Alibaba is surely spreading its network all over the globe and now, its recent venture of opening datacenters across countries like Indonesia and India goes to show that it’s trying to emerge as the biggest player in the retail and eCommerce market. Its latest venture to create a space for its own in the cloud market has prompted Alibaba to expand itself along these horizons and it will now have data centers across countries like Japan, Australia, Germany, Singapore, United States, UAE etc. along with these countries.
Next year, two more expansions are planned as per reports. These datacenters, as per plan, will open up new opportunities for smaller companies to expand and make most of the cloud. Small and Medium-sized enterprises or SMEs have been the prime focus of Alibaba since the first day and its new cloud division is focusing towards it. Because of the unique geographical position, Alibaba enjoys an advantage in the Asian market and it is making full use of the advantage currently, as it has already helped companies in Singapore to expand to cloud.
The Asia Pacific market surely has the biggest potential and hence, Alibaba, being a player of that market since the very inception, can surely grab the most of it. The last year saw a remarkable 70 percent growth of SMEs, spiking the number up to 874,000. However, the company is hardly limiting itself to such initiatives as fields like energy, manufacturing, media, healthcare and finance are also in the radar of Alibaba and they are growing like mushrooms across the continent.
The Asian trends
If one has to talk about the trend, then it is possible to start with the example of DFS, a travel company located in Hong Kong that has started using the cloud framework of Alibaba to move critical applications like SAP. Surely, this is only the tip of the iceberg as more such companies will follow suit. Since Alibaba already has almost 40 percent share of the total market in China, it has already started ahead of many. With this market in hand, Alibaba may well prove to be the toughest nut to crack for companies in the west.
While Amazon’s AWS is still leading the charge because of its prior experience, it may not be too late for Alibaba to enter the fray. Alibaba has realized that its workload capacity is not that of AWS, Google Cloud or Azure from Microsoft. Acknowledging its limitations, Alibaba knows that be it hybrid or public, it will always be a multiple players’ market. Hence, they have been quick to move for a market that has not yet been absorbed by the big three of the cloud. In fact, many companies are no longer relying on a singular cloud provider and trying to spread their responsibilities across various suppliers.
Hence, Alibaba is also trying to tap into the market too and mostly recently, its partnership with companies that consider Alibaba as one of their options for cloud deployments for a particular infrastructure is symbolic of that. More importantly, Alibaba is looking to coopt the open source platforms too by integrating them into the cloud.
Attempting to be more global
Alibaba has professed to be more expansive to compete in the global field. Currently, it is limited to Chinese partners such as Digital China, Yong You, and GDS. However, more global players are soon going to be incorporated since Alibaba has a long list and a rich history of collaborations with names like Accenture, Intel, and NVidia, SAP etc. It will provide an acceleration to the global aspirations and business opportunities of Alibaba and regionally too, Alibaba will become the most powerful force to be reckoned with.
Its deep roots in China in terms of customers and partners is something it needs to change and Alibaba is changing thick and fast to ensure that. While all the statistics point to the fact that Asia is the most swiftly expanding market around the globe and as many as 70 percent of total companies will be incorporating cloud by next year, Alibaba knows that the east is already under its command. Hence, the next destination is the west where the big three is still occupying a major portion of the industry and it will be an extremely difficult competition over there.
Hence, Alibaba is rethinking its strategies for breaking through in the public cloud as well as hybrid ones. One of the major imperatives in this case is to seek companies that are no longer willing to rely on the monopoly of the big three and looking to expand its infrastructure to smaller, and more flexible cloud providers. Hence, balancing between the regional and the global, Alibaba is surely a force to reckon with right now in the cloud market as well as the IT scenario.