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Call for ASEAN businesses to innovate and build with AWS

“There has never been a better time to create new businesses”, that is the message conveyed by Nick Walton, Head of ASEAN, Amazon Web Services (AWS), as cloud applications continue to proliferate, driving innovation and transforming entire industries. Nick spoke at the AWS Summit KL 2017, which aimed to bring together the cloud computing community to connect, collaborate and learn more about AWS and how companies, from startups to large corporations, are able to harness the power of the cloud to take their businesses to new heights.

It has been about a year since AWS established a Malaysian office and this year they’re hoping to expand and further strengthen their presence in the ASEAN region. Judging by the strong turnout, there certainly is a keen interest in the offerings of the company that’s considered to be one of the “Big Three” vendors of cloud computing.

Adrian Cockcroft, VP of AWS Cloud Architecture Strategy, went on to mention that cloud computing already became the “new normal” back in 2014. Now, it grants businesses with control over their own destiny. In the opening keynote, Adrian announced that AWS will be launching Amazon Lightsail, their easy-to-manage Virtual Private Servers (VPS), as well as Amazon Athena— a serverless, interactive query service that makes it easy to analyse big data in S3 using standard SQL— in Singapore and across the region in the next few weeks. He also assured that all of AWS services that are available in the US will be rolled out globally.

The services provided by AWS are diverse. To date, they offer over 90 cloud computing services which include compute, storage, analytics, content delivery, database, management and deployment, application services, desktop and application streaming, mobile services, artificial intelligence and business productivity with no upfront commitment or long term contract. Businesses and developers are free to use one or any combination of the cloud services and pay for what they actually use.

Astro, AirAsia and ServisHero are among the local/regional companies that are currently using AWS. Astro has recently signed an agreement with AWS as part of its digital transformation program, taking a cloud and mobile-first, analytics driven approach to accelerate innovation in pursuit of new personalised experiences for customers. AirAsia is also going all in with the cloud. The company intends to stop spending money on hardware and datacentres and will be moving all operations to the cloud by 2019.

ServisHero, meanwhile, is a company that was born on the cloud. The founders of ServisHero were able to leverage the cost effectiveness, flexibility, speed and scalability of the cloud to set up the company fairly quickly from “outside of a coffee shop”, as they put it, without even having an office or a single server. Now, the company uses Amazon Web Services to provide solutions to its 3000 service providers submitting thousands of quotes daily in in cities across Southeast Asia.

As AWS and their competitors continue to invest heavily to augment their foothold in the growing Southeast Asian market, it will be very interesting to see how local companies will capitalise on the ever-increasing business opportunities provided by cloud computing, as well as innovate and come up with “outside the box” ways to leverage the cloud.

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