Alibaba Cloud Unveil New Ecosystem Development Initiatives and Partnershipsby Fintech News Hong Kong June 5, 2023
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud division of the Chinese e-commerce giant, is launching several initiatives to support its ecosystem partners, including the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Acceleration Program, training programs, and new incentives.
Through these initiatives, the firm aims to increase stickiness through value-added services, create synergies and ultimately expand its ecosystem of partners by supporting these organizations’ growth in Southeast Asia.
The move is part of Alibaba Cloud’s broader global strategy and ambition to expand its presence in Southeast Asia, recognizing the region’s growing digital transformation, increasing cloud adoption and strong growth prospects.
Launch of the ISV Acceleration Program
At the Alibaba Cloud Partner Summit 2023, the company’s annual partner event held this year in Singapore on May 15, the cloud computing unveiled the ISV Acceleration Program.
The program will provide independent software vendors with new financial incentives and technical support to expand into Southeast Asia. Alibaba Cloud currently has some 12,000 partners worldwide, including Salesforce, VMware and Fortinet.
As part of the initiative, Alibaba Cloud said it will help software vendors optimise the marketplace listing fee on its marketplace platform and expand product sales through Alibaba Cloud’s sales team and its network of channel partners.
The company also pledged to enhance technical support for partnered software vendors, offering technical enablement resources to help them build, publish and operate their solutions on the cloud platform. In addition, Alibaba Cloud said it will co-develop customized products and solutions with its partners to meet the diverse digital transformation demands from customers across Southeast Asia.
Several software vendors have already joined the program, the company said, including Neo4J, a graph database provider; 6Estates, an artificial intelligence (AI) fintech platform; One2Cloud, a multi-cloud solution and blockchain services provider; and SCash Global, a technology innovation software-as-a-service (SaaS) company.
New training portal and programs
At the summit, Alibaba Cloud announced the release of Alibaba Cloud Partner Empowerment Portal, an online training portal for the company’s partners to access product and service training and certifications, educational content on topical technology developments including cloud, AI and Web3, as well as resources and tools to increase service capabilities.
Alibaba Cloud aims to onboard at least 500 companies onto the platform in the current financial year including channel partners, managed service partners, and independent software vendors, the company said.
Separately, the cloud computing provider announced that it is collaborating with training partners to launch the SEA Talent Empowerment Program. The initiative aims to bolster talent development in Southeast Asia and has set out the target of training 100,000 general public talents in the region within its first year.
Initial training partners part of the program include Rahi Systems, an information technology services and solutions provider; Solutions for Asia, a security service solution provider; Lightning Cloud, a multi-cloud operation solution platform; and Edu360 Cloud, a digital certification service platform.
These initiatives will be supported by a series of new financial incentives including discounts, rebates and rewards to recompense resellers, distributors and partners. The move is part of the Alibaba Cloud’s US$1 billion investment into the growth of its ecosystem and international strategic roadmap.
The commitment, announced in 2022, aims to expand the firm’s presence in markets beyond China and strengthen its foothold as a leading cloud provider.
Partnerships with IBM and Avalanche
During the Alibaba Cloud Partner Summit 2023, new partnerships in the areas of security and blockchain were also unveiled.
In particular, the collaboration between Alibaba Cloud and IBM will see the two businesses co-develop and launch a new security solution for businesses in Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets.
The solution, which targets organizations in the Internet, finance, retail and manufacturing industries specifically, is designed to help customers mitigate mounting cybersecurity risks while creating a secure and stable cloud environment for clients during their digital transformation journey.
It integrates features of IBM’s security products QRadar SIEM and QRadar SOAR, as well as Alibaba Cloud’s security capabilities to provide organizations with real-time reporting and centralized visibility into the cloud environment, helping businesses detect and address threats including ransomware, insider threats and cloud attacks in a prompt manner.
Alibaba Cloud also unveiled a collaboration with layer-one blockchain Avalanche to provide businesses with a launchpad to deploy metaverses. The solution, called Cloudverse, aims to act as a one-stop-shop for organizations looking to customize, launch and maintain their own metaverse space on the Avalanche public blockchain and engage with customers in a new and appealing way.
The companies told TechCrunch in an exclusive interview earlier this month that builders on Cloudverse will receive support for visuals, metaeconomics, interactive functions, events, continued operations, and more. Organizations will be able to have their metaverse space up and ready for business in just about a month after initial outreach, they added.
Alibaba Cloud is the largest infrastructure-as-a-service public cloud provider in China and the third largest in the world, according to market research firm Gartner. The company held a market share of 9.5% globally in 2021, behind only Amazon (38.9%) and Microsoft (21.1%).
Alibaba Cloud is slated to be listed within the next year, a development that’s part of Alibaba’s announcement earlier this year of plans to restructure into six units following a two-year regulatory crackdown on China’s tech sector.
Cloud services have been a promising growth area for Alibaba but the unit has struggled this year. Alibaba Cloud revenue fell 2% year-on-year in Q1 2023 to 18.6 billion yuan (US$2.6 billion), contributing 9% of the group’s total revenue.
The cloud business is now in a round of downsizing and seeking to lay off about 1,000 workers, or about 7% of its staff, people briefed on the matter told media outlets last week.
Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik