NTT helps 1,000 employees at Indonesia’s WOM Finance move to the cloud with Google’s G Suite

Indonesia’s Wahana Ottomitra Multiartha (WOM Finance) has successfully migrated to Google’s cloud-native platform G Suites with the help of NTT.

The global technology services provider NTT helped more than 1,000 employees at the Jakarta-based financial services provider move from their legacy mail server to G Suite within a month to accelerate their access to intelligent cloud-based apps. This signals the company’s commitment to implementing digital transformation in the workplace. 

“By going digital, we can make faster decisions in a safe and secure manner that will translate into better customer experience,” said Anthony Y. Panggabean, Director of WOM Finance.

Prior to the transition, WOM Finance’s daily operations were restricted by a mail server that was unable to handle scaling up to meet growing business demands. The lack of a centralised communications platform also meant that correspondence between employees were carried out independently “without explicit IT department approval”.

With Google G Suites being introduced to the workplace, WOM Finance’s business activities are now condensed in a single platform. 

Felix Priscellius, IT Division Head for WOM Finance, said they have experienced cost savings, less downtime and greater security, enabling them to scale up as quickly as the business grows.

In a time where remote and mobile-first working environments are more common than ever, WOM Finance’s digital transformation is a prime example of how cloud-based technologies are being adopted at a rapid pace with the help of cloud-based experts.

“We are truly excited about empowering WOM Finance on their workplace transformation journey to discover more dynamic ways to collaborate securely,” said Hendra Lesmana, the CEO for NTT Indonesia Solutions.

NTT has made many strides this year to expand their digital footprint and strengthen their cloud strategies through partnerships with Megaport and Microsoft.

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Google is building its third data center in Taiwan

Google has confirmed it will build its third data center in Taiwan, following speculation last month by the country’s Economic Daily News.

The tech giant made the announcement at a ‘Google for Taiwan’ event held on Thursday 3 September.

“As a country with limited natural resources and a population insufficient to produce the demographic dividend, Taiwan should ‘go smart’ to boost its international profile,” said Google Taiwan’s General Manager, Tina Lin.

Reports made by Taiwanese media outlets in late August suggested Google had purchased a 198,000 square meter plot of land in Yunlin County from local manufacturing firm China Man-made Fiber for US$681 million.

At present, Google has one data center in the Changhua County of Taiwan, and Google announced plans to build a second hyperscale data center in Tainan City last year.

At the event, Google also revealed its ambitions for its Digital Talent Exploration Program, expressing its plans to partner with Taiwanese businesses and the government to build a strong digital economy and a ‘smart Taiwan’.

Taiwan is one of Google’s largest tech bases in the Asia Pacific. And with a third data center, Google would be investing more than US$800 million in Taiwan, highlighting the company’s commitment to expand its presence in Asia, outside of Singapore and Indonesia where its other data centers preside.

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Google is building its third data center in Taiwan

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India’s TVS Automobile Solutions to develop ‘platform of platforms’ with Google Cloud

TVS Automobile Solutions, a leader in India’s automotive aftermarket, has partnered with Google Cloud to develop a ‘platform of platforms’ tailored to empower small entrepreneurs.

The initiative hopes to bring vehicle owners, retailers, garages and insurance companies into one digital ecosystem to provide service, automotive parts and roadside assistance.

“We can bring 30,000-40,000 small fragmented businesses … on our digital platform, thereby scaling up their businesses, generating new demand and managing services,” said G Srinivasa Raghavan, the Managing Director of TVS Automobile Solutions.

TVS Automobile Solutions, which is part of the $8.5 billion TVS Group, will offer a range of solutions, including connected vehicles, diagnostics and predictive service management and part replacement on the cloud to its 20,000+ retailers, 15,000 garages and over two million independent vehicle owners.

“We could provide on-demand, at-home, on-premise or any service requirement with an agreed turnover time for our customers,” said Mr. Raghavan.

The digitally transformed, ‘one-of-a-kind’ platform will deploy Industry 4.0 technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning to execute the said services.

“Besides placing requirements on the platform, retailers can search, pick and choose across one million parts provided and suggested by TVS ASL,” said Mr. Raghavan.

Mr. Raghavan believed the initiative will be seen as an accelerator in digitising the global aftermarket landscape.

As part of the partnership with Google Cloud, TVS ASL has migrated their data center infrastructures and public cloud deployments onto the tech giant’s platform.

“TVS ASL is unlocking the potential of its business data at scale using machine learning to automate and optimise it’s supply chain, and leveraging managed services so they can focus on their engineering effort on IT-led business initiatives that will pave the path for a strong digital future,” said Karan Bajwa, the Managing Director of Google Cloud India.

The aftermarket industry in India is estimated by TVS Automobile Solutions to be worth US$10 billion and grew at an annual rate of 10% in the last five years. The automotive aftermarket player expects the new digital platform will help them grow their market share of 4% to 10% by 2023.

The first phase of TVS ASL’s ‘platform of platforms’ is expected to be implemented in October.

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Google opens first cloud region in Indonesia to meet growing digital demands

Google Cloud has officially opened their first cloud region in Indonesia.

The new Google Cloud Platform region in Jakarta looks to accelerate the growth of developers and enterprises embracing cloud technology to drive one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“Indonesia is full of opportunity. You’re one of the most creative, dynamic and entrepreneurial countries in Southeast Asia,” said Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet.

A booming digital economy

Indonesia has more than 150 million Internet users and the fastest growing digital economy in Southeast Asia, expanding by more than 40% each year.

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

“The most exciting thing about Indonesia’s booming digital economy is how you’re using it to improve lives – from a new generation of young Indonesians working on big ideas for the future to new startups, whose innovations are spreading around the world,” said Mr. Pichai.

With lower latency access to data, artificial intelligence and analytics tools, the new region aims to support organisations in industries like financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and logistics.

“I look forward to seeing how the region will use Google Cloud to build new businesses and unleash new opportunities for people in Indonesia and around the world,” added Mr. Pichai.

Google recently announced a partnership with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration in Indonesia by modernising their infrastructure and migrating 70% of workloads to the cloud within the next three years.

“Our collaboration around Partner Interconnect will enable companies of all sizes in Indonesia to gain access to high-speed connectivity to create a whole new world of experiences for their customers,” said Megawaty Khie, the Country Director of Google Cloud in Indonesia.

“Advancing forward together.”

Maju Sama-Sama or “advancing forward together” is Google Indonesia’s motto. The tech giant has made commitments to develop talent critical to digital transformation journeys and build a resilient future.

Google will empower this by delivering 150,000 hands-on training labs in Indonesia this year as well as digital scholarships with Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to help people become GCP certified.

Johnny Plate, Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Informatics, said: “Google Cloud’s presence will certainly be an important part of the strengthening and development of digitally-based technology in Indonesia.”

The Government of Indonesia hopes Google’s data center can take part in making the security and privacy of data stronger as well as accelerate the adoption of data analytics, AI and machine learning.

Indonesia is currently accelerating its digital transformation towards the digital society. The country is focusing on the completion of telecommunications infrastructure development, with specific attention to the middle mile and last mile networks. The country also aims to accelerate the adoption of 5G, construct national and Government data centers and develop digital talent.

“The launch of Google Cloud in Indonesia is an example of excellent synergy where the business world, private sector, join hands to support Government policy to meet the needs of state-of-the-art technology,” said Mr. Plate.

The new Google Cloud region in Indonesia adds to Google’s portfolio of nine locations in Asia Pacific, enabling Indonesian customers to localise their cloud usage rather than using services in other regions like Singapore and Sydney.

Other cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft are also looking to expand out into Indonesia to join Google and Alibaba.

Alibaba Cloud has already built its second data center in Indonesia and announced US$28 billion worth of data center investments covering 21 regions, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to support digital transformation in a post-pandemic world.

Microsoft, one of Indonesia’s major cloud service providers, is also eying up the possibility of building a data center by investing US$2.5 billion to develop cloud-computing systems.

The largest public cloud provider in the world, Amazon Web Services, has announced plans to build several interconnected data centers by 2022. 

Industry Minister, Agus Gumiwang, said: “This investment can boost Indonesia to become a strategic digital hub. The AWS region in Indonesia will certainly support the startup ecosystem so it can grow rapidly.”

Indonesia has a vibrant technological future ahead – it will certainly be exciting to see the innovations resulting from the rapidly growing digital economy.

Image credit: Google Cloud

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Google Cloud partners with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration in Indonesia

Google Cloud has entered into two strategic partnerships with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration and further digital transformation strategies in Indonesia.

As a leading telecommunications provider, XL Axiata aims to migrate 70% of workloads to the cloud within the next three years.

“XL Axiata is committed to the modernization of our infrastructure to get more business agility and increase application deployment velocity,” said Yessie D Yosetya, the Chief Information and Digital Officer at XL Axiata.

The Indonesian cellular provider will adopt Google Cloud’s Anthos to securely and consistently automate, manage and scale workloads across its hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.

Ms Yosetya added: “Anthos was a natural fit as it lets us adopt containers while letting Google, a leader in Kubernetes, manage our container infrastructure for us.”

The app modernisation platform known as Anthos will enable XL Axiata to extend its cloud capabilities across on-premise data centers and various cloud-based resources by using Google’s Kubernetes Engine.

“With Anthos, we’re providing a consistent platform for XL Axiata to deploy workloads both on-premises and in the cloud so they can accelerate their own digital transformation,” said Megawaty Khie, the Country Director of Google Cloud in Indonesia.

Transferring data between XL Axiata’s five data centers and Google’s global network

As part of the second partnership, XL Axiata has become a Google Cloud Interconnect Partner, which will bring high-speed connectivity, cloud services and digital growth opportunities.

Customers in Indonesia will be empowered to reliably transfer data between XL Axiata’s five data centers and Google’s global network.

Ms Khie said: “Our collaboration around Partner Interconnect will enable companies of all sizes in Indonesia to gain access to high-speed connectivity to create a whole new world of experiences for their customers.”

As part of the Interconnect partnership, Google’s Dedicated Interconnect service provides physical connections between XL Axiata’s data center network and the Google Cloud network through a private network rather than public Internet.

“This is indeed a win-win collaboration with XL Axiata,” celebrated Ms Khie.

A private network typically delivers ‘fewer points of failure where traffic might usually get dropped or disrupted and offers the added benefit of increased security and management functionality’.

XL Axiata also has plans to implement Google Cloud’s scalable data analytics platform to enhance customer experiences through data- and AI-driven technologies.

Leveraging on Indonesia’s cloud boom

Indonesia’s cloud market is booming, with a number of new hyperscale data centers announced by organisations, including Princeton Digital Group, Google, Alibaba Cloud, AWS and Microsoft.

“Service providers worldwide are embarking on transformation journeys centered on the cloud in order to drive new services, revenue opportunities and experiences,” said Ms Khie in a press release on Tuesday 9 June.

Indonesia is expected to experience investments worth over US1$ billion and an annual growth rate of 11% between 2019 and 2025.

Google’s Managing Director in Indonesia, Randy Jusuf, said the country’s ‘digital economy has become the largest in Southeast Asia’ and is projected to reach US$124.1 billion by 2025, triple the Rp 548.2 trillion it recorded in 2020.

XL Axiata’s partnership with Google Cloud looks to ‘serve the evolving needs of millions of companies across Indonesia’s rapidly digitizing economy’ by empowering cloud migration and digital transformation.

Last year, Princeton Digital Group, a leading investor, developer and operator of Internet infrastructure, acquired a 70% stake in XL Axiata’s data centers to give them a strong foundation to grow their business in Indonesia.

Following this acquisition, PDG looks to develop two new hyperscale greenfield builds that are slated to be ready by 2022.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AWS now spans 76 Availability Zones within 24 geographic regions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Check out the Q1 2020 data center landscape

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

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

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

Huawei Cloud boasts faster market share growth among all service providers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alibaba remains the cloud computing leader in Asia Pacific

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IBM sees continued cloud revenue growth to US$5.4 billion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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