ATMs at Japan’s Lawson Bank to accept SBI Remit’s international money transfer

International remittance services provider SBI Remit Corporation and Lawson Bank, said that ATMs at Japan’s Lawson Bank will accept SBI Remit’s international money transfer service.

SBI Remit is the largest money transfer provider in Japan with over 10 billion Japanese yen monthly, with 90 per cent of its customers being foreigners living in Japan, the company said in a statement.

Through the partnership with Lawson Bank, its customers can use the “Remit Card” to make international money transfers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and at more than 13,400 Lawson Bank ATMs, according to SBI Holdings.

The ATMs are located in Lawson convenience stores throughout Japan and offer an international money transfer service that allows customers to send money to more than 220 countries and regions around the world in as little as 10 minutes.”

SBI Remit can be used to send money to students abroad, to send living expenses to family members, or to send money to a local agent if users do not have a bank account abroad.

In a letter published on Ripplenet, SBI remit’s customers would be enabled to benefit from Lawson’s ATM network without even holding an account with the bank. The users are just required to have SBI’s “remit card” to utilize Lawson’s quality remittance services through its 13,400 ATMs.

The Lawson bank offers its services in 220 countries so, Bank’s scope will also enable customers to make transactions all over the world at any time or day of the week including on public holidays as well. The network only takes 10 minutes to perform the transaction no matter how far the two dealing parties are.

Ripple partners with Malaysia’s Mobile Money and Bangladesh’s bKash for remittance

Ripple has signed a deal with Malaysia’s Mobile Money and Bangladesh’s bKash to power a wallet-to-wallet remittance corridor between the two countries.

As a part of the deal, this wallet-to-wallet remittance corridor will use RippleNet, Ripple’s Distributed Ledger Technology-based global payments network, to enable Mobile Money and bKash to offer wallet-to-wallet transactions. Mutual Trust Bank will work as the local banking partner in Bangladesh to perform the remittance settlement, according to company executives.

Kamal Quadir, CEO, bKash, said: “This partnership will bring great convenience to both the recipients and senders, and contribute further to our national economy by encouraging inward foreign remittance flow through legal channels.”

Navin Gupta, MD, South Asia and Mena, Ripple, said: “As Ripple is bolstering our presence in South Asia, we are excited to contribute to the infrastructure of the region to transform the way cross-border payments are executed.”

Bangladesh has the third largest remittance flows in South Asia, with Malaysia ranking as one of the top five sources of remittances for the country.

Countries such as Bangladesh and India have a large number of people working abroad and often remit a significant amount of their earnings back home. This market used to be dominated by the likes of Western Union and others.

In December 2020, Federal Bank entered into a tie-up with OrbitRemit Limited, a money transfer company, to facilitate money transfer from New Zealand to India. OrbitRemit Limited, a leading full-service provider based out of New Zealand, has its presence in other countries like Australia & UK, currently providing remittance services to around 39 countries worldwide.

Nilufer Mullanfiroze, Senior Vice President and  Country Head –
Deposits, Cards and Unsecured Lending, Federal Bank had said that Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and small businesses in New Zealand will now enjoy a modern, low cost, fast, easy and more reliable
way of transferring money to India. Federal Bank currently processes more than 17 per cent of the personal inward remittances into India.”

Lincode partners with Global Automotive Alliance

India-based Lincode has entered into partnership with Global Automotive Alliance, Switzerland to form an ecosystem that promotes and empowers Smart  Automotive Manufacturing.

The automotive industry is witnessing a bullish trend in adopting smart manufacturing. The industry is making large investments in smart technologies such as AI, Industrial IoT, Automation, Big data, 5G, amongst others, to streamline and scale-up the automotive manufacturing process for higher efficiency and production capacity.

By the end of 2022, automotive manufacturers expect that 24% of their plants will be smart factories and 49% of automakers have already invested more than $250 million in smart factories. However, few automotive manufacturers have translated this enthusiasm into real progress – 42% of smart factory initiatives are struggling and the digital maturity of their manufacturing operations is below par.

The Indian automotive sector has seen growth in its sales and increased adoption of critical manufacturing technologies is an important driving factor. It has led to delivering a best-in-class quality of products that are made available to the market in tandem with the demand due to better production capacity.

Rajesh Iyengar, CEO, Lincode said: “The automotive industry has shown an impressive adoption of manufacturing technologies. The manufacturers are not hesitant to deploy technology or a solution that they know will bring them high ROI. For instance, our AI-backed visual inspection solution has made the inspection of the production lines much more efficient than the traditional vision systems. The manufacturers have seen a drastic difference with our solution. They see that microscopic surface defects were detected with the highest precision and accuracy within the established time cycles and now we have seen an ever-growing demand amongst the automotive manufacturers. I certainly believe the industry is now more than ready to invest in manufacturing technologies. The future of smart automotive manufacturing is very promising.”

Ralf Mueller, Managing Director, Global Automotive Alliance: “Digitalization and continuing pressure in the automotive industry with regards to quality, efficiency, and product/process-optimization are a daily challenge to OEMs, System Suppliers, and component manufacturers. All players along the supply chain are aware of the necessity to identify suitable smart manufacturing (industry 4.0) tools, however, in many cases the global overview, in-house knowledge, experiences, and internal resources are limited to successfully scout, develop & implement tailored solutions in the own facilities. This is why GAA has selected a group of unique smart manufacturing (industry 4.0) innovation providers that can be accessed by the automotive industry as part of the “GAA Smart Manufacturing Toolbox. Lincode, as a smart manufacturing solution provider, offering a unique Visual Inspection Technology with Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence was chosen by the GAA specialists to cover the visual inspection tasks & challenges of the industry.”

You can glean more insights on IoT, smart manufacturing and such tech during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. https://w.media/digital-events/

Cloud4C collaborates with Citrix for VDI Solutions

Cloud4C, a leading Cloud Managed Services provider, has partnered with Citrix to offer Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service for enterprises to leverage security and mobile workforce capabilities.

With expanding teams and remote working on the rise, the collaboration between Cloud4C and Citrix will help enterprises to seamlessly deploy Citrix’s Virtual Apps and desktops to any device across the workforce with ease and zero disruption. Cloud4C’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions aims to enhance productivity and improve performance, with efficiency, security, and scalability, the company said. Providing secure, remote work is the core value proposition of the VDI solution and this has become more relevant due to the need for employees to work securely from home due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Cloud4C provides end-to-end VDI solutions, including managed services and managed security services. Cloud4C provides skilled Citrix experts who simplify implementation, reduce deployment time, and help in leveraging the full benefits of virtualized desktops.
Sridhar Pinnapureddy, Founder and CEO, Cloud4C said, “We are happy to collaborate with Citrix to offer a hybrid Citrix VDI solutions which help enterprises with high-definition consistent VDI experience on any device, boosting productivity even on unreliable connections, fast and secure access to applications and data, easy scaling up to support temporary workers working from anywhere, easy access to data-intensive applications, and reduced IT costs. At Cloud4C, we are equipped with multiple certified resources for Citrix, Windows, Security, and public cloud platform.”

The collaboration between Cloud4C and Citrix will help enterprises solve major challenges with Cloud4C taking end to end ownership. As part of a wide range of Hybrid VDI solutions, Cloud4C takes care of the implementation, licensing, infrastructure and end-to-end managed services.

This collaboration will also provide a lot of other benefits to enterprises, such as quick provisioning of desktops based on the requirement, easy connect over the internet or via MPLS link, Hosted Shared Delivery or VDI mode of Virtual Desktop and Integration with existing Active Directory/New AD. Apart from these services, the customers can leverage single window managed service and easy integration with other cloud services like Office 365.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of solutions to enable people to work from home and keep business-critical services going. Now more than ever, it is crucial to support businesses and their distributed workforce to get work done efficiently, unlocking their full potential, without putting their employees nor security requirements on risk,” said Ravindra Kelkar, Area Vice President, Indian Subcontinent, Citrix.

Cloud4C has 4,000 customers in 25 countries and 52 locations including 60 of the Fortune 500 Global multinationals. It provides cloud (public, private, hybrid) and community cloud services (Banking Community Cloud, SAP Community Cloud), cloud migration on public cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, end to end cloud managed services, disaster recovery services, managed security services and helps businesses comply with stringent data sovereignty laws in respective countries.

How Alibaba leveraged AI during 11.11 Shopping Festival in 2020

Hangzhou is known as “Paradise on Earth”, Home of Silk”, “Tea Capital”, “Town of Fish and Rice”, amongst others. Of late, Hangzhou has achieved global fame as the headquarters of Alibaba Group, a tech giant, which is competing with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Google. With sobriquets the city has earned over 5000 years or more, it is now is ushering in a new tech-fuelled revolution, with Alibaba’s help.

The technology grandiose can be seen from Alibaba’s annual 11-day festival from November 1 to 11 last year, when the tech major has its annual global shopping festival. Despite China’s standoff with the US in the background, which has had some ripple effect on Chinese companies, Alibaba rolled out some cutting-edge technologies in its annual shopping festival.

Alibaba’s real-time computing platform, powered by Apache Flink, processed data streams totaling 4 billion items per second during peak time, a 60 per cent surge when compared to 2.5 billion last year. Additionally, MaxCompute, Alibaba’s proprietary data warehousing platform, handled up to 1.7 exabytes of data a day during the festival, which is the equivalent of processing 230 high-res photos of each of the 7 billion people in the world. Keeping in mind the kind of scalability and high performance required, no downtime was reported throughout this year’s extended festival period, Alibaba said.

“We were very proud to support 800 million consumers and 250,000 brands during the world’s largest shopping festival,” said Li Cheng, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group. “From the robust digital infrastructure supporting zero downtime operation, to cloud-native offerings for developers’ efficiencies and consumer-facing applications for creating some of smoothest engagement experiences, Alibaba’s technologies have once again passed the toughest tests with flying colors.”

In the year of a pandemic, revenue numbers continued to be strong. This year’s sales generated $74.1 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) during the shopping festival. This, Alibaba continued to reiterate, was due to its Cloud infrastructure upgrades. For example, after midnight on November 11, just 26 seconds after shopping began, peak orders hit 583,000 per second – 1,400 times peak volume at the festival’s debut 12 years ago on November 11, 2009.

Tech ahoy!

The tech giant also leveraged cloud-native databases, including PolarDB, AnalyticDB and Lindorm, Alibaba Cloud enabled 11.11 to run smoothly even during peak periods. PolarDB set a new record with 140 million queries per second during peak time at 11.11, a 60% increase from last year, it said. AnalyticDB, Alibaba Cloud’s self-developed cloud native data warehouse, processed up to 7.7 trillion lines of real-time data, equaling 15 times the data contained in the UK Web Archive at the British Library. In addition, PolarDB-X and AnalyticDB helped China Post to deal with more than 100 million orders during 11.11, with about 100,000 China Post users checking their parcels’ real-time status online.

Also, this year, ‘Livestreaming’ took center stage, which saw thousands of livestreams broadcast on Taobao Live. Leveraging Alibaba Cloud’s narrow-bandwidth and high-definition video solutions, such as its Real-time Streaming (RTS) technology to reduce latency to less than one second (approximately 75% lower than the industry average), the smooth livestreaming experience with dynamic interactions is also proven to be effective in boosting sales, said Alibaba.

By leveraging Alibaba DAMO Academy’s (DAMO) latest multi-module technology – including Natural Language Processing (NLP), image recognition, Text-to-Speech (TTS) and cloud rendering – Taobao Live launched its virtual anchor service for merchants. Virtual anchors can explain product details, respond to some inquiries and even play games with the audience during livestreaming sessions, while the human anchors are on break resting (usually from midnight to early morning).

AliExpress, Alibaba’s global retail marketplace, unveiled the world’s first real-time livestreaming translation feature on an e-commerce platform powered by DAMO’s speech model, supporting simultaneous translation from Chinese to English, Russian, Spanish and French. During the shopping festival, over 70% of the AliExpress merchants leveraged this translation capability, which can also reduce inaudibility in noisy livestreaming environments and even understand accented speech. Eight million global viewers watched over 9,000 livestreams on AliExpress during the festival.

Virtual tours with 3D visuals were available on Taobao to sell big-ticket items like houses and furniture. Underpinned by machine learning technologies like Graph Neural Networks (GNN), Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), 3D shape analysis and knowledge graphs, Alibaba offered a 3D modeling design platform for brands, reducing the time for model creation from three hours to 10 seconds. Merchants leveraged the technology to create over 100,000 showrooms with virtual 3D products that was experienced by 60 million consumers during the festival.

Alibaba Cloud also supported one of the world’s largest container clusters, enabling the upscaling to one million containers in an hour. The optimal elasticity and scheduling capacity enabled by the cutting-edge cloud-native technologies led to an 80% reduction of computing resources for every 10,000 transactions conducted compared to four years ago.

Digital infrastructure with hyper-scale data centers made 11.11 greener

Alibaba used state-of-the-art green technologies – including liquid cooling and wind energy – at its five hyper-scale data centers to ensure the most environmentally-friendly operation during 11.11. For instance, the hyperscale data center in Hangzhou has one of the world’s largest server clusters submerged in a specialised liquid coolant, which quickly chills the IT hardware. This reduces energy consumption by over 70%, while its Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) approaches the ideal target of 1.0. Compared to traditional data centers, the Hangzhou hyperscale data center can save up to 70 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is sufficient to power over 16,000 households in the United Kingdom in a year].

Core systems on cloud-native technologies

In 2019’s annual festival, Alibaba Group migrated 100% of its core systems onto Alibaba Cloud, the world’s third largest cloud service provider. The global technology leader continued to push and challenge the technological limits with its cloud-native innovation, which has yielded double the efficiency of scalable application delivery.Compare these numbers to what retailers in the US and Europe did and one can gauge the wide chasm when it comes to tech.

Perhaps, retailers in the west could look towards the East going forward.

NTT partners with GSPARX to build a low carbon future

Technology services major NTT Limited, has partnered with GSPARX, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), in an effort to increase its consumption of renewable energy.
TNB focuses on offering renewable energy solutions that can support a common low carbon future. The agreement will see GSPARX install a solar power panel system within NTT’s data center campus, for its administrative buildings, to support NTT’s power requirements. NTT said in a statement that its long-term environmental sustainability goals are in line with the Malaysian government’s vision to seek eco-friendly power sources such as solar energy.
Starting with an initial 1020-kilowatts peak capacity, NTT targets to expand up to a 6 Megawatt (MW) capacity through future phases of the project. “We are proud to be partnering with NTT in line with their aspirations for finding sustainable solutions to the social, economic and environmental challenges of our times. Not only is shifting to solar energy an environmentally friendly move, it is also important for global companies like NTT to have an alternate energy source to spur future business growth. Through GSPARX, TNB is here to offer high quality solar solutions that comply with international standards so that partners like NTT are able to enjoy renewable energy and realize their sustainability goals,” said Datuk Ir. Megat Jalaluddin Bin Megat Hassan, the Chief Retail Officer of TNB.
GSPARX will also build sheltered car parks which are equipped with solar panels at designated locations within NTT Cyberjaya’s premise.
Construction is expected to commence in Q1 2021, and the solar installations will be fully operational by Q3 of 2021, NTT said. Further, NTT expects to reduce its carbon footprint by up to 921 metric tons per year in line with its green initiative to promote the generation and utilization of sustainable energy. Eventually, it will expand to operate at a larger scale, further reducing the company’s carbon footprint, NTT said.

“NTT is one of 17 UN Global Goals Business Avengers, with a focus on sustainable cities and communities. We believe that technology holds the key to solving some of the world’s biggest problems. We’re constantly finding ways to use technology to minimize the impact of disruption on the world’s cities and communities. Therefore, the partnership with TNB is a crucial component of attaining this goal and ensuring that we create a more sustainable future for all,” comments Png Kim Meng, CEO – ASEAN at NTT Ltd.
The collaboration will see NTT decrease its fossil fuel consumption, thus reducing the carbon footprint of its business operations. Typically, a reduction in carbon footprint entails switching to sustainable and clean energy, consuming less electricity and favoring more energy saving measures. This decreases the amount of fossil fuels used to generate electricity thus limiting overall carbon emissions.

In this case, 921 metric tons is translated to approximately 199 cars taken off the road or 15,234 trees grown. In the long run, these numbers will be multiplied. Currently, electricity accounts for a significant share of NTT’s overall CO2 emissions. This is especially relevant in Malaysia where NTT continues to expand its Data Center business.

“Our shift to solar power brings us a step closer towards addressing corporate environmental sustainability concerns to reduce carbon footprint and CO2 emission. With additional solar capacity, NTT will be ready to respond to growing demands of its campus’ administrative needs that are powered by solar energy. We are proud to be the first global foreign ICT company to collaborate with TNB on this green project. We are very excited as this initiative has come in a very timely manner, as the new Cyberjaya 5 Data Center is scheduled to be available early this year,” said Henrick Choo, CEO – Malaysia at NTT Ltd.
This partnership with GSPARX and TNB is a welcome collaboration as the world continues to embrace greener electricity generation. NTT remains firmly committed to building a low carbon future through the use of solar energy. We will continue to pioneer remarkable new ways to drive sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges., added Choo.

Recently, HSBC installed 750 solar panels in its Hong Kong data center facility as part of its strategy to reduce carbon emissions.

You can deep dive into data centers and its various dynamics during W.Media’s Digital Week 2021, from February 23-26. Do check it out at https://w.media/digital-events/

E2E Networks Joins Hands With K-Tech Center of Excellence for Data Science & AI

National Stock Exchange-listed cloud provider E2E Networks has partnered with KTech CoE Data Science & AI Government of Karnataka (GoK) – powered by NASSCOM, to foster disruptive innovation by creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem and create quality human capital to meet the AI talent requirements.

NASSCOM is a not-for-profit industry association in India, is the apex body for the $180 billion dollar Indian IT BPM industry.

 

The partnership comes at a time when the world is fighting a pandemic, and cloud-based technology is taking massive leaps to help the economy. KTech CoE DS & AI has a great role to play as an evangelist and driver of AI enabled growth; Its vision is “to harness the potential of AI for augmenting the state’s and so the country’s innovation ecosystem and create multiplier impact on economy, industry and society “

The partnership will be beneficial for both the parties. E2E Networks will get access to KTech CoE DS&AI accelerated companies, and this will help them accelerate AI Innovation in India. It will also reap the direct benefits of the joint activities conducted by KTech CoE DS&AI.

For KTech CoE DS&AI accelerated MSMEs and Innovators, there will be an exclusive discount, which will also gain access to latest NVIDIA GPUs via cloud servers from E2E at highly affordable prices to run their artificial intelligence loads, which includes high-performance computing, machine learning, deep learning and data science workloads.

The tie-up shall provide a leg up to enable deep research benefiting various industries as well as the Government so that everyone can benefit. KTech CoE DS&AI, since its inception, has been driving the acceleration the adoption of AI solutions by user enterprises and public sector by creating toolkits, processes, and frameworks. It enables convergence of technological advancements and industry developments with deploy worthy Data Science and AI Innovations. Also develop skills to ensure talent pipeline to meet the growing requirements for AI professionals.

E2E Networks offers the latest GPUs – NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU, NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPU, and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000. When combined with NVIDIA virtual GPU (vGPU) solutions for Quadro workstations, creative and technical professionals are able to work from anywhere, including their home offices, and run compute and graphics-intensive applications for CAD, digital content creation, simulation, and rendering.

“The biggest impediment faced by AI MSMEs and Innovators today is access to AI processing capability and flexible scaling of capacity. This is very capital intensive and hard to come by for AI Startups working on tight budgets. Through this tie-up, we are simply enabling what our MSMEs and Innovators asked for. Not only will it help our network of Data Science & AI companies to focus on Innovation rather than CapEx, but also help them accelerate their speed of AI innovation. The pandemic has ushered in an era where working remotely is the new normal. We think this is how the MSME and corporate world will function over the next few decades, and the transformation needs an OpEx model for AI processing needs,” said Krishna Prabu, Technical Director, Ktech CoE DS&AI.

“Our collaboration with KTech CoE DS&AI allows us to play a significant role in helping KTech CoE DS&AI incubated startups and members run their AI/ML training/inference, data science, Natural Language Processing (NLP), computer vision, and professional graphics workstation workloads,” said Tarun Dua CEO of E2E Networks.

Cognizant to acquire Servian, an Australian data and analytics consulting firm

Cognizant will acquire Servian, a Sydney-based, private enterprise transformation consultancy specializing in data analytics, artificial intelligence, digital services, experience design and cloud.

Servian is Cognizant’s 10th digital-focused acquisition announced since January 2020, showing Cognizant’s strategy to accelerate capabilities and growth in priority areas of data and artificial intelligence, digital engineering, cloud, and Internet of Things across the globe, the company said.  Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Cognizant expects the acquisition of Servian to expand its integrated, end-to-end digital transformation capabilities in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) to help clients move to the cloud, build digital products and services, unlock value from data, modernize enterprise applications, and achieve operational efficiency.

“Enterprises in Australia and New Zealand are at an inflexion point in their digital adoption,” said Jane Livesey, CEO, Cognizant Australia and New Zealand. “Cognizant’s extensive digital expertise combined with Servian’s strengths as the premier technology partner in the region will open up the full power of digital transformation for our Australasian clients. We look forward to welcoming Servian’s talented digital-native professionals to Cognizant.”

“Enabling clients to leverage their data assets for accelerating business transformation and driving competitive advantage is at the heart of our success,” said Tony Nicol, Founder and CEO, Servian. “We share Cognizant’s passion for innovation powered by digital technologies. With Cognizant’s deep industry expertise and global scale, we will be able to apply our strengths in strategic advisory, engineering delivery, and managed services across an even broader spectrum of challenges and opportunities presented by the digital economy.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory clearance and other closing conditions.

Star Alliance moves to AWS cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are data centers still necessary in Southeast Asia’s cloud computing era?

Southeast Asia is moving into an era of cloud computing, with rapid growth bringing the market value to a staggering US$40.32 billion by 2025

With data centers often seen as a separate data center storage option to the cloud, this begs the question: Are data centers still necessary in Southeast Asia’s cloud computing era?

This year, we have already seen Nokia agree to migrate all its data centers, servers and software applications onto Google Cloud. And by next year, Cisco predicts cloud data center traffic will represent 95% of total data center traffic.

Migrating to cloud offers flexibility, fast innovation, third party maintenance and on demand scalability for businesses looking to digitally transform without the need to maintain their own server room or wait to continuously add more servers into a traditional data center.

But it is a myth to think that data centers won’t be necessary in a cloud computing future. After all, the third party cloud providers will need somewhere to store all your data.

That’s why the number of hyperscale data centers is expected to reach 628 globally by 2021, compared to 541 this year.

“All cloud computing in the ecosystem requires data centres as a fundamental infrastructure. As more and more data are being produced every day in the age of digital transformation, physical data center infrastructure is required to support this growth. Without data centers, cloud computing on a national or regional scale is impossible,” said Supparat Singhara Na Ayutthaya, the Chief Executive Officer at ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (Thailand).

Whether you’re using Google Cloud in Indonesia, AWS in Singapore, or Microsoft Azure in Malaysia, these public cloud providers will need to create availability zones or build data centers in the country to meet the varying data localisation and protection laws and regulations.

“Each country in Southeast Asia has its own laws and regulations to comply with. Understanding the laws and regulations of the local market is the very first step prior to market analysis. Subsequently, customers need to ensure that their data center operators have a global track record in designing, constructing and operating state-of-the-art, carrier-neutral data centres and are attuned to the needs of end users,” added Mr.Singhara.

ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (Thailand) are building Bangkok’s first hyperscale data center campus in response to the country’s growing digital requirements for connectivity, low latency and data processing.

Many data center operators do not see cloud providers as their competitors, rather they can be their customers, as the demand for hybrid cloud solutions is exponentially growing to meet the needs for users who are looking for the advantages of cloud coupled with the hardware customisability, control and greater compliance offered by on-premise data center infrastructure.

“We don’t feel that Princeton Digital Group competes with cloud service providers, rather they are our customers,” said Stephanus Tumbelaka, Princeton Digital Group’s Managing Director of Indonesia.

In fact, the entry of cloud providers into emerging markets like Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam can mean positive growth opportunities for data center providers.

“Cloud providers have taken over 70% of new data center space in the Asia Pacific market recently. Cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft, Google are key data center buyers, while Chinese cloud providers such as AliCloud, Huawei, Tencent are matching up to leading American competitors in terms of their demand for data center space. These generate huge demand for both colocation space and dedicated hyperscale data centers for the cloud providers in this region. Having cloud providers as tenants is definitely a key target for data center colocation providers,” said Chang Cho, CEO at ONION software and ONION technology. 

“We see it as a positive sign when cloud organisations start to enter the market because it actually means the market is going to move, not just for them, but for data center providers like ourselves,” said Carolyn Harrington, the Chief Operating Officer of SpaceDC.

All organisations have different needs and fast-growing data consumption, so with digital infrastructure options like public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, multicloud, traditional data centers, colocation data centers, edge data centers, hyperconverged infrastructure and more, these organisations have greater choice and opportunity to digitally grow their business.

And with increasing accessibility of high data consuming technologies like cloud computing, 5G, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, data centers of all kinds will be crucial to enable the next wave of digital transformation.

That’s why the Southeast Asia data center market will be one of the fastest growing, with a compound annual growth rate of up to 14% at a value of US$3.5 billion or more.

 

Interested in learning more about Data Centers? Join us at Digital Week: Southeast Asia, where we’ve gathered ASEAN’s best and brightest to cover everything from datacenter deployment to digital banking. This 4-day virtual conference will enable you to network with 7000+ Senior IT Leaders across the Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnamese, Philippines, and Thailand markets.

Registration is open–Join the conversation today!

IBM appoints Gary D. Cohn, former Trump advisor, as Vice Chairman

Tech giant IBM has announced the appointment of Gary D. Cohn as its new company Vice Chairman.

Mr. Cohn joins from the White House, where he was chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2018. Prior to that, he served as President and COO of Goldman Sachs.

With his expertise and wide range of contacts in the business world, Mr. Cohn will be working alongside CEO Arvind Krishna and the IBM Executive Leadership Team to work on matters such as business development, client services, public advocacy and client relationship management.

Mr. Cohn expressed delight in the company’s decision.

“With the company’s long history of innovation and transformation for every technology era, and a focused growth strategy that will capitalize on the enormous opportunity in hybrid cloud and AI, this is an exciting time to begin working alongside Arvind, the IBM team and IBM’s incredible roster of clients,” he said.

“Gary is a globally respected leader with deep experience operating at the center of business and government,” said CEO Mr. Krishna.

“As a senior representative of IBM, his knowledge of technology and business transformation, combined with policymaking expertise, will bring unique value to our clients and stakeholders as we accelerate our hybrid cloud and AI strategy,” he continued.

Mr. Cohn is currently Co-Chairman of Cohn Robbins Holding Corp. (CRHC), a company that specialises in mergers and acquisitions. He also has investments in various sectors in tech, including cybersecurity, blockchain infrastructure, regulatory technology and medical technology.

Chinese-owned Global Switch to sell data center business for $11 billion

In what could be the largest deal in the data center segment, Chinese-owned Global Switch to sell business for $11 billion.

According to a Bloomberg exclusive, Global Switch is in preliminary talks to take the sale forward. The company is working with advisors and professionals to procure a sale from interested suitors, according to sources who requested anonymity, as the talks are private and in early stages.

Founded in 1998 and owned by Chinese steel maker Jiangsu Shagang Group Co., Global Switch is based in London and is also backed by Avic Trust Co., a trust firm with an investment portfolio that covers property, capital, and securities.

The sale needs to be seen in the backdrop of an attempt to list Global Switch in the Hong Kong markets in 2019, which was shelved. In August 2019, Shagang bought an additional 24 per cent stake for 1.8 billion pounds from British billionaires David and Simon Reuben. With the deal, Shagang became the largest shareholder. Global Switch and Shagang Group declined to comment on the matter.

Data Center sales on the rise

With this, Global Switch becomes one of many industry operators that are banking on the sharp rise in demand for data centers due to the pandemic.

In April 2020, global investment banking firm Macquarie acquired an 88% stake in Sydney-based AirTrunk for $3 billion, and the company simultaneously opened data centers in Hong Kong and Singapore, with a new hyperscale data center in Tokyo coming in late 2021. Additionally, Digital Realty Trust Inc bought InterXion Holding NV for $8.8 billion and this deal, if it goes through, could be one of the largest in the data center segment.

Global Switch was founded in 1998 and led by CEO John Corcoran, who owns and operates data centres in Europe and Asia Pacific. The company currently has around 390,000 square meters of space and hosts tech infrastructure of government organisations, financial institutions and mobile carriers, with annual revenues of $597 million (£439 million) in 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

IBM and Samsung join forces to spur cloud and 5G development

IBM and Samsung have signed an agreement that will see both tech giants collaborate on hybrid cloud, 5G, and edge computing to steer towards the Industry 4.0 Revolution and encourage digital transformation.

Samsung will be combining its signature Galaxy 5G mobile devices, and end-to-end enterprise network solutions with IBM’s network management hybrid cloud and edge computing offerings.

“The move to standalone 5G has accelerated the adoption of Industrial IoT solutions and will require businesses to adopt an edge computing strategy that allows them to manage their IT environments from anywhere,” said KC Choi, EVP and Head of Global Mobile B2B Team for the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.

IBM and Samsung’s collaboration will be built on Red Hat’s open architecture. IBM acquired the open source software company in 2018 for $34 billion.

“We are excited to work with IBM to discover how our unique devices, mobile IoT and network solutions can provide frontline workers with access to better data and more actionable insights to take their business to the next level.” Mr. Choi added.

Both companies plan to set out to lend their expertise to develop private 5G networks, which will also be built on Red Hat via the company’s flagship open source container application platform, OpenShift.

“The transition of communication networks from proprietary architecture to intelligent, software-defined hybrid cloud platforms enables the creation of enormous new value in the 5G and edge era,” said Steve Canepa, Global GM and Managing Director of IBM’s Communications Sector.

The goal of the partnership is to leverage hybrid cloud solutions, which will enable enterprises to draw greater insights from data at the edge, improving operational performance, increasing worker safety, and minimising downtime.

“5G devices and network solutions from Samsung, along with IBM and Red Hat’s open, hybrid cloud capabilities, can help organisations across all industries accelerate their transformation and solve real business problems, while unlocking the true power of 5G and edge,” added Mr. Canepa.

Samsung, IBM, and Red Hat also plan to deliver AI-powered solutions for Industry 4.0 and beyond by leveraging the power of 5G devices, cloud-native 5G networks, and advanced edge computing platforms.

Amazon to train 29 million cloud-ready professionals by 2025

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon and bp continue cloud partnership for renewable energy

Global oil and gas company bp have signed an agreement to continue its longstanding partnership with e-commerce giant Amazon and its cloud computing arm, AWS. 

As part of the agreement, bp will triple the renewable energy supplied to Amazon’s data centers in Europe, and AWS will continue to support bp’s digital transformation journey by modernisation via data migration to the cloud.

With bp, Amazon’s new wind projects in Sweden and Scotland will be supplied with 275 MW and 129 MW of wind power respectively.

“Amazon is helping bp with innovative digital technologies and, using our trading capabilities and scale, we will give Amazon the reliable and flexible renewable energy supplies they need to meet their ambition to decarbonise,” said William Lin, Executive Vice President for Regions, Cities & Solutions at bp.

Nat Sahlstrom, Director of Amazon Energy, commented that this extended partnership with bp will help Amazon towards their goal of reaching net-zero carbon emission by 2040, in line with the company’s commitment to The Climate Pledge.

“These new agreements with bp help us toward our goal of powering our operations with 100 percent renewable energy,” Mr. Sahlstom added.

AWS to help bp with digital transformation

On AWS’ end, the company will continue to help bp with its increasing digital transformation, including data migration to the cloud and the application of more cloud-native technologies.

Both companies will also be teaming up to deploy AI and machine learning technologies.

This will include using Talk2Me, an AI-based language processing system powered by Amazon’s Alexa; using Amazon’s business intelligence tool Amazon QuickSight; and migrating to the Amazon Aurora cloud database for bp trading, operational resiliency, and performance improvements.

bp and Amazon’s partnership is an extension of the success that both companies found from their collaboration in 2019, where bp supplied AWS with 170MW of renewable energy, and Amazon agreed to help bp migrate over 900 key applications.

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Preparing Indonesia’s digital infrastructure for Southeast Asia’s booming digital economy

Southeast Asia has overtaken China as the leading mobile economy hotspot, with most of the growth happening in Indonesia, according to DCI Indonesia.

The region accounts for around 10% of the world’s total Internet users, with Indonesia reaching 175.4 million users, which is 64% of the country’s population, representing a growth of 20% or 29 million new users over the past two years.

As a result, Indonesia is expected to be one of the major three fastest-growing e-commerce countries globally along with India and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the archipelago’s digital economy is expected to be the largest in Southeast Asia. According to the annual e-Conomy Southeast Asia study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, Indonesia’s market value is expected to triple to US$309 billion by 2025, driven by the rise of e-commerce, ride-hailing and online gaming.

Nevertheless, DCI Indonesia believes the country needs to upgrade the underdeveloped digital infrastructure that limits the public and private sector from reaping the full benefits of this billion dollar opportunity.

To do so, investing in ICT is key, especially data center and network capabilities, as these are backbones to the successful implementation of innovative technologies.

And with the growing volumes of data, in-house or multi-tenant data center operators in Indonesia need to prepare to meet increasing expectations  for seamless digital experiences.

“There are tremendous opportunities ahead, the cloud is growing exponentially along with the booming digital economy, and they need to provide infrastructure to cater for the cloud. The advantages are undoubtedly driving demand and fueling recent growth of new hyperscale facilities in Indonesia,” said Philbert Shih, the Managing Director of Structure Research.

As internet users in the mass market and enterprises begin to use various infrastructure outsourcing models, hyperscale cloud and data centers are set to take full advantage in growing cities like Jakarta where capacity in 2025 is projected to reach 198.5 MW, with a maximum build out of 236.3 MW. 

Hyperscale will also create demand for wholesale colocation to house the supporting infrastructure and drive uptake of interconnection services to integrate and scale with cloud services.

The wholesale data center colocation portion of the market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 43.5% between now and 2025, reaching approximately 131.2 MW of capacity in five years.

DCI Indonesia built a 200MW facility spanning 85,000 square meters in Greater Jakarta last year, the first largest hyperscale campus in Indonesia, to meet future capacity needs. 

“As of today, we continue to witness strong market demand from our current customers as well as global business players looking to enter the market,” said Toto Sugiri, the CEO of DCI Indonesia.

To keep up with demand, DCI Indonesia has also completed the final stages of their newest data center, JK5, which has a current capacity of 15 MW, adding an additional 20% from current capacity built out in Indonesia.

This research and trends show Indonesia as a “hotspot” for hyperscale data center investment within the next five years, driven by the rise in cloud adoption. The entry of Google, Alibaba Cloud, and AWS into Indonesia also demonstrates a developing interest in the country as a substitute for Singapore.

As a result, Indonesia is set to be the fastest growing market for data centers in Southeast Asia, with a growth rate of 22% per annum over the next five years.

New Zealand to get its ‘first hyperscale data center’

Software outsourcing company Datagrid and energy provider Meridian have announced that New Zealand is set to get its ‘first hyperscale data center’ located in Invercargill, the southernmost city in the country.

The $700 million data center project will span 25,000 square meters and have a capacity of 60 MW. In several years, it is anticipated to grow to 40,000 square meters with a capacity of 100 MW.

New Zealand is in the right place at the right time

Situated in the island of Southland, Invercargill’s cool climate, ample land, and availability of renewable energy sources makes the region an ideal location for a data center.

Rémi Galasso, founder and chairman of Datagrid, revealed that as of now, the only hyperscale data center servicing New Zealand is located in Australia. However, Southland’s climate is believed to make powering a data center in the region 15% more cost effective compared to Australia.

“These savings, along with New Zealand’s well-educated workforce and long term political stability make Southland highly attractive as a location for global companies to safely store their data,” added Mr. Galasso.

Thanks to its climate and abundance of clean energy sources, the country as a whole offers strong potential for a booming data center economy. The data center project is forecast to demonstrate how New Zealand’s strong advantage in renewable energy can deliver economic benefits over the coming years.

“A low-emissions data center is a huge opportunity for Southland and all of New Zealand to leverage our abundant clean energy to create high-value jobs and diversify our economy even more into the digital space,” said Guy Waipara, Meridian Energy’s General Manager Generation and Natural Resources.

The data center is expected to complement the power available from the Manapōuri station.

Malcolm Dick, also one of the heads of Datagrid, said that the lack of international connectivity in New Zealand has been a limiting factor for developing the data center industry in the country. But with the arrival of the Hawaiki Cable in 2018, the circumstances are expected to change rapidly.

A significant part of the $700 million project involves laying a new submarine cable to connect Invercargill directly to the east coast of Australia, as well as laying a domestic festoon cable to connect Invercargill with cities on New Zealand’s east coast.

The latency between Invercargill and Australia is believed to be approximately 24 milliseconds, which is within the upper limit of 35 milliseconds accepted as standard by the data center industry. New Zealand’s remote location is expected to provide a competitive advantage, as many companies are looking to locate their data away from larger centers which are at greater risk of disruptive events.

When completed, the data center could provide connectivity to over 20 million people across New Zealand and Australia’s states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.

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Seagate releases two new RSIC-V Cores for edge-to-cloud trustworthiness

US data storage company Seagate Technologies has announced two new processors for silicon chips that are based on open RSIC-V instruction set architecture (ISA).

One new processor is a high-performance core, and the other is an area-optimised core. The high-performance core processor offers real-time, critical HDD workload solutions that are able to process up to triple the power of original processors.

The area-optimised core processor is optimised for both footprint and power savings, and is able to execute security-extensive edge computational operations.

Both processors offer robust edge-to-cloud data mobility, trustworthiness, and security.

We live in a time of unprecedented growth of enterprise data—and much of this data is in motion. These cores will allow devices to share a common RISC-V ISA. Using open security architectures, they will enable more secure movement of data,” said Cecil Macgregor, the Vice President of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Development.

As a member of the OpenTitan Project, a Google-backed open-source secure chip design organisation, Dominic Rizzo of Google Cloud, says that he sees “significant potential” for architectures such as RSIC-V.

“Because Seagate understands the promise of RISC-V for security, we are excited to collaborate with Seagate on the open-source silicon root of trust we are currently developing,” Mr. Rizzo added.

The Seagate processing cores are expected to accelerate real-time analysis at data centers, which is crucial to scientific work where mass amounts of data are processed on a daily basis.

“Using computational storage to move processing near data has begun to significantly alter the way we analyze data and perform scientific discovery. By having compute integrated closely with storage we are able to create persistent data transformations that speed up data analysis by 1000-fold,” said Brad Settlemyer, Senior Research Scientist at the Los Alamos National Library.

John Morris, Chief Technology Officer of Seagate, points out that introducing RISC-V to storage devices creates an opportunity to implement application-specific computational capabilities that enable massive parallel computational storage solutions. This could enable use cases like scientific simulations, including weather prediction, and enabling the learning part of machine learning.

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Nutanix appoints former COO of VMware as new CEO

Nutanix has announced the appointment of Rajiv Ramaswami as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

Mr. Ramaswami joins from VMware where he held the position of Chief Operating Officer for Products and Cloud Services.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Nutanix at this transformative time for the company and the industry. I have long admired Nutanix as a formidable competitor, a pioneer in hyperconverged infrastructure solutions and a leader in cloud software,” said Mr. Ramaswami.

Mr. Ramaswami will work closely with the Nutanix Board, management team and more than 6,000 employees around the world to ‘capitalise on the significant opportunities ahead and deliver on the company’s next phase of growth and value creation’.

With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Ramaswami started his career at IBM, and has since held many senior executive roles at Cisco, Broadcom, and Nortel.

He will take over from Dheeraj Pandey, who is also the Co-Founder of Nutanix. Mr. Pandey will also be stepping down from the Board on December 14, 2020. He described Mr. Ramaswami as ‘the right leader at the right time’.

Sohaib Abbasi, Lead Independent Director of Nutanix, pointed out that as an accomplished leader, Mr. Ramaswami has a track record of delivering a high-growth portfolio of products and services.

His combination of operational discipline, business acumen, and technology vision made Mr. Ramaswami stand out among the CEO candidates.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Exclusive Networks Malaysia signs service agreements with HPE and Nutanix

Cybersecurity and cloud solutions company Exclusive Networks Malaysia (ENMY) has signed agreements with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Nutanix to improve the efficiency of enterprise operations in Malaysia.

Under the agreement, ENMY will officially be given the rights to distribute the complete suite of HP’s and Nutanix’s products to the public and private sectors. They include a line of hyperconverged infrastructure solutions, including Nutanix’s Enterprise Cloud platform, HPE ProLiant DX Servers and HPE GreenLake with Nutanix, 

“As a one-stop shop for a complete range of innovative solutions, including security and hybrid cloud solutions, as well as professional and maintenance services, we often see first-hand the issues that aging IT infrastructures create for Malaysian enterprises,” said Yuri Zaharin, Country Manager at Exclusive Networks Malaysia.

Industries that are set to benefit from ENMY’s product offerings include the financial services industry, telecommunications, and manufacturing.

“By partnering with HPE and Nutanix, ENMY will enable enterprises to deploy their IT applications faster and reduce their overall IT costs, enabling them to thrive in Malaysia’s increasingly digital economy,” he continued.

Hyperconverged infrastructure can reduce unplanned downtime by 85% and the time spent on backups by 60%, increasing data recovery speed by 41%. The study adds that revenue could increase by 1-2% as a result of the reduction in unplanned downtime. To top it off, Hyperconverged Infrastructure can also help enterprises to reduce IT operational costs by 62%

Avinash Gowda, Country Manager for Nutanix Malaysia, said: “As more Malaysian enterprises scale for transformation in the cloud, capabilities that deliver on increased agility, flexibility and visibility will be top-of-mind.”

Chaw Kit San, Country Channel Manager for HPE Malaysia, pointed out that in 2020, distributed enterprises need secure, flexible, edge-to-cloud architectures, which can be offered by consumption-based IT and hyperconverged infrastructures.

Exclusive Networks Malaysia, HPE and Nutanix recognised the need to seal the deal after finding that organisations with legacy data centers and IT operations are facing a big challenge today, as their aging IT infrastructure is not equipped for agile and secure processing of exponentially increasing data volumes, particularly during the rising work-from-home trend.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Airtel completes first phase of Open Hybrid Cloud Network with IBM and Red Hat

Bharti Airtel has completed the first phase of its Open Hybrid Cloud Network built with IBM and Red Hat solutions.

This will enable Airtel customers to build and deploy applications on the Network, enhancing performance, automation and scalability from the core to the edge.

“By adopting an open hybrid cloud network with the support of IBM and Red Hat we are building a scalable and future-ready network to serve our customers with best-in-class services,” said Randeep Sekhon, the CTO of Bharti Airtel.

The first phase of the Network includes a ‘single-click’ automated hybrid cloud design, allowing Airtel to improve and scale network connectivity to accelerate its continued core network transformation and speed in launching cloud innovations.

“Telco companies are at an inflection point in modernizing their networks and harnessing an open hybrid cloud architecture is fundamental to driving the scale, cost efficiencies, and innovation they need,” said Steve Canepa, Global Managing Director for the Communications Sector and Worldwide Head of Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment Industry at IBM.

With their most recent automation benchmarks, IBM has found that they can shorten Radio Access Network service deployment times from weeks to days and improve interoperability for ecosystem partners.

This is all achieved by building the Network on open source technology, including Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat OpenShift.

“With an open hybrid cloud architecture built on Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat OpenShift, Airtel can fuel faster innovation with greater flexibility, consistency, and agility,” said Darrell Jordan-Smith, the Senior Vice President of Industries and Global Accounts at Red Hat.

Once the Network is fully completed, it is expected to help millions of Airtel partners and customers in adopting 5G and edge computing technologies.

In the future, IBM and Airtel plan to embed AI capabilities as a core part of its network transformation.

This transformation is part of Airtel’s cloudification program to make its network agile, robust and scalable in a time when telecom operators worldwide are expected to spend over US$111 Billion by 2022 in upgrading their network cloud and platform to meet the increasing customer demand for seamless connectivity services and the exponential growth in data traffic.

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Two Singaporean cloud migration companies acquired by US private equity firm

US private equity firm I Squared Capital (ISC) has announced the acquisition and merger of Infofabrica Holdings Pte Ltd and Cloud Kinetics Tech Pte Ltd, two cloud migration services companies based in Singapore.

The acquisition was completed through ISC’s ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund II as part of its Asia Digital Infrastructure platform, a service with over 300 experienced deep tech professionals that offer cloud-based solutions to ISC’s clients.  

“The future of data and computing will be driven by the corporate adoption of hybrid cloud solutions through an orchestrated mix of on-premises infrastructure, co-location and cloud services. The combination of Infofabrica and cloud Kinetics will result in a powerful cloud migration solution provider for our clients,” said Gautam Bhandari, Managing Partner of ISC.

With the acquisition of both companies, I Squared Capital now has an accumulated total of US$2.6 billion dollars in digital infrastructure investment.

“The debate on the need for Cloud has ended after the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Haji Munshi, Group CEO of Infofabrica and Cloud Kinetics.

IDC predicts that Southeast Asia’s Cloud computing market will reach $40 billion by 2025.

“Whether businesses are developing and testing their new applications, scaling their online e-commerce offerings, or running their core business workloads, this is possible only because of the stable, scalable solutions offered by the public cloud,” said Mr. Munshi. 

“The demand for technical capability to migrate to Cloud has far outstripped supply in Asia Pacific thus far and the combined company will be a market leader in cloud migration services,” he added.

Mr. Munshi co-founded and will lead the new Asia Digital Infrastructure platform. He has held senior leadership positions at Google Cloud, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell.

“We are really pleased to be partnering with I Squared Capital, their expertise and breadth in Asia, along with existing large-scale investments in telecoms and data centers, will certainly accelerate and move us closer to our vision to be the top cloud migration and managed services provider in the region,” commented Abu Bakar Mohd Nor, Chairman of InfoFabrica.

InfoFabrica was founded in 2013, and has operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Cloud Kinetics was founded in 2012, and has operations in Singapore, Thailand, and the US.

Both companies are certified partners of Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Equinix rebrands Equinix Fabric, expands Network Edge capabilities

Equinix has announced the rebranding and upgrade of its two digital infrastructure services, Equinix Fabric and Network Edge, to respond to increasingly dynamic business needs.

Formerly Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric, the digital infrastructure interconnectivity platform is now rebranded as Equinix Fabric to more accurately reflect its current operations.

The platform now allows service providers to use it as a single interconnection approach to connect between all their physical and virtual devices located within Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers, which was previously not done before.

“No longer just about cloud connectivity, Equinix Fabric is now the new standard interconnection approach for digital leaders on Platform Equinix. The product name change we’ve made further signifies the pivotal shift in how the Equinix Fabric capabilities have Evolved,” said Bill Long, Senior Vice President of Core Product Management at Equinix.

This means that enterprises on Equinix Fabric can now directly connect with any other customer or to the world’s major cloud providers, including Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud available on Platform Equinix.

“With the pandemic accelerating the pace of digital transformation today, many enterprises are challenged with traditional infrastructure that was not built to meet the demands of a digital business world. Solving these challenges requires a new approach,” said Jennifer Cooke, Research Director, Cloud to Edge Data Center Trends at IDC.

“By deploying their digital infrastructure on Platform Equinix, many enterprises can quickly and easily achieve this today,” she added.

Physical devices located within Equinix data centers, as well as automated bare metal servers available with Equinix Metal, can also be connected with virtual devices like routers, firewalls and SD-WAN gateways available on Network Edge, thus bridging the distance between their distributed digital infrastructure.

Rakesh Inamdar, Senior Director of Core Infrastructure Services at Aon, pointed out that Aon was one of the many enterprises that benefited from Equinix’s upgrade.

With the pandemic creating a massive shift to remote work, Mr. Inamdar said that Equinix Fabric allowed their company to continue remotely without any reduction in services.

By harnessing the power of the Equinix platform, we were able to bring together and connect our core infrastructure globally, in a highly secure and cost-effective manner,” he continued.

Network Edge expands ecosystem services

Additionally, Network Edge, Equinix’s virtual network function (VNF) services ecosystem, has now made the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect virtual SD-WAN appliance available on their platform.

This means that Network Edge now has a full suite of vendor-neutral SD-WAN services, and companies are now able to deploy VNFs in real-time from multiple vendors, including Cisco, CloudGenix, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks, and VMware.

“As enterprises advance digital transformation initiatives, a cloud-first WAN architecture is essential to an organization’s overall digital infrastructure and long-term success,” said Fraser Street, the Vice President of Technical Alliances at Silver Peak, which was recently acquired by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

Equinix’s Network Edge was adopted on Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnect virtual SD-WAN appliances to enable enterprises to scale globally by virtually deploying a secure, digital-ready infrastructure at the edge.

With Equinix Fabric integration, Network Edge customers can also interconnect their virtual edge devices with cloud and network providers located in distributed global markets, extending their reach to up to thousands of new business partners around the world.

Equinix Fabric will enable customers to gain access to network service providers like AT&T, BT, Cloudflare, Colt Technology Services, HKBN and Verizon Business.

“This year has proven what we have long known, which is on-demand networking coupled with a technological ecosystem of like-minded providers is key to powering enterprises’ rapid transformations. By extending our collaboration with Equinix, together we’re giving enterprises greater agility and control over their most critical asset in today’s business landscape – their network,” said Peter Coppens, the Vice President Product Portfolio at Colt Technology Services.

Network Edge is currently available in Singapore and Sydney, and In 2021, Equinix expects to have Network Edge available in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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AirTrunk simultaneously opens data centers in Singapore and Hong Kong in a ‘world-first’

Australian hyperscale data center company AirTrunk has announced a ‘world-first’ dual opening of two new data centers in Singapore and Hong Kong, broadening its expansion into the Asia Pacific region.

Robin Khuda, founder and CEO of AirTrunk, said that the double data center opening marks a major milestone for the company.

“COVID-19 has accelerated already increasing demand for hyperscale data center infrastructure across the Asia-Pacific region. Our Hong Kong and Singapore data centers are connected, secure, and efficient homes for the cloud in Asia,” he noted.

AirTrunk SGP1, located in Singapore, is positioned close to the Changi North Cable Landing Station, near Singapore’s national airport for strong international connectivity. The data center was completed in just over a year and topped out in less than 30 weeks, with more than 1,000 people working over 1.6 million hours to complete the project.

The eight-storey AirTrunk HKG1 hyperscale data center in Hong Kong is located near Tsuen Wan, also an important hub for international connectivity.

Combined, both data centers have the capacity of 80 megawatts (MW) of IT load, allowing it to carry significant amounts of cloud backlog for some of the world’s largest companies.

Khuda also highlighted that SGP1 and HKG1, offering more than 80 MW combined, are energy efficient data centers that are designed to industry-low power usage effectiveness (PUE), with PUE ratings of 1.25 and 1.35 respectively.

“The shift to cloud-based solutions lowers total electricity consumption overheads and emissions, providing a more energy efficient solution for our customers and reducing the environmental impact,” he continued.

SGP1 and HKG1 have also met the stringent security requirements for data centers, including the PCI DSS, ISO27001, SOC2 Type 2. The facilities are also able to deploy advanced access control, threat monitoring and detection systems in their facilities.

Both the facilities now join AirTrunk’s three hyperscale data centers in Australia and a 300 MW data center in Japan that is currently under construction.

AirTrunk is backed by investment banking firm Macquarie, which acquired a majority 88% stake in the data center company for US$3 billion earlier this year.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Google Cloud hires former Cisco VP as Managing Director for Southeast Asia

Google Cloud has announced the appointment of Ruma Balasubramanian as the company’s new Managing Director for its operations in Southeast Asia.

She will be taking over the position from Tim Synan, who has been transferred to Italy for a new role as part of Google Cloud’s Global Strategic Initiatives team.

“Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Google Workspace, and industry-based AI/ML solutions are critical enablers for economic recovery and growth in Southeast Asia. As enterprises of all sizes look to digitize, modernize, and innovate, I’m thrilled to embark on this journey with Google Cloud to accelerate cloud adoption for our customers,” said Ms. Balasubramanian.

Ms. Balasubramanian joins the Google Cloud team from Cisco, where she was Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer for Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China.

During her time in Cisco, she led various digital transformation initiatives, and drove sales outcomes for APAC customers in a range of different industries including banking, manufacturing, retail, higher education, and healthcare.

Prior to Cisco, Ms. Balasubramanian was the Vice President and General Manager of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services division in Asia.

“We’ve achieved many ‘firsts’ in Southeast Asia under Tim Synan’s leadership. Ruma joins us at an exciting time as our business continues to grow from strength to strength in one of the most dynamic regions for technology adoption. We look forward to Ruma building on this strong foundation ,” said Rick Harshman, Managing Director of Google Cloud in Asia Pacific.

Google Cloud is targeting Southeast Asia with nine cloud regions in Asia Pacific, including their newest in Indonesia. Their customers include Bank BRI, GOJEK, NTUC Fairprice Co-Operative, REA Group, Reliance Health Services, Tiki Group, True Digital and Tokopedia.

Earlier this month, Google Cloud was also named one of the cloud service providers selected by GovTech to work with government agencies in Singapore.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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AWS plans to open second region in Australia

AWS has announced plans to open a second infrastructure region in Australia in the second half of 2022.

The new region in Melbourne will have three Availability Zones at launch, enabling organisations in the public and private sectors to gain lower latency, greater fault tolerance and resiliency for cloud workloads.

“Over the last decade, customers in Australia have relied upon the cloud to transform businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies, and with another AWS Region coming to Asia Pacific, we look forward to helping accelerate these transformations,” said Peter DeSantis, the Senior Vice President of Global Infrastructure and Customer Support at AWS.

The Availability Zones will add to the existing 25 in eight AWS Regions across Asia Pacific, including China, India, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. Availability Zones are connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks and include independent power, cooling, and physical security.

“We welcome the investment of one of the world’s leading tech companies into Melbourne – the new AWS Region will draw on our highly skilled talent, culture of innovation, and renowned capabilities in growing employment fields such as cloud computing,” said Tim Pallas, Victorian Minister for Economic Development.

The new region is expected to strengthen Australia’s tech reputation and contribute to their economic recovery.

“Having safe, secure and resilient infrastructure is paramount to providing the best banking experiences for our customers. As more traditional banking services continue to become available online, our annual investments in technology and innovation will continue to meet this demand, underpinned by our ongoing development of cloud-first, resilient, and modern platforms,” said Mark Vudrag, the Executive General Manager for Global Technology Services at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

For reliable infrastructure, Amazon is investing in the Hawaiki Submarine Cable, a 15,000km transpacific cable system that provides a low-latency, high-bandwidth connection from Australia to New Zealand and the United States.

“A new AWS Region here in Melbourne will allow us to further scale our innovation, and continue to transform our research and development projects that protect, prioritise, and benefit people across the city, state, and country,” said Professor Bronwyn Fox, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Enterprise at Swinburne University of Technology.

Hundreds of thousands of customers use AWS services in Australia each month to accelerate innovation, increase agility, and drive cost savings, including Australia Post, National Australia Bank,Kmart Group, Qantas, Atlassian, and Canva.

“AWS is like rocket fuel for startups. With a second local AWS Region and AWS’s incredible enablement programs for startups such as Activate, we will be able to continue to evolve our service capabilities and accelerate our growth,” said Alex Birch, the CEO and Co-Founder of XY Sense.

XY Sense has been involved in the AWS Partner Network, which includes tens of thousands of Independent Software Vendors and Systems Integrators around the world, building innovative solutions and services on AWS.

“With the new region in Australia, we expect that we will be able to expand our business and hire more highly skilled tech employees, further supporting the local workforce,” said Thor Essman, the CEO of Versent.

Over the last decade, Amazon has invested more than US$2.2 billion (AU$3 billion) in Australia, establishing its first infrastructure in Sydney in 2012.

“The announcement of the Asia Pacific (Melbourne) Region will allow us to leverage enhanced cloud skills to deliver secure, highly available, and disruptive solutions to our customers,” said Rob Hillard, Chief Transformation Officer for Deloitte Asia Pacific.

The new region, which consists of Availability Zones, will run in an environmentally-friendly way, as Amazon aims to reach net zero carbon across all operations by 2040.

Amazon has invested in two renewable energy projects in Australia, adding 165 MW of capacity and generating an expected 392,000 MWh annually, which is enough to power 63,000 average Australian homes each year.

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AWS unveils new machine learning chip Trainium

Amazon Web Services (AWS) unveiled a brand new high-performance chip known as Trainium for training machine learning models on the cloud.

Trainium is designed to address the limitations of Inferentia, AWS’ machine learning chip that was released last year.

Development teams were limited by fixed machine learning training budgets, which hampers the scope and frequency of training needed to improve their models and applications

The chip will complement Inferentia by offering AWS customers a smooth end-to-end flow of ML compute from scaling training workloads to deploying accelerated inference.

AWS Trainium shares the same AWS Neuron SDK as AWS Inferentia, making for simple migration or combination of the chips.

AWS says that Trainium is cost-effective, and is capable of accommodating deep training workloads, including image classification, semantic search, translation, voice recognition, natural language processing and recommendation engines.

Trainium will be available in 2021 via Amazon EC2 instances and AWS Deep Learning AMIs as well as managed services including Amazon SageMaker, Amazon ECS, EKS, and AWS Batch.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Okta announces new AWS integration for Okta Identity Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Be a part of Indonesia’s fast-growing cloud and data center industries

The cloud and data center industries in Indonesia are expected to witness epic growth in the next five years, with investments of over US$1 billion forecast.

And with new data protection laws proposed and recent data localisation regulations, the cloud and data center industries could continue to grow further.

It is an exciting time to watch Indonesia’s growth in the digital industry, and that’s why we will be hosting our Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit on Wednesday 9 December!

We will be joined by experts from SpaceDC, Piller Power, H1 Systems, Telkom Indonesia, Telkomsigma, the Indonesia Cloud Computing Association, Northstar Group, Bank KEB Hana Indonesia, the Jakarta Post, and ZNet Technologies.

Accelerating Digital Transformation: The case for Indonesia

Data centers are the backbone of Southeast Asia’s digital economies and are poised to play a key role in the development of the ICT sector. 

As a destination for hyperscale data center investments, Indonesia has shown remarkable development in e-commerce and cloud adoption. This puts the country in a strong position to lead the region as a digital economic powerhouse.

“Indonesians are already looking to adopt digital products and services in their core business – everything from online payments to digital processing and scalability. There is a track record of growth within the Indonesian digital economy, and the 5G network will surely drive up the demand,” said Elisabeth Simatupang, the Country Manager of SpaceDC.

“This will change the way we communicate and live our lives to work around the pandemic. Consequently, the gap to meet this demand will likely widen and we find a lot of companies looking to bridge that. Alibaba, AWS and Oracle are just some of the many riding on the trend,” added Ms. Simatupang.

First up on the show, we will be joined by Ms. Simatupang to share what businesses can do to enhance the country’s digital infrastructure, create new jobs for the Indonesians in the ICT sector and support even more companies hoping to digitalise and build for the future.

“Everyone has a different opinion on digital transformation, but most would agree it is essential for business continuity in this day. Digital transformation is an opportunity for businesses to reinvigorate their sales model and processes to eliminate time consuming, ineffective, and out of date procedures that are typically costly to business.

“Especially in Indonesia, where the infrastructure for this transformation sets the country ready in a pace faster than average, this summit will be an exciting scene where we will be able to witness some of the potential opportunities in the market,” said Ms. Simatupang.

To empower the digital economy and transformation in Indonesia, SpaceDC has launched their first data center in Jakarta, offering robust connectivity to the country and wider Southeast Asia region.

The best practice for data center deployment in the face of surging demand

Demand for data centers is exponentially increasing, as 150 million Indonesians are expected to access the internet by 2023 and 20 million new social media users have been added in the last two years.

“The data center industry is changing together with the ICT industry. The change in Indonesia over the last year is rapid, and with the digitalisation efforts of the Government and better connectivity, the landscape of data centers may also change rapidly,” said Tamas Balogh, Principal Consultant and Director of H1 Systems.

Therefore, it is essential to deploy the best and most efficient data centers to meet capacity and ensure reliability.

Join us in welcoming a panel of experts, including Palaniappan Muthuraman, of Piller Power, Tamas Balogh, from H1 Systems, Gunawan Santoso, of Northstar Group, and moderator Sabarinathan Sampath, from ZNet Technologies, to explore the best practices for data center deployment and new edge computing use cases.

“With these changes many new opportunities appear, which can be addressed by new business models and new technologies. Within our panel we will discuss a few of these approaches and possible solutions,” added Mr. Balogh.

Leveraging the digital ecosystem for Indonesia’s business growth

Indonesia is experiencing massive digital transformation, from the Internet of Things and AI to data centers and cloud technology.

However, Dian Rachmawan, the Director of Wholesale and International of Telkom Indonesia, believes that the telecommunications industry is stagnating due to the overemphasis on data centers and cloud.

“The telco industry is currently stagnating and in a state of survival due to telco companies being dumb pipe providers. By learning from the past, Telkom Indonesia aims to become more than just a dumb cloud provider that only acts as a data center and provides cloud services,” said Mr. Rachmawan.

For businesses to remain competitive, they will need to rely heavily on how they manage their data and adopt advanced technologies through effective digital transformation strategies.

Telkom Indonesia is leveraging its assets to provide its Beyond Connectivity, Cloud and Commerce to more than 2,000 local startups, helping them benefit from the digital economy era and bridge the digital divide.

“Indonesia’s businesses are predominantly MSMEs, therefore they should become the primary growth engines of the Indonesian economy. By providing our service, Telkom will be able to enable the local startup community to develop unique products to help the MSMEs expand their businesses in the digital economy era,” said Mr. Rachmawan.

At the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit, Mr. Rachmawan will share all the details on how governments, startups and the MSME community can gain a competitive advantage and take part in WINDigital, a new way to win and benefit the most from the digital economy era.

Also at the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit we will take a look at navigating Indonesia’s data protection landscape, edge computing and growth opportunities for AI and IoT, how the pandemic has changed business practices, innovations and trends in Indonesia’s online marketplaces, and leveraging the digital ecosystem for Indonesia’s business growth.

> Register now for the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit on Wednesday 9 December!

We would like to send a big thank you to our Platinum Sponsors SpaceDC and Piller Power Systems, Gold Sponsor Telkom Indonesia, Silver Sponsors H1 Systems, BlomTEQ and PowerShield Limited, and our Bronze Sponsor Onion Technology, as well as all our partners for helping to bring this event to you.