Microsoft wants to unite APAC markets under new cybersecurity council

Microsoft has launched its first ever Asia Pacific Sector Cyber Security Executive Council that will bring together seven markets across in the region to build a strong and coordinated response to cyberattacks.

Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, and South Korea are the first seven members to be joining the council. Fifteen policymakers from government and state agencies, technology and industry leaders, as well as cybersecurity professionals from Microsoft will meet on a quarterly basis to exchange information on cyber threats and cybersecurity solutions.

Microsoft said that the formation of the council marks “the first step towards defending [communities] in [the] cyberspace.”

“Our joint mission is to build a strong coalition, to strengthen our cyber security defense,” said Sherie Ng, Public Sector General Manager at Microsoft Asia Pacific.

The council’s cybersecurity concerns will span across critical sectors including healthcare, transportation, finance, and education.

Dato’ Ts. Dr. Haji Amirudin Abdul Wahab FASc, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia, added that: “Cybersecurity is an important national agenda that cannot rely solely on the back of the IT team. It should be a priority and responsibility of all individuals, as we continue to see cyber-criminal activities rise exponentially with the proliferation of data and digital connectivity.”

“This coalition certainly establishes stronger partnerships with industry leaders and practitioners that allow us to fortify our security postures and combat cybercrime,” he continued.

Thanks to the pandemic remote work new normal, the Asia Pacific region is most at risk of cybersecurity threats, including cyber espionage. Verizon’s Cyber Espionage Report revealed that the APAC region sees the most frequent occurrence when it comes to cyber espionage attacks, with 42% of organisations having experienced a breach.

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France’s Teleperformance opens cloud campus hubs across the Philippines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OpenSignal: Philippines and Thailand see most improvement in 5G experience

The Philippines and Thailand are two Southeast Asian markets that see the biggest improvement in terms of mobile experience with 5G. In terms of 4G/5G download speed, Thailand’s 5G is 13.4 times faster than that of 4G, whereas the Philippines’ is 10.1 times faster.

Mobile analytics company OpenSignal published its latest global 5G experience report, detailing the 5G development of emerging markets.

5G video experience in the Philippines saw a 40 percent improvement, ranking first. Thailand came in second place with a 29 percent improvement, ahead of Hong Kong, Taiwan, UK and Australia.

Image Credit: OpenSignal

Commenting on the survey, Ian Fogg, lead analyst at OpenSignal, said: ““For 5G to be relevant to mainstream mobile users, the latest mobile technology must offer an excellent and superior mobile network experience. In this analysis, we quantify just how good the 5G experience can be.”

The world’s fastest 5G is in South Korea

Meanwhile, with an average download speed of 354.4 Mbps, South Korea ranks first in the world in 5G speed. It is also the only country in the world with a download speed that exceeds 300 Mbps. This is followed by the UAE, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia, with 292.2, 272.2, and 264.7 Mbps of download speed respectively.

Image Credit: OpenSignal

Next, in terms of 5G availability and reach, South Korea, Kuwait, and Hong Kong take the top three spots. 29.8 percent of smartphone users in Kuwait spend the highest proportion of time connected to an active 5G signal, and in South Korea and Hong Kong the number is 24.7 percent and 23.4 percent respectively.

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Philippine Air Force to build cybersecurity center in new deal with local tycoon

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be building a new cybersecurity center with funding from local tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan.

Pangilinan, President and CEO of Philippine conglomerate PLDT Group, will be building the MVP Cybersecurity Center for Excellence to enhance the PAF’s ability to counter cyberattacks.

This new facility can also be seen as part of the Philippine government’s digitalisation effort. PAF spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Aristides Galang, said that the center will house PAF’s other security departments, including the security operations center, the network operations center, and PAF’s cyber range.

Pangilinan’s PLDT Group is the parent company of Smart Telecommunications, one of the two largest telecommunications service providers in the country.

“We are one with the government in ensuring that our country is safe from cyber threats. We look forward to more engagements with the Philippine Air Force and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on this front,” said Pangilinan.

This is not the first collaboration between PAF and PLDT. In August 2020, both parties signed an agreement that saw PLDT’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) provide cybersecurity training to military officers in the PAF.

PLDT to install two fiber landing stations in 2021

Philippine conglomerate PLDT has announced plans to install two cable landing stations to increase network connectivity in the country.

The company will be executing the project via its telecommunications subsidiary, Smart Communications. 

Exact locations of the new cable landing stations have not been confirmed, but PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan assured that his company is making significant investments in the sector.

“I think that’s something a single fixed broadband operator cannot do. We can do that because we are using fiber, not only for fiber-to-the-home, but also for mobile and for enterprise customers,” Mr. Panglinan said.

PLDT already has three cable landing stations and at least two more are set for next year. These are intended to improve Smart’s wireless networks like LTE and 5G, as well as connections to their data centers.

The ongoing expansion work will eventually extend PLDT’s fiber footprint by 81,000 km, which will be 31,000km more than the amount in 2020, and 50,000km more than the amount in 2021.

PLDT’s efforts to connect more Filipinos

Aside from the new cable landing stations, earlier this month PLDT and Smart revealed their goal to increase broadband links in the Philippines from 72,000 links to 100,000 links a month.

According to local media reports, PLDT and Smart currently have the most extensive and advanced digital networks in the country, with a total of 395,000 kilometers in coverage. 

The new cable landing station will thus add to the conglomerate’s sizable network reach, providing greater connectivity for Philippine citizens.

“5G without fiber will not work, and therefore we have a high synergy between the various networks. In the last couple of years, we have deployed the strategy called ‘follow the fiber.’ Wherever there is fiber, we can connect any business, fiber-to-the-home, fiber-to-the-enterprise and fiber-to-the-base-station,” added Panglinan. 

PLDT and Smart are also part of a network of 16 international cable systems, including the recently announced high-performance submarine cable by international consortium Asia Direct Cable.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Microsoft launches AI Pilipinas Coalition to promote responsible use of artificial intelligence in the Philippines

Microsoft, the Department of Trade and Industry, and a number of other stakeholders have launched the AI Pilipinas Coalition to democratise and promote responsible use of artificial intelligence.

The Coalition will bring together key organisations, leaders in Government and the private sector to empower people through the use of AI.

AI is expected to play a critical role in helping the Philippines respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by building resiliency and increasing the country’s competitiveness on the global stage.

But to make sure this is done responsibly, the AI Pilipinas Coalition was set up.

“A number of startups in the country are offering AI solutions to consumers and businesses. And they are accelerating the integration of AI technologies and tools in day-to-day transactions, making them more accessible to the public,” said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.

During the launch of AI Pilipinas Coalition, Secretary Lopez emphasised the critical role technology will play in the nation’s economic recovery, adding that AI in particular is poised to make a significant contribution to enabling Filipino individuals and enterprises for the future.

The Department of Trade and Industry will support industries to address these barriers, including the lack of financial and technical capacity and poor infrastructure.

“Even as there is an increase in use of AI and other Industry 4.0 technologies, our industries have yet to harness the benefits of such technologies and overcome key challenges to their adoption,” said Secretary Lopez.

The AI Pilipinas Coalition designed an AI Action Agenda to spark positive transformation and digital acceleration in the Philippines. 

The Agenda is built on six key pillar actions, including establishing a clear mandate from the highest level of Government for Philippines’ AI vision, defining clear roles and responsibilities with Government, building trust in AI by encouraging implementation of responsible AI, supporting data-driven innovation that is central to AI, providing legal and regulatory clarity to encourage responsible use of AI, and preparing the workforce for an AI economy.

“AI is a defining technology of our time. We are working to make it accessible to every individual and organisation in the country, infusing AI into what we do, in order to amplify ingenuity with intelligent technology,” said Microsoft Philippines Country General Manager, Andres Ortola.

The other stakeholders in the AI Pilipinas Coalition include the Makati Business Club, Infocomm Technology Association of the Philippines (ITAP), Institute of Corporate Directors, Women’s Business Council Philippines, and the US-ASEAN Business Council.

“Today is a good start but there is still a lot of work to be done. We, in the private sector – the businesses, the academe, our citizens, together with the Government – need to frame our national effort to build a strong foundation for AI,” said Carlo Subido, the President of ITAP.

“We support data driven innovation that is central to AI. We have a lot of talents here in the Philippines so there is no reason we cannot play globally in AI,” he added.

Trust is the foundation of Microsoft’s work in AI, with a focus on human-centered design, fairness, inclusiveness and transparency as well as the shared responsibility it creates with customers and partners by providing practical guidance, best practices and tools to enable the responsible creation of AI.

“The business sector and business orgs need to be responsive to technological and economic change. We have to embrace AI and its potential applications. This Coalition, which welcomes other businesses and organisations, represents the business sector’s commitment to promote national and economic development through responsible AI,” said Coco Alcuaz, the Executive Director of the Makati Business Club.

Recent years have seen AI move increasingly into mainstream products thanks to the massive computing power of the cloud, the availability of enormous datasets that can be used to teach AI systems, breakthroughs in developing AI algorithms and improvements in AI methods such as deep learning. 

With far-reaching impacts permeating all areas of society and economy, a study by McKinsey estimates that AI techniques will have the global potential to create between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in value annually.

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Image credit: Microsoft

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The Philippines’ third telco DITO appoints Fortinet as cybersecurity provider

Philippines telecommunication company, DITO Telecommunity, announced it has chosen US cybersecurity firm Fortinet to serve as its primary provider.

DITO will leverage on the network security infrastructure provided by Fortinet to protect the data of its customers. 

The telco will utilise Fortinet Security Fabric, Fortinet’s flagship cyber intelligence platform that uses an array of cloud-based security solutions to allow businesses to better detect and manage cyberthreats.

Although the company delayed its plans to launch as the Philippines third telco due to COVID-19, DITO has been making strides to better equip itself for its debut in 2021.

Enhanced cybersecurity measures could add to DITO’s competitiveness in the Filipino telecommunications market and contribute to the industry’s expected growth

Headquartered in California, Fortinet offers cybersecurity solutions to large-scale enterprises and government organisations across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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What is the weak link in your cybersecurity strategy?

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The Philippines’ third telco DITO appoints Fortinet as cybersecurity provider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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VMWare upgrades cloud solutions in the Philippines to support businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

As the COVID-19 infection numbers continue to fluctuate and lockdowns put a strain on businesses in the Philippines, VMWare has introduced a series of new work-from-home cloud solutions to provide support during the pandemic.

The new innovations come at a time when the Philippines is adapting to a mobile and digital-first economy in order to cope with the evolving situation.

“In this new normal, customers need employees who are able to work seamlessly in a secure environment, anywhere, anytime,” said Walter So, the Country Manager of VMware Philippines.

Since the COVID-19 numbers began to rise, at least 100 establishments in the country and more than 10,000 employees across education, retail and commerce have benefited from VMWare’s Workspace ONE remote working solutions.

Adding to the solution, a number of new features have been announced to provide employees with more secure digital workspaces across any devices, which is becoming increasingly important as cyberattacks are becoming more common during the pandemic.

“Whether it is for work-from-home, on cloud or on security, all these solutions are relevant for all sectors,” said Sanjay K. Deshmukh, VMWare’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia and Korea.

The US-based cloud solutions company also announced VMWare SD-WAN by VevoCloud, a new cloud solution that would provide businesses with increased bandwidth. This means that businesses would be able to access cloud services and private data centers at greater speeds, enabling enhanced network scalability.

In partnership with Google Cloud and AWS, VMWare has expanded its access and lowered the costs of migration to their solutions for businesses in the Philippines by delivering the full stack of software on the cloud giants’ engines.

“In the past few months, [our partners] have helped to set up remote working capabilities, architect cloud and app infrastructure, and deploy intrinsic security solutions for many in a matter of weeks, and sometimes sooner,” said Mr. So.

VMWare’s new innovations will be delivered through their partner ecosystem across the Philippines.

“We are extremely grateful for their tireless efforts,” added Mr. So.

To upgrade security measures, VMWare introduced Carbon Black Cloud, a cloud native endpoint protection platform that would allow IT teams to detect, respond and prevent malware threats in real-time.

Following reports earlier in the year that VMWare vRealize Automation Cloud Service had been released in Singapore, the service is now available in the Philippines, too.

Some of the top companies in the Philippines are using VMWare’s cloud solutions, including local telecommunications giant Globe Telecommunications, Metrobank, the country’s second largest bank as well as Integrated Computer Systems, AMTI, MDi and VST ECS Phils Inc.

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Is cloud hosting right for your business?

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

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Philippines telecom market powers through in spite of COVID-19

In April, W.Media reported that due to COVID-19, the Philippines’ newest telecom company, DITO Telecommunity, was forced to delay its launch due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The fixed-line market in the Philippines is said to be underdeveloped with low penetration in the broadband market due to low investment in digital infrastructure and rapid development of mobile technologies. 

But today, the Philippines could still see a silver lining in spite of difficult circumstances, as interest in improving digital infrastructures and building new data centers is rising. 

Two of the largest telecom companies, PDLT and Globe Telecom, are making continual moves to upgrade existing infrastructure.

PDLT will continue to accelerate its network modernisation program, shifting from copper to fibre, and their subsidiary Smart Communications teamed up with Google to deploy Wi-Fi hubs across the country. 

Smart and Globe have also pledged to participate in network sharing with DITO, signalling a willingness to speed up network rollouts like 5G and break up the long-standing duopoly held by PDLT and Globe.

DITO’s entrance to the Filipino market held similar ambitions, which is why it is also predicted that market competition in the country is expected to intensify from 2021, less than four months away.

In other exciting news, a new subsea cable, JUPITER, that links the Philippines with Japan and the U.S. has gained approval from the U.S. government and will be completed by 2021.

However, the pandemic crisis has left its mark on the telecom industry, with supply chains halted and job cuts slowing down construction of infrastructures, postponing the rollout of 5G and halting consumer demand for services. 

As to how Filipino consumers would respond to market competition, a reduced but steady and positive growth is predicted. This is because COVID-19 has proven that access to general communication is crucial to live life under the ‘new normal’ where technology is needed to support home-working.

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Uncover the importance of interconnectivity with W.Media

Interconnectivity in data centers has accelerated, as the need for connected devices and digital transformation is rapidly rising.

For a region like Asia Pacific that is rapidly going digital, data center providers are working hard to design connected platforms that enable global teams to collaborate with less downtime and latency.

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PLDT and Philippine Air Force team up to train ‘cyber warriors’ against security threats

PLDT, a major telecommunications company in the Philippines, has signed an agreement with the Philippine Air Force to provide cybersecurity training for their ‘cyber warriors’.

Along with subsidiaries, ePLDT and Smart Communications, PLDT Group will enhance the military service’s cyber operations by upgrading the security of their digital infrastructures using ePLDT’s Security Operation Center, which provides the Philippine Air Force with their own dashboard to monitor cybersecurity operations.

“We are one with the government in ensuring that our country is safe from cyber threats,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT chair and CEO.

The training will take place through lectures and hands-on management and operation sessions, working side-by-side with PLDT’s cybersecurity team.

This agreement is the latest in a line of efforts by PLDT to improve the country’s cybersecurity following the launch of a Cybersecurity Council chaired by Mr. Pangilinan to protect enterprises in the infrastructure and telecommunications space from the rising tide of cyber threats.

A first by a Philippine conglomerate, the Council complies with the Data Privacy Act and Cybercrime Prevention Act in the Philippines, requiring companies to safeguard customer data.

The Council is composed of representatives from Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Maynilad Water Services, Manila Electric, Philex Mining, Makati Medical Center, MediaQuest Holdings, Metropac Movers, PLDT Global, MVP Rewards and Keralty Philippines.

PLDT and Smart Communications also became involved in the Asian Institute of Management’s Cybersecurity Executive Course to help organisations manage cyber threats and build cyber-resilient infrastructures.

Securing smooth work-from-home arrangements during the pandemic

This week, PLDT’s information and communications technology arm, ePLDT, introduced a new cloud service to provide a simplified and secure platform to remotely manage desktops and cloud applications during work-from-home arrangements.

The Virtual Desktop solution aims to provide employees with secure access to corporate data and applications authorised by the company.

“Our aim at ePLDT is to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation, especially today as they navigate through the pandemic,” said Jovy Hernandez, the President and CEO of ePLDT.

The Virtual Desktop uses Microsoft Azure to deliver the security and simplified management promised by the cloud service.

“Our focus throughout this unprecedented time has been on making sure our customers, partners and communities around the world remain connected, productive and secure,” said Andres Ortola, the Country General Manager of Microsoft Philippines.

ePLDT has currently deployed 1,000 units of their Virtual Desktop solution within the PLDT group to allow a smooth and secure work-from-home arrangement.

What is the weak link in your cybersecurity strategy?

Southeast Asia is becoming a prime target for cybercriminals, with rapidly growing digitalisation and interconnectivity in the region.

But who or what is the weakest link in your cybersecurity chain making your business vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Register now to find out how you can protect your business and data from the growing threat of cybercriminals on Thursday 24 September.

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

Globe 5G makes cloud gaming breakthrough in the Philippines

Globe Telecom has made a successful breakthrough in cloud gaming tests using its highly anticipated 5G mobile network.

In partnership with multi-cloud digital innovations company, Apper.ph, the tests explored the possibility of enabling gamers to play high-performance games without needing a console or high-powered computer.

“The continuous roll out of Globe 5G will not only change the way we play our favorite games, but this is also a leap to a lot of other possibilities that this technology can bring,” said Coco Domingo, Globe’s Vice President for Strategic Platforms and Partnerships.

Globe’s ultra fast 5G technology was married with cloud technology to successfully test BANDAI NAMCO’s Tekken 7 with substantially low latency and close to zero lag.

The qualities of zero lag and latency are highly sought after by players and cloud gaming providers, as any reduction in performance could lead to losing a game and a poor user experience.

Dr. Thomas King, the Chief Technology Officer at the global Internet Exchange operator, DE-CIX, said: “Considering the increasingly realistic looking graphics of current games, it is clear that enormous amounts of data have to be transported from the server to the output medium.”

When gaming takes place wholly in the cloud, it is essential that latency is kept to a minimum to ensure that services succeed with the user, especially when every millisecond counts, said Dr. King.

To achieve this, technologies like 5G and edge computing are adopted to make sure that data is processed and transported as closely to the gamers as possible.

Globe became the first mobile operator in Southeast Asia to introduce a commercially available 5G network with AirFiber in 2019 and introduced Globe 5G to customers in February 2020 with the launch of the first mobile device in The Philippines.

Earlier this year, Globe expanded their cloud portfolio with a US$4 million investment to acquire ‘substantially all assets’ of US-based premier AWS partner Cascadeo.

How will cloud gaming impact the future of game design?

As we discovered in W.Media’s first GameTech digital event, our speakers from Tencent Cloud and OVHcloud revealed the critical importance of IT infrastructure, 5G and edge data centers in enabling a cloud gaming future with almost zero latency and lag.

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

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

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Globe 5G makes cloud gaming breakthrough in the Philippines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image Credit: Oracle PR

Make cloud-first happen in Malaysia with Oracle

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

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

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

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Delta Electronics tackles the unique challenges of powering mature and emerging data center markets in Southeast Asia

The task of powering data centers is no easy feat, especially when each country brings its unique infrastructure challenges. Any downtime for data centers can be incredibly costly, and this risk is continuously increasing with more industries becoming reliant on data centers.

Within this context, Delta Electronics, a leading global provider of power management solutions, identifies and tackles the unique challenges of powering data centers in emerging markets like the Philippines and more mature markets like Singapore with tailored solutions fitted to each environment.

Reliably empowering data center growth in the Philippines

Emerging markets like the Philippines fuel Southeast Asia’s data center construction market growth with companies such as Globe Telecom, the Philippine Land Transportation Office and PLDT expanding their networks in the country.

The Philippines has a population of over 100.7 million, with 41 Internet users per 100 and rising. It is also ranked #34 for data center density.

But to enable sustainable growth, data centers in the Philippines must have reliable power in a country where natural disasters and political controversies pose great risks for power suppliers.

“Power qualities in areas outside of Metropolitan Manila are not as reliable. Voltage spikes and sags as well as routine power outages are still common for some areas,” said Jimmy Wan, Country Sales Director for Delta Electronics.

Manila has a connectivity ecosystem made up of 18 colocation data centers and 23 cloud service providers, but even last year Luzon’s grid was on red alert.

“Almost the entire country will only have one grid, unlike most countries where any particular area may have two or more power supplies. This means that power ratings of three or four are not completely possible in the Philippines,” added Mr. Wan.

As an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, the rest of the Philippines also has logistical issues with deployment of power solutions and post-sale services. To overcome these challenges, Delta Electronics has service partners that cover the country to deliver services similar to the level in Metro areas.

Another challenge affecting the country is the fact that many small and medium-sized data centers are still on a baseline N deployment with no ability for redundancy. This means a component is not backed up by a duplicate in the event of failure. Medium and larger sized data centers more commonly have N+1 redundancy for UPS deployment.

Mr. Wan said: “A lot of data centers in the Philippines are still using comfort cooling systems like traditional air conditioning instead of precision cooling to maintain the climate inside their data centers.”

The lack of precision cooling in the country may be due to the Philippines typically running at 60Hz frequency, as many compressors and cooling units generally run at 50Hz.

On top of this, the Philippines also has the unique scenario of varying voltages, with 230V, 380V and 460V three-phase voltages depending on the area of the archipelago you live in. Typically, older buildings run at 230V and industrial areas run at 460V, while newer buildings have a 380 voltage.

“This poses a challenge for equipment suppliers, as the majority of demand is in 380V/3ph. Manufacturing in the other voltages are on a per order basis with longer lead times,” said Mr. Wan.

To solve this problem, Delta Electronics adapted to the rest of the market by making use of transformers for three-phase uninterruptible power supply solutions.

Mr. Wan added: “We have many manufacturing plants worldwide and in Southeast Asia, so we can supply our products on time to many markets.”

Delta Electronics has noticed that the Philippines market is adapting to not only reliable, but also efficient power usage.

Mr. Wan celebrated: “The market is understanding now that it is not only important to have continuous power and cooling, but also to do it efficiently by not wasting power.”

Energising Singapore’s land sparse, humid, mature data center market

Singapore is the third most robust data center market in the world and has the most mature market of any country in Southeast Asia, but it is still growing with new constructions from Equinix, Digital Realty, Keppel Data Centres and Facebook as well as cloud providers like AWS, Google, Microsoft and IBM.

Singapore is a great place to set up a data center with low risk of natural disasters, strong network connectivity, a stable political system and a geographically strategic location as a gateway connecting neighbouring Asian countries.

While the high heat and tropical climate in Singapore may seem like paradise for vacationers, it is less than desirable for data centers, as cooling systems have to work harder and consume more power to keep the facility at an optimum temperature.

This is not ideal since data centers already consume an extraordinary amount of power in a time when Singapore is looking to achieve energy efficiency and reduce emissions with carbon taxes and Green Data Centre Standards.

To this end, Delta Electronics endeavors to ‘remain committed to the research and development of innovative, energy-saving products, solutions and services that substantially contribute to the sustainable development of mankind’.

Mr. Wan said: “Our solutions are tailor-fitted to our environment and are designed to resolve our challenges. Our products are driven by global trends, scalability, efficiency and sustainability.”

Delta Electronics, with headquarters based in Taiwan, recently celebrated achieving a TIER III-Ready Award by Uptime Institute for their Point of Delivery data center solution, recognising its energy efficiency and power reliability.

Mr. Wan added: “To amend power quality, the market usually oversizes their equipment or makes use of other power quality equipment to amend these issues like power filters.”

In a land sparse country like Singapore where space is becoming increasingly valuable, Delta Electronic’s POD solution along with their Micro Data Center and Containerized Data Center solutions allow for small, medium and large enterprises to take advantage of efficient and future-proof solutions.

“Delta is unique as it is the only top data center vendor that has its headquarters in Asia. Most vendors are either European or American,” said Mr. Wan.

Delta Electronics also recently helped HTC-ITC, a subsidiary of Hanoi Telecom, to build a TIER III Uptime certified data center in Vietnam.

With the right power solutions, an emerging market could grow into a more mature market and compete at a global scale, ultimately providing societies with greater connectivity and efficiency that can power up local and worldwide digital economies.

> Discover Delta Electronics’ empowering solutions

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Alibaba Cloud plans Southeast Asia expansion with new Indonesia data center and Philippines alliance

Alibaba Cloud has set in motion plans to expand into Southeast Asia with the announcement of their third data center in Indonesia and a Philippines Ecosystem Alliance.

The initiatives were driven by fast-growing demand from customers who are adopting cloud technologies and progressing digital transformation strategies at a rapid pace.

Not one, not two, but three data centers

Indonesia’s data center market is fueled by an increasing number of Internet and social media users as well as greater connectivity and cloud adoption across the country.

The Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Johnny G. Plate believed Alibaba Cloud’s third data center will accelerate the country’s digital transformation efforts.

The expansion comes after Alibaba Cloud built its first data center in 2018, and a second last year. Upon completion of the third in 2021, Alibaba Cloud will have 64 availability zones across 21 regions worldwide.

The digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group also announced its plan to build the first data scrubbing center in the country to help customers fend off cyberattacks, particularly affecting the finance and gaming industries.

“Cyberattacks have grown in intensity and sophistication, especially at a time when more businesses are moving their IT infrastructure onto cloud,” said Leon Chen as Country Manager at Alibaba Cloud Indonesia.

Alibaba Cloud’s new scrubbing center will help detect, analyse and remove large volumes of malicious traffic to defend distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

As Southeast Asia’s largest and fastest growing digital economy, other tech giants including Google and AWS have also expanded their services in Indonesia.

Alibaba Cloud was also named the largest IaaS provider in Asia Pacific by a recent Gartner report, while Tencent Cloud was third across the region and Huawei Cloud placed third in China.

Accelerating digital transformation in the Philippines

Along with their announcement for a third data center in Indonesia, Alibaba Cloud also revealed the formation of the Alibaba Cloud Philippines Ecosystem Alliance to speed up digital transformation in the country.

“The Philippines is a booming market with a big group of young and digital savvy population. There is strong demand for digital transformation in accordance with the local government’s ‘cloud-first’ initiative,” said Leo Liu, General Manager of Hong Kong, Macau, Korea and Philippines for Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

The alliance will bring together thousands of Alibaba Cloud’s partners and customers to promote cloud adoption and analytics intelligence for businesses of all sizes.

“Digitalisation will be the global economic bedrock in the post-COVID era. This is why we are determined to enhance our efforts in supporting businesses here in their digital transformation journeys,” said Allen Guo, Alibaba Cloud’s Head for Philippines.

The global cloud provider will invest US$283 million this year to train partners and create solutions as well as committing to the aim of training 50,000 IT professionals and certifying at least 10,000 of these within the next three years.

Alibaba Cloud recently worked with telecommunications giant PLDT to provide hybrid cloud and security solutions for eSports matches during the Southeast Asian Games in 2019.

PLDT’s Enterprise and International Data Regional Head for Asia Pacific, Jeff Mendoza, said: “We are looking forward to fortifying this partnership and cooperation as we face this new era of cloud modernisation.”

Over the next three years, the largest provider of public cloud services in China looks to continue its global expansion by investing an additional US$28 billion on its cloud infrastructure, from operating systems, servers, to chips and networks.

Looking to migrate your data to the cloud?

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

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

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

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

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

The Philippines updates Cloud First Policy in transition to ‘new normal’ amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The Philippines has amended its Cloud First Policy to transition to a “new normal” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has recognised the vital role of ICT by providing clearer instructions on policy coverage, data classification and data security to meet global standards.

“We are paving the way to an ICT policy environment that is more responsive to current needs, further filling gaps in our country’s digitalisation efforts,” said DICT Secretary, Gregorio B. Honasan II.

The Cloud First Policy looks to promote cloud computing as the preferred technology for the Philippine Government’s administration and delivery of services to efficiently serve the public.

Mr Honasan said: “The shift to a truly digital government is much more pressing today.”

This shift is expected to empower greater flexibility, security, innovation and cost-efficiency.

“The DICT is committed to cover all aspects of this, primarily policies that would enable government digital transformation to ensure that we maximize ICT during this transition to the new normal,” said Mr Honasan.

Clarifying ‘Cloud First’

The amendments made to the Cloud First Policy clarify which institutions in the Philippines will be covered, and which are only encouraged to adopt cloud technology.

The policy will cover all departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the Executive Branch as well as state universities and colleges. The Congress, Judiciary, Independent Constitutional Commissions and Ombudsman will only be encouraged to adopt the cloud services.

The amendments in the Cloud First Policy also clarify the Government’s position on data sovereignty, which was ‘confused with the concept of data residency’ in the previous version.

In the new version, the application of Philippine laws over foreign counterparts will be asserted over the data owned or processed by the Government or any entity that has links to the Philippines. 

This means that most data passing through the Philippines will be subject to the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which ‘protects the human right to privacy of communication while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth’ and the inherent obligation of the state to ensure that data is secured and protected.

Additional provisions on ICT capacity building and development of essential skills to meet international and local standards in the Philippines are also included in the Cloud First Policy.

The Philippines fell from 9th in 2018 to 11th in the 2020 Cloud Readiness Index by the Asia Cloud Computing Association. But there may be renewed optimism for a strong cloud future in the Philippines with these amendments, along with the Philippine Digital Transformation Strategy and more connectivity coming from DITO’s new data center.

Adapting to the ‘new normal’ in the Philippines

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, various governmental departments in the Philippines have adopted cloud technology to adapt their services.

The Department of Education recently partnered with Microsoft to provide a virtual ‘graduation-in-a-box’ to students in schools nationwide.

“The future of the Philippines lies in the hands of the brilliant young minds sitting in its classrooms today and we are privileged to empower not just their learning experience, but also their future,” said Andres Ortola, Microsoft Philippines Country General Manager.

The Supreme Court in the Philippines has also worked with Microsoft to continue legal proceedings through cloud-based videoconferencing hearings for the first time.

Mr Ortola said: “I am so proud to be a part of this historic moment in the Philippines.”

Enabling migration to the cloud

In the original Cloud First Policy in 2017, the Philippines encouraged migration to the cloud to enable greater automation and agility. The DICT recommended a three-step process to achieve migration.

First, take stock by defining objectives, determine data classifications and map security considerations. 

Second, plan migration by defining responsibilities, identifying skill gaps and choosing a suitable cloud environment. 

And lastly, migrate and manage through testing workloads, tracking performance and training staff through service level agreements with cloud vendors.

If you would like to find out how you can successfully migrate to the cloud, register now for our free ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

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

Image: jopetsy, Flickr