Alibaba puts up a show for Singles Day, where Chinese are expected to spend over $20bn in world’s biggest shopping spree.
Alibaba puts up a show for Singles Day, where Chinese are expected to spend over $20bn in world’s biggest shopping spree.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
By DE Newsroom Published: 13:03, 11 November, 2016 Updated: 13:03, 11 November, 2016
By João Marques Lima Published: 20:00, 23 November, 2017 Updated: 16:54, 23 November, 2017
Google has officially announced the opening of a cloud region in Hong Kong after years of setbacks.
The region was announced in true Google style via a company post published by Rick Harshman, Asia Pacific Managing Director for Google Cloud.
“Hong Kong is an international commercial hub and is among the world’s leading service-oriented economies,” he said.
“By opening this region, customers in Hong Kong will benefit from low latency and high performance of their cloud-based workloads and data. The region is also designed for high availability, launching with three [data centre] zones to protect against service disruptions.”
Once online, the region will add another set of data centres to Google’s property portfolio and will becoming the sixth GCP region in Asia Pacific, joining the recently launched Mumbai, Sydney, and Singapore regions, as well as Taiwan and Tokyo.
“And that’s not the end of our Asia Pacific investments — stay tuned for news about upcoming Asian regions in the coming months,” Harshman warned.
He continued to say that the Hong Kong region dovetails with the company’s commitment to boosting Hong Kong’s digital economy and smart city efforts.
Nicholas W Yang, Secretary for Innovation & Technology, HKSAR Government, said: “A solid cloud infrastructure is the foundation for building a smart city and helping businesses succeed in the digital economy.
“We are glad that Google is launching the Hong Kong cloud region, a recognition of Hong Kong’s edge and strengths as a data hub.
“This means businesses in Hong Kong, whether big or small, can leverage the latest, well-established technology infrastructure to expand and succeed in the region and globally.”
Google first eyed Hong Kong as a cloud data centre destination in 2011 when it announced the construction of a $300m data centre which was expected to have become functional in 2013.
By João Marques Lima Published: Updated: 14:44, 23 November, 2017
This year at Huawei Connect in Shanghai, the company made sure its message got to everyone. From massive billboards outside the venue, to smaller ones across the city. From an enormous amount of marketing material to an even bigger set up at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.
The message? Huawei’s plans to be one of the world’s top five cloud providers.
The company’s drive to build up its cloud footprint is such that is easy for one to believe that very soon the Shenzhen-based multinational will create a fifth business segment exclusively dedicated to the cloud.
Huawei operates today with four business arms, including consumer, enterprise, carrier and ‘others’. Cloud revenues are not yet a major driver for the company’s overall revenues, which in 2016 topped CNY 521,574 ($75.1bn) globally.
Therefore, they have been until now included under the carrier and enterprise business segments.
However, this might well be about to change. Beyond the rotating-CEO Guo Ping’s pledge to take the company to the top of the cloud world, was the fact that the company has now launched its own public cloud offering, the Huawei Cloud.
This showed that Huawei’s ambition is not just empty words, but in fact, work on the ground has already commenced.
Although only available to Chinese companies at launch, plans to roll out the service to other Asian markets and beyond are already being drawn up.
Despite not mentioning the current top five cloud providers – Microsoft, Google, AWS, IBM and Salesforce – Ping’s ‘threat’ to overthrown one of them and place Huawei in that top, should be taken seriously by these players.
And history tells us why. Going back in time, Huawei was founded in 1987, precisely 30 years ago, and for example, it took 25 years for the company to overtake Ericsson in 2012 as the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer.
On the smartphone front, the company has also gone over several other manufacturers and has today a global market share of 9%, not far behind Apple’s 13% to 14%.
And Huawei has improved its share in H1 2017. Adding to this, in Q2 alone the company grabbed 11.3% of the market, with Apple reaching ‘only’ 12%. Samsung continued at the top with 23.3%.
Just like in the cloud space today, the company had previously vowed to make it to the top of the smartphone market, and it still plans to take over Apple and Samsung in the next five to ten years. Something analysts don’t say is impossible.
It seems that once the Huawei’s board puts something on the table, its more than 180,000 staff will go after it and make it real.
Afterall, this is very much built into the company’s DNA as lined up by the company’s founder and deputy chairman of the board, Ren Zhengfei, in his 1998 book, “How long can Huawei survive”.
“Huawei’s first core value is about what the company pursues,” he wrote.
“A popular view today is that enterprises should pursue maximum profits. However, what Huawei pursues is quite different.
“We do not seek maximum profits. Instead, we keep our profits at a reasonable level. What do we pursue? We strive to become a global leader and provide quality services for our customers.”
Fast-forwarding nearly 20 years into today, Zhengfei’s view is still very much applied through the corridors of the giant Shenzhen headquarters, and cloud has just become the next in line for mass scale development at Huawei.
To power its cloud, Huawei has the know-how on different fronts, including data centres. Its networking portfolio, data centre footprint – spanning to modular edge infrastructure, and software, with, for example, its OS CloudSphere, based on OpenStack technology – are all ready to help Huawei build its infrastructure.
Additionally, at Huawei Connect, and in order to enter the Big 5 cloud club and build that level of operation, rotating-CEO Ping introduced what the company has branded as the Huawei Cloud Alliance to attract more partners and customers into its ecosystem.
The company believes that, similarly to what happens in the airliner industry, which has today three main alliance bodies – Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld -, cloud alliances will be key and Ping wants his company to become the face of one.
He said: “We hope that in the future customers will ask for the Huawei Cloud and we will reach the entire world. We expect to be able in the future to build a cloud alliance around the world.
“The cloud alliance concept comes from the alliances in the airline industry. In cloud computing it is about the mobility of data logistics.
“Because of the economy of scale, it is impossible to have many public services companies in the world, [however], because of data legislation it is impossible for one or two companies to provide the service.
“So just like the airline industry, the cloud alliance will enable that [data logistics platform].”
And the launch of the alliance came with some heavyweights already signed up such as Telefonica, Orange Business Group and Deutsche Telekom, which will be crucial to help build international connectivity for the company’s cloud ecosystem.
Moreover, and despite not being part of the alliance, Microsoft has also signed a partnership with Huawei to help establish a unified standard for hybrid cloud environments.
It seems that all stars are aligned for Huawei, but the cloud journey will not be easy. To make an impact of the magnitude Huawei expects to make, the company will most likely have to either focus on specific customer lines or regions, and in some situations, both.
Not to mention that matching the dozens of billions of Dollars spent by the Top 5 cloud providers over the years could take its time. Huawei’s reach, across its verticals and with special mention to data centres, has been mainly around APAC, Africa and the Middle East – not to say the company doesn’t have a good presence in Europe as well.
But those three largely unexplored markets with huge thirst for cloud services are some where a few American multinational’s struggle to penetrate or are not yet mature enough to make them focus in seriously building their footprint there.
On the customers front, rotating-CEO Ping said the company will make a strong push for cloud business around governments and enterprises.
“Cloud is the most needed technology for governments and enterprises. Huawei is very committed to build a cloud platform to support customer business needs and innovation,” he said.
Other big providers such as AWS, Oracle and Microsoft have also all invested in government cloud offerings which seem to have paid off. Only time will tell if Huawei will succeed in its cloud conquest, but with the dices rolling, chances are that the company could indeed build one of the world’s largest cloud footprints.
In the end, as founder Zhengfei said in Huawei’s Hard Winter, published in 2001: “The survival of an enterprise depends on the enterprise itself. If it does not survive, it is not because others do not allow it to – it is because it cannot find a way to carry on.
“Survival doesn’t mean dragging out an ordinary existence or simply existing for the sake of existing. To survive is not easy and to thrive is even more difficult.
“This is because we are always facing a constantly changing environment and a highly competitive market. This is further complicated by interpersonal relationships within our company. “An enterprise can survive only if it constantly improves.”
By João Marques Lima Published: Updated: 14:22, 23 November, 2017
DHL has announced a new wave of investment into its data centre in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, which will expand the global logistics company’s IT infrastructure to cope with the large amounts of data from customers and the several digital services it offers.
In total, the company is adding $352m into the site until 2020 in addition to the $1.1bn invested since the facility opened in 1997.
The IT Service Data Center in Cyberjaya plans to invest in a range of platform renewals and technical innovations through to 2020, including adoption of hybrid cloud, and higher-efficiency or renewable energy sources.
DHL divisions served by the data centre include DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding, DHL Supply Chain, and DHL eCommerce operations.
A team of more than 1,440 employees work at the Cyberjaya IT Services Center, along with their counterparts in Prague, the Czech Republic and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
Alexander Pilař, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, IT Services, Deutsche Post DHL Group (DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group), said: “Digitalisation plays an increasingly strategic role in helping global logistics networks achieve the speed, reliability and accuracy needed to keep pace with today’s demands.
“The investment we have made in Cyberjaya demonstrates our commitment towards enhancing our capabilities — and helping our customers improve their market positions through best-in-class IT infrastructure and skilled talent.”
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Chief Operating Officer, Dato’ Ng Wan Peng said: “We are heartened by the continued support from DHL, which reflects its unwavering commitment to Malaysia and its digital transformation agenda — as we race towards becoming a developed digital economy by 2020.
“In addition to employment creation, this move will greatly boost and strengthen the digital infrastructure and ecosystem crucial for a thriving innovation powered socio-economy. We look forward to the journey ahead with DHL, in our quest to make the digital economy a key engine of growth for Malaysia.”
By João Marques Lima Published: 15:44, 22 November, 2017 Updated: 15:44, 22 November, 2017
Colt Data Centre Services has appointed Ras Scollay as Asia Pacific Head of Sales and Marketing.
With the hire, Ras rejoins the company after a near four-year hiatus, having previously led the sales operation for CenturyLink in Singapore and Japan.
Ras has been working in IT and telecoms for more than 20 years in roles spanning Asia, Australia and Europe.
His specialisms include cloud, carrier networks and data centre infrastructure outsourcing, with a particular focus in the financial, enterprise, wholesale, and government sectors.
He began his career in New Zealand, before joining Colt Telecom in 2001. He then moved to KVH (Colt Asia) in 2009.
In 2014, he joined CenturyLink Business, where he was Regional Sales Director for Asia Pacific.
Ras said: “I’ve been lucky enough to live in Asia for almost a decade, but re-joining Colt feels like coming home.
“Colt already has a strong presence in Asia, with five data facilities in Japan alone, and very ambitious plans for expansion across the region. I look forward to working with the team to help Colt take advantage of this booming market.”
Falk Weinreich, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Colt Data Centre Services, said: “We’re delighted that Ras has re-joined the Colt family. He knows the company inside out, and no-one knows the Asia-Pacific market better.
“Ras will be instrumental in communicating how we can help the region’s businesses to transform their operations with web-scale applications and cloud-based services.”