Alibaba Cloud is not only silencing its critiques but also steadily moving towards the position of leadership in the cloud computing domain dominated till now by the US based tech giants including AWS, Microsoft, Google, IMB etc. If we go by the Synergy Research Group’s report, Alibaba recently displaced IBM to become the third largest player in public cloud space. The company has supposedly breached the US$2 billion revenue mark from cloud in the fiscal year 2018.
The major growth of the company so far has come from the native business – that’s China. Locally, it is the number one cloud service provider today. But its plan for expansion, revealed by the top executives, are fascinating and revealing. The company wants to take a 50:50 approach. What does it mean? Simple! In future, the company plans to get 50 percent revenues from its international business and the remaining 50 percent from China. That may sound ideal and ambitious but today the company operates 49 availability zones in 18 regions around the world with more global locations to follow soon and that states volumes about its growth projections. Along with augmenting its presence by setting up data centers in Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Japan and Malaysia in APAC, the company has also installed multiple data centers in the US, European Union, and Middle East to provide a global coverage. These data centers offer somewhere close to 40 types of products/services using its robust, state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure. Like other cloud players, the company is aiming high to grab the market share through technology innovation, disruption and co-creation.
The growth doesn’t just stop with the increasing its footprint. Alibaba Cloud is also forging partnerships with the leading global technology and application providers to co-create services and offer value to its consumers and, at the same time, enhance its services portfolio. Today SAP CEO Bill McDermott announced the availability of its flagship enterprise digital transformation platform S4 HANA on Alibaba Cloud. That reaffirms company’s growth plan to grow outside of China. Further, the partnerships with global technology service providers like Accenture, chip manufacturers Intel and AMD and others indicate the seriousness of this Chinese Internet giant that aims to grab a sizeable market share in the cloud business globally.
Addressing a huge gathering of technology leaders from around the world, Simon Hu, President Alibaba Cloud said, “the company wants to be the backbone for innovations that organisations are aiming for. Our aim is to provide cutting edge technology platform at an affordable cost to the organisations of every size. Harnessing the power of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Cloud, we want to help organisations to provide their users a different level of customer experience.”
An exemplary implementation of Alibaba’s cloud is City Brain 2.0. The implementation of it is witnessed in the hometown of Hangzhou – a thriving district in Zhejiang Province of China. Using Alibaba Could the city has embarked upon a journey that will make truly make it a Smart City. From traffic management to managing fire stations to police management there is visible improvement in many areas. AliOS provides citizens the commuters with lane guidance, lane departure guidance, and forward collusion warning. Riding on Alibaba Cloud, the city is preparing for the driverless cars in the future.
Like this Alibaba had developed various other industry/sector specific AI-based engines namely Agriculture Brain, Aviation Brain, Environmental Brain, Medical Brain etc.
From small entrepreneurs like Butchers, who are going paperless to large establishments like Energy companies managing quality of service, all are reaping benefits of the innovative cloud services offered by Alibaba Cloud.
“The usage of Artificial Intelligence in City Brain 2.0 is helping urban managers take absolute control of administration. From optimising efficiency, to situational assessment to bettering the life of citizens, we are assisting the local government in every possible way. We are taking part in effective urban governance,” said Simon.
Alibaba Cloud is also working with the Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE on Energy Security, Sustainability and Clean Energy. Amalgamation of machine learning and physics-based models help in developing smart, renewable solar and wind energy systems.
Another very offbeat example of deployment of Alibaba Cloud is “Kenya Intelligent Wildlife Conservation Project.” The cloud infrastructure from Alibaba helps Kenya Wildlife department in conserving the wildlife by providing real time data of movement and general health of the species. The data comes handy in alerting command center on the movement of animals, poaching incidents, and better management of overall wildlife.
“New technologies are creating new possibilities. Cloud is not a technology. It’s a new thinking, a new approach of solving human problems. It helps in defining the future,” concluded Simon.