Target: To be the world’s leading digital intelligence backbone by 2023
IT is happening. What was predicted by IT analysts in 2016 has come true as Alibaba Cloud has moved from just being “one of the boys” to becoming “one of the big boys.” When the company’s revenue hit US$675 million in 2016, that raised the alarm beeps for AWS and Microsoft in the region.
Recently, Alibaba Cloud reported that it has supported 38 percent of the Fortune 500 companies globally, last fiscal year. The milestone is a trigger for it to accelerate its globalization strategy. Already it has shown its leadership in the progress of the digital intelligence backbone in the past three years. What has it in store for the next three years?
“As the largest Cloud service provider in the Asia Pacific region, we will continue increasing investments in the next three years to strengthen our infrastructure, our solutions and our role in the wider technology ecosystem to be the trusted partner of choice not just in the Asia Pacific but also in the global digital economy by 2023,” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence President Jeff Zhang declared.
And they have the mettle to do it to. In 2016 after launching four data centers in Dubai, Tokyo in Japan, Germany and Sydney, Australia, totaling its’ international reach to eight. Since then it has 18 international data centers so far so by all geographical measurements, the Chinese technology giant now on nearly every major continent.
Expansion by choice
Having 2 out of 5 Fortune 500 customers globally is not hard to believe if the numbers are to be used as the yardstick: the company plans to add over one million servers to expedite regional infrastructure development. Its’ most recent infrastructure project will open next year in Indonesia with a secretly located data center with massive data scrubbing functions–an important feature given the challenges of data privacy and management.
To date, Alibaba Cloud operates 63 availability zones in 21 regions around the world, supporting the needs of businesses in more than 200 countries and territories. As the first step of the recent investment plan, Alibaba Cloud will open its third data center in South East Asia in Indonesia and will be the first data-scrubbing center.
Consistently ranked as the biggest public cloud service provider in the Asia Pacific region and third in the world by all relevant third-party measures in the past several years, Alibaba Cloud’s goal is supported by an unprecedented RMB200 billion ($28 billion) investment plan first announced in April.
With this big investment, the company aims to expand and enhance its infrastructure and product portfolio. Apart from expanding service coverage and building even more next-generation data centers around the world, the Cloud service provider has committed to hiring more than 5,000 staff globally in areas from network, database, servers and chips to artificial intelligence.
In the Philippines, it works closely with local ecosystem partners and businesses from various industries to support them in new technology immersion and cloud system adoption. With the recent formation of the Alibaba Cloud Philippines Ecosystem Alliance, the company aims to accelerate the digital transformation of more than 5,000 businesses and train 50,000 local IT professionals by 2023.
Jointly creating innovations for a new normal
“We are extremely confident in the future of the global digital economy, especially with the digitalization of healthcare, business, education, leisure and other parts of our lives during the pandemic,” Zhang said.
With digitalization as the most fundamental driving force for global economic development and to further promote global economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alibaba Cloud has reaffirmed its commitment to broadened support for global companies and toward this end will work with them to co-create the new digital reality.
Beyond the RMB2 billion ($283 million) initiative to accelerate joint-innovation projects with partners during this fiscal year, the company also plans to elevate its successful China Gateway strategy to serve as the global gateway for international businesses to Asia. The program upgrade will help multinational companies build the overall IT foundation capabilities and optimize enterprise networks through Alibaba Cloud’s one-stop intelligence platform.
“This crisis, along with the pain it is causing, will pass in time. Our foremost concern now is how we can help businesses, large or small, seize the meaningful opportunities in the next phase toward recovery. This is why we at Alibaba Cloud are working closely with our partners in upgrading current processes for the new normal,” Zhang added. – with Gregory Bautista