

The findings point to a digital transformation within the industry, with Malaysia reporting the greatest increase in private cloud as a result of COVID-19. 58 percent of Malaysian respondents reported that COVID-19 caused them to increase their investment in private cloud, outpacing the global average (37%) and their peers in APJ countries (44%).

The pandemic also forced many respondents to strengthen public cloud infrastructure to quickly accommodate large numbers of at-home workers. A total of 67% of Malaysian respondents said they had boosted public cloud usage and 51% said they had increased hybrid cloud usage.

The key findings from the report include:

Hybrid cloud is the ideal IT operating model for the vast majority of respondents in Malaysia and elsewhere. Nearly all respondents from Malaysia (96%) identified hybrid cloud as the ideal infrastructure for their organizations, outpacing those in the APJ region (90%) and in the global response pool (87%). Malaysian respondents run slightly more hybrid clouds than average today with 14% penetration, which they intend to grow to 57% penetration in five years.

Malaysian respondents are particularly bullish about expanding their public multicloud environments. They expect to grow public multicloud use by 6% in five years—the only infrastructure growth area cited by Malaysian respondents other than hybrid cloud. In the next year, they expect to increase their use of two public clouds from 25% to 39% and their use of three public clouds from 13% to 22%. However, they expect their use of more than three public cloud services to remain static at just 5% during that time.

Cost isn’t a primary driver behind IT infrastructure change in Malaysia. The motive for modernizing IT infrastructures mentioned most often in Malaysia is to increase flexibility to meet business needs (74%). From there, three goals tie for second place as inspiring change, with 63% of respondents from Malaysia selecting each of the following factors: 1) gaining better control of IT resource usage, 2) increasing the speed of meeting business needs, and 3) better supporting customers. By contrast, cost savings was cited by just 29% of respondents from Malaysia.

The global pandemic has raised IT’s profile and accelerated cloud adoption. 88 percent of respondents in Malaysia said that COVID-19 has caused IT to be viewed more strategically in their organizations. In addition, 67% of Malaysian respondents said they’ve increased their investments in public cloud, 58% said they’ve increased investments in private cloud, and 51% said they’ve upped their hybrid cloud investments as a direct result of the pandemic.

Despite being slightly behind the curve with private cloud adoption, Malaysian IT pros report above-average progress with hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). More than half (59%) say they’ve deployed HCI or are in the process of deploying it in their data centers, compared to 50% of global respondents. The relevance of HCI is that it creates a foundation for private cloud by virtualizing and integrating data center computer storage, and networking devices in standard, off-the-shelf server hardware. Private clouds built upon this foundation ultimately merge with public cloud infrastructure services into the hybrid cloud setup that most ECI respondents say is the ideal infrastructure they’re working toward.

During the media briefing, Avinash Gowda, Country Manager of Nutanix Malaysia said that with business recovery on the horizon, companies in Malaysia see cloud adoption as a top priority, as revealed in the ECI report.

“COVID-19 has significantly accelerated digital transformation across industries. With digitization as the new business reality, Malaysia’s businesses will look to make strategic investments in technology that will accelerate business recovery and enable them to scale for innovation and growth.”

“Businesses need to look to maximizing outcomes from their investments in IT infrastructure — to ensure their cloud strategies are financially sound, and future-proof,” said Avinash.

Reportlinker’s findings show that Malaysia’s data center market will grow at a CAGR of 8% from 2020 – 2025, reaching $800 million SGD by 2025.

The market for cloud computing in Malaysia is not as mature as Singapore. However, due to land shortage in Singapore and lower cost, Malaysia might attract more and more investments in data centers, according to ReportLinker.

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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.

Chindata establishes two new subsidiaries in two days

Chindata Group, a leading carrier-neutral hyperscale data center solution provider in Asia-Pacific emerging markets established two new subsidiaries within two days: Chindustry, to create more value for digital leaders; Chinpower, to contribute to a greener hyperscale data center industry.

Chindustry’s predecessor is the Group’s Project Delivery BU, which has the successful development and construction experience in planning, designing and building the next-generation hyperscale computing infrastructure.

The Group expects it to provide customized, cost-effective and full-stack solutions for its customers, adapting to global tech giants’ diverse needs.

Chinpower aims to develop a brand-new energy solution for the hyperscale data center industry, the Group released.

These new subsidiaries come after the Group raised $540 million in a U.S. initial public offering priced at the top of a marketed range and climbed 20% in its trading debut in October last year, Chindata Group after raising, according to statistics by Bloomberg.

Globally, investors are eyeing cloud computing service providers, necessary for employees working from home, Bloomberg reported.

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Singtel joins forces with Microsoft for 5G edge computing

Singapore’s oldest and largest telecommunications provider Singtel has joined hands with tech titan Microsoft to launch 5G edge computing on Microsoft’s flagship cloud platform Azure.

The collaboration will see Singtel’s multi-access edge compute (MEC) platform be integrated with Microsoft’s Azure Stack capabilities, which means that Singapore’s Microsoft Azure customers will be able to access the MEC to power and scale their enterprise operations.

“Our collaboration places the benefits of 5G and MEC, such as high connection speeds and low latency, in the hands of enterprises, empowering them to use, create, deploy and scale up new 5G solutions,” said Bill Chang, CEO of Group Enterprises at Singtel.

With this, enterprises in Singapore will soon be able to deliver applications with a latency as low as 10 milliseconds. They will also be able to leverage said MEC to process complex applications such as VR, AR, self-driving vehicles, drones and robots.

Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President of Azure for Operators at Microsoft, said that the collaboration marks a new chapter for both companies in unlocking the power of 5G.

“With Singtel’s 5G network, Microsoft’s cloud and edge solutions, and our combined ecosystem of partners, we lower the barriers for enterprises to adopt next generation technologies that drive real business value,” he continued.

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.

You can now attend Amazon’s cloud computing classes on Twitch

Yes, you’ve read that right. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is offering cloud computing classes on popular streaming platform Twitch – for free.

The cloud computing giant recently launched an eight-part weekly series called AWS Dev Hour: Building Modern Applications, where developers from AWS go live on Twitch and teach viewers how to build an end-to-end serverless application on the AWS Cloud.

This initiative is part of AWS’ grand plan to train 29 million cloud-ready professionals by 2025.

“Providing free access to technical skills training has been an important priority for us for many years. We know access to skills training can help unlock opportunities and have a positive, long-term impact for our employees, customers, and communities,” said Scott Barneson, Director of Learning Products at AWS Training and Certification.

Barneson also revealed that the series will delve into how to build cloud-native applications on AWS Dev services, architecture, serverless, microservices, and DevOps.

The live Twitch classes will be interactive and hands-on. Viewers will have the opportunity to submit questions about cloud computing and share their progress with everyone on the broadcast.

If you are interested, simply hop on to AWS’ Twitch channel now.

Malaysia Pharma selects Oracle Cloud for vaccines distribution

Pharmaniaga Berhad (Pharmaniaga, a Malaysian integrated pharmaceutical group, has selected Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing (SCM) to improve logistics processes in preparation for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Malaysia.

With Oracle Cloud SCM, Pharmaniaga hopes to automate planning and execution processes and gain real-time shipment insights to improve its logistics operation’s efficiency and security, the company said in a statement.

The largest integrated pharmaceutical group in Malaysia, Pharmaniaga needed a cloud-based logistics platform to automate manual processes and improve the traceability and security of its cold chain services.

“We’ve been delivering vaccines to health facilities in Malaysia for more than 25 years and have strong cold chain infrastructure, but we needed to reduce manual processes to meet the monumental challenge of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. With Oracle Cloud SCM’s logistics and IoT applications, we will be better positioned to efficiently and safely deliver the COVID-19 vaccine across Malaysia,” said Abdul Malik Mohamed, Director of Logistics & Distribution, Pharmaniaga Berhad.

Implementing Oracle Transportation Management can enable Pharmaniaga to automate logistics planning and execution and improve efficiency. At the same time, Oracle IoT Intelligent Applications can help monitor cargo temperature and vehicle routes to validate the quality of products and enhance security.

“Unprecedented demand for the COVID-19 vaccine will create cold chain complexity unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said Jasbir Singh, vice president, Software as a Service (SaaS), Oracle Malaysia. “Streamlining logistics processes and enhancing shipment tracking with Oracle Cloud SCM can enable Pharmaniaga to rise to this challenge and scale its operations to support the immunisation of Malaysia’s 32 million residents.”

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Malaysia’s Celcom partners with Microsoft for cloud solution offering

Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom), one of Malaysia’s largest telecommunications service providers, has partnered with Microsoft to introduce a brand new cloud service offering for enterprises in Malaysia.

The Celcom Cloud suite focuses on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, and combines features for applications, infrastructure, data storage, software network, security, and a seamless deployment experience for businesses to scale their operations efficiently.

Idham Nawawi, CEO of Celcom, said that the collaboration with Microsoft will further elevate the company’s status as a trusted digital solutions provider for businesses of all sizes in Malaysia.

“From smaller brick and mortar businesses to larger enterprises, Celcom will always strive towards providing a ‘win-win-win’ situation, creating a sustainable digital ecosystem and benefit the rakyat (people) and country,” he added.

Celcom’s new Cloud Suite offering also comes at a time where digital transformation to a cloud-based infrastructure is crucial to running and maintaining a successful business, especially in a post-pandemic world.

A study by Microsoft and market research firm IDC revealed that 77% of business decision makers in Malaysia say that innovation is now a ‘must’ for them to respond quickly to new challenges and opportunities in the market.

“Having the right digital partners to facilitate digital transformation is crucial, and together with Celcom we look forward to accelerating the digital transformation of Malaysian organisations, leveraging the synergetic relationship between the tech and telco industries,” said K. Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.

This new solution will be offered alongside Celcom’s other flagship digital kit, Celcom Business Suite.

India’s largest state announces Data Center policy

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has given its nod for a data centre policy, as the state looks to attract more investments and comply with the data localisation push advocated by the Indian government.

The policy is expected to bring in Rs 20,000 crore in investments, according to a government notification. Industry watchers opine that this is the state government’s efforts to further attract capital into the State, which has been envisaged by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The policy aims at developing 250 MW of data centre industries in the state and setting up at least three private data centre parks. As per the red carpet effort to woo investors, they will be given provisions dealing with capital, interest rate, subsidies on land procurement, as well as non financial incentives.

Special incentives will also be provided for proposals coming to the backward regions of Bundelkhand and Purvanchal, the government said.

The state government, also said that setting up data centre parks will also lead to various information technology and related units coming up in the vicinity, leading to an expected overall direct employment of 4,000 people and indirect employment of 20,000 people. It also said that it will give global data centre players like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM an opportunity to come and set shop in the state.

NTT India recently got allotted six acres of land for building 70 MW of data centre capacity, in Noida. Similarly, STT Global Data Centres India also plans to develop 18 MW data centre with an investment of Rs 600 crore in Noida. Last year, Hiranandani group’s Yotta Infrastructure said that it will be investing Rs 7,000 crore in the Greater Noida region, by setting up co-location data centers.

The Uttar Pradesh government’s initiative also needs to be seen in the backdrop of the Indian government’s draft of a national Data Centre (DC) policy, which was drafted last year. The policy focuses on simplifying existing rules, indigenous manufacturing and giving it “infrastructure” status, all of which is expected to bring in big ticket investments.

Since the onset of Covid-19, data consumption globally has syrged and in India too it has gone up, on the back of Work From Home, tele-medicine, online education and digital commerce. This, coupled with the upcoming Personal Data Protection Law has made the IT Ministry to come up with a framework for data centres.

Currently, data centers are restricted specific areas in the country such as Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad, due to predictable power availability and reliable IT infrastructure.

APAC’s Secure Content Management (SCM) market to reach $2.2 billion by 2024: Frost & Sullivan 

The Secure Content Management (SCM) market is expected to achieve an 11.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $2.2 billion in total web and email security revenues by 2024, revealed in an analysis by Frost & Sullivan.

Cloud-based deployments are projected to lead growth as more enterprises move their emails to the cloud and rely on the internet, including remote working, especially during COVID-19.

The overall email security market is maturing with slowing but steady growth. Heavily driving its cloud-based deployments are cloud-based email adoption, such as Office 365 and G Suite, and increasing regional remote workforces.

The larger but less mature Web security market is also benefiting significantly from the latter. Moreover, enterprises are more reliant on Web applications and moving their workloads into the public cloud, necessitating cloud centricity.

Malicious email and web links remain the most popular attack vectors 

Malicious email and web links remain the most popular attack vectors in APAC countries. Threats include more advanced and sophisticated targeted phishing emails, business email compromises, and malicious content.

“The addition of multiple functionalities into core capabilities is transforming web and email security options as organizations seek better compatibility with their cloud migration journeys and cost-savings simultaneously. Various integrations, including data loss prevention (DLP), cloud access security broker (CASB), and email/browser isolation, are blurring distinctions among cybersecurity solutions,” said Vivien Pua, Industry Analyst, ICT at Frost & Sullivan.

“The larger but less mature web security market is also benefiting significantly from cloud-based deployment security solutions given their scalability, flexibility, and lower cost.”

Pua added: “Larger enterprises often require dedicated web and email security to effectively detect, prevent, and remediate threats. These companies with larger financial resources generally prioritize performance and will opt for standalone solutions or best-of-breed options. Conversely, small and medium businesses (SMBs) are more open to integrated solutions or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, which offer them the necessary protection level, despite their limited security budgets.”

Strategic recommendations for further revenue opportunities

Cybersecurity vendors should explore these strategies, Frost & Sullivan recommended:

  • Assist enterprise customers who are migrating to cloud email by integrating and/or transferring their email security to cloud-based deployments.

  • Offer cloud-delivered integrated cybersecurity solutions to meet the business needs of remote workforces.

  • Prepare on-premises deployments or hybrid deployment solutions for enterprises reliant on traditional operating procedures or that face regulatory compliance issues regarding on-the-cloud deployments.

  • Explore new product development and acquisitions to match the security demands of the current and future threat climate.

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Asian cloud providers prefer regional service providers: Survey

Asian businesses prefer regionally-based cloud providers as they can better serve their needs, revealed a survey commissioned by Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group.

Over 1,000 participants from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines responded to the survey, which was conducted in late 2020 by an independent research organisation to understand the role of cloud solutions and confidence in Asian innovation among the business community.

The survey found that 65 per cent of the businesses in Asia have already adopted at least one technology solution from an Asian provider, while more respondents (72 per cent) said they believe Asian providers can provide better solutions because they have a better sense of understanding of the Asian mindset.

Among the regions represented in the survey, 74 per cent of Hong Kong companies have adopted local solutions.

“It is very encouraging to see the high level of confidence in Asian innovation among businesses in the region. With digitalization so strong a trend, especially on the back of the pandemic, we believe there will be many new opportunities to build on the strong perception of the region’s cloud capabilities,” said Selina Yuan, President for International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

The survey also found a shift of customer priorities from integrating with the existing IT infrastructure to the security credentials of the vendors after the pandemic. More than half (58 per cent) of the businesses surveyed found the security credentials to be the most important, especially in markets like the Philippines (62 per cent).

The survey is an interesting insight into what businesses think, especially after the Covid-19 onslaught and in the era of increasing regulatory mandates with regard to data protection. Already, regulations such as GDPR, which is mandated by the European Union, place demand a much higher level of data-related compliance. Other major countries, such as India are also in the process of framing laws, which could have higher levels of data compliance.

JOIN W.MEDIA AT DIGITAL WEEK

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When: 23-26 February 2021

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The past year has seen incredible leaps forward in our embrace of digital solutions, and we think it’s time to come together and talk about it. We’re bringing together thousands of IT leaders from across Southeast Asia, covering everything from datacenter deployment to digital banking. Digital Week lets you expand your network and engage with new markets from wherever you are.

Want to learn more about ASEAN’s Cloud & IT ecosystem? Start your year off right and Register Today for Free!