Alex Li, GM, Alibaba Cloud South Asia, shares the company’s channel strategies for 2019
Key highlights 2018 and opportunities for 2019
From an Alibaba Cloud perspective, 2018 was a great year for us in India. While business interests remain a driver for any company in a market, we’re looking at ecosystem building. From an availability standpoint, we launched two availability zones for Alibaba Cloud where we offer products such as elastic computing, storage, database, network, application services and big data analytics to cater to the requirements of local governments and enterprises. We also launched our channel program in conjunction with HCL Infosystems and Ingram Micro. Additionally, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board to strengthen the state’s digital transformation journey by using our ET City Brain solution. We also signed a partnership with DLF as a technology enabler to DLF Shopping Malls, providing data analytics and consumer insights to enable seamless integration of an online and offline shopping culture in the country.
Finally, we partnered with IT services provider, ONGO Framework, to on-board up to 100,000 MSMEs by the end of 2019. Finally, from a talent perspective, we conducted a NLP Hackathon in conjunction with Zhejiang Lab, an emerging scientific research platform co-established by Provincial Government of Zhejiang Province, Alibaba Group and Zhejiang University, and BML Munjal University (BMU).
As we move forward to a more digitised economy in 2019 and beyond, the channel industry will always play a key role in enabling digital transformation in a country with the technological, commercial, and innovation potential that India has.
Top tech trends for channel community
Alibaba DAMO Academy recently published the top 10 technology trends for 2019. Among them, the key ones we believe will have significance in India are:
- Commercialisation of blockchain technology speeds up
- Data security technologies will multiply
- Real-time simulation of Smart City becomes possible
Be it from a government or private sector perspective, there is a lot of focus on the areas listed above. While the common understanding is cryptocurrency and blockchain are inherently intertwined, blockchain has several use cases in fields extending beyond finance that range from healthcare to real estate. More and more blockchain applications will be seen in our daily life, such as cross-border remittances, supply-chain financing, electronic invoices and tamper-proof judicial records. As the value of “chaining” becomes more recognised, layered architecture and cross-chain protocol will become the focus of technology to scale up blockchain infrastructure.
As an increasing number of businesses and consumers move online in the country, corporates will need to invest more in protecting individual data privacy. Though cyberattacks won’t cease in the next few years, data-protection technologies will boom. Traceability technologies across systems, such as watermark, and data-asset protection technology, including advanced anti-crawlers against strong cyberattacks, will be more broadly adopted.
Finally, in the Smart City project being undertaken by the government, we believe dynamic and real-time urban infrastructure data, such as traffic, water, electricity and air quality data will be analysed by large-scale computing platforms. The development of computing power and algorithms will foster the merger of non-structural information such as video footages with structural information, making real-time modeling of urban simulation possible and holistic, intelligent decisions can be made. More resources will be allocated to technologies powering an intelligent “city brain” and its applications, while a city simulation model reflecting the real-time impulses and movements of a physical city can be built to facilitate the optimisation of city governance.
Channel directions for partners
Alibaba Cloud has spent a significant amount of time to build the team, process, and the partner ecosystem in India, with the launch of our two availability zones in the country in 2018. Given the digital transformation wave India is undergoing, in 2018, Alibaba Cloud launched a local partner program in conjunction with HCL Infosystems and Ingram Micro. Under this program Alibaba Cloud would scout for local channel partners and work with them to offer cloud solutions to India’s enterprises, SMEs and startups.
Given Alibaba’s expertise in e-commerce, logistics, retail, and fintech; these are the main areas where we can offer and build solutions for existing and prospective customers in conjunction with channel partners and distributors.