Alibaba Cloud is expanding the range of cloud-computing services available to businesses and organizations on its platform, recently announcing plans to offer three cloud-based enterprise solutions from German software giant SAP, as well as an expanded strategic collaboration with PCCW Global, the international operating division of Hong Kong’s leading telecommunications company.
The moves are part of a larger effort by Alibaba Cloud—the cloud computing arm of e-commerce and internet giant Alibaba Group—to deliver more comprehensive cloud products and services in China by working with independent software vendors, said Alibaba Cloud President Simon Hu. Earlier this month, Alibaba Cloud unveiled a program calledAliLaunch, which is being positioned as an online marketplace program through which foreign tech companies can sell business management software compatible with Alibaba Cloud’s environment.
“Through in-depth collaboration, Alibaba Cloud and SAP will join hands to bring more world-class cloud products with highly reliable and strong capabilities to companies in different industries,” Hu said in a statement.
The upcoming SAP product launch is the firstimportantfruit of a strategic partnership between Alibaba Cloud and SAP announced in April.
One of the world’s largest suppliers of business management software, SAP, together with Alibaba Cloud, plans by the end of the year to start selling three cloud products for the Alibaba Cloud platform: SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, an online customer-relationship management system; SAP Hana Cloud Platform, a system for rapid development of mobile-ready business applications; and SAP Business ByDesign, an integrated cloud suite aimed at medium-sized enterprises allowing them to automate their businesses with a single I.T. solution.
Mark Gibbs, president of SAP Greater China, said “the cloud business is a key part of SAP’s digital framework and one of the driving forces behind our rapid business growth in China.” The launch of the three new cloud products “will further expand SAP’s cloud footprint in China,” he said in a statement, helping “Chinese companies to effectively embrace the opportunities brought by digital transformation.”
Alibaba Cloud is China’s largest public cloud services provider with 577,000 paying customers as of June 30. The company also has an international presence, operating data centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.S., and has plans to add nodes in the Middle East, Europe andJapan.
Alibaba Cloud is continuing to build its global business, announcing last week an expanded collaboration withPCCW Global, the international arm of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, to offer internet security solutions to protect enterprises against so-calledDDoS (distributed denial-of-service)attacks.
The two companies together have offered network and internet data center services in Hong Kong since June, 2015. Broader collaboration will allow Alibaba Cloud to deliver its advanced Anti-DDoS service to international customers. “Leveraging (PCCW Global’s) sales force and international presence will definitely help us scale our customer reach,” said Sicheng Yu, an Alibaba Group vice president and general manager of Alibaba Cloud Global.
PCCW Global has regional centers in Belgium, China, France, Greece, Japan, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K. and the U.S. PCCW Global’s network covers more than 3,000 cities in 150 countries.
Yu added that working with partners such as PCCW Global and SAP not only provides Chinese companies with a greater range of cloud-based enterprise solutions from overseas technology companies. By expanding overseas, Alibaba Cloud also hopes to give Chinese software developers and vendors greater access to international markets through Alibaba Cloud’s growing ecosystem.
“With the AliLaunch program, we are looking forward to having more international ISVs (independent software vendors) offer solutions that can be launched on the Alibaba Cloud platform,” Yu said. “Reciprocally, we will be bringing more Chinese software vendors overseas so they can address the market abroad in a much more scalable way.”
SAP and other international ISVs represent “natural customers” for Alibaba Cloud, Yu added. Alibaba Cloud provides cloud infrastructure such as data storage and network bandwidth, while SAP and others offer the enterprise applications that run on that infrastructure.
Alibaba Cloud—which grew revenues by 175 percent year-over-year to $165 million in the quarter ended June 30—hopes to boost growth in a couple of ways by joining forces with ISVs like SAP, Yu said.
Selling third-party cloud solutions through the AliLaunch program generates revenue for Alibaba Cloud, he said. In addition, as more Chinese businesses take to the cloud to automate their operations with software from SAP and others, they are consuming Alibaba Cloud services—”and the bigger they grow, the more resources they use,” he said.