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Amazon targets speedier cloud adoption among Asian start-ups

Richard Harshman, head of Amazon Web Services, Southeast Asia.

Richard Harshman, head of Amazon Web Services, Southeast Asia.

Activate structured package puts emphasis on scalability, pay-as-you-go; AWS to continue to invest in key Thai market

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is expanding its cloud services in Asia, with a special focus on accelerating cloud adoption among start-ups via the launch of the AWS Activate structured package of resources offering credits, training, developer support, and start-up forums for free for one year.

Richard Harshman, Amazon Web Services' Asean head, said cloud computing facilitates start-ups to go beyond restricted resources, since it allows them to easily scale as their business grows. Under the model of on-demand usage through pay-as-you-go, it provides start-ups with flexibility over the costs they incur.

AWS Activate has been developed for start-ups across the globe, and especially those in Asia. Harshman said Thailand is ready for cloud adoption, and the start-up phenomenon is growing well in the country, making it a market with potential and providing an opportunity for expanding AWS's service offerings.

"We have dedicated teams, included staff speaking Thai, to take care of customers in Thailand. We continue to invest in Thailand in accordance with customers' needs. Now, we have representative offices in many markets throughout Asia, including Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore," he said.

He declined, however, to disclose whether the US-based company planned to open an office in Thailand.

"Thailand is one of our key markets. Along with the launch of AWS Activate, we are also arranging AWS Cloud Kata events to gather all stakeholders in the cloud-computing ecosystem to meet and catch up with others. Such events have already been held in Singapore and Malaysia," he added.

The overall AWS platform comprises more than 30 different services in categories such as storage, computing, databases, deployment and management, content delivery, messaging, and monitoring, from which customers can choose any combination of services that best meets their needs.

AWS services are available to customers from nine data-centre locations called "regions" located in the US, Brazil, Europe, Japan, Australia and Singapore. Customers can use any of these regions to use AWS services to build their applications and run them on the AWS platform.

The company also has 43 edge locations worldwide through which Amazon CloudFront delivers content, including static content such as images and video, both live and on-demand; personalised content, such as weather, sports scores and advertisements; entire websites; Web applications; and media files.

"Every day, AWS adds enough new server capacity to power all of Amazon's global infrastructure across the nine regions to support the rapid growth of customer adoptions," said Harshman.

AWS Activate offers two packages: a self-starter package and a portfolio package. The former is for any start-up, while the portfolio package is for start-ups in the selected accelerator, incubator, venture-capital seed fund or entrepreneur organisations of the AWS network.

Successful record

Many of the world's most successful start-ups have already built up their business on the AWS cloud.

Based on feedback from venture-capital firms and entrepreneurs, AWS developed the Activate package to help more start-ups get their business growing rapidly, said Adam Selipsky, AWS vice president.

Robert Zepeda, founder and chief executive of Playbasis, a Thai start-up, said AWS Activate treated the company as a value partner, and it has the team to help start-ups benefit from the cloud.

"AWS Activate takes the commitment to start-ups to a whole new level," he said.

Yod Chinsupakul, founder and chief executive officer of Thai start-up Wongnai.com, which positions itself as Thailand's Yelp, said his business had been benefiting from AWS's services since April, and had found its cloud platform to be reliable and scalable.

"The [first] benefit of using AWS's cloud is reliability. Since we have been on its cloud, our system has been never down. Another benefit is cost, as we pay as we use. Cloud and start-up need to go together," he said.

The other beauty of AWS's cloud is the number of services the company provides. It offers a wide range of services that helps Wongnai.com perform very well, he added.

"We chose AWS because of its quality of service. Meanwhile, Microsoft Azure has a conflict of interest, as Azure will perform well if it is on a Windows-based system. So, AWS is the answer for us," said the CEO.

AWS is a cloud-focused service provider with a very pure vision of highly automated, cost-effective IT capabilities, delivered in a flexible, on-demand manner over the Internet by Amazon.com.

AWS support is provided in English, Japanese and Portuguese, as well as in Thai for the local market. Technical account managers can also provide support in German, Hindi and Korean.


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