Apsara ABC

Addressing value chains with partnerships

Together with partners, value chains can be complete.

This was the idea that Alibaba Cloud’s partner press briefing emphasised when VP of Alibaba Group, and GM of Ecosystem and Sales Operations for Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Lancelot Guo addressed media in the region during their annual Apsara Conference. This year’s conference saw the likes of Intel, Nvidia, Deloitte, and Accenture speaking during keynote sessions.

Last June, when Alibaba Cloud announced a USD283 million investment to accelerate global partner innovations, Lancelot had said, “As Alibaba Cloud continues to expand our product and services offerings, we want to bring even more opportunities to our partners so that we can collaboratively innovate to bring the most up-to-date services to our customers, and generate business success for them.”

One by-product of this investment, and the coronavirus pandemic, is also this new idea of “digital ecosystem.” For example due to the pandemic, Lancelot observed that a lot of digital requirements have been accelerated.

Businesses also find themselves needing to connect with their customers and suppliers better and in a quicker manner.

As a result, Alibaba Cloud had embarked upon an initiative to provide training for their tech partners.

Lancelot explained,“We also work with them to penetrate into vertical industries.” For example, professional solution architects (PSA) would work with partners to learn how best to leverage Alibaba technologies. “To date, we have trained over 100 partners with over 1000 PSAs,” Lancelot shared.

A secondary, but no less important initiative is their programmes to enable and co-found solutions with partners. Over 500 solutions have been jointly created with tech partners, to date.

On top of that, the group provides funding and joint marketing capabilities to go-to-market in the APAC region.

Growth engine

According to Lancelot, the Alibaba Cloud ecosystem for the last few years together with partners has grown 80-percent year-on-year.

“We are getting into more and more industries, especially in the Southeast Asia region.”

He gave the example of traditional banks, telcos, and manufacturers approaching them, and added,“They leverage us to build new engines to drive their digital transformation, because in 2020 there is huge demand for digital collaboration.”

Building this ‘engine’ has involved building processes and platforms so they can collaborate with customers through digital means. This initiative also appears to be working as Lancelot shared that for the past year, over 2000 hybrid cloud projects have been delivered.

Lancelot emphasised that not only traditional methods are used to form an ecosystem. “We will use a lot of digital means, tools and capabilities, so partners can work seamlessly with us.”

During the media briefing, big tech companies like SAP, Salesforce, and Temenos, were named as tech providers that Alibaba Cloud integrates with.