Why Southeast Asia is CloudCover’s ‘secret weapon’ for growth
- 09 June, 2020 11:20
Vishal Parpia (CloudCover)
CloudCover has unveiled plans to prioritise increased investment in Southeast Asia during 2020 and beyond, heralding the region as a 'secret weapon' for driving customer cloud adoption.
The born-in-the-cloud specialist - fresh from receiving a majority stake investment from Temasek-owned ST Telemedia (STT) in March - is targeting expansion through a streamlined commitment to “customers, markets and product lines”.
“Our key priority market is Southeast Asia,” confirmed Vishal Parpia, co-founder and CEO of CloudCover. “The cloud is growing around the world but we believe Southeast Asia is our secret weapon.
“The growth in the region is staggering. This is being driven by wide-scale cloud adoption and the immense amount of venture capital funding being poured into Asia. This combination of factors, coupled with a historical lack of top-notch technical talent, leads us to believe that Southeast Asia is fertile ground for CloudCover to grow exponentially over the next three years.”
With such ambitions backed by STT investment, Parpia said the business now has access to new markets that in the past, proved challenging to penetrate.
“Even through Covid-19 we’re seeing strong growth in new customers for cloud-native migrations, platform builds and operations for both infrastructure and data,” he added. “These services make up our core business so it’s encouraging to see demand unabated.
“We also look forward to our big investments in products and solutions bearing fruit over the year. As CloudCover transitions from a services-first to a product-first company, we plan to grow our customer base in both areas but place much more focus on our products and generating more IP-based revenue.”
CloudCover enters the second half of 2020 following a strong 18 months having “dramatically expanded” in Southeast Asia and India, doubling revenue and headcount in the process.
With the team now standing at more than 150 employees across Asia and North America, Parpia said plans to rapidly accelerate both market expansion and talent acquisition remain high on the agenda.
“We had a big 2019,” he recalled. “We’re investing heavily in our product team to create software that automates and enhances cloud-native adoption across companies of all sizes.”
Founded in 2015, CloudCover specialises in Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure technologies, spanning cloud migration, DevOps and automation services at both start-up and enterprise levels.
The business goes to market as a Premier Partner of Google Cloud with analytics specialisation on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), in addition to DevOps competency through AWS and Silver Partner status on Microsoft Azure.
During the past 12 months, Parpia said the provider has “worked hard” to strengthen alliances further with the three cloud market leaders through an increase in specialisations and competencies across key service departments.
“Most of our peers come at the cloud problem with an IT-centric mindset,” said Parpia, when speaking to Channel Asia. “CloudCover approaches the cloud from a developer-centric mindset thanks to our history as a dev company. IT as a practice focuses on control such as security, costs, risk and compliance. These areas will always be important but cannot come at the cost of a company’s ability to innovate.”
In managing more than 21,000 servers, and processing over 6500 terabytes, CloudCover serves in excess of 120 customers worldwide, spearheaded by co-founders Parpia and Dhruv Parpia as joint managing directors.
A recent example of customer innovation at work is evident through Genflix - Indonesia’s first over-the-top (OTT) video service serving close to 1.2 million users - which migrated its video-on-demand (VOD) media workflow to AWS. CloudCover “designed, deployed and ramped-to-production” the company’s new VOD workflow on AWS within a three-month project timeline.
“With version 2.0 of its mobile platform, the move to a flexible cloud infrastructure offered Genflix a future-ready technology foundation,” he added. “Genflix launched its upgraded mobile application on schedule with a workflow that scales based on demand, conserves its technology budget with pay-as-you-go utility and delivers high-quality viewing experiences across a full range of devices and screens.
“Genflix was able to transcode more than 10,000 video assets through the workflow while enabling its video team to store, transcode and manage content centrally with much greater efficiency than was previously possible.”
New-look customer priorities
With Covid-19 accelerating customer demand for digital technologies to ensure resilient enterprise business operations across Asia Pacific, the knock-on effect has resulted in cloud-based offerings outshining traditional products.
That’s according to GlobalData findings, which highlights that key verticals such as banking, healthcare and manufacturing sectors are witnessing a surge in demand for cloud-based solutions, owing to features such as remote data storage capabilities and the provisioning of privileges for hosted applications.
“Many of the applications ripe for moving to the cloud have already been moved,” Parpia observed. “The easy stuff got done in the first wave. This year, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the move to 100 per cent remote work squeezing years of transformation into weeks.
“Collaboration tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet were the immediate winners. But it has also highlighted all the applications and data that cannot be accessed from out of the office.”
Consequently, Parpia said such applications have become “low-hanging fruit” for the next wave of systems that are required to be either re-platformed or rebuilt on the cloud.
“Rethinking the application, reporting and data systems to be remote work-friendly opens the door to software-as-a-service [SaaS], rebuilding them in a cloud-native fashion or at the very least, re-platforming to ensure compatibility with the cloud and remote working,” he added.
In short, Parpia is of the mindset that cloud-native technologies are the future, with the market already preparing for “massive adoption” of such platforms.
“Kubernetes along with some lynchpin technologies like infrastructure-as-code, policy-as-code and automated security are going to shake up the enterprise,” he said.
Currently, Parpia said eight out of 10 businesses rely on multiple cloud platforms to meet IT needs, with 71 per cent using more than three.
"This is not a unique or new trend by any means, IT departments have been wary of lock-in for a long time, however in the current climate using the right tool for the job has much higher importance than before,” he added.
“This year more than most, organisations don’t want to depend on a single cloud when they’re relying on the cloud more than ever. They want to take advantage of the cloud’s scalability, innovative services and geographic scope, but they’re worried about getting locked-in to the wrong provider.
“This further drives the adoption of cloud-native architectures, since customers ensure maximum portability for their applications by relying on container-based platforms.”
In contrast however, Parpia outlined three common roadblocks currently impacting customers: the ability to continue to operate at full capacity, the ability to see all aspects of the business through data and the ability to innovate rapidly.
“The pandemic has brought all of these issues to the fore making them very hard to ignore,” he acknowledged. “If you can’t continue to operate at the same level of efficiency it's clearly a challenge for your business.
“Business continuity plans actually got implemented in earnest and many companies fell short. Remote work and collaboration through culture and technology is clearly here to stay and it's an ongoing challenge for all customers in 2020.”
If a business can’t view all facets of company data in as close to real-time as possible, Parpia said they going to have a "hard time plotting the right strategic course".
“Covid-19’s impact has been alarming both in terms of its magnitude and its speed,” he said. “You must be able to collect data quickly and reliably at these times. Making data-driven decisions is crucial when there is so much change in the world.
“If your company is unable to innovate rapidly through technology it's unlikely that you can deal with the disruption caused by the pandemic where traditional analog mechanisms don’t work.”
Channel Asia Advance is a centralised editorial resource designed to help partners access forward-looking content as the ASEAN and Indian markets attempt to reposition for growth.